Alliances were a major part of why World War 1 had begun, because leading up to the World War, there were two Important and powerful Alliances, the Triple Alliance and the Triple Entente. When Austria Hungary's heir to the throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand was murdered in Sarajevo, Bosnia Austria Hungary's government blamed Serbia and declared war on Serbia and then country after country declaring war on each other because they were attacking each other's allies and that's how World War turned from an internal affair in to a war between Alliances. Germany was DEFINITELY not to blame for WWI. That's a common misconception in Western Europe and the US partially because of Hitler's tyrannous rule during WWII. Germany did not want to go to war with the whole world! They were hoping that the Serbian conflict between Austria-Hungary and Serbia would remain "localized". Instead, Russia decided to help out Serbia's plan of expanding in order to bring a potentially powerful Serbian state closer to them. The Serbians were, quite frankly, psycho nationalist in the build up to WWI. For example, the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand was the final event that really pissed off Austria-Hungary. The Germans and Austro-Hungarians both agreed to protect each other because they felt threatened by Russia's policy of expanding Serbia in the Balkans.
There were many factors that led to the initial outbreak of World War I in Europe. A constant struggle to gain the upper hand in the “balance of power” existed, and it resulted in the formation of many alliances between European nations. For the most part, these agreements stipulated that the nations would aid one another if one of them were to be attacked by an enemy. Eventually two distinct
For a time, Europe basked in peace and glory in 1900. However, the glory ended in 1914 when Europe got itself into one of the biggest wars ever: World War I. In the late 19th century, European leaders thought they could keep peace in Europe if they created a balance of power between the major countries of Europe such as, England, Russia, France, and Germany. Otto Von Bismarck, a Prussian Chancellor, had an uneasy view of this peace because Germany was unfortunately between Russia and France. In order to not ever fight a war with these two powers, Bismarck tried to negotiate with them but failed. This lead him to become allies with Austria-Hungary and Italy. This group became known as the Triple Alliance. In response, another alliance was formed called the Triple Entente with France, Russia, and Great Britain. Tension arose between these countries but nothing could compare with the tension within countries such as in the Balkans. Nationalism was rising in Serbia, an area in the Balkans, and they wanted to be separated from Austria-Hungary who controlled them. The Serb’s plan to get them away was to assassinate the Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Their plan in killing the archduke succeeded but the event gave rise to a chain reaction that no one could have expected.The Austrian government, furious with the Serbians, asked for Germany’s help if they were to go to war and the Serbians, to protect themselves, asked Russia. This brought in many more countries because of the alliances
After the Congress of Berlin, the European powers sought new alliances to safeguard their security. Angered by the German’s actions at the congress, the Russians terminated the Three Emperor’s League (formed by Otto von Bismarck) in 1879. Bismarck then made an alliance with Austria in 1879 which was late joined by Italy in 1882. The Triple Alliance of 1882 committed Germany, Austria and Italy to support the existing political order while providing a defensive alliance against France or two or more great powers that were not members of the alliance. The Triple Alliance set off a series of alliances with other European countries dedicated to balancing the already great combines powers of Germany, Austria and Italy. Emperor William II embarked on an activist foreign policy aimed at enhancing German power by finding, as he put it, Germany’s rightful “place in the sun”. One of his changes to Bismarck’s foreign policy was to drop the Reinsurance Treaty with Russia, which he viewed as being at odds with Germany’s alliance with Russia. The ending of the alliance achieved what Bismarck had feared: it brought France and Russia together. Long isolated by Bismarck’s policies, republican France leaped at the chance to draw closer to tsarist Russia and in 1894, the two powers concluded a military alliance. During the next ten years, German policies abroad caused the British
The greatest indirect cause of WWI was the forming of alliances; a process by which two or more countries join together in times of trouble to make themselves stronger. As tensions grew between the nations, two distinct alliances were formed, the Triple Alliance and the Triple Entente. To expand, with the two alliances in place, Europe was set for war (Beauchamp). On July 26, 1914 Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia as a result of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Serbia called in their ally Russia for help. To defend their own ally, Austria-Hungary, Germany then declared war on Russia on August 1, 1914. Another country in the Triple Entente, France, backed Russia, resulting in Germany avowing war on France as Germany
In addition to the treaty of London, numerous other treaties and alliances help explain the outbreak of WWI. The Dual Alliance between Austria-Hungary and the German Empire in 1879 ensured a promise of mutual defense if either side was attacked by Russia, and neutrality if attacked by any other nation. Italy joined the Dual Alliance in 1882 forming the Triple Alliance or central powers. Additionally, France formed an alliance with Russia in 1894 and an entente cordiale, or friendship with Britain in 1904. Subsequently, Britain formed an entente with Russia in 1907, effectively forming the Triple Entente. This relationship further exacerbated German fears of encirclement and left if facing a war on two fronts if it attacked or was attacked by one of the members of the Entente. The nations involved perceived these alliances as a form of protection and a deterrent to war. However, as predicted by the spiral mode, it only further increased concerns and decreased trust amongst the belligerents. Additionally, the alliances united the nations together so that, if one country went to war, the others were obligated to honor the alliance and join their partners in war (Tuchman).
Initially, the Triple Alliance was a defensive pact between Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy. It guaranteed mutual support in event of an attack by another power. The Triple Entente, between Britain, Russia, & France, was a treaty in direct response to the Triple Alliance. It was a series of mutual defense pacts that was to stay in place for the duration of the Triple Alliance. If a member of the Triple Alliance attacked a member of the Triple Entente, the members of the Triple Entente could attack the aggressor and the allies of the aggressor once they attacked. Going back a bit, Otto von Bismarck’s greatest diplomatic achievement, the Reinsurance Treaty, was a treaty between Germany & Russia guaranteeing they would remain neutral in a war unless Germany attacked France or Russia attacked
When Germany presented Austria-Hungary with the Blank Cheque, they said they would support them in anyway possible, showing that Germany would sustain and back them up in the declaration of war on Serbia. This support and new ally gave Austria-Hungary the affirmation and final push for them to declare war. Austria-Hungary knew their newfound power would be strong enough to go into war and win. By being in alliance with Germany this gave them confidence and self-assurance. If it wasn’t for the Blank Cheque and alliance system, Austria-Hungary might not have ever declared war. Therefore, it is to a considerable extent that the alliance system was the main cause of World War One as the blank cheque supplied Austria-Hungary with the confidence needed for them to declare
In 1879, Germany and Austria-Hungary formed the Dual Alliance. The Dual Alliance was, “…a defensive pact that ensured reciprocal protection from a Russian attack and neutrality in case of an attack from any other power”. In 1882, France joined the alliance, thus creating the Triple Alliance. After France, Germany, and Austria-Hungary formed the Triple Alliance, leaders of other European countries, such as Great Britain saw this posed a threat. So in turn Great Britain, Russia, and other neighboring countries formed the Triple Entente, which were known as the Allies. Nationalism caused the formation of alliances in the European countries based on common beliefs and the fear of an imbalance in power. The development of these national alliance systems contributed to the infamous war known today as World War I.
Before world war one, Europe was seeing great military advancements from Germany. This worried France which led them to joining forces with Russia. Because of the alliance between France and Russia, Germany retaliated by teaming up with the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Then these countries started to grow their military at a fast pace. This military growth frightened Britain, causing them to join what would be known as the “Triple Entente” with France and Russia. This worried Germany because now they were surrounded by what they would consider rival alliances (Cornish, par. 1-5).
“After 1904-07, the line-up became more ominous. Russia was weakened for several years after its defeat by Japan. Germany tried but failed to form a German-Franco-Russian bloc excluding Britain. Instead the British compromised over their extra-European disputes with the French in the ‘Entente cordiale’ of 1904 and over those with the Russians in 1907, and began co-operating diplomatically with their former adversaries. In 1902 Italy had reached a separate understanding with France. Germany’s leaders protested that the Triple Entente ‘encircled’ them, while their one remaining reliable ally, Austria-Hungary, was a multi-national empire that was hobbled by inter-ethnic disputes and menaced by a growing confrontation with its neighbour, Serbia, which with Russian encouragement fomented separatism among Austria-Hungary’s South Slavs. After 1905 Europe
In Europe before 1890 there had been many alliances made mainly by Bismarck, Bismarck organized a system of alliances designed to maintain Germany's hegemony on the European continent. France was determined to challenge the hegemony of Germany because France had been defeated by Germany in 1871 and had been forced to cede two provinces (Alsace-Lorraine) to Germany. Bismarck tried to befriend Austria, Russia, Italy and Britain in order to isolate France. There were many alliances formed in this time but here are the main ones and how they effected the growing tension
The Entente Cordiale, signed 1904, was a series of agreements that changed Anglo-Franco relations entirely. For one thousand years beforehand, the English and the French had many disagreements, wars, and conflicts that created a lot of tension between the two nations. But forty years after the Entente established a friendship between the two countries, England and France fought two major wars as very close allies.
“World War 1 is considered as one of the greatest events of the 20th century where the war lasted for more than four years, occurring from 1914 to 1918 with over thirty-eight million casualties”(Lohr, 2014). The cause of the war has been debated for decades but it is assumed the assassination of Franz Ferdinand by the Serb on June 1914 could have triggered the war. Besides there are certain forces that caused the war such as nationalism, imperialism and military power as many countries believed in economic and military supremacy. Pan-Slavism was a movement that was aimed at uniting all Slave people in the mid-19th century. The movement had its roots based on the romantic nationalism, which based its concept on ethnicity were considered a feature of national identity causing tension of war. This essay discusses some of the reasons America remained neutral to the war. Then, later joining the Great War in 1917 and seeing it through to the end. Consequently, it discusses issues revolving around the Treaty of Versailles and the role President Woodrow Wilson played during the era of the war.