Anglo German Agreement of 1886

The Anglo-German Agreement of 1886 is a pivotal event in European history as it marked the beginning of a long-standing alliance between Germany and Britain. The agreement was signed on April 18, 1886, and was essentially a mutual agreement between the two countries to protect each other’s interests in Africa.

At the time, Britain had already established a significant presence in Africa, having already acquired territories such as Egypt, Sudan, and South Africa. However, Germany was a relatively new player in the scramble for African territories. The agreement was, therefore, a strategic move for both countries, as it allowed Germany to expand its influence on the African continent, and Britain to consolidate its position as the dominant colonial power.

The agreement paved the way for the partition of Africa into spheres of influence, with Britain dominating the southern and eastern parts of the continent, and Germany taking control of East Africa, Cameroon, Togo, and Southwest Africa. The agreement marked a significant shift in British policy towards Germany, as the two countries had previously been at odds over colonial interests in Africa.

One of the key factors that led to the agreement was the fear of a possible war between the two countries. Following the unification of Germany in 1871, it grew rapidly as an industrial, military, and economic power in Europe, and was seen as a threat to Britain’s strategic interests. By signing the agreement, both countries were able to ease tensions and work towards a peaceful co-existence.

The Anglo-German Agreement of 1886 also had broader implications for European politics. It set the groundwork for the Triple Alliance between Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy, which was formed in 1882. The alliance was aimed at countering the growing power of France and Russia in Europe, and was a precursor to the First World War.

In conclusion, the Anglo-German Agreement of 1886 was a significant event in European history, marking the beginning of a long-standing alliance between two of the continent’s most powerful nations. It laid the foundation for future cooperation between the two countries, and had broader implications for European politics in the years that followed.