In March 1896 Kaiser Wilhelm II had pressed for an Anglo-German alliance with reference to France and Russia as a mutual danger. German Ambassador Hatzfeldt’s offer of a formal alliance in December 1896 was nevertheless turned down by Salisbury as being “inconsistent with English tradition.”1 As previously discussed, the Mediterranean accords between Britain, Italy and Austria, which had forged a “quasi-alliance” with Germany, broke down in 1897. This important security accord collapsed at roughly the same time that London renounced its commercial treaties with Belgium (of 1862) and with Germany (through the Zollverein of 1865) in July 1897-in reaction to popular demands against the “invasion” of German goods in England in 1896. These treaties had provided both Belgium and Germany the same commercial rights to trade with the British colonies as with the mainland in an effort to strengthen British ties with its empire. Although Berlin was able to renew most-favored-nation status with London on a yearly basis, and although London did not raise tariffs against Germany (despite threats to do so), the decision augmented German distrust of London-as the yearly renewal of trade relations made long-term business guarantees more difficult. Wilhelm II thus called British steps toward protectionism “the commencement of a war to the knife against our state.”2 At the same time, however, London’s protectionist measures did not impact German trade as significantly as the Kaiser asserted at the time.