Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    The relation or union between persons or families contracted by intermarriage. In international law. A union or association of two or more states or nations, formed by league or treaty, for the joint prosecution of a war, or for their mutual assistance and protection in repelling hostile attacks. The league or treaty by which the association Is formed. The act of cohfed-erating, by league or treaty, for the purposes mentioned. If the alliance ls formed for the purpose of mutual aid in the prosecution of a war against a common enemy, it is called an "offensive" alliance. If it contemplates only the rendition of aid and protection in resisting the assault of a hostile power, it is called a "defensive" alliance. If it combines both these features, it is denominated an alliance "offensive and defensive."