Essay on The Alliances of World War I

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WORLD WAR I Foreign policy: Even before WW1 began, years of tension had built up a rivalry between the great powers of Europe, triggered by alliances, power plays, weapons races and security. Furthermore, the Balkans was a power-vacuum, formally under the control of a fast-deteriorating Ottoman Empire. Imperialist expansionism on the part of Austria-Hungary and the German Reich was also giving rise to tensions. The increased efforts of Germany to have a colonial empire in Africa was another factor that led to WW1. During the 19th century, Britain, France and Germany had been in competition with each other, trying to build colonies in the Americas, Africa and Asia. Russia, Japan and the United States were doing the same in the Asian…show more content…
This led to a rejection of a national leadership agreement on spheres of influence and arms limitation. The so-called 'politics of the free hand” is also considered one of the causes for WW1. This policy limited foreign policy, rather than helping to expand the action. Domestic policy: As the world entered the 20th century, an arms race had begun. By 1914, Germany had the greatest increase in military buildup. Great Britain and Germany both greatly increased their navies in this time period. Further, in Germany and Russia particularly, the military establishment began to have a greater influence on public policy. This increase in militarism helped push the countries involved to war. The nationalist power-politics in Germany were promoted heavily. There were strong advocates for imperialism who also pushed for advancing Germany's weapon's technology and strong army. The internal problems of Russia and Austria-Hungary (in part caused by long-overdue reforms) can also be regarded as a cause of WW1. All these countries had a distinct streak of thinking only in terms of the nation-state. Political economy: From an economic standpoint, the desire to create and maintain lucrative markets abroad can be seen as one of the major causes of WW1, since an industrial capitalist society and economy require a flow of cheap goods. The dynamic arms race also favored this trade. For Australia and the United States, arms exports proved to be a lucrative business. Socio-political: In
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