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Memorandum on Anglo-French Relations

The outbreak of war in 1914 and the course it subsequently took was highly influenced by a complex web of alliances and agreements. This memorandum, written by former Prime Minister Arthur Balfour, illustrates Britain's fear of Germany and the strength of its ties with Italy and Austria-Hungary created by the Triple Alliance in 1882. It was in light of this fear that Britain was persuaded to form agreements with France in 1904 and then with Russia in 1907, thus forming the Triple Entente. The three powers were united in their mistrust of German intentions regarding Europe and as Balfour notes in this memorandum regarding Britain's agreement with France, they became obliged to offer one another mutual support in times of conflict.