Should, contrary to their hope, and against the loyal desire of the two High Contracting Parties, one of the two Empires be
attacked by Russia the High Contracting Parties are bound to come to the assistance one of the other with the whole war
strength of their Empires, and accordingly only to conclude peace together and upon mutual agreement.
Should one of the High Contracting Parties be attacked by another Power, the other High Contracting Party binds itself
hereby, not only not to support the aggressor against its high Ally, but to observe at least a benevolent neutral attitude
towards its fellow Contracting Party.
Should, however, the attacking party in such a case be supported by Russia, either by an active cooperation or by military
measures which constitute a menace to the Party attacked, then the obligation stipulated in Article 1 of this Treaty, for
reciprocal assistance with the whole fighting force, becomes equally operative, and the conduct of the war by the two High
Contracting Parties shall in this case also be in common until the
conclusion of a common peace.
This Treaty shall, in conformity with its peaceful character, and to avoid any misinterpretation, be kept secret by the two
High Contracting Parties, and only communicated to a third Power upon a joint understanding between the two Parties, and
according to the terms of a special Agreement.
Vienna, October 7, 1879
How can this document justify the events that led to the
and Domino Effect
of the declaration
This chart provides information on the increasing amounts of money spent on armaments from 1870 through 1914.
Per Capita Expenditures of the Great Powers on Armaments
Source: From Europe, 1815-1914, by Gordon A. Craig, 1966.
*Boer War Costs