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A 'League of the Three Emperors' created by Otto von Bismarck to maintain the status quo in Europe while isolating France. The first understanding was made between Kaiser Wilhelm II, Czar Alexander II and Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria in 1873. Bismarck upgraded this to an alliance in 1881. It promised that if one signatory were at war with a fourth power (other than Turkey) the others would remain neutral. It was renewed in 1884 but abandoned in 1887 when Bismarck signed the Reinsurance Treaty with Russia.

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