The Triple Entente is an alliance of the Russian Empire, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and the Third French Republic.
French-Russian Alliance, Entente Cordiale, and Anglo-Russian Agreement established the Triple Entente in 1894, 1904, and 2007.
After the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 to 1871, European tensions rose to a new peak in the late 19th century.
A post-war coalition between the German Empire and Russia and Austria-Hungary was on the verge of collapse, and Russia and Austria-Hungary would finally join themselves with France.
France was concerned about the growing influence of the German Empire and the rising Central European alliance of Italy, Austria-Hungary, Germany, and Serbia and wanted an ally. If Great Britain were to join an international defensive alliance, it would likely join Russia and France.
Great Britain, Russia, and France formed the Triple Entente to oppose Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy in World War I. Unlike the Triple Agreement, the Triple Entente was not an alliance for mutual protection.
Great Britain aimed to maintain the European balance of power without formal alliances during the majority of the nineteenth century, a splendid isolation strategy.
This changed in 1904 when Europe started to split into competing powers, and the United Kingdom and France signed the Entente Cordiale.
In a conflict with Germany, Britain would commit its British Expeditionary Force and Royal Navy to aiding France and intervening if the Germans invaded Belgium, where Britain guaranteed neutrality against any other country’s invasion.
After Germany invaded Belgium, Britain declared war on Germany on August 4, 1914.
From 1873 to 1887, Russia was a member of the League of the Three Empires alongside Germany and Austria-Hungary until Germany allowed the Reinsurance Treaty to expire.
In 1894, Russia and France agreed to the Franco-Russian Alliance, but Britain was warier of the Russian Empire as it came closer to British India’s border.
Russia saw itself as Serbia’s protector and rallied to its cause. On August 1, 1914, Germany declared war on Russia, followed by Austria-Hungary on August 6 in reaction.
The French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War resulted in the loss of Alsace-Lorraine and a new rule that created a severe political division. After Germany broke up its alliance with Russia, France seized the opportunity by signing on to the Franco-Russian Alliance.
As part of the Entente Cordiale, France and the United Kingdom agreed to stand behind each other in the case of an all-out war with Germany, which began in September of 1904.
When Germany declared war on Russia in reaction to France’s mobilization, Germany declared war on France on August 4, 1914, and France declared war on Austria-Hungary on August 12, 1914.
Also See: Triple Alliance Countries 2022
When the Central Powers of Germany, the Ottoman Empire, Bulgaria, and Austria-Hungary declared war on the Allies in November 1914, the Triple Entente officially joined World War I.
Other nations joined the Entente as the conflict continued, including Japan and Italy, which had declared neutrality at its start. Other states, like the United States, Serbia, Belgium, Romania, Greece, and Montenegro, joined the Entente as associated powers rather than as formal allies.