One of the most important consequences of the great Easterncrisis of 1875-78 was that Bismarck came gradually to the conclusion that the loose alignments of the 1870s, which had for a decade permitted him to stay passively in the background while international tensions were safely deflected to the periphery of the continent, could no longer give Germany security. Although the Congress of Berlin had temporarily resolved the crisis, it had left the concert deeply divided, the Three Emperors’ League in ruins, and Germany in an acutely uncomfortable position between Austria-Hungary, now set on working with Great Britain to enforce the new order in the Near East, and a deeply resentful Russia. Indeed, by the summer of 1879 Bismarck was beset by a host of fears: on the one hand, he was afraid that Andrássy’s impending resignation might herald a reorientation of Austro-Hungarian policy in the direction of an alignment with Russia, or even France; on the other, he was, for the first time in his career, beginning to feel unsure of Russia, even threatened by her. All this pushed Bismarck to come forward himself and attempt to establish his control of the European states system.