League of the Three Emperors
The League of the Three Emperors (German: Dreikaiserabkommen, Russian: Союз трёх императоров) was an unstable alliance between Tsar Alexander II of Russia, Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria-Hungary and Kaiser Wilhelm I of Germany.
Formation 1873 
On 22 October 1873, German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck negotiated an agreement between the monarchs of Austria–Hungary, Russia and Germany. The alliance sought to resurrect the Holy Alliance of 1815 and act as a bulwark against radical sentiments the conservative rulers found unsettling. It was preceded by the Schönbrunn Convention signed by Russia and Austria–Hungary on 6 June 1873.
Background and policy 
Bismarck often led the League as it assessed challenges centered on maintaining the balance of power among the states involved and Europe at large. This cornerstone of his political philosophy included dedication to preserving the status quo and avoiding war. Despite German victory in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, the violence remained fresh in the newly united state’s memory and made Germany reluctant to antagonize the French, but keen as ever to limit their power. According to the coalition, radical socialist bodies like the First International represented one of the other key threats to regional stability and dominance. For this reason, the League actively opposed the expansion of their influence. The League also met crisis in the East where Bulgarian unrest elicited violent reaction from the Ottoman forces there, which in turn met with horror from observing states. The account of the insurrection from an Englishman named Sir Edwin Pears  both describes the atrocities in gruesome detail and reveals British surprise at their extent.
First dissolution 1878 
The collective initially disbanded in 1875 over territorial disputes in the Balkans as Austria-Hungary feared that Russian support for Serbia might ultimately ignite irredentist passions in its tenuously grasped Slav populations. Russian authorities likewise feared insurrection, should a Pan-Slavism movement gain too much clout. The body’s first conclusion in 1879 gave way to the defensive Dual Alliance between Austria-Hungary and Germany to counter potential Russian aggression. In 1882 Italy joined this agreement to form the Triple Alliance.
Revival 1881-1887 
The 1878 Treaty of Berlin left Russia feeling cheated of her gains made in the Russo-Turkish War. Her key role in European diplomacy was not, however, forgotten by Bismarck. A more formal, officially documented The Three Emperors' Alliance was concluded on 18 June 1881. It lasted for three years; it was renewed in 1884 but lapsed in 1887. Both alliances ended because of conflicts of interest between Austria-Hungary and Russia in the Balkans.
- Gildea 2003, p. 237.
- Henig, Ruth Beatrice (2002). The Origins of the First World War. Routledge. p. 3. ISBN 0-415-26185-6.
- Sir Edwin Pears, Forty Years in Constantinople, 1873-1915, (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1916), pp. 16-19, reprinted in Alfred J. Bannan and Achilles Edelenyi, eds., Documentary History of Eastern Europe, (New York: Twayne Publishers, 1970), pp. 191-194. found at , last visited June 24, 2011
- Gildea 2003, p. 240.
- Text of the actual agreement, last visited June 24, 2011
- Gildea, Robert (2003). Barricades and Borders: Europe 1800-1914. Oxford University Press. p. 237. ISBN 0-19-925300-5.
- Richard B. Elrod, "The Concert of Europe: The Fresh Look at an International System," World Politics, 28, no. 2(1976): 159-174. JSTOR.
- Serge Goriainov, "The End of the Alliance of the Emperors," The American Historical Review, 23 no. 2 (1918): 324-329. JSTOR.
- Paul W. Schroeder, "Quantitative Studies in the Balance of Power: An Historian's Reaction," The Journal of Conflict Resolution 21, no. 1 (1977): 3-22. JSTOR.
- A. Meyendorff, "Conversations of Gorkachov with Andrassy and Bismarck in 1872," The Slavonic and East European Review 8, no. 23 (1929): 400-408. JSTOR.
- William Brian Moul, "Balances of Power and the Escalation to War of Serious Disputes among the Great Europeans, 1815-1939: Some Evidence," American Journal of Political Science 32, no. 2 (1988): 241-275. JSTOR.