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Alliance Origins and their Affect on the Outbreak of WWI.

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Alliance Origins and their Affect on the Outbreak of WWI The First World War began after a complex series of events, which had distinct roots that can be found in the foreign policies of European countries' governments. It is not easy to explain how a conflict between Austria-Hungary and Serbia developed into a world war but it can be figured out through careful examination of the alliance systems at the outbreak of the war. Rivalries were increasing and quite evident in the twenty years preceding the war. The network of alliances had shifted the advantages of a winning war for various countries throughout this time because of the considerable number of sides changed by different countries. When it all came down to it however, it was the Central Powers consisting of Germany and Austria-Hungary against the Triple Entente consisting of France, Great Britain and Russia. The foreign policies prior to the July crisis of 1914 were most definitely conductive to the outbreak of the war and essential in the escalation of hostilities between the countries of Europe. ...read more.


Kaiser Wilhelm II made awful judgments in his war plans by not restoring his treaty with Russia, which allowed Russia to side with Germany's long time foe, France. France now was able to turn the tables on Germany who had France surrounded on two fronts since the 1870s. However, Germany continued to anger France through the Moroccan crisis by convincing Morocco to fight for their freedom against France, which was later settled by the Conference of Algericas. "The Moroccan crisis and the conference of Algericas had shown the Germans that their alliance with Austria-Hungary was all that stood between them and complete diplomatic isolation" (Joll 46), presenting an even greater threat to Germany. Germany decided that in order to accomplish their goals in war that they would need to build up their navy to rival that of Great Britain's. While Germany was trying attempting this feat, more bad news comes to Germany after because a deal was made between Great Britain and Russia. It seems that the Triple Entente had an advantage on the Triple Alliance depending on the actions taken by Germany and their allies, Italy and Austria-Hungary. ...read more.


Germany decided to execute the Schlieffen Plan, which required attacking France after an invasion on Belgium. This act violated Belgium's neutrality so Great Britain was driven to declare war on Germany. Germany now had to defend against France, Great Britain and Russia with only the assistance of Austria-Hungary because Italy refused to acknowledge the Triple Alliance since Austria-Hungary was the first to attack and not Germany. This little conflict turned into a full fledge war that lasted for years although everybody believed in the months preceding the attack that a war would not even last a month. The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand was the hand that started to topple all the dominoes that were laid down by countries and their allies in the years before the Great War. Works Consulted Tucker, Spencer T. The Great War 1914 - 18 Bloomington, IN; Indiana University Press. 1998 Keegan, John The First World War New York, NY; Vintage Books. 1998 Joll, James The Origins of The First World War New York, NY; Longman Inc. 1984 McDougal Littell The Americans Evanston, IL; McDougal Littell Inc. 2003 Berghahn, Volker H. Germany and the approach of war in 1914 New York, NY; Bedford/St. Martin's. 1993 ...read more.

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