To what extent can it be said that World War I was caused by the Alliance System? (2023)

To what extent can it be said that World War I was caused by the Alliance System? (1)

November 2013 DOCUMENT 2
Theme 1 Causes, practices and effects of wars
"The role of alliances in the genesis and propagation of the 1914 war has been greatly exaggerated." To what extent do you agree with this statement regarding the First World War?

To what extent can one say that the First World War was caused by the alliance system?

As the renowned Chinese strategist Sun Tzu put it in The Art of War, "We cannot form alliances until we are familiar with our neighbors' intentions." This is particularly relevant in the context of World War I, when mistrust and mutual fear destroyed the fragile structures of so-called "alliances". The Great War, AJP Taylor - along with a host of other historians - would argue that other factors related to the influence of the harsh militarism, nationalism and imperialism present in contemporary society were far more effective in stimulating global conflict. This essay will argue that the alliance system was indeed a crucial component in the genesis of World War I, although it is not a single entity driving the entire conflict.

To properly understand the underlying importance of alliance systems in initiating World War I, one must understand the circumstances that led to their emergence in the first place. Perhaps the most notable displays of this revolved around the two main alliance systems present during World War I: the 'Central Powers' and the 'Triple Entente'. The Central Powers in question would consist of Germany, Italy, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire, with a history that could be traced back to the signing of the original "double federation" in 1879. This binding alliance between Germany and Austria-Hungary incorporated a military pact that provided for the provision of military support to nations on condition of Russian attack (in response to Austro-Russian tensions following the collapse of the Dreikaiserbund). In 1882, the “Triple Alliance” developed from this, which served as the basis for the Central Powers after 1914. While this development eventually saw the introduction of additional nations, it should be noted that the military strength of the alliance as a whole was not greatly affected. The Franco-Russian alliance of 1894 was seen as a response to the Triple Alliance and the resulting isolation of France and later developed into the "Triple Entente" with the incorporation of the British in 1907. As can be seen, the formation of military coalitions was largely based on reactionary strategic instincts, an ongoing struggle to balance European power in a rapidly modernizing world. In the words of Sydney Bradshaw Fay: "Although this system of alliances tended in some ways to keep the peace, as members of a group often kept their friends or allies at loggerheads for fear of being drawn into war, the system also inevitably managed that in the event of war all the great powers of Europe would be involved" (The Origins of the World War, 1928), of alliance systems less as a defense mechanism and, on the contrary, as a catalyst for conflict illustrated by European polarization.

Considering the more obvious implications of the “failure” of alliance systems as a moratorium on wars, the Third Balkan War might serve as a prime example. In retrospect, the aforementioned conflict regrettably translated into the so-called "First World War". The interesting aspect of this particular correlation would depend on the collective influences of the alliance systems. During the crisis, Germany issued Austria-Hungary a "blank check" - a guarantee of unconditional military support in any way Austria-Hungary wished to respond to the Serbian threat. Thus, in connection with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Serbia was given a retaliatory ultimatum, which implied rapid military intervention as a result of the refusal to meet deadlines. Serbia rejected the ultimatum under the immense pressure of humiliating terms that threatened to nullify the nation's progress towards independence from Austrian influence. The subsequent bombing of Belgrade on July 28 marked the beginning of World War I, when the gears of the alliance systems were reversed and the crisis erupted in the territory of the Balkans. This is vividly demonstrated by Russia's subsequent military mobilization in support of its ally, and also by Germany's declaration of war on Serbia, imposed by the blank check. This perfectly illustrates the extent to which warring coalitions contributed to the outbreak, as they forced the Balkan crisis to transcend the home environment and thus envelop nations in a global spectrum. Sir John Keegan expresses the notion that "pacification efforts are not motivated by calculating political interests but by disgust at the spectacle of what war produces" (A History of Warfare, 1993), which is relevant in this case because . Despite the underlying intention of maintaining a balance of power in Europe - be it political, social or even economic - from a purely human and ethical point of view the peace initiative would linger until the people were exposed to the shameful horrors of war.

On the other hand, it can be argued that the ultimate consequences arising from the existence of alliance systems were overcome by the high degree of nationalism from which the society of the time suffered and by the general imperialist and thus militaristic approaches pervasive in the nations concerned. This is further justified when the respected historian AJP Taylor writes that "the [German] attempt at continental dominance was certainly decisive in provoking the European war..." (The Struggle for Masteryin Europe, 1954), reflecting US nationalist intentions clarifies Germany, contrasted with the holistic idea of ​​acting in an alliance. Furthermore, this offensive disposition would create additional unrest for the other Central Powers nations (i.e. Italy, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire) and create tension and distrust in an already fragile coalition. This, in turn, would indicate that individual nations would reduce their dependence on the various alliances and take diplomatic matters with foreign governments into their own hands. AJP Taylor's view of Germany's influence in the war would easily be supported by that of Fritz Fischer, who largely blamed Germany as a central element in the genesis of international conflicts, rather than conventionally blaming the alliance system. Furthermore, the colossal focus on military spending prior to 1914 can be taken as evidence of the nations' individualistic approach to the coming war. This serves as clear evidence that the Great War was awaited by the masses. According to Jacobson's World Expenditure on Armaments (1935), Germany's total military expenditures increased by about 62% between 1908 and 1913, France's expenditures by 68%, and Russia's production by almost 50%. Even Otto von Bismarck claimed that in 1888 "One day the Great European War would come from something damn stupid in the Balkans" to defend the inevitability of the whole situation. Simply blaming the alliance system as the sole cause of World War I would be to overlook the undeniable belligerence and zeal of nations.

In conclusion, while the alliance system can be denounced as a significant component in the cause of World War I, the alternative factors that contributed to this catastrophic event must be considered. While the most paradigmatic approach would be to blame existing alliance systems as the fundamental source of conflict, the real cause of World War I is to be found in the plethora of social, political, and economic problems the world was confronted with on a global scale at the time. As Sidney Bradshaw Fay himself explained: “A sane and peaceful mass of 500 million was forced into war by a dozen incompetent leaders. Imperialism, nationalism, militarism, and alliances have all combined to create a collective impetus for war,” implying a more balanced critique of several equally significant issues that inadvertently led to the outbreak of World War I.


In what is arguably already strained Europe, a new trend among the continent's imperial nations contributed to a panic reaction that arguably led to the outcome of the greatest war the world has, possibly ever, seen in centuries, the Great War. As a nation began to see neighboring powers uniting in battle, a new crisis began: countries were cornered by the growing Allied forces, and the only way out was an act of violence. This essay examines how and to what extent the Allied system led to the outbreak of World War I among various European nations and how a defensively designed system led to an undesirable offensive.

The Theally system originated as an attempt to end warfare through cold combat. Banding nations together and helping one another was supposedly a technique to quell "belligerence," as nations stood alone or joined these alliances for fear of becoming a lesser counterpart. The leading positions in Europe were sincerely convinced that the alliance system would mean the end of the war, as interpreted in diplomat Arthur Nicholson's May 1914 statement: "I have not seen such clear water since I have been in the Foreign Office ." . In times of great tension, even the “brightest and loudest” anti-Germans believed they had Europe under control. The British had their colonial conflicts to contend with, and with French and Russian forces as allies, they had little fear of a potential war breaking out. According to many historians and bureaucrats of 1914, Germany would never fight a two-front war. In July 1914, however, Germany mobilized units to take part in the unthinkable: the infamous Schlieffen Plan. Germany's involvement in the war is still questioned as evidence suggests the Allied system may have been abused by giants Russia and Austria-Hungary in their attempt to start a war. When the German ally issued its ultimatum at the Serbian borders after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in late June of the same year, both members of the Triple Alliance were aware that French or British involvement was unlikely, possibly forcing Russia to withdraw as well. Germany's foreign ambassador, Gottlieb von Jagow, concluded that "France [and her ally] also wanted a localization of the conflict". European forces slowly began to see a shift in expectations as the likelihood of an escalation in the conflict diminished. Germany, as the Allies system was conceived, found itself in the midst of a debate while the European giants (from a British point of view) tried to prevent war from breaking out; above all, a controversial conflict so small. Europe was wrong. When Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, which had rejected the ultimatum allowing Austrian troops to invade the country and crush terrorist groups, under Russian persuasion it refused to do so, and the Soviets soon responded. Within days of the July 28 declaration of war, the Eastern powers of Europe were at war. Russia managed to draw France into the conflict and distract Germany on a second front while its forces mobilized. When the giant Germany was cornered, Russia got its wish. It is therefore debated that Germany and Austria, two nations determined to invade Serbia, would have been ignored without an alliance system as no other nations would have been involved. Therefore, when Russia came to the aid of the Serbian forces, an impending war was undeniable. With Europe's greatest forces united in the pledge of war aid, retreat became less of an option for any nation still praying for peace. Originally intended to protect a strained continent, the alliance system has become the ultimate game changer, sending Europe's giants into an escalation of the grandest kind.

While the allied system can be seen as a factor in analyzing the factual statistics that led to the outbreak of the great war, it can also be seen as a common dignitary to the outbreak of conflict. In hindsight, the events leading up to the war were largely misrepresented by both sides: intentions for war had already begun, while others still believed peace was possible. Each side, be it the Triple Entente or the Triple Alliance, knew that war would act like a falling domino, dividing all leading nations in battle. Attempts were therefore made to downplay any signs of imminent conflict, with even Russia's Foreign Minister Sasonov assuring German Ambassador Pourtalès that "the Cabinet [will] decide not to issue [an order to mobilize troops]] until Austria-Hungary intervenes hostile attitude towards Russia”. Russia, a diplomat for Germany, did not mention the biggest factor in the discussion: Serbia. In an unfortunate turn of events, when Austria-Hungary adopted its hostile stance towards Serbia, Russia immediately mobilized. As the New York Tribunew wrote in its 1914 article: “Russia has mobilized her troops; [and] Germany [also] looks forward to war.” Russia's mobilization was not necessarily a disappointment to the Triple Alliance, since “war hunger” may not have left the continent centuries earlier, but the complete lack of communications could also have contributed to the outbreak of war be blamed like Russia itself. Alliance system. Even the Austro-Hungarian foreign ambassador von Schoen, the same man who gave Germany his explanation of France's belief that war was unnecessary, concluded after the war that he had "no authority or experience in French foreign policy". With a completely wrong interpretation and a wrong trust in an enemy, both sides believed to have the situation under control, although they had already pursued the intention of war. As it later turned out, German deception also played a large role in the escalation of the war. British Foreign Secretary Gray issued a statement to Berlin urging Germany (which was believed to maintain an anti-war stance) to discuss relations with Serbia with the Austro-Hungarian government. Germany, which agreed to help the British, reportedly nevertheless recommended that Austria ignore the British threat. In a single misleading ordeal, Germany was falsely portrayed as another country that didn't like the idea of ​​war, preventing Britain from threatening Berlin earlier, which could have affected the outcome of the war. In a single misinterpretation, with neither the Entente members nor the Allies being able to understand and take another nation's position for this coming conflict, the war had already reached a point of no return. While the Alliance system clearly sparked an eruption of mobilization across Europe, one could argue that this system was thoroughly abused, whether through an accidental misinterpretation or in an attempt to start a war, as the real problem behind the Alliance's war eruption the deception of the nations came to light. 🇧🇷 everyone who even planned to go to war.

On the other hand, to this day, however, an explanation as to why England entered the war may be lacking. On August 4, as German forces marched across Belgian territory during the execution of the much-anticipated Schlieffen Plan, the British King, along with Prime Minister H.H. Asquith, called to arms. a date that historians claim is the real trigger for the atrocities committed during the Great War. It is debated that Britain felt the need to help its allies fight a dominant European force, but the multitude of backdoors in British treaties, as well as the nation's personal interests, actually argue against a necessary entry into the war against the Triple Alliance. As the war became an anticipation in the eyes of many, the debate over the need for British war aid became a much-discussed topic within British walls. State Department Mandarin Eyre Crowe was careful in his explanation of the outcome of the war: “If war comes and England is left out, one of two things must happen. Or Germany wins, crushes France and humiliates Russia. What position will a friendless England take? Or France and Russia win. How would they behave towards us? What about the Mediterranean?” As the world's greatest imperial power, British colonies around the world became a threat. The British had no intention of resolving a collapsing Europe as their main interest was in preserving the British Empire. During much of the 19th century, Russian forces began advancing into the Dardanelles, a stretch of land that leads to the Mediterranean Sea. Russia's colonization of the Dardanelles would give the British opposition access to Britain's economy's biggest trade route: the link between Britain and its biggest ally, India. As the imperialist nations of Europe began to spread across the globe, the British struggled to keep their own colonies under a single government. Even Kaiser Wilhelm II, the man who cursed Britain as a foolish nation going to war over a "scrap of paper" (Britain and Belgium's 1939 Treaty of London), knew that Britain's greatest interest was in equal power ended opposing nations. The greatest threat to Britain came from a possible single dominant leadership in Europe. As Germany came to power, the new threat from England became the overwhelmingly dominant force in Wilhelm II's Germany. However, like Eyre Crowe, no one else mentioned what would happen if France and Russia won. If that were the case, Europe's new leaders would come as a combination of two nations within the Triple Entente. The British came to a single position: attack Germany and allow its neighbor and ally to become unpredictable forces, or ignore the war and watch as Germany completes the Baghdad railway and unnecessarily moves closer to the British colonies. Furthermore, England's decision to enter the war made her pray that her allies would commit to the Triple Entente. When the Entente formed in 1907 and arrived with escalating forces from Germany, all three parties agreed on non-mutual defense in the event of war. This meant that England did not have to enter the war. However, this also meant that in the unlikely scenario of another future war in response to World War I, neither the French nor the Russians would have to help the British. The British trusted two nations previously labeled as opposition, possibly enemies. In a non-mutual defense agreement with major backdoors to "enemy" nations, the British not only debated in irrational thinking, but at the same time risked the wealth of their colonies for fear of a possible new neighbor; Germany.

In summary, the alliance system was an important additional factor in the outbreak of World War I, but it is difficult to interpret it as one of the main causes. Although the alliance system helped nations wanting to go to war more than those trying to avoid it, manipulation and misperception across Europe became a major cause of the start of the great war. Likewise, the multitude of coincidences in poorly executed decisions that led to war was a great ordeal in analyzing potential breakout points. As noted, England's decision to join and turn an already great war into a world war can be viewed as controversial, if not ill-founded. In a series of "unfortunate" events, some of which led to the Great War centuries earlier, the Allied system can only be seen as another major factor driving all of Europe to war.

Cited references:

Sass, Eric. "Austria-Hungary rejects Serbia's response." 100 years First World War: Austria-Hungary rejects Serbia's response | Mental Floss, Mental Floss, 25 July 2014,

Archives, The National. “Why did Britain go to war? Background.” The NationalArchives, The National Archives, 27 January 2004,

Mason, Emma. "Why Britain Was Right to Go to War in 1914." History Extra, BBC, 1 August 2014. 2014, was-1914.

Kennedy, Maev. "Britain's entry into the First World War was 'the greatest mistake in modern history'." The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 29 January 2014, -world-war-biggest-mistake-niall-ferguson.

To what extent can one say that the First World War was caused by the alliance system?

While most historians agree that the alliance system played an important role in the development of World War I, opinions differ as to the extent to which this happened. For example, Sidney Bradshaw Fay summarizes the causes of World War I as follows: “They can be conveniently grouped under five headings: (a) the secret alliance system; (b) militarism; (c) nationalism; (d) economic imperialism; and (e) the news media.” However, considering the alliances formed, particularly the agreements and the secrecy behind them, it is clear that while the alliances played a role in the development of the war, they were more a symptom of existing political tensions than a cause were the real war.

It's easy to blame alliances for starting WWI. The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand led to the outbreak of war between Austria-Hungary and Serbia. So Russia sided with Serbia. Due to the Dual Alliance between Austria-Hungary and Germany, founded in 1879, the German army was obliged to support Austria-Hungary against Russia. Because of this alliance and the German Emperor's blank check guarantee of support for Austria-Hungary in the event of an attack on Serbia (issued 5 July 1914), Austria-Hungary was able to declare war on Serbia, confident in its power to withstand a retaliatory Russian attack. Other alliances that may have led to other countries' involvement in World War I were the Triple Entente between Britain, France and Russia (established in 1907) combined with the Franco-Russian Alliance. The Franco-Russian alliance was a mutual defense alliance. Many believe this caused the start of World War I because it forced Germany to launch a rapid attack on France. The Germans devised the "Schlieffen Plan" to avoid war on two fronts and in an attempt to invade France before Russia was fully mobilized and able to support the French. In retaliation for initiating the Schlieffen Plan, Britain entered the war. Sir Edward Grey, the British Foreign Secretary, justified the British involvement by saying that he wanted to "honour the Triple Entente". By doing so, he intended to strengthen Franco-British relations by going above and beyond the call of duty and defending France, even though the Triple Entente was not a mutually defensive alliance. A final reason why alliances can be seen as a cause in World War I is the existing balance of power. As for the alliances before the start of the war, it was France and Russia against Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy. In this state, the power of the alliances is relatively balanced. This prompted Germany to attack abruptly to create an element of surprise. Alliances with greater imbalances may have deterred an attack. If Britain, and Italy in particular, had made their intentions clear beforehand, the war would probably never have started because a German attack would inevitably result in defeat. The effectiveness of unbalanced alliances in maintaining peace is demonstrated by today's NATO. Since the founding of NATO, there have been no major wars by the states participating in the organization, because an attack on NATO would amount to a suicidal attempt.

On the other hand, there are also arguments that alliances did not act as a cause of war. The main argument for this perspective is that the Triple Entente between Russia, France and Great Britain was only an amicable agreement and from the British point of view there were no military obligations in this Entente. It is therefore likely that the reasons for Britain's involvement in the war went beyond the intention to honor the Triple Entente and to strengthen Franco-British relations. Since Britain is an island nation without its own oil well, a plausible reason for Britain's involvement is that the British wanted to secure an oil well. Oil was a particularly important resource as the military fleet consisted largely of battleships that relied on oil for fuel. This possible motive is supported by the fact that after the formation of an alliance between the Ottoman Empire and Germany, Britain first sent troops to Iraq, which was only partially part of the Ottoman Empire. There, the British obtained significant amounts of oil from the Anglo-Persian pipeline. Another possible reason for British involvement in the war was fear that Germany would control all of Central Europe. Had Germany achieved this dominance in Europe, they would have expanded their colonies in Africa. This intention had already been indicated by his involvement in the Moroccan crisis. They also feared that if Germany completed the Berlin-Baghdad railway, the Germans would come dangerously close to India (then a British colony), leading to a possible invasion. This fear was fueled further by Kaiser Wilhelm, who stated that he wanted Germany to become a British empire. With this, Wilhelm began a major expansion of the German military fleet. This in turn doubled the importance of oil to Britain, as it needed to be mobile and at full strength in the event of a German attack.

As for the alliances formed, and particularly the secrecy behind them, it is suspected that they were more a symptom of the atmosphere of war already lingering than a blueprint for starting a war. The most obvious example of this was the Franco-Russian alliance of 1894. Both countries, fearing that with Germany united since 1871 and part of the "Triple Alliance" they wanted to expand their empire, they formed the Franco-Russian alliance to protect each other. . Another reason for their alliance is almost inconceivable, simply because the two countries were polar opposites. France recently executed its king and abandoned the monarchy to transform itself into a democracy, achieving near-total freedom of expression. Russia, on the other hand, was still ruled by the tsar, oppressed peasants and workers, and completely rejected the idea of ​​free speech. This strongly implies that the Franco-Russian alliance was not an offensive alliance. In summary, while one can see how alliances provoked World War I, it is believed that alliances were more a symptom of the warlike climate that was already emerging than a cause or reason to start a war.

In summary, alliances caused the world war to some degree, but not as much as is often claimed. Despite this, alliances led to Germany being drawn into the war, Italy and Britain proved that alliances didn't mean much and entered the war out of self-interest rather than their alliances. Furthermore, the secrecy behind the alliances, and the alliances themselves, shows that they were only planned for defense purposes because countries felt war was about to break out. Overall, alliances began as a symptom of political tension and later became a cause of the escalation of World War I.


To what extent can one say that the First World War was provoked by the alliance system?

"1914 was an incredibly complicated world," says Professor Michael Neiburg of the US Army War College. With this it can be argued that the cause of the First World War cannot be determined as concretely for a reason such as the alliance system. Although the alliance system can be partially blamed for causing World War I, besides certain factors of the alliance system, there are several other aspects that can also be considered as major key factors in initiating the war. As historian Sidney Bradshaw Fay himself put it: "Imperialism, nationalism, militarism, and alliances ... create a creative impetus for war." This essay will argue that while the alliance system is undeniably relevant to the cause of such a conflict, it is frankly impossible to base such an accusation on just one particular aspect of such an important war.

(Video) The Alliance System explained (WWI) - History GCSE

A common notion of the official start of World War I was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria on June 28, 1914, which involved no alliances or countries other than Serbia. This assassination prompted Austria-Hungary to declare war on Serbia a month later. Sir Christopher Clarke, a famous historian and professor at Cambridge University, argued that had the murder not taken place, Franz Ferdinand would have returned to Vienna with his wife and that, although he was racist towards the people of the Balkans, " he was someone who had been absolutely consistent in opposing any kind of military attack.Adventures in the Balkans, especially against Serbia". The book was originally published in 1999, which means the source was considerably more reliable and less biased, since since So much time has passed since the end of the war Sir Christopher Clarke's statement also proves that the declaration of war on Serbia was not a pre-planned decision, meaning that the Alliances were not involved in such a declaration prior to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.During the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand Austria a reason for such a declaration Although there may have been some explanation, one could argue that this was another act of nationalism stemming from imperialism, since Serbia was being imperialized by the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the time. Austria was very upset and angry about the assassination of its archduke and showed this in various ways, such as a propaganda poster showing an Austrian fist crushing a Serb with the words "Serbia muss die!", which translates to "Serbia must die". ! " 🇧🇷 This propaganda shows that the Austrians were just as angry about the situation as the Serbs were enough to assassinate the Archduke of Austria. After war was declared on Serbia exactly one month later, chaos was caused all over the world, the escalated into conflicts between other countries and eventually into World War I. Although the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria is widely known as the starting point of World War I, the alliance system was not involved in this event.

On the other hand, there were significant ties between the alliances that brought several countries to war, and thus it would be a valid argument that the alliance system caused the First World War. By the time World War I broke out in 1914, the two main alliances were the 'Triple Alliance' between Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy, although the 'Central Powers' consisted only of Germany and Austria-Hungary, and so on - called 'between Britain, Russia and France, although Britain and France were only united by an earlier treaty, the Entente Cordiale of 1904. Russia also had an alliance with Serbia, meaning that when Austria declared war on the alliance, Russia mobilized troops in preparation for further developments. As a result of this immobilization, the enraged Germans declared war on Russia and prompted their allies, France and Belgium, to initiate total immobilization. According to the great historian Sir John Keegan himself in his book The First World War, when speaking of Germany's declaration of war on Russia, "which, in the words of the German ultimatum to France, entails 'an inevitable war' unless the Germany withdraws its ultimatum to Russia”. for both Germany and Russia this would never happen as it would be “incompatible with such a status” for both great powers. Such a declaration by Germany shows that they were unwilling to shed their pride for the sake of peace, since none of the ultimatums were made to any of the German alliances. Although Austria was the country that declared war on Serbia, due to its close alliance with Germany, Germany took responsibility for taking such measures to help and protect Austria. However, this act of alliances between Germany and Austria also caused problems with Serbian alliances, Russia, resulting in other alliances of Russia becoming involved in the conflict. Overall, this proves that because of so many connections across all alliance systems, it could be argued that the alliance system did in fact cause the First World War.

However, it can be argued that in some cases the alliance system, although a strong bond between empires, did not always create conflict between specific countries. An example of this would be the United States of America. Although the United States was part of the Allied powers during World War I, it did not join the conflict until 1917, just a year before the end of the war. This proves that the alliance system is not always valid as the US had alliances, all of which played an important role in the war, but on 4 the United States declared its neutrality and showed that it would not interfere in any conflict. Historian Jonah Goldberg issued a statement calling President Wilson a "fascist by nature" and that the President was offended by himself and his country because the Central Powers were seeking victory in World War I. Reliable source, as he is best known as a columnist and author, it is clear that he was not prejudiced against his country, the United States. His testimony shows that he would argue, as many others would agree, that he disagreed with Woodrow Wilson's decision to remain neutral in 1914, when the war was just beginning. This shows that while it is easy to blame the alliance system for starting World War I, there are instances like the United States where it did not intervene in the war despite having multiple alliances in the midst of an international conflict.

In conclusion, while the alliance system is undeniably responsible for the cause of World War I, it cannot be identified as the sole cause of the conflict. The root causes of World War I would be identified as militarism, alliances, imperialism and nationalism, according to many famous historians such as Sidney Bradshaw Fay, who fall under these particular causes for a large majority of events. There were demonstrable exceptions to the guild system in that it did not come to the aid of the guilds, and there was another major cause, namely the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, in which the guild system was not involved, but one of the main causes was causes of the first world war. 🇧🇷


To what extent can one say that the First World War was caused by the alliance system?

As a European international student, it is evident that similar alliances exist today as in the First World War. Whether in the form of the Entente Cordiale, the Franco-German Brigade or the Islamic military alliance. The effect of these alliance systems, however, differs significantly from those of the 18th/19th century. An alliance system is formed when countries unite or work together to achieve a specific goal. This was very popular in the 18th century, like having alliances where the other country will help you if a country needs it. The problem with alliances, however, is that most of the time they were formed in secret and only later brought to the public. 🇧🇷 The main problem with alliances was that when a member of an alliance declared war on a country or a country within another alliance, the conflict quickly escalated. At that time, the war spread quickly due to the complex system of alliances and strong nationalism.

To a certain extent it can be said that the dual alliance system caused the First World War. The alliance system consisted of two groups. The Central Powers included Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy and Turkey. The allied powers consisted of Russia, France, Great Britain and the United States. It is reasonable to assume that if Germany had never sided with Austria-Hungary, what Sir John Keegan put it, "a tragic and unnecessary conflict" could have been avoided. "Unnecessary, because the chain of events that led to its outbreak could have been interrupted at any time." The strong dual alliance between Germany and Austria-Hungary was formed in secret in 1979, promising to support each other if Russia ever attacked. This alliance is crucial as Germany shared borders and language with Austria-Hungary, bringing the two allies together during the war and promising each other security for the other country. The influence that Germany had over Austria-Hungary formed a strong bond between the two and led to the First World War. Because of the alliance system, over 10 other nations were involved in the Great War. The Triple Entente were the allied powers that formed a formal alliance at the start of the Great War. The purpose of this alliance was to balance Germany's growing power. However, although Italy had a treaty with Germany, they decided to secretly ally themselves with the Allied powers. Consequently, when Italy declared war on Austria-Hungary (entering World War I) on the Allied side, the Italian army immediately advanced to the South Tyrol region and on the Isonzo River, where the Austro-Hungarian troops met their strong defenses. At the end of World War I, 615,000 Italians were killed or died. When the Austro-Hungarian Empire declared war on Serbia, Russia stepped in to help Serbia since they were allies. This prompted Germany to declare war on Russia as it was allied with Austria-Hungary. Germany knew France would go to war with them, so they decided to attack France quickly and invaded through neutral Belgium and Luxembourg, prompting Britain to step in and stop the Germans. It was a jumble of alliances and old conflicts, with two sides forming the Allies and the Central Powers. As Nicholas II said to Kaiser Wilhelm on July 29, 1914: "... I ask you, in the name of our friendship, that you do everything possible to prevent your allies from going too far", underlining the influence of the allies on one another had. When Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, Russia came to the aid of Serbia as an ally. This prompted Germany to declare war on Russia as they were allied with Austria-Hungary. Germany knew that France would go to war with them, so they decided to attack France quickly and invaded through neutral Belgium and Luxembourg, prompting Britain to step in and stop the Germans. It was a jumble of alliances and old conflicts, with two sides forming the Allies and the Central Powers.

On the other hand, of all the great powers, Russia was the first to mobilize its huge army, and it was this mobilization that drew France, Germany and Britain to war. This mobilization is considered irrational, since Austria was unable to mobilize its own troops for another two weeks after Austria declared war on Serbia on July 28 due to the crop failures. an attack on Belgrade and not on Russia. However, if Austria had launched an attack on Russia, Russia had already begun its pre-mobilization on July 25 before the Serbs responded to the ultimatum. This led to Germans and Austrians receiving reports of Russian troops massing on their borders in what looked to them like war. Regardless, Russia was the first power to ignite its war machine on July 30th. This mobilization could have been due to the fact that the Balkans are close to the Dardanelles, a strait that allows access to the Black Sea over which Russia had to maintain its influence to ensure traffic through these routes. This was especially important if the Ottoman Empire wanted to form an alliance with Germany, which they did. War of Japan, which was followed by his inability to prevent Austria from occupying Bosnia from the Ottoman Empire in 1908. Consequently, Russia's history of past weaknesses meant that foreign policy makers feared that without significant action, Russia would not be taken more seriously. After Austria's ultimatum, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Sazonov decided that Russia “must not remain a passive spectator when a Slavic people is trampled underfoot. If Russia did not fulfill its historical mission, it would be considered a decadent state and would henceforth have to take second place among the powers.

When the war was over, the conquering nations decided that Germany had caused World War I. The famous "war guilt" clause in Article 231 of the Treaty of Versailles states: "The Allied and Associated Governments acknowledge and Germany accepts the responsibility of Germany and her Allies for causing all loss and damage suffered by the Allied Governments and Associated States. .. as a result of the war forced on them by the aggression of Germany and its allies”. This argument is supported by the fact that on August 1, Germany was the first to declare war on a major power, Russia. However, this guilt was revised by historians in the 1930s, as it was unclear to what extent Germany was responsible for the war. In 1934, in David Lloyd George's War Memoirs, the British Prime Minister acknowledged his responsibilities: "We have come to war." Overall, the situation in Germany had been very tense for more than 30 years. "Kaiser Wilhelm II pursued a policy that relied more on violence than caution," R.J. Unsteady in Century of Change (1963). Convinced that Germany had been denied its "place in the sun," Kaiser Wilhelm embarked on an extensive program of naval and military armaments that brought France and Russia closer together for mutual protection. Another reason why Germany is partially responsible for WWI is that Germany was Austria-Hungary's ally and, due to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, had no choice but to fully support Austria-Hungary. Furthermore, the blank check must also be considered, as Kaiser Wilhelm has assured Austria-Hungary that he will support them no matter what. However, this "agreement" was never recorded and was an oral agreement and nobody knew about it and therefore nobody is sure if this happened and therefore it is questioned if this was the rationale for Germany's declaration of war on Russia.

The tricky question of who is responsible for starting WWI is that there are many ways to trace the causes. Back then, the decision to go to war lay in the hands of a group of diplomats. These diplomats kept detailed records of all their dealings, leaving historians with the responsibility of sifting through all of these sources and making decisions about which to emphasize and sometimes even believe, as these sources are often in direct conflict. In addition, it depends on the perception of the presented facts. In conclusion, the alliance system certainly contributed to the start of WWI, but it cannot be said that only this caused the war, considering many other factors such as the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the role of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Russia .

To what extent can one say that the First World War was provoked by the alliance system?

Although the alliance system is often seen as simplistic as the cause of World War I, given the tensions it caused, it could be argued that the intentions of Germany and its leaders pressured Austria-Hungary to go to war with Serbia by the start of World War I . Fritz Fischer's dissertation on the cause of the war focuses on the goals and policies of German leaders before the war broke out, showing in painstaking detail his claims that Germany's expansionist goals encouraged them to start the war with Serbia. Therefore, it can be said that although the alliance between Germany and Austria-Hungary allowed Austria-Hungary to declare war, the intentions of the alliance system were insubstantial and show minimal involvement in the real cause of World War I.

The Triple Alliance had been active since 1882, but Germany and Austria-Hungary had been closely linked since 1879 because of the Double Alliance. This meant that the two countries had supported each other for many decades, until June 28, 1914, when Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated. While we have reaped some benefits from this alliance over the years, there has never been a situation in which one side supported the other as much as Germany did during the July Crisis following the assassination of Franz Ferdinand. After evaluating the archives of the German leadership at the time, Franz Fischer concluded that one of the main goals (among others) of Germany at the time was to encourage Austria-Hungary to start a war with Serbia, especially after the ultimatum given on July 23 19142Claiming that Germany wants to become a great power and expand, Fischer says the July crisis arose when Kaiser Bethmann-Hollweg tried to nudge Germany in the direction of German politics. If this was Germany's true intention during the crisis, it would explain why it continued to encourage Austria-Hungary to start a war with Serbia, even when it seemed clear that such a war could not be confined to those two nations alone. With Germany professing support for Austria-Hungary during this period after Serbia responded to the ultimatum with less than complete acceptance, A-H felt they could retaliate by war. All of this goes to show why Fischer claims that Germany's expansionist goals prompted her to support her alliance with Austria-Hungary, which led to the outbreak of war.

In The Origins of the First World War, George Martel1clarifies that he believes that turning the July Crisis into war is primarily Germany's responsibility, as the federal government believed that this was the perfect opportunity that would ultimately show Germany a diplomatic triumph. He believes that Germany thought that encouraging Austria-Hungary to declare war on Serbia would quell internal unrest between the Triple Alliance and the Triple Entente while reducing the Balkans, which would serve Austro-German interests. Instead, Austria-Hungary caused an increase in my mobilization against Serbia, resulting in Russia partially mobilizing against Austria and Germany a day later. Although Russia was not predominantly involved in the preceding actions during the July Crisis, the Tsar opted for an abrupt mobilization against Austria-Hungary and Germany, which then became only a partial mobilization due to the Tsar's relationship with Kaiser Wilhelm. This opened Russia up to war with Germany and Austria-Hungary, although it didn't have to. Russia was not Serbia's ally, so they had no need or responsibility to protect them from Austria-Hungary, meaning their involvement was unnecessary and led to the involvement of another major power, spreading them more widely instead of just between Austria-Hungary and Serbia . All of this shows that Russia's alliance with France and Britain played no role in its decision to partially mobilize against Austria-Hungary and Germany, showing that alliances were not a strong motive for the outbreak of World War I.

Furthermore, the intentions behind the alliances were very unclear, which would show that they were too weak to be the sole cause of the outbreak of war. The alliances themselves were very general, as there were no specific military obligations between the Triple Entente, meaning that Russia, France and Britain were under no obligation to defend or assist each other. It also shows that Russia was not obliged to help Serbia “defend” by partially mobilizing in Austria-Hungary. This eventually led to Germany declaring war on Russia on August 1, 1914. This was followed by France and Belgium, prompting Britain to get involved. At this point it became a world war. Russia's partial mobilization made Germany feel threatened and declared war on Russia. Although Russia and Serbia maintained close bilateral relations, there was no formal alliance that would justify Russia's attempt to defend Serbia against Austria-Hungary through partial mobilization. wanting to prove themselves in 1914 to prove themselves. They tried to demonstrate strength and power, thinking that their partial mobilization would result in the preservation of Austria-Hungary, but when G.J. Meyer says that at that time what was supposed to be the Third Balkan War turned into a European war. This is because his mobilization in Austria-Hungary caught the attention of Germany. This shows that Russia's mobilization was unnecessary and did not achieve any significant goals. Russia could have made a much more useful attempt against Austria-Hungary by alternative routes that were more likely to have succeeded.

In assessing the extent to which alliances caused World War I, it is clear that alliances were not the actual cause of the war. As noted, the nations were not bound by military commitments like we now have with NATO, freeing them from the need to protect their allies in the event of an attack on any of them. To fully appreciate the cause of World War I, one must consider the other factors involving these nations. So we can see that the alliance system was not the cause of the war, but rather a precautionary measure for the nations involved due to growing expansionist goals and growing arms race. Therefore, the alliance system is not to blame, on the contrary, the policy pursued with expansionist goals, the mobilization of Russia in a war that did not need it, as well as the previously existing conflict between nations caused the outbreak of the Great War.

2(Moses, John. Encyclopedia of Historians and Historical Writing. S. 387)

1(Martel, George. The Origins of World War I. p. 46)


To what extent can one say that the First World War was caused by the alliance system?

"The First World War was a tragic and unnecessary conflict," as Sir John Keegan wrote in his book The First World War. While this is a conclusion drawn by many, the cause of this needless conflict is still debated among many historians. However, it is generally accepted that the main causes of World War I were militarism, alliances, imperialism, nationalism and the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. However, many historians still disagree as to which of them was the decisive factor in starting the great war. If one looks at the events leading up to the First World War, one can see that the main cause of this war was the complex system of alliances that caused the war to escalate worldwide. These major alliances include the TripleAlliance, the Triple Entente, and other smaller arrangements such as the DualEntente between France and Russia. On the other hand, due to factors such as militarism and imperialism, which created many tensions before the war, it can also be argued that the alliance system was not the primary cause of World War I. which alliance system caused the First World War, both perspectives are considered in this essay.

The alliance system was undoubtedly one of the main causes of the First World War. The complexity of this system has led countries with vastly different ideologies to unite and support each other in war simply because of alliances. Before the war, countries were divided into two groups of rival powers formed through alliances. On the one hand there was the Triple Alliance between Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy, formed in 1882, whose main aim was to protect their countries in the event of war, but was also founded in an attempt to isolate Russia and France, which had recently conquered the German- France lost the 1871 war against Germany. between France, Great Britain and Russia. Russia, which considered itself the "protector of slaves", also made an agreement with Serbia to help them in the event of war. This agreement particularly affected the chain of events at the beginning of the war following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand on June 28, 1914. This is because a month later, on July 23, Austria issued an ultimatum to Serbia, suggesting that Austria would declare war on Serbia if it did not fully accept it. However, since Serbia was in agreement with Russia, they did not consider it necessary to accept the ultimatum as they were backed by a large and powerful country. In favor of Austria-Hungary, however, the "blank check" of July 6 provided that Germany would support Austria-Hungary unconditionally in the event of a conflict with Serbia. As such, Germany was automatically drawn into the war, and quickly escalated it by declaring war on Russia on August 1st. Similar patterns can be seen in the effects of the Schlieffen plan. This is because Article VII, as in the Treaty of London signed in 1839, created an agreement between countries where Belgium was considered neutral. However, when Germany passed through Belgium and the Netherlands to reach France, it broke that treaty. Since Great Britain was in agreement with Belgium, they too joined the war and extended it further around the world. Through these alliances or various agreements, one can see how the alliances with the countries involved in the existing conflict set off a world chain reaction involving more and more countries as the war progressed.

In addition, the alliances also brought together countries with completely different ideologies, as in the case of the Triple Entente. This is because in 1894, when the Dual Entente was formed, Russia had the largest army in the world, but was also under the rule of Tsar Nicholas II, who controlled the country and did not allow freedom of expression. Therefore, the alliance of Russia with France and later with Great Britain seems very unusual, since both countries were ruled by a democracy and tolerated freedom of speech. together from the beginning and therefore already created tensions among themselves. Likewise, arrangements such as the Triple Entente were doomed to fail, as British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Gray said: "We are not part of the Franco-Russian alliance", which again illustrated the complexity of this system and the reliance on alliances for the country and not that, what was actually signed. Ironically, although the alliance system was created with the intention of preventing wars, due to the differing ideologies between the alliances resulting in unnatural agreements, war intensified around the world and became the main cause of World War I.

On the other hand, a look at the history also shows that the alliance system was not the only factor that triggered the First World War. Another cause of the First World War is the imperialism of individual countries. Britain's global imperialism, for example, enabled them to increase their economic status, make London the banking capital of the world, and create a leading world power. For example, in 1900, Great Britain spanned five continents and covered 10% of the earth's landmass. In addition, imperialism in Africa or "the dispute over Africa" ​​caused many tensions between the European countries, especially Britain and France, as these countries could import many minerals and materials from Africa to expand their armed forces and improve their economic status. The African dispute between Britain and France also created rivalries between Germany, which held little land in Africa like Tanganyika. Minerals back to Germany. So this caused a lot of tension between these countries as they were driven by competitiveness to build a strong nation. Furthermore, not only was tension created, but countries expanded their empires and made them even stronger in war. Likewise, both Moroccan crises were important factors that began to create tensions between countries including Britain, France and Germany. This is mainly because Germany wanted to avoid French colonization of Morocco, as that way Germany would lose a country to trade with, which was very important as it was rapidly expanding during this period. However, during the second Moroccan crisis, when France took control of Moroccan banks and therefore its economy, they managed to fully imperialize Morocco and make it a French colony. Because of this, Germany felt very humiliated as it was forced to stay out of Morocco after the Algeciras Conference of 1906 and later lost the battle to the French. It shows that just a few years before the war, a lot of tensions were rising between these countries as each wanted to become the most powerful.

In addition, militarism is another factor that played a role in the genesis of the First World War. For example, Germany's military spending increased by 73% between 1910 and 1914, and during that time Germany quickly became the most powerful army in the world. This can be seen, for example, in the large number of railways in Germany, which were very important as rail was the most efficient means of transport at the time. However, Russia had 1 mile of railroad per 100 in Germany, which was already a major setback for Russia as it could not keep up with Germany's rapid industrialization. Another example is the Berlin-Baghdad railway, built in 1903 with the aim of connecting Germany to the Ottoman Empire. This was very beneficial to Germany as it allowed them to have a direct line to get oil and ship it straight back to Germany. However, Germany was very late in increasing its armed forces, allowing other countries like Britain to keep up despite rapid economic and military expansion in the few years before the war. This shows how the competitiveness gained between countries through imperialism and militarism created a lot of tension and slowly imploded in 1914. Furthermore, the tensions that arose also built on the military and empire building that the countries created, which enabled them to survive during the war.

Balancing both perspectives, it can be concluded that while imperialism and militarism were to some extent key factors in the outbreak of World War I, the greatest factor in the escalation of the war was the complex system of alliances. However, it can be said that without factors such as nationalism, militarism, imperialism and, in particular, the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the tensions leading up to the outbreak of World War I would not have been as strong. But even if the tensions that arose led to the start of the conflict, the war would not have been global without the alliance system. Therefore, it can be said that the main cause of the escalation of World War I was the alliance system.

To what extent can one say that the First World War was caused by the alliance system?

(Video) Causes of WW1: Alliances

The First World War was the most terrible and insidious conflict the world had ever seen when it broke out, and it paved the way for a century of brutal warfare, constant tension and appalling genocide. The root cause of World War I is a much debated topic in history and all historians differ in some way in their opinion on the subject. These differences begin to define when the Great War actually began, for while most historians argue that the war began on June 18, 1914, Christopher Clark argues that Italy began World War I in 1911 with the invasion of Libya which led to Collapse of Italy the Ottoman Empire.[1]🇧🇷 While I'm not quick to say that alliances were the primary reason for the start of the war, I do believe that the alliance system can be credited with causing WWI to a significant extent. This essay will discuss some of the major causes that led to war and will assess the importance of its role in starting war in ending all wars.

In the few decades before the war, two main alliances were formed in Europe. The first of these was the Triple Entente - made up of Britain, France and Russia, and the other was the Triple Alliance - made up of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy and later united by the Ottoman Empire. The treaties these alliances formed stated that if an alliance country was attacked, the other nations in the alliance would have to provide military assistance to the attacked country. At that time, the Triple Entente and the Triple Alliance included the 7 strongest nations on earth. On the one hand you had the largest and most powerful navy in the world - Great Britain - the most modern and technologically advanced army in the world - France - and the largest army in the world in terms of soldiers - Russia. While you, on the other hand, had a rapidly advancing army poised to conquer Britain in naval power and surpass France in military power - Germany - a vast empire composed of parts of 13 of today's European countries - Austria-Hungary - and an empire that has existed for hundreds of years, a few hundred years before the outbreak of World War I, was by far the most powerful land force on earth - the Ottoman Empire. These two alliance blocs caused a lot of tension between the nations involved, as both were of equal strength and both had imperial goals in the same areas of the world.

The Dual Alliance of 1894, in which France and Russia agreed military allies, was an incredibly surprising alliance and caused tensions between Germany, France and Russia. George F. Kennan believes the 1984 alliance was the primary cause of the war1. At that time, France was a democratic nation with one of the strongest and most modern armies in the world. Meanwhile, Russia was just the opposite; An autocratic monarchy had existed for the last 300 years and the nation was far behind when Russia was struggling to modernize due to its vast area, plus the society was incredibly corrupt due to hierarchy. This alliance was not only surprising, but also of great geographical importance, and this factor would force Germany to base its military plans in the war on the same alliance. That factor is the siege of Germany. Germany was surrounded by France to the west and Russia to the east, and since these countries were now allies, in the event of war, the Germans would have to fight on two opposing fronts. That is why the German Reich applied the Schlieffen Plan at the beginning of the war. This plan called for France to be taken quickly in the first 6 weeks of the war so that Germany could later focus on the Eastern Front. From this evidence, the Dual Alliance played an important role in starting World War I, as the encirclement of Germany on both borders led to a significant increase in tension.

Two Balkan Wars took place in the 20th century, and it could be argued that the conflict between Serbia and Austria-Hungary caused by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand should have ended up as nothing more than a Third Balkan War. However, due to the unofficial Serbian-Russian alliance and Germany's blank check to Austria-Hungary, this conflict escalated into the first world war the world had ever seen. Russia had immense political and religious influence in Serbia and thus would defend and support the smaller nation if confronted. Russia had already shown its support for Serbia in the early Balkan Wars and came to Serbia's aid when it received an ultimatum from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Meanwhile, Germany had issued the blank check to Austria-Hungary, stating that Austria-Hungary would receive the political and military support of the German Empire if it declared war on Serbia. These two events, occurring in parallel, brought two of the world's greatest powers into a conflict that could have ended up being just another Balkan war, but due to the existing system of alliances, Germany and Russia were drawn into the conflict due to its ties to other smaller ones Nations would become a great conflict. Otto von Bismarck had predicted this event years earlier: "If there is another war in Europe, it will come from some stupidity in the Balkans." Since the Balkans have always been an area of ​​tension and extreme nationalism - as a result of the many different peoples under the control of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy - it was understandable that he had foreseen this.

Indeed, the alliance system can be compared to existing alliances in the world today. Organizations like NATO and the CSTO, the many US allies and the unofficial links/alliances between Russia, China, Iran and North Korea have shown that a small event today can very easily lead to a world war. Take, for example, Turkey's 2015 downing of a Russian bomber near the Turkish border. US involvement could also see allies like Japan and South Korea getting involved. Meanwhile, due to Russia's CSTO alliance, many former Soviet Union states would support Russia in the conflict, while powers like China or Iran could also support Russia. It shows how quickly alliances allow a small spark, like shooting down a plane or killing a person, to morph into a huge global conflict, possibly even in our world today.

The alliance system was closely linked to other causes such as militarism and imperialism. I would argue that alliances were a consequence of these other two factors while at the same time being the cause of militarism and imperialism. During the 1800s and early 1900s, European powers, including Britain, Germany, and France, expanded their colonial territories into areas such as Africa and the Middle East, and significantly increased military spending to make the armies and navies strongest on the continent. This will be discussed in more detail later, but my point here is that these rivalries have resulted in each country trying to find ways to constantly stay one step ahead of the other. One way to do this is to get stronger by improving their relationships with each other and forming alliances. This would make a nation stronger than its rivals because it would have the support of another world power in the event of a conflict. The other end of the argument, however, contends that alliances were also a cause of militarism and imperialism. This is because these European states, having built their alliances, were desperate to become the strongest alliance. In order to become the strongest alliance, each of these powers had to further imperialize and militarize their armies and navies. This shows how alliances actually created a cycle of militarization and colonization which in turn causes the alliance system and vice versa.

From the mid-19th century to the pre-war years, European powers, notably Germany, had increased their military spending and military strength. Germany, France, Great Britain and Russia together spent £94 million on militarization in 1870. These rose to £130 million in 1880, £154 million in 1890 and continued to rise until 1914 when these four great world powers spent £398 million under construction to improve its military. France saw a 10% increase in spending from 1910 to 1914, Britain increased its spending by 13% in those four years, Russia saw a massive 39% increase in that period, and Germany increased its military spending by a staggering 73% in just 4 years. 🇧🇷 The militarization of Germany led to a sharp rise in tensions across Europe, leaving countries like the UK feeling threatened. The British have ruled the seas for as long as anyone can remember, and when Germany began improving its navy so rapidly in the early 20th century, Britain felt its naval supremacy was threatened. The naval arms race between these two powers was one of the main causes of the war as each state constantly tried to build more warships and submarines in order to have a stronger navy, which kept a constant rivalry between these nations. This rivalry was one of the main reasons for the war in my opinion, so I vote with A.J.P. very to. Taylor when he says: "The German quest for continental dominance was certainly crucial in provoking the European war"1.

The arms race between the British and German empires in the early 1900s can be compared to the development of North Korea's nuclear arsenal against the United States. sanctions in recent years. The DPRK argues that they need to build a strong military force and a nuclear arsenal with nuclear bombs capable of hitting the US. continent because they are an isolated country and could do very little to defend themselves against an American offensive. This situation can be compared to Germany at the end of the 19th century, since the German Reich only became a real state in 1971. Therefore, Germany could also have felt threatened by neighboring European countries, which were immensely powerful centuries ago. Because of this, Germany would have seen the need to develop and increase its military strength in order to establish itself as a world power among its neighbors and have the ability to defend itself against an attack by another nearby state. Such was the militarization of Germany before World War I and North Korea's current development of atomic bombs for similar reasons.

A lesser-known cause of World War I is the industrialization of the Russian Empire. For much of the 19th century, Russia was a very backward country, with the Empire's society and economy more comparable to a 17th-century European country than a 19th-century one. Countries like France and Great Britain became much more industrially modernized and also had more democratic political systems. Technical innovations in Russia were very few and the railway system was inadequate for such a large country. In the 1880s, Sergei Witte took power in the Russian government and initiated infrastructure programs to build new railroads, telegraph lines, and power plants. In 1900, Russia was the fourth largest source of steel in the world and the second largest source of oil. The money gained from foreign investment was injected back into the economy with the launch of new projects that enabled the construction of mines, dams and factories in other areas.[2]🇧🇷 After lagging behind other European powers for so long, this sudden and rapid industrialization came as a shock to the rest of Europe. Countries like Germany and Austria-Hungary were forced to keep an eye on the Empire in case its economy grew too strong and outnumbered other nations in military might. This obviously increased tensions in Europe in the early 20th century.

Another cause of the Great War was imperialism. All major world powers had imperial ambitions around the world and already controlled large parts of Africa and Asia, however in this section I will focus on two specific events, namely the Moroccan Crisis. Since Germany was a relatively new country in Europe, it did not control many overseas territories. Otto von Bismarck believed that this was not a problem and that the new German Empire should focus on internal affairs. However, when Wilhelm II came to power, he dismissed VonBismarck and had a very different view of German imperialist intentions. "A place in the sun" became a German necessity, as Robert Wohl1 says.

The first Moroccan crisis occurred between 1905 and 1906. Morocco was part of the Ottoman Empire but had not been colonized, so it was practically independent. By now, France had gained control of most of West Africa and therefore had an interest in taking over Morocco. France moved its army to the Moroccan border in Africa and demanded control of Moroccan forces. Kaiser Wilhelm visited Morocco and supported the country, telling the people that Morocco will remain "free and independent". After these events, tensions between the French Third Republic and the German Empire increased. Both threatened each other with war and France wanted to back down, but Britain told the French that they had their support and must not give up. Later, Russia also supported France in the dispute and Germany agreed to stay away from Morocco to avoid further consequences. As a result, the French and British were startled by Germany's aggressiveness and confidence in voicing its opinion on international issues, while Germany was furious because it felt all the other great powers were against them.

The roots of the Second Moroccan Crisis (also known as the Agadir Crisis) lie in an uprising against the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire in 1911. France saw this as a pretext to invade and conquer the country and pursued this with the Deployment of naval forces to Morocco the Moroccan army units in the region. This greatly angered Germany and they decided to send their own naval forces against French colonization. Once again Britain came to the aid of France through the Entente Cordiale and the Germans were again forced to retreat. The German Empire and French Third Republic signed the Treaty of Berlin, which declared that Morocco would become a French colony while Germany would be given a very small territory within the country. This angered Germany immensely and the Empress insisted he would not relent again.

It is clear from these two crises that imperialism played a very significant role in increasing tensions between Germany and the Entente Cordiale in the pre-war years and was therefore one of the main causes of the war. The fact that these disputes led to Germany and France threatening to declare war on each other, leaving one so angry and frustrated at the other was, in hindsight, a clear indication that war was about to break out between these great powers. .

One of the best-known theses on the question of who is to blame for the First World War is the Fischer thesis. Fritz Fischer was a former Nazi and historian who believed that the sole cause of World War I was German imperialism. He argued that Germany's aggressive expansionism and ambitions to conquer large territories westward after defeating Russia in a war were the sole cause of the war.[3]While I believe that Germany's "conquest of world power" (as Fischer put it) was a very significant cause of the war, I disagree that this is the only reason. Many other causes were discussed in this essay, such as the alliance system and the militarization of other nations, which played a similar role in causing the war. Although Germany's rapid rise to power played a very important role in starting the war, I think it is unfair to blame Germany for the First World War.

In summary, this paper shows that the alliance system, significant as it was in the genesis of World War I, was definitely not the only factor that led to the conflict. I find it difficult to judge to what extent alliances caused the war, but I believe that from this discussion of causes it can be concluded that the First World War was inevitable. Emil Ludwig said: "A peaceful, industrious, reasonable mass of 500 million Europeans were pursued by a few dozen incompetent leaders, by forged documents, mendacious stories and chauvinistic slogans in a war that was by no means destined or inevitable."and Richard Holbrooke thinks the same way and says for similar reasons that "World War I was not inevitable"1. I strongly disagree with the views of these two historians, as I believe that the tensions created in Europe by the military and colonial rise of Germany, the industrialization of Russia, and the tension that the alliance system added to these factors in the early 20th century caused a war totally inevitable. The alliance system was a major cause of the war, especially given the cycle of militarism, imperialism, and other alliances it created. On the other hand, I firmly believe that alliances alone would never have triggered a war in Europe since they did not create as much tension or anger, frustration and fear between countries as militarization and imperialism did. In my opinion the increasing military power and colonial control of the German Empire over the world was the most important cause of the war and this factor alone made the war inevitable. This situation was very similar to the war between Athens and Sparta; "What made war inevitable was the growth of Athenian power and the fear it aroused in Sparta" (Thucydides)1. However, I believe that alliances were the second biggest factor in provoking the war due to all the added tension it brought to Europe and hence the alliance system caused The War To End All Wars to erupt to a very significant degree. .

Question from the previous article on the history of the IBDP

Was the First World War caused by the alliance system?

If one were to take this question seriously, one would probably view the alliances of the early 20th century as the equivalent of almighty schoolchildren picking soccer teams. Placing the burden of the Great War on the shoulders of the so-called "system" of alliances is absurd; The system consisted of several individual and separate treaties, (1) some of which were nearly a century old when the war began. (1) Some of these treaties were, of course, more or less dangerous than others. Alliances are too complex for a black and white answer. The system as a whole, despite its oddities, probably would not have caused the final war. But alas, in a pattern that would repeat itself several times over the next 100 years, Russia ruined everything. In this particular case, he did so by throwing money and military power behind the Kingdom of Serbia, which was possibly the most dangerous military alliance in European history.

To understand the Serbian-Russian dilemma, one must begin by understanding exactly what the Serbian government was, why it was a disaster, and why the Russian government did not oppose it. First of all, the Serbs were corrupt. A corrupt government or military official is not uncommon no matter what country you look at. A government or military official working with terrorists is a quirk usually confined to a specific part of the modern globe. But a terrorist who is actively serving as an officer, and not only that, someone who is allied with similar terrorist officers in the upper echelons of the country's military, that's something special. At the beginning of the 20th century, Serbia was more than a safe haven for terrorism, it was an active breeding ground. The current government, installed after the massacre of the royal family in 1903, (2) had an army contaminated inside and out (3) with members of the Black Hand. This particularly nefarious group found its leader in Dragutin Dimitrijevic, a Serbian colonel and military hero. (4) The Black Hand was a terrorist organization founded on the principles of Pan-Slavism, an ethno-national movement focused on uniting Slavic peoples under one flag. Serbian government officials often had no choice but to let these policies sway the law, as officials and lawmakers have been repeatedly harassed and threatened by Serbian military officials working directly for the Black Hand. (5) Serbia slowly but surely came under the influence of the group.

Despite all of this, Russia did nothing to break away from a country that was turning into a terrorist-ruled nation. Russia remained friendly, unlike Britain which, as F.R.Bridge points out, severed all diplomatic relations with Serbia in 1903. (6) Remaining allies is a very risky move by Russia and doesn't seem to make much sense. : Serbs are becoming increasingly populist, terror-driven and dangerous to their neighbors. Why would Russia be so stupid as to risk a war and support Serbia? Well I have good reasons. Serbia had crowned a new king after the assassination of the previous royal family in 1903. (7) This king, Peter the First, was a pan-Slavic idealist and a supporter of Russia who visited St. Petersburg several times during his reign. (8) In addition, Russia's own problems were exacerbated. In 1904, not only were Russians dying abroad in the war against Japan, they were also starving at home. The Russian proletariat was overworked and malnourished, and these chickens were about to return to their roost. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, they had a story. the russians and the serbs had been close allies since the 17th and 19th centuries, when russia supported serb rebels in not one but two wars of independence against the ottomans. The first of these involved fighting Napoleon, a task so dangerous that Leopold von Ranke himself described the Russian enterprise as "a more dangerous war than any other in which it was ever engaged". Russia clung to the Serbs for years: it shouldn't come as a big surprise to once again stand up to the aggressors.

However, Russia's motivations for supporting Serbia were probably anything but pacifist. It is very possible that the Russians were trying to start, enter and control a third war in the Balkans in order to gain more power in the region. Since the Bosnian Crisis of 1908, relations between the Balkan states and their neighboring state Austria-Hungary have been strained, to say the least (10), and while Austria may not have participated in the Balkan Wars, the tensions were no less real. Russia probably could not have foreseen the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, but it could have anticipated that a terrorist state on the frontier of an expanding empire could have led to an Austro-Balkan conflict from which it could capitalize. The results they envisioned could have been further discussed with Montenegro regarding some new warm water ports; it may have been a Pan-Slavic nation, similar to what Yugoslavia would become; most likely it was the collapse of Austria-Hungary and an emphatic Russian dominance in the Balkans. Whatever Russia planned, it did not materialize.

In 1914, after Austria-Hungary declared war on the Kingdom of Serbia, it became clear that Russia would not get the conflict it wanted. Germany would support Austria-Hungary. It is widely believed that Russia and Germany did not try to go to war. The most common evidence referred to here is the last-minute telegrams between the respective leaders of Germany and Russia, known as the "Willy-Nicky Telegrams,"(11) in which Kaiser Wilhelm II and Tsar Nicholas II in Frenzy are an attempt to prevent a European war, wrote to each other on the eve of the conflict, spoke of a peaceful solution and signed with childhood nicknames. It didn't work: what might have been a regional war in Russia's favor quickly turned into a world war that brought deaths in droves.

The Great War, despite its status as actively German-centered, is a war that deserves to be thrown at Russia's feet. Russia's connection to Serbia (and possible ulterior motives) only endangered the fragile peace that held the Balkans together, and ultimately endangered the world's population. Henry Kissinger was right when he said that countries were caught in a "doomsday machine" (12), but the reasons for this may have been different than Kissinger could have imagined.

History Work 2 - Mock Test #1

Underhand deals and secret deals as well as provocative deals and misleading messages are contemplated when mentioning the late 19th-early 20th century alliance system. It is a widely held Revisionist belief that the Great War was caused almost entirely by these alliances. Sydney Bradshaw Fay himself, one of the most celebrated revisionist historians of all time, argues that "[WWI] arose out of [the] alliance system that was the bane of modern times." Taylor argues that "regardless of what political reasons are given for a war, the underlying reason is always an economic one". Was the world war caused by the alliance system?

The easiest way to deal with the cause of the war is to say that it really was caused by the alliance system. First, in 1872, the Dreikaiserbund was founded, which is commonly referred to as the Dreikaiserbund. This alliance consisted of Germany, Russia and Austria-Hungary. In 1879 the Dual Alliance followed, a pact between Germany and Austria-Hungary that guaranteed mutual protection in the event of a war with Russia. Austria-Hungary betrayed Russia by assuring each other security. This would not make sense in a stable alliance system, because allied nations have to protect each other anyway and are not allowed to go to war with them. Italy then joined the Dual Alliance to form the Triple Alliance in 1882. Bismark, the then Chancellor of Germany, claimed that all these treaties were made to strengthen Germany's diplomatic position, but of course no nation believed that the Germans did not want to use these alliances for another reason, namely to further their empire to expand. Due to competition between Austria-Hungary and Russia in the Balkans, the Dreikaiserbund collapsed in 1887 and the Reinsurance Treaty was created, guaranteeing mutual neutrality should war ever break out between them and a major power. However, considering this an unnecessary pact due to the ideological differences between France and Russia, the Germans suspended this agreement in 1890. Hence the formation of the Franco-Russian alliance in 1894. This came as a surprise to everyone because French and Russian governments and ideologies could not be more closely juxtaposed. The French and Russians in particular claimed that this alliance had nothing to do with the Germans, although this was never questioned. So the Germans obviously felt that their newly formed alliance was meant only for them. In 1907 the last decisive event took place, uniting the Franco-Russian alliance with Great Britain and forming the Triple Entente. With Europe's major powers now all linked, Sydney Bradshaw Fey said, "the system made it inevitable that a war would affect all the major powers in Europe". it's a world war because it affects Australia, New Zealand, Canada and so on. When the assassination of Franz Ferdinand took place in 1914, Germany had to join its ally Austria-Hungary in the war against the Balkans, and the Russians, “the mother of all Slavs”, obviously had to protect them, resulting in the rest of the Triple Entente . Join us. This is how alliances caused the Great War.

However, it can be said that the protection did not materialize due to the alliance system. This is because the alliance system is completely misleading. This was because Britain actually had no formal alliance with France, nor did it like the Russians. In fact, the United States of America refused to be called an ally of these countries because that was against everything Americans believed. In the Triple Alliance, Italy will actually fight against the other members of its alliance. Bismark was clear in saying that "all treaties between states lose their binding force when they come into conflict with the struggle for existence". So when it comes down to it, none of the alliance members will really protect or defend themselves, making the alliance system useless and basically non-existent. After all, most treaties and agreements were secret, and countries' governments often didn't even know they had them. Suffice it to say here that those in power in World War I were all “sleepwalkers,” as Christopher Clark suggested. (Clark, Christopher)

Contrasting with both theories are the economic reasons why the war was caused. These problems were mainly caused by the German plans to build the Berlin-Baghdad railway. With Germany already a growing economic power, ranking first in steel production and second to Britain in coal production, and with schools teaching science and technology in schools, its opponents became increasingly intimidated. Mainly because they used these resources for military and naval expansion, which also grew from the sixth largest to the second largest in the world. When Germany announced it was working on a railway line from Berlin to Baghdad, the British Empire could not take it anymore. This was because there were oil reserves in the Ottoman Empire which, if Germany had access to them, would pose a major threat to the Royal Navy as both her and the German navies attempted to switch from coal to oil. So the first bomb of the great war was sent to Iraq by the British Empire to fight the Germans. (Joll, James) (AJP Taylor)

(Video) Causes of World War I (Alliances)

Overall, it can be seen that the alliance system is clearly overestimated as the cause of the First World War. This is because it had no direct impact on the war as most treaties were not binding or simply non-existent. Economic reasons for war make much more sense and are therefore more likely to be the real reason for the outbreak of war. So, to answer the question, it was not the alliance system that caused the war, but the economic conflicts and fears of German military expansion.

To what extent can one say that the First World War was caused by the alliance system?

“The First World War was a tragic and unnecessary conflict. Unnecessarily, because the chain of events that led to its outbreak could have been broken at any time in the five weeks of crisis preceding the first clash of arms, whether from prudence or from good will find voice;... "

are the first words of the book "World War I" by Sir John Keegan. These words seem to sum up the events that led to the outbreak and possible avoidance of the worst war since, the so-called Great War.

But how many of these tragic and unnecessary events can really be traced back to the 1914 alliance system that many blame for the start of the war?

This essay will argue that the alliance system, while causing widespread local conflict, was a symptom rather than a cause of the outbreak of World War I.

On August 4, 1914, Britain, the superpower that controlled one-fifth of the world, declared war on Germany, turning what was supposed to be the Third Balkan War into World War I, which ended with over 41 million people sacrificing their lives for what Sir John Keegan described as a "tragic and unnecessary conflict".

One can understand why many believe that the alliance system was one of the main triggers for the outbreak of World War I, since it caused a local conflict that spread across the world by the end of 1918, ranging from Berlin to China and the United States, as Bernadotte Schmitt says; "The alliances that originally served the cause of peace worked almost mechanically in the final test to turn a local strife into a general war."

The alliance at that time goes back to the rule of Otto von Bismarck and his alliance system. In his plan to protect Germany and dominate European politics, but when Wilhelm II Kaiser of Germany abandoned the pilot in 1890, this system collapsed, giving way to the polarized alliance system of 1914 with two networks of hostile alliances.

On the one hand, the Triple Alliance between Germany, Austria-Hungary and, on paper, Italy, signed on May 20, 1882 and regularly renewed.

Germany and Austria-Hungary have been close since 1879, when the Dual Alliance was signed in Vienna, each pledging support in the event of an invasion of Russia and guaranteeing neutrality if another major European power was attacked.

Italy sought her support against France shortly after losing its North African ambitions to the French, but was quite ambiguous in signing secret treaties with France and waived its commitment when war broke out in 1914.

Another important treaty was signed in June 1887, known as the Reinsurance Treaty, which guaranteed the neutrality of Russia and Germany in the event of a Bismarck-created third-party invasion to prevent Russia from forming an alliance with France amid growing tensions, Austria, Hungary and Russia in the Balkans. 🇧🇷 Neutrality should remain unless Russia attacked Austria, Hungary or Germany, France. However, this treaty expired in 1890 when Bismarck was abandoned by Wilhelm II, who refused to renew the treaty with Russia. This and the triple alliance with Italy have left Russia vulnerable and France isolated since its defeat in the Franco-Prussian War in 1871. To everyone's surprise, because of their juxtaposed Liberal and Tsarist beliefs and values, France and Russia signed the Dual Alliance in January 1894, a political and military pact that grew from friendly contacts in 1891 to a secret treaty in 1894 that stipulated that he should remain in place. as long as the Triple Alliance existed and that if one of the countries of the Triple Alliance attacked France or Russia, its ally would attack the attacker in question, and if any of the countries of the Triple Alliance mobilized its army, the same would happen to Russia and France. This was due to the support sought in the case of France and Austria against Germany and in the case of Russia against Hungary. This disrupted the alliance system established by Bismarck to protect Germany from a possible "two-front" threat. Through this alignment, Russia also entered Britain's sphere of influence, and after signing the Entente Cordiale drafted in 1904 to settle Anglo-French colonial differences, Britain also signed the Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907. These were the basis of the alliances which caused the start of the war.

When Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, was assassinated by Serbian terrorists, it set off a chain reaction of alliances that involved most of Europe, and later the whole world, in an internal war for the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Although tensions in Europe were kept low even after the assassination, as the news can be found on page 26 of The Times in Britain, the situation escalated when Russia partially mobilized its troops on July 29, 1914, after receiving support from Austria and Hungary Germany paid the blank check and gave Serbia an ultimatum, which they rejected due to Article 6 leading them to bomb the Serbian capital, Belgrade, on July 28, 1914. Russia felt obliged to intervene, although it has no official alliance or agreement with Serbia, but feels obliged to protect all Slavs, as Tsar Nicholas Kaiser Wilhelm II writes: “In a weak country an unjust war has been declared. The anger I share with Russia is enormous. I predict that very soon I will be overwhelmed by the pressure put on me and forced to take extreme measures that will lead to war. to keep your allies from going too far. Nicky" At first, Tsar Nicholas expected to mobilize only against Austria-Hungary, but - when his generals told him that was impossible - he was forced on 31 July 1914 to mobilize fully against both Germany and Austria-Hungary. Germany therefore had no choice but to declare war on Russia, since it could not be left defenseless with the largest country in the world right on its doorstep.As soon as Germany declared war on Russia, France mobilized due to its alliance with Russia, and on August 3rd In 1914 Germany declared war on France and invaded neutral Belgium Britain responded by issuing an ultimatum rejected by the Germans to withdraw from Belgium What prompted Britain to declare war on August 4, 1914 is a declaration made for all dominions of the British Empire, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India and South Africa ika, is binding, leading to a war that spreads across the world.

Hence, one can see that the alliance system was one of the main causes for the outbreak of the war as it caused a domino effect of all European countries to join a local conflict in the Balkans.

As much as one could see that the alliance system could have caused a local conflict to spread, in the end the alliance system was more of a symptom than a cause. The alliance system was the result of fear, unrest, mistrust and ambition of the great powers of the world.

Fear of Germany for Britain, a fledgling country that threatened Britain's power as a world power and in British opinion needed to be overthrown. What should have been a natural alliance between Germany and Britain due to their related monarchs as well as similar beliefs. In contrast, France and Britain were at odds for decades, which even then created confusion as to why Britain would ally with France over Germany. a greater threat to the European balance of power than Britain's traditional enemy, France.

Furthermore, none of Britain's treaties with France or Russia specifically guaranteed that Britain would side with the countries in the event of a European war.

Although Britain's reason for entering the war was Belgium's neutrality treaty of 1839, which was broken when Germany invaded Belgium under the Schlieffen Plan, even the Imperial Chancellor expressed with considerable irritation his inability to understand England's attitude, voicing his opinion: " Why would you fight us over a piece of paper?". Britain was known for not keeping its word on the agreements, so why did they choose Belgian neutrality to keep their word? Was it another pretext to demonstrate his superiority over Germany, after having been threatened by them since 1891? Historian Niall Ferguson also claims that Britain could have lived with a German victory in World War I and should have stayed out of what he called "the greatest mistake in modern history" in 1914. He continues: "Building an army more or less from scratch and then sending it to fight the Germans was a recipe for catastrophic casualties Germany, my answer is no," exemplifying Britain's rashness and unpreparedness entered the war.

There was also fear of the Triple Alliance, undertaken as an attempt to isolate France, leaving her defenseless and unable to fight back against the three countries. However, this meant that the other great powers felt threatened because of the strength of the Triple Alliance. As a result, the Triple Entente was signed 15 years later to neutralize the threat the Triple Alliance had created.

Distrust due to lack of transparency both within nations and internationally.

The countries' ambition was also an important factor that led to the emergence of the system of alliances to expand their sphere of influence, such as Austria, Hungary in the Balkans and France recapturing Alsace-Lorraine.

In summary, the alliance system shifted from balanced forces maintaining a delicate balance in 1887 to one polarized by hostile alliance networks in 1914, at last in the world. System together with other factors such as militarism, nationalism, imperialism and last but not least the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand contributed to the outbreak of the war in an interdependent manner since without them the war could not have broken out. While the alliance system played an important role in the outbreak as it caused the spread of local conflict, it was only a symptom caused by the other factors that led to the outbreak of World War I. Finally, if I reiterate the opening quote of this essay, I must disagree with Sir John Keegan that the First World War was an "unnecessary" event, how can one argue that the upholding of values ​​and beliefs is for the greater good and honor of alliances between countries reason enough for a country to sacrifice its people, because without our beliefs and values ​​what is the point of anything?

"One must know the past to understand the present" - Carl Sagan

The extent to which the alliance system caused the First World War is to be examined in this essay, taking different time periods into account. Looking only at the period of the war or a limited period before it, it becomes clear that the alliance system in 1914 served to start the war or was created to start the war. However, this essay will argue that if history is to be viewed as accidental, to understand what is happening in the present, to understand what happened in a past event, one must consider what is happening even earlier in the story is; therefore, the pre-war period must be recognized in order to understand the role of the alliance system in World War I.

World War I cannot be attributed to alliances alone, but they played a significant role in amplifying a minor conflict as well as rapidly spreading what would have remained a local strife. When it comes to the start of World War I in 1914 by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria on Serbian National Day in Sarajevo, there are obviously only two countries directly involved: Austria-Hungary and Serbia. Before anything was done between the two countries, however, the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph consulted with his ally Germany to ensure they had his support in the event of war. No sooner had Germany's blank check been issued than Austria sent Serbia the ultimatum. However, the ultimatum was essentially obsolete, as Germany's support meant that regardless of her response, Austria would go to war with Serbia. The fact that Serbia accepted all but one small article of the Austrian terms and that Austria-Hungary nevertheless declared war on Serbia on 28 July confirms the belligerent attitude of Austria and, moreover, Germany. Overall, this series of events shows that without the alliance with Germany, the conflict between Austria and Serbia could not have developed into such a serious fight and a real war. In addition, the rapid spread of the war can also be attributed to alliances between the Central and Allied powers. For the agreements, obligations and bonds between the powers created a situation akin to a game of dominoes, with one power after the other being defeated by the previous one and ending up at war. The most tangible chain of dominoes can be observed from June 28th to August 4th. This sequence begins with Austria-Hungary declaring war on Serbia. As Russia was allied with Serbia, they partially mobilized their troops on July 29 and were fully mobilized on July 30, urging Germany to act as they had been allies of Austria-Hungary since the Dual Alliance signed in October 1879. Also due to the Franco-Russian alliance of 1894, Russia's involvement in the conflicts alarmed France. Realizing the connections, Germany realized that war with France was inevitable and promptly declared war on France on 3 August. Finally, Britain entered the war on August 4, when Germany discredited the 1939 Treaty of London that guaranteed Belgium's neutrality. From the chain of events depicted, it can be seen that the actions of the powers were largely the result of alliances and treaties that obliged each country to support or defend a particular party. From this it can be concluded that without the alliances the conflict would not have progressed so quickly and not so far, which ascribes a catalytic role to the alliances in the war. On the other hand, however, this argument can be considered naïve since there was a general belligerence, as A.J.P. Taylor himself, who described that "the people of Europe jumped into the war voluntarily". So involvement in the war was not really due to alliances, but to alliances, a mere pretext for the powers to fulfill their desire for war.

Before one can seriously interpret the role of alliances in the "Great War," it is important not only to see alliances formed, but also to think about their formation. When alliances are formed, the powers that be assume there will be war or conflict and then negotiate how they would support each other in these hypothetical situations. The main reason for an alliance is that war is imminent. The formation of alliances therefore indicates that the powers take over and plan the war, from which it can be concluded that the treaties and written agreements were therefore the script of a war. If one also considers the scope of the pre-1914 agreements, which ranged from Japan to France, it becomes clear that the nations were not creating models for isolated conflicts, but a module for a "world war". Consequently, showing that World War I was a series of pre-programmed events, because of the complex structure of the alliance system, each situation had pre-defined actions that led directly to other pre-sets involving other nations. Taken together, this shows that not only were the 1914 alliances used as a pretext to start a world war, but even more sophisticatedly, the creation of the alliance system in the 19th and 20th centuries veiled the conspiracies of WW1. It was the time when alliances guaranteed protection and security to the nation and its people. This is reflected in the Franco-Russian "DualAlliance" which states that in the event of a German attack on France; Russia would provide France with 700–800,000 men in support. As A.J.P. Taylor asserted: "In every country the people imagined that they were being called to a defensive war." While the intentions of defense and support may seem harmless when it comes to military action, defense and attack are equally ferocious and part of war. However, this reality was not recognized at the time and therefore nations could manifest the promise of war in the name of peace and justice. Furthermore, although the alliances addressed hypothetical future issues, they had an immediate impact as they posed a threat to outsiders. For example, the Entente Cordiale, which was only a “warm understanding” and had no military connections, made Germany feel surrounded and intimidated. A few years earlier, in 1890, when Bismarck refused to renew an alliance, even the non-existence of a treaty between Russia and Germany worried Russia and prompted her to seek new allies. This can be seen in the fact that alliances were directly related to war, as Thomas Greenwood said: "Alliances originally intended for protection aroused national fear." In this quote, Greenwood expresses that because of alliances, war is on everyone's mind threatened and instilled fear. It shows that DIET. This clearly shows that while nations formed alliances for the purpose of ensuring security, they ironically also guaranteed the war itself.

(Video) The Alliance System-The Origins of WW1-IGCSE History Revision

While the purpose of something is by definition why it exists, with purpose in hand we still need to dig deeper to uncover why the alliance system exists. By visualizing the relationships between nations and, moreover, their motivations, we can see that the alliances made before World War I were the result of earlier circumstances. For example, the alliance between Great Britain and Japan was the result of a conflict a few years before the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05. 🇧🇷 Japan began its expansion by taking over parts of Korea, Taiwan and China, including the Liaodong Peninsula. This alarmed the European powers and provoked the triple intervention of Russia, France and Germany, who refused to accept Japan's actions. However, Britain remained neutral, which, in addition to helping in the Boxer Rebellion crisis, improved relations between itself and Japan, leading to their alliance in 1902. From this example we can see that an alliance was formed upon prior positive interaction. The Anglo-German fleet race also took place from 1898 to 1913. The sea race began when Kaiser Wilhelm wanted to implement his "world policy" which required a larger fleet. This made Britain feel challenged by Germany, and they too began to increase their production. In 1909-10, nations negotiated control of the arms race, but no agreement was reached, so relations were strained. Between Germany and Great Britain it is shown that due to longstanding rivalry and competition as well as failed negotiations, the two countries did not get along. It is also evident that Britain and Germany were not allies during the First World War. This example illustrates a situation where, due to initial conflicts, no alliance was formed but countries were forced to oppose each other. Finally, during the first Moroccan Crisis of 1905-06, Kaiser Wilhelm visited Tangier to confer with the Sultan, although he provoked France and tested the new dual alliance between Britain and France. The crisis was resolved at the Algeciras Conference, where France won the support of most powers, including Russia, Britain, the United States and Italy. The Tangier Crisis had the effect of deteriorating the relationship between France and Germany, putting them on opposite sides of the war, and on the other hand further strengthening ties between Britain and France, resulting in the Triple Entente - one of the First's most important alliances world war. In conclusion, when considering the reasons for alliances, the alliance system of World War I was the result of conflicts and circumstances in the 100 or so years before the war that shaped relations between nations. Furthermore, the alliance system was a reflection of the wars, geography, imperialism, leaders, fear, and belligerence that characterized the 19th and early 20th centuries up until World War I. This idea renders the alliance system itself redundant, as it was merely the proclamation of a pre-existing structure that physically drew the boundaries between nations.

The role of the alliance system can be as good as its livelihood, and offers many different interpretations depending on how one looks at the war. Taking previous conflicts out of the equation and looking at the war as an independent event, one can see that the alliances were a catalyst for the war, causing it to spread and grow faster. However, if one takes into account the pre-war period in which the alliances were formed, it can be seen that the alliances were formed to secure and plan the war. From these two perspectives, the alliance system was largely the cause of the war. However, if one sees the whole war, in terms of the formation of the alliances and even before that, the reason why the alliances were made, it becomes clear that the alliance system has no real meaning or value. This is because World War I, known by many as the "War to End All Wars" as the name suggests, was based on previous "wars" and circumstances that created a vast structure of good and bad relationships. So alliances were just a proclamation of the already existing structures. In assessing the extent to which alliances caused war, therefore, one can only really assess the impact of disclosure of pre-existing relationships. In summary, analyzing the extent to which the alliance caused World War I means looking at how the events that led to World War I, such as wars and imperialism, caused the war and that would be another essay.


To what extent can it be said that the First World War was caused by the alliance system?

The alliance system was one of the main causes of the First World War, but not the only one. The war began as the Third Balkan War between Austria-Hungary and Serbia. It then escalated into a world war, fought in Europe. The war could have been ended at any time by one of the Central or Allied Powers. John Keegan himself argues that "The First World War was a tragic and unnecessary event".

The alliance system turned the coming Balkan war into a war in Europe between the powers Russia, Germany and France. On July 28, 1914, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia as a result of the Black Hand, a Serbian terrorist group, who assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Since Austria-Hungary and Germany were allies, Germany came to Austria's aid in the war against Serbia. France got involved in this conflict because Russia supported Serbia. France was Russia's ally if Russia was at war. This prompted Germany to declare war on Russia and France. That is why the alliance system started the First World War.

On the other hand, the alliance system does not explain why England entered the war. Germany was building a railway from Berlin to Baghdad, which posed a threat to England. It was a threat because Britain's battleships have oil coming from their colonies in Iraq. If Germany had completed the railroad, England would not have the resources necessary to operate its navy. England could not allow the Germans to build this railway and make it more powerful. Now that England has joined the war in Europe, it has turned the war into a world war, with colonies stretching from Asia to Africa and North America. So they got involved in the war and sided with France and Russia.

Russia entered the war to demonstrate its dominance and strength. After becoming the first country to lose to an Asian country, Japan, in 1905, Russia wanted to regain their respect by supporting Serbia, a Slavic nation, against the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In the Second Balkan War in 1913, Russia did not help any of the Slavic nations, which begs the question, why did they support Serbia in 1914? After Russia lost in 1905, Russia wanted to show its presence in Europe by supporting Serbia in the war against Austria-Hungary.

In summary, it can be said that the alliance system, among other factors, contributed to the outbreak of the First World War. The alliance system alone cannot be held responsible for the war. If England had not entered the war, it would not have been a world war. As well as Russia is not forced to support Serbia and thereby bring France into the conflict.

To what extent can it be said that the First World War was caused by the alliance system?

What can be considered the primary cause of World War I has been the subject of widespread debate over the years. This is not surprising; This conflict was not only the first of its kind as the first war to involve so many different fronts and so many countries, but it undoubtedly laid most, if not all, of the basis for the next and only other conflict that the Mankind has so far earned the title "World War". Furthermore, a very significant part of this “groundwork” consisted of the finger-pointing that compels a country to shoulder the burden of all the lives that the Great War of the World has cost the world on the shoulders of its citizens, which of course makes the complexity easier to understand the situation even more important. Many credit the alliances that countries have made with each other as the main reason wars break out, especially on a large scale. Refers specifically to the Triple Alliance (comprising Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy) and the Triple Entente (comprising Britain, France, and Russia). This essay will examine the role of these alliances between European powers in the outbreak of war and explore both supportive and conflicting perspectives on the issue.

It can be argued that the alliances between the European powers were one of the main instigators of the war. Germany's spontaneous gesture of support for the position of its ally Austria-Hungary, the so-called "blank check", which has been interpreted by Austro-Hungarian officials as a promise of unconditional support and official encouragement for war against Serbia, is often cited as the reason for blaming Germany for the escalation of this conflict. As Austria-Hungary saw the "blank check" as an official statement on which the leaders of its allies had reached a consensus, Austria-Hungary went ahead confident that it had solid support and sent Serbia a list of absolutely astronomical demands in an ultimatum to the other country only had 48 hours. reach. Given Austria-Hungary's status as a nation weakened by unstable and turbulent race relations, it is very likely that the country would not have acted so confidently had it not been assured of having a powerful and reliable ally at its side (after Serbia lost their demands on July 25, Austria-Hungary declared war on them on July 28). The fact that Austria-Hungary placed so much emphasis on this supposed promise is undoubtedly a testament to the strength of the relationship between the two nations; Although their relations deteriorated significantly from 1913 as a direct result of major disagreements between the two countries during the Balkan Wars, the two countries evidently clung to their alliance and declared each other resolute. These two countries have always been natural allies, in large part due to the strong similarities between them, from mentality to culture to language, and hence they have a natural tendency to support each other. In this case, Germany supported Austria-Hungary's position amid pleas from other European superpowers urging Germany to act for peace in order to avoid all-out war. On July 24, Sir Edward Gray of the British government called on France, Italy, Germany and Britain to unite in the name of peace, emphasizing the current local nature of the conflict between Serbia and Austria-Hungary and the lack of vested interests in Serbia in particular. A meeting between the same powers was convened on July 26 to discuss how best to deal with the situation, an invitation which Germany declined. Germany failed in this case to try to de-escalate the situation and persuade Austria-Hungary to back down, opting instead to encourage the latter. Therefore, it can be argued that alliances had a very significant impact on the outbreak of the Great War.

At the other end of the spectrum, it could also be argued that since alliances were remarkably weak and featured unnatural connections between countries, they could not be considered the sole cause of World War I. In the case of the Triple Entente, France and Russia were anything but a matter of course because of their opposing worldviews and ways of life. While France was a democratic country praised for its freedoms, Russia was highly autocratic. Russia initially had its own alliance with Germany and Austria-Hungary, the Dreikaiserbund. The refusal of Otto von Bismarck (then Prussian statesman at the head of Germany) to renew this pact in 1890 created tensions between Germany and Russia. This distrust and concern towards Germany led to the creation of the Franco-Russian alliance in 1894. However, this was a purely defensive move on the part of the two nations; The conditions imposed were such that if one of the nations provoked an attack by Germany or its allies, the other would not be compelled to go into battle. This arrangement would be particularly effective in defending the German lands as they were on either side of Germany and a war with one on both fronts would be violent. But while it was particularly effective as a defensive strategy, it specifically discouraged violence, as provoking an enemy to attack would result in your ally losing support. Supporting Russia should tensions between Austria-Hungary and Serbia peak, but after the formation of the Triple Entente, Britain, the alliance's newest member, made no such promises. In fact, the alliance has not imposed military intervention on any nation to end a potential conflict. As its name suggests, the Triple Entente was nothing more than an understanding between its three members, born out of a desire to fight their common enemy Germany, a country whose technological prowess and booming economy (among other factors) made it made to be reckoned with. be acknowledged. This is a very notable point as it was largely thanks to Britain that the war reached such monumental proportions as its participation affected its ally Japan as well as the full might of the Empire. With this in mind, it's easy to see that Britain was probably not acting out of a responsibility it should honor for its allies, but rather out of a mixture of self-interest and principle. First, Britain only declared war on Germany and officially entered the war after Belgian neutrality was threatened, something Britain had vowed to protect. Furthermore, the way Germany brutally and ruthlessly fought its way through Belgium, attacking civilians with Britain across the sea, forced the nation to act as they felt they had to protect those civilians. At the time, the main reason Britain had an advantage over Germany was that its numerous colonies allowed them to extract oil, while Germany had no overseas colonies. With the latter clearly superior in terms of technical capabilities, sourcing oil could see them continue on their way as a rapidly rising power to overtake Britain as a world power. Because of this, Britain had kept an eye on Germany's relations with the Ottoman Empire, with whom the German state had a good relationship and from whom they could easily source oil (Germany resolved this by building a railway). So Britain, with her allies and numerous Estates, stepped in, motivated by self-interest and principle and not by any constraint imposed on them by an alliance with Russia and France.

A major factor influencing the outbreak of war was Russia's preliminary mobilization on July 24-25 (during which meetings were organized by the Russian authorities to discuss the matter). This had a very significant effect on several countries: it caused Austria-Hungary to increase its guard and expect an attack at any moment; discouraged Serbia from accepting and complying with the Austro-Hungarian demands, a possibility still considered and brushed aside as Russia's moves were found encouraging in the face of Austro-Hungarian outrage; Finally, there was Germany, which had yet to begin militaristic preparations, hoping that the conflict between Serbia and Austria-Hungary would continue and other countries would not interfere, the signal they needed that war was imminent, and therefore urged them to prepare themselves for it. This came as a result of Russia's involvement in a Serbian conflict, an involvement encouraged by the Triple Entente in the form of Russia's knowledge that France was likely to support them, while Britain's support was only likely. This crucial step was instrumental in escalating the war to its current magnitude and can be attributed in part to support from the Alliance system.

It can be argued that the alliance system was the main reason, or simply a factor, in starting the conflict that eventually became known as World War I. The mutual support of the allied countries led the nations to act confidently and ruthlessly, greatly escalating the conflict. It is not solely to blame, however, for some alliances have been too fragile, countries too incompatible, for their association to be reliable and hence a shared responsibility to move nations to action. or by his fear of a common enemy. It is therefore clear that there is no clear answer to this question, but it motivates comparison and discussion of different perspectives.

To what extent can one say that the AllianceSystem caused the First World War?

A popular cause often cited for the outbreak of World War I is the system of alliances between European powers in the period leading up to the events of the summer of 1914. This complex system linked values, political systems, and entire civilizations that often stood strong against it. . Alliances across the continent, and in some cases even across European borders, split the world into two opposing forces in 1907. 21st Century” is highlighted in this essay both by his affirmation and by offering a counter-position in confronting the issue at hand seen.

One can see why historians often credit the alliance system as the cause of World War I. As Friedrich Nietzsche once wrote, "He who fights monsters must be careful lest he become a monster himself." This quote works both at the level of an individual, but it also gives an insight into human nature in terms of how the alliance system works triggered the First World War. Alliances united some of the most contrasting European empires of the early 19th century and as such may have been the basis for unforeseen tactical and diplomatic decisions by the major players involved in this conflict. An example of such adjustments was Austria-Hungary's surprise declaration of war on immediate neighbor Serbia on July 28, 1914. What prompted the notoriously indecisive Emperor Franz Joseph to take such a hard line? Most likely, it was the influence of the German Empire's connection with Austria-Hungary that pushed its ruler to this decision. Germany trusted in their militaristic skills and considered it important that they openly supported their ally. This strong support may have influenced the Austrian Emperor's decision on how to deal with the diplomatic crisis that erupted with the assassination of his heir. We are writing this essay in Bavaria, near the Austrian border in Germany, and we still feel that connection strongly today. Not only culturally, but also mentally, the alliance between these two ancient empires endures almost 140 years after their founding in 1879. Thus, it can be seen that the system of alliances was in some cases based on a common set of values ​​that assured a country that its ally would stand by it if assistance was needed. Sir John Keegan wrote in his book The First World War: A European Tragedy that the Great War was a "tragic and unnecessary conflict". While this event cost the lives of millions of people and would theoretically have happened at any stage of the growing tensions in the pre-1914 years of the alliance system (e.g. Germany and Austria-Hungary shared culture, parts of ethnicity and many other facets of society), specifically championing these values ​​and supporting allies shows that Keegan's point of view is not always defensible. Alliances forced countries like Britain to defend their allies, in part because they also had to defend their values, not even necessarily those shared by their allies but their own. Because what's left for a country, or even an individual, if they don't comply with what they think is fair? Values ​​are what unite the people of a nation, what makes them believe in the good intentions of their leaders and governments. If this were presented as a flexible belief system, populations would lose faith in their authority figures and entire regimes would begin to crumble. So countries like Britain, which were instrumental in turning that first local conflict into a world war, had no choice but to go to war on simple principles.

On the other hand, some alliances were based less on the idea of ​​shared values ​​and more on an interest in fighting a common enemy. An example of this approach was the Triple Entente between Britain, Russia and France, which grew out of the Franco-Russian alliance of 1894 as a militaristic alliance. All three powers, recognizing the dangerous potential for Germany's future growth, particularly through their 1882 Triple Alliance with neighboring Austria-Hungary and Italy (both of weaker status but still with a larger sphere of influence for the Germans), sought to close this Entente reach agreement to fight the common enemy Germany. Clear evidence that this was the only connection between the empires in this agreement is the marked differences between France and Russia in particular. While France was a free democratic country ruled by elected leaders, Russia was a pure autocracy ruled by the divine Tsar Nicholas II. Why should such opposing nations form an alliance if not simply to defeat a common enemy? In addition, Russia had lost to Japan in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905 (great humiliation for the Tsarist regime), Britain's ally. Why then, apart from her urgent need for support in the fight against Germany, should Russia join the Anglo-Russian Convention in 1907, only two years after her defeat by her ally? In these cases, the alliance system could not have been the determining factor in the outbreak of World War I, since the agreements between the countries were not based on a desire to militarily fight and defend one another, but only to represent an equal and opposing power. against the middle formation. powers.

The alliance system can also be seen as the cause of the war, given its longstanding presence in Europe, a feature that had several short-term triggers. What made this network so destructive as a cause was that, even in its subordinate role in the main surrounding action, it turned local conflicts into issues of international concern by forcing countries not directly involved to offer and engage in support to their allies. Continuing the example of Germany and Austria-Hungary, their longstanding affiliation culminated in Germany's delivery of the "blank check," a mere expression of encouragement that was interpreted by the Austrian ambassador as a sign of unconditional support. This made Emperor Franz Joseph feel more confident than ever in his gamble to start the war with his neighbor Serbia, knowing that their alliance, now seemingly strengthened by promises of full support, gave them a better chance would give for a win. The check was presented on July 5, 1914, just a week after the heir to the throne, Franz Ferdinand, was assassinated by a Serbian terrorist. had the alliance system not guaranteed the involvement of other European and even intercontinental powers allied to these two nations. While Russia defended Serbia, the ally and fellow Slavs, Germany supported Austria-Hungary, both empires continued to build war transformation involving their own alliances, Germany for example sought support from the Ottoman Empire.

Britain's entry into the war, which brought with it its great colonial strength, turned a war that could only have been fought on the European continent into the World War it is known today. It is widely believed that Britain was primarily motivated to declare war on Germany by the German invasion's disruption of Belgian neutrality. This would have made the alliance system a very valid reason for the outbreak of war, since the British Treaty of London (of 1839) recognizing Belgium as neutral would have led to the first shots. In fact, however, it was the strengthening of the bond between Germany and the Ottoman Empire that laid the groundwork for the Empire's entry into the war. Britain's problem with Turkish support for the Germans was because the Ottoman Empire had a large sphere of influence over Iraq, its main oil-producing colony. Britain realized that Germany may have been trying to offload oil for its own expanding naval operations in this Turkey-linked region, allowing them to bolster their forces to pose an even greater threat to the British Empire. In 1900, Germany signed its largest and most advanced naval law, specifically designed to compete with what was then the largest naval force. those of Great Britain. Also, the Ottoman Empire had granted the Germans the construction of a railway line from Berlin to Baghdad, which could have led to encroachment on the "Fertile Crescent" where British interests lay. In response to the exponential growth of the German navy, culminating in the formation of close ties with Iraq, the British Empire was forced to act against its rival force, leading to the first battle outside of Europe and turning the war into an intercontinental dimension while they refute the notion that alliances alone are responsible for their formation.

The question of whether the alliance system was the cause of the First World War can therefore be discussed in two ways. On the one hand, this network firmly united nations, in which case the beliefs and values ​​of a close side compelled them to defend those allies, resulting in not only multiple countries being involved, but the war becoming an intercontinental one magnitude that triggered the First World War as we know it today. However, one cannot ignore the incredible contrast between countries in other alliances, which does not result in a strong system, but in a rather weak and unreliable system, in which each nation only seeks its own advantage instead of devoting military attention to its supposed allies. This multifaceted question has led to many new and unconsidered perspectives that allow us to draw our own conclusions and seek new ways of looking at the complex workings of the alliance system.

World War I is said to have taken place between 1914 and 1918, but it actually began in 1894 when France and Russia formed the so-called "Double Alliance". This was formed because the growing power of the alliance between Austria-Hungary and Germany (1879) aroused fear in Russia and France. However, when Great Britain signed the Anglo-Russian Convention and the Triple Entente was founded in 1907, the outbreak of a world war was inevitable. The importance of alliances can be linked to the current federal elections in September 2017, which prove that sometimes it takes a coalition to govern a country and an alliance to win a war. Unfortunately, it is not easy to form a government, nor is it easy to form an alliance and serve its purpose. This is evident in Austria-Hungary itself during World War I, which was still grappling with internal disputes (which emerged from the Austrian Empire in 1867). While it is difficult to determine the root cause of World War I because it is impossible for historians to have that mindset, the alliance system contributed to the outbreak of World War I.

Numerous historians argue that it was the alliance between Austria-Hungary and Germany that started the war. When Serbia attacked Austria-Hungary and triggered World War I with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand on June 28, 1914, Austria-Hungary bombed Belgrade and declared war on Serbia a month later. This was supposed to be the start of the Third Balkan War, but because Russia sided with its ally (Serbia), a world war broke out. Austria-Hungary issued an ultimatum to Serbia on July 23, 1914, allowing sufficient time to communicate with its ally Germany to ensure that Germany would fight on Austria-Hungary's behalf in the event of a Russian attack. After Kaiser Wilhelm II promised to fight for his ally, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia on July 28, 1914. In response, Germany threatened Russia that Germany would declare war if it were fully mobilized against Austria-Hungary. As Germany began its own mobilization and Russia continued itss, Germany declared war on Russia on August 1, 1914, the same day that France ordered full mobilization. After Anglo-French relations developed as a result of the Entente Cordiale (signed 1904) and Britain and Russia signed the Anglo-Russian Convention in 1907, the Triple Entente is formed. So he urged Britain to do the same and support Russia if it went to war against Germany. Despite Britain owning a fifth of the world, Hew Stachan said, "Britain feared her friends more than her enemies" and was unable to protect her entire empire. According to Norman Lowe, author of Mastering Modern World History, "For years the British viewed Russia as a major threat to their interests in the Far East and India." However, when the Russians were defeated by Japan in 1905, it weakened considerably and did not become more considered a major threat. Although Britain refused to be involved and its Foreign Secretary declared, "We are not bound by our allies, by the Franco-Russian agreement," they went to war for fear of losing their allies. It is thus clear that the July crisis that triggered the start of World War I was caused by the alliance system.

In contrast, so-called major alliances like the Triple Entente cannot really be called an alliance because the countries involved are not natural allies. In 1881, Germany, Austria-Hungary and Russia formed the Dreikaiserbund, an informal alliance intended to preserve the orthodox religion and the conservative powers of Europe. Existence due to the Pan-Slavic movement championed by Russia. However, it can be seen that this unnatural alliance did not last long as Europe was later divided between the Central Powers and the Allies, where Russia fought Austria-Hungary and Germany. In addition, the structure of the alliances was not defined and clear. For example, in 1912 Serbia, Montenegro, Greece and Bulgaria formed the Balkan League and defeated Turkey in the First Balkan War. A year later, Bulgaria broke away from this Balkan federation, fought against Greece and Serbia in the Second Balkan War and finally joined the Central Powers in 1916. This shows the indecisiveness of the countries and how these so-called alliances were not thought through. not always clear as these were secret contracts not officially signed on paper or records of an agreement were kept as evidence. This is evident in the so-called Triple Entente, where Britain "does not even know what was said in the Alliance", as Edward Gray, a liberal British statesman and former Foreign Secretary, put it. Since the alliance structure brought immense difficulties between the countries involved, it can be argued that the alliance system was not strong enough to provoke a world war.

“There was nothing binding about the alliances,” as Norman Lowe puts it. France did not support Russia when it protested Austria-Hungary's annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Austria-Hungary did not intervene when Germany failed to protect Morocco from the French in 1905 and 1911, and instead fought for Austria-Hungary in the Second Balkan War (against Serbia) Germany prevented its ally from attacking. This deterrence possibly prevented a world war in 1913. To answer the question of whether the alliance system caused World War I, it is important to consider whether countries chose the right allies during the war. Britain should have sided with Germany, not France and Russia. Kaiser Wilhelm II admired the British Empire; his naval strength and imperial success, and "always distinguished himself as a friend of England," as he said on October 28, 1908. an Englishman, J.A. Cramb, who lived in Germany for many years, said: "England wants peace and will never make war on Germany." But how can the youth in Germany recognize the world domination of England? ALREADY. Cramb said: “The result is safe and quick. It is war." Thus, the indecisive structure of the alliance system and the inequality of the allies can be blamed for the cause of the First World War.

It is impossible to determine the cause of the First World War. Although historians argue that the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand (on June 28, 1914) was the final trigger, there were numerous events leading up to the outbreak of the war. Even more than 100 years after the war, as a German living in Germany, you can see that there is a lot of guilt in our country, especially when it comes to supporting our Austro-Hungarian monarchy. However, growing up in Britain and attending an international school develops a larger way of thinking about World War I and its causes, and these allegations are disputed. Two years before the outbreak of war, the German Chief of Staff General von Moltke said: "I believe that war is inevitable", and Otto von Bismark said before his death: "Some damn stupid thing in the Balkans is going to explode". This shows that the nations involved knew that war would break out sooner or later, regardless of the alliance system. So while there are aspects that suggest the Alliance system caused the war (like the July Crisis), over 100 years later (with greater access to the archive) John Keegan is correct. "The First World War was a tragic and unnecessary conflict."


How the alliance system is considered a cause of World War 1? ›

After Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, Russia came to Serbia's aid. This led to Germany joining the war to defend Austria-Hungary and then France and England joining to defend Russia. Due to the alliance system, a war between two nations turned into war throughout an entire continent.

What effect did the alliance system have on World War I? ›

Each alliance system believed that they were more superior than the other, and capable of more. This made the Austro-German alliance so aggressive leading up to the war and all the way through the Bosnian crisis in 1909. The germans each group of alliance thought they were powerful enough to take over.

Why were alliances a main cause of World War I quizlet? ›

How did the Alliance system cause WW1? The alliance system meant that countries were obliged to help other allies so if one declared war, the others had to do the same. Without the alliance system, WW1 would have been a lot smaller and probably not a world war since fewer countries would become involved.

How did the alliance in place before World War I affect the war? ›

How did the alliances in place before World War I affect the war? They helped turn the war into a worldwide conflict.

What responsibility did the alliance systems play in the outbreak of war? ›

How did alliance systems contribute to the outbreak of World War I? Taking sides, arguing, pulling other nations into the issues made it grow, switching sides. Triple alliances doesn't stay the triple alliance, Italy leaves and turkey joins, makes the central powers.

Why is alliance important in war? ›

Alliances are typically reciprocal, in that countries promise to defend each other in the event of attack. Countries and their citizens profit from having allies, for example, because alliances deter foreign aggression.

What was the alliance in World War 1? ›

The Allies, or the Entente powers, were an international military coalition of countries led by the United Kingdom, France, Russia, Italy, Japan, and the United States against the Central Powers of Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, Bulgaria during the First World War (1914–1918).

What were the secret alliances in World War 1? ›

Triple Alliance, secret agreement between Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy formed in May 1882 and renewed periodically until World War I. Germany and Austria-Hungary had been closely allied since 1879. Italy sought their support against France shortly after losing North African ambitions to the French.

What were the 5 main causes of ww1? ›

Six Causes of World War I
  • European Expansionism. ...
  • Serbian Nationalism. ...
  • The Assassination of Franz Ferdinand. ...
  • Conflicts over Alliances. ...
  • The Blank Check Assurance: Conspired Plans of Germany and Austria-Hungary. ...
  • Germany Millenarianism – Spirit of 1914.
Aug 1, 2017

What were the main causes of ww1 answer key? ›

The main causes of WWI were nationalism, imperialism, militarism, and the system of alliances.

What were the four main causes of ww1 quizlet? ›

causes of WWI: Militarism, Alliances, Imperialism, & Nationalism.

What was the main cause of First world war? ›

What was the main cause of World War I? World War I began after the assassination of Austrian archduke Franz Ferdinand by South Slav nationalist Gavrilo Princip on June 28, 1914.

Did the alliance system make war more likely or less likely? ›

Firstly, the Alliance System was built on war-footing. This intensified the already existing tensions between the powers, and created an arms race that made a war much more likely.

Who is to blame for the outbreak of ww1? ›

The Treaty of Versailles, signed following World War I, contained Article 231, commonly known as the “war guilt clause,” which placed all the blame for starting the war on Germany and its allies.

What impact did the alliances have on the Cold War? ›

Cold War alliances both defined and intensified divisions between democratic and socialist nations. They also created the risk that a confrontation between two member states might expand into a third world war.

What are the pros and cons of alliances? ›

Alliances may play a whole range of roles - some more strategic than purely operational.
AllianceLower risk than an acquisition Gives competences that you may lack Low investmentLess permanent, shorter life-cycle May dilute competence and cover up weaknesses Can be hard to manage, especially with change
2 more rows
Oct 1, 2014

What is the advantage of being in an alliance? ›

Benefits of Strategic Alliances

An alliance allows a company to offer its clients a whole new realm of services without losing focus on its capabilities and its specialized services.

What is alliance in ww1 quizlet? ›

Alliances. an association formed for mutual benefits between countries. Imperialism. a policy of extending a country's power and influence through diplomacy or military force.

What were the main causes of ww1 essay? ›

The main factors that led to the War were nationalism, imperialism, alliances and militarism. By the end of the War over 17 million people would have lost their lives, and the reasons why the War had erupted is much more complex than a simple list of causes.

What are 5 causes of the world war 1 quizlet? ›

  • Militarism. Nations made military power a primary goal. ...
  • Alliances. Competing alliances bound European nations together. ...
  • Nationalism. Many Europeans embraced nationalism, strong feelings of pride, loyalty, and protectiveness toward their own countries. ...
  • Imperialism. ...
  • Assassination.

What are 5 things that happened in ww1? ›

Battles and Events:
  • Assassination of Archduke Ferdinand.
  • Sinking of the Lusitania.
  • Battle of Tannenberg.
  • First Battle of the Marne.
  • Battle of the Somme.
  • Russian Revolution.

What was really the main cause of ww1 worksheet? ›

In June of 1914, the assassination of Franz Ferdinand unleashed international conflict which led to the beginning of WWI.

What were the long term causes of ww1 quizlet? ›

What were the main long term causes of the first world war? Militarism, Imperialism, Nationalism and the Alliances. What were the Short Term causes of WWI? Bosnian Crisis, Balkan Wars and the Moroccan Crises (both of them).

What are four long term causes of ww1? ›

SUMMARY: The assassination of Franz Ferdinand in 1914 s said to be the spark that's started the war but there were many long term causes that led to the outbreak of the First World War. Historians argue they can be split into four categories: Imperialism; Nationalism; Militarism; and Alliances.

What were the most important reasons why World War 1 began quizlet? ›

The factors that contributed to the outbreak of WWI were the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, imperialism, alliances, and nationalism.

What event is often credited as being the spark that started World War 1? ›

Subject. The spark that set off World War I came on June 28, 1914, when a young Serbian patriot shot and killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The assassination took place in Sarajevo, a town in the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina on the Balkan Peninsula.

What does militarism mean and how did it contribute to ww1? ›

Militarism denoted a rise in military expenditure, an increase in military and naval forces, more influence of the military men upon the policies of the civilian government, and a preference for force as a solution to problems. Militarism was one of the main causes of the First World War.

How did the alliance system spread the original conflict between? ›

How did the alliance system deepen the original conflict between Austria-Hungary and Serbia into a general war? The alliance system drew other great powers into the conflict. Serbia called on Russia to be their ally and after Austria didn't comply with softening its demands Russia began to mobilize.

Why are alliances important? ›

First and foremost, having allies significantly increases the military power the United States can bring to bear on a given battlefield. During the Cold War, European forces were vital to maintaining something approximating a balance of power vis-à-vis Warsaw Pact forces.

What was the reason for ww1? ›

World War I, also known as the Great War, began in 1914 after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria. His murder catapulted into a war across Europe that lasted until 1918.

How did the alliance system turn a dispute between two countries into World War I quizlet? ›

How did the alliance system turn a dispute between two countries into World War I? Leaders knew that if they declared war, their allies had to join the fight with them. What was the main reason there were so many casualties in World War I? Defensive weapons killed thousands of troops attacking enemy positions.

How did the alliance system and the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand lead to ww1? ›

Although the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand was the spark that caused Austria-Hungary to strike the first blow, all the European powers quickly fell in line to defend their alliances, preserve or expand their empires and display their military might and patriotism.

What was the main weakness of the alliance system? ›

What were the disadvantages of the alliance system? Possibility of a chain reaction, increased tensions, countries could act more aggressively. Why did diplomatic failures lead to war? There were many crises and during these crises peace was maintained , but in each circumstance, one country felt humiliated.


1. Alliances leading to World War I | The 20th century | World history | Khan Academy
(Khan Academy)
2. Causes of WW1 Explained (Franz Ferdinand, Alliance System)
(Mr. Droste History)
3. World War I - Effects of Alliances
(Tim Montalvo)
4. CAUSES of World War I [AP World History] Unit 7 Topic 2 (7.2)
(Heimler's History)
5. Why World War 1 happened? | The Real Reason | Dhruv Rathee
(Dhruv Rathee)
6. What if the World Wars Never Happened
(The Infographics Show)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Golda Nolan II

Last Updated: 04/15/2023

Views: 5381

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (78 voted)

Reviews: 93% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Golda Nolan II

Birthday: 1998-05-14

Address: Suite 369 9754 Roberts Pines, West Benitaburgh, NM 69180-7958

Phone: +522993866487

Job: Sales Executive

Hobby: Worldbuilding, Shopping, Quilting, Cooking, Homebrewing, Leather crafting, Pet

Introduction: My name is Golda Nolan II, I am a thoughtful, clever, cute, jolly, brave, powerful, splendid person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.