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(2) Why and how did the alliance system lead to the outbreak of War

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(2) Why and how did the alliance system lead to the outbreak of War? Firstly, the fact that the alliances were always made on a war-footing and the powers were divided into sides nurtured a sense of competition and heightened the war tension and led to an arm race between European powers. For example, after the formation of the Triple Entente, Germany competed with Brit in building dreadnoughts. Thus all European powers were ready for war in 1914. Secondly, as most details of the alliances were kept secret, mutual suspicions and fears deepened and the powers watched each other's moved suspiciously. This suspicion prevented their diplomats from devising a suitable solution to many of the crisis preceding to war. ...read more.


The Austro-German alliance became an aggressive alliance after the Bosnian crisis in 1909, the Germany promised to give military aid to Austria-Hungary, if she invaded Serbia and Austria. As alliances had become instruments of national aggressions, chance of war increased. Sixthly, after the formation of the Triple Entente, Germany began to feel the threat to her security. Ger was encircled by enemies. This induced Germany to adopt a more vigorous foreign policy in an attempt to break the unification of the Entente powers. This resulted in a series of international crisis from 1905 to 1914. * On 5 July, 1914, Germany assured Austria that should there be an Austro-Serbian war, Germany would give Austria unlimited support as an ally. ...read more.


* On 29th July, as Serbia joined the Triple Entente, Rus was obliged to order troops to mobilize in support of Serbia. * On 30 July, Germany feared she would face a two-front war and sent an ultimatum to Rus demanding her to demobilize. * Rus refused and Ger declared war on Rus on 1 Aug. France mobilized in support of Russia because of the Triple Entente. * On 4 Aug. German declared war on France. Ger invaded France through Belgium according the Schlieffen Plan. * On the same day, Britain sent ultimatum to German to stay away from Belgium which was a neutral country. When it was ignored, Britain declared was on Germany. As a result, the alliance system became the source of conflicts among the great powers because it turned small local quarrels into the First World War involving various countries. ...read more.

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