The three-federation rounded Bismarck's reconstruction of its alliance system after the citizen of Berlin congress off 1878. With it becamenow also Italy contractually to the German Reich bind. The conclusion was favoured by the conflicts, which Italy had due to its colonial ambitions in Tunesien with France and in Egypt with Great Britain.
Bismarck pursued several goals with the conclusion of the three-federation. On the one hand should therebythe rivalry between Austria and Italy on the Balkans and to the eastern Adriaküste the sharpness to be taken, on the other hand one Italy could relieve on a long-term basis than military partner in a French-German war the southern flank of the German Reich. Italy expected from the three-federation the support of its colonialActivities in North Africa.
To 30. October 1883 joined Romania the three-federation, which was renewed to 1912 every five years. De iure broke the alliance 1915 with the entrance of Italy into the 1. World war on the side of the Entente. The three-federation actually already playedsince the turn of the century no basic role more in the German foreign policy: Interest-rush-same with France (1902) over the colonial spheres in North Africa and with Russia (1909) arrive to Italy over the mutual interests on the Balkans. The Bosnian annex ion crisis of 1908 loaded the relationship to Austria Hungary heavilyand the Turkish Italian war of 1911 was not to be agreed upon with the German efforts for the improvement of the German-Turkish relationship.
The German Reich set also therefore already promptly the more firmly on the existing connections with Austria Hungary in the two-federation.