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Preparing For The Next War: French Diplomacy And The Russo-Japanese War

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Chapter Summary

In spite of the geographical distance, the Russo-Japanese War, by its diplomatic sequels, also durably affected the balance of power in Europe and contributed directly to the shaping of the situation that nurtured the First World War. This chapter describes how the course and aftermath of the conflict between Russia and Japan eventually resulted in both the confirmation of France's escape from diplomatic confinement and the strengthening of an alliance strategy meant to isolate the central empires, the logic of which would eventually lead, barely a decade later, to another tragedy on a much grander scale. The Russo-Japanese War threatened to throw France's foreign policy off balance by weakening her patiently cultivated alliance system. The three agreements signed in 1907, together with the renewed Anglo-Japanese agreement of 1905 and the French agreement with Italy, provide the basis of the new international framework in which the First World War was set.

Keywords: Anglo-Japanese agreement; First World War; France's foreign policy; Russo-Japanese war



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