Franco-German Relations, 1878-1885

Franco-German Relations, 1878-1885

Franco-German Relations, 1878-1885

Franco-German Relations, 1878-1885


The writer has attempted to give an account of the relations between France and Germany from 1878 to 1885. This period, in contrast with previous years, was one of good relations between the two countries.

Some of the results derived from this study seem to be:

Good relations between the two countries became possible with the fall of the ultramontane-royalist government and the accession of a conservative republican ministry in France.

Germany manifested her friendly feeling towards France during the time of the Congress of Berlin, and in the settlements made in pursuance of the Treaty of Berlin.

Prince Bismarck having adopted the policy of isolating France effectively by means of his system of alliances with Austria, Russia, and Italy, the German government cultivated more friendly relations with France by assisting her to begin a spirited colonial policy, at the Conference of Madrid in 1880 and in the affair of Tunis in 1881.

The tendency of the two governments to act together, especially in the affairs by means of which France sought to further her colonial ambitions, became strongest during the second ministry of Jules Ferry--from February, 1883, to March, 1885.

The respective grievances of France and Germany against Great Britain on account of affairs in Egypt and West Africa served to strengthen the good understanding between Paris and Berlin.

The bases of the Franco-German entente were rudely shaken by the resignation of the ministry of Jules Ferry in March, 1885, and the restoration of friendly Anglo-German relations through the efforts of the Conservative ministry of Lord Salisbury in June, 1885.

In the preparation of this study the author has made use of the great mass of printed diplomatic documents rendered available by the European powers, as well as the numerous memoirs, letters, and biographies of the chief participants in European affairs. Particular attention has also been paid to the proceedings in the legislative chambers in France, Germany, and Great Britain, and to contemporary periodicals and newspapers.

This study was undertaken at the suggestion of Professor . . .

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