The Entente Cordiale was a series of Anglo-French agreements about trade and colonies that ended antagonisms between the UK and France. The treaty, signed on 8 April 1904, paved the way for a new era of diplomacy and helped the two nations cooperate against increasing German pressures in the lead-up to WWI.

Britain entered into the Entente Cordiale with France – despite their differences – because it was concerned about German militarism and the effect this would have on peace in Europe. This was because any political instability in Europe would also affect British trade.

So, what was in it for France? Well, France was pretty worried about German militarism too. They also wanted to regain Alsace and Lorraine – territories they’d lost in the Franco-Prussian war. This loss of land made future conflict between France and Germany very likely, and so France hoped the Entente Cordiale would make Britain take a more active role in preserving European peace. As we all know, this failed and a pretty awful war still happened.