• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How the Alliance System Led to WWI

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Luciana Machado IB History 25.08.03 How the Alliance System Led to WWI The alliance system was started by Bismarck, the German Chancellor from 1871 to 1890. After the Franco-Prussian War, Bismarck held that Germany was a "satisfied state" which should give up ideas of further conquest. Thus Bismarck organized a system of alliances designed to maintain Germany's control on the European continent. France was determined to challenge the supremacy of Germany because France had been defeated by Germany in 1871 and had been forced to give up two provinces (Alsace-Lorraine) to Germany. Bismarck tried to befriend Austria, Russia, Italy and Britain in order to isolate France. Unable to maintain friendly relations with both Austria and Russia, Bismarck chose Austria to be his ally because firstly, Germany preferred a weaker partner which could be more easily controlled, secondly Austria had "cultural" ties with Germany; thirdly such an alliance would enable Germany to exercise influence in the Balkans, and ...read more.

Middle

Bismarck's alliances were harmless and kept Europe at peace. His follower, Kaiser Wilhelm was ambitious, but ended up being an hopeless ruler. He rejected the idea that Germany was a "fulfilled state", and wanted to make Germany not only a European power but a world power. To follow his ambitions, he often adopted threats and other unpopular methods. Meanwhile, Britain was awaking to the coming out of Germany as a great European power and also a great colonial power. Wilhelm proved far more ambitious in establishing "a place in the sun" for Germany. With the effective dismissal of Bismarck the new Kaiser was determined to establish Germany as a great colonial power. After Germany and Austria-Hungary concluded their agreement (as allies), Italy was brought in the situation with the signing of the Triple Alliance. Under the terms of this treaty, Germany and Austria-Hungary promised to assist Italy if she were attacked by France, and vice versa: Italy was bound to aid Germany or Austria-Hungary if France declared war against either. ...read more.

Conclusion

Following this, Austria Hungary sent an ultimatum to Serbia with demands such as to hold back all Pan-Slavic movements and also to allow officers from Austria-Hungary to enter Serbia and investigate the Sarajevo murders. Austria Hungary actually wanted Serbia to deny the ultimatum and thus begin a war, so it decided that Serbia's reply was unsatisfactory. Each country had its allies and according to the military doomsday machine, it didn't matter who attacked, but instead, who mobilized first. The alliances were made in secret and so produced much distrust and suspicion among the European powers. Because of this suspicion, it prevented the diplomats to come up with an appropriate solution to many of the crises preceding the war. Also, since the European powers had made mobilization agreements, any small disputes concerning one power might lead to a war involving all powers, thus generating a World War. Maybe if these powers hadn't had an Alliance System, then war would have been more restricted to some places only, not even proceeding to WWII. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE International relations 1900-1939 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE International relations 1900-1939 essays

  1. War led to totalitarianism, and totalitarianism in turn led to war. Comment on the ...

    Therefore, by the end of the war, there was a structure of inter-allied war debts with the Western allies indebted to the USA. In order to pay back loans, most states begun to print more paper money and this hastened the inflation which had already begun during the war.

  2. Compare the origins of WWI & WWII

    All this made war very likely to happen. The ideological disputes before the WWII mainly resulted from the ideological determinism to one of the rising ideologies e.g. fascism, communism, etc. This made the communication problematic, to some extent it led to the isolationism of US and USSR, which resulted in the outbreak of war.

  1. ITALIAN UNIFICATION

    By joining Frances side during yet another war against Austria, King Victor Emmanuel managed to get Lombardy.

  2. How far can Germany be held responsible for WWI?

    Fisher alleged that domestic factors were the chief moving force behind German foreign policy, which was looked upon by the Kaiser and his government as a key tool in diverting attention away from domestic discontentment. Ritter however concludes that Germany only wished to support Austria Hungry, her only firm ally,

  1. In order for it to succeed, must a strategic alliance be an alliance between ...

    The Japanese auto industry example illustrates that an unequal distribution of power does not mean a strategic alliance cannot be mutually beneficial. A large company with large capital, highly developed technology and large market share may form a vertical alliance with a small, lower tier supplier to source a particular

  2. World War 1 - The role of the Alliance System

    The alliance system was to balance out the powers in Europe. This was to make sure that nobody would attack anyone else, because everyone had backing of other major powers. However, instead of making countries reluctant to going to war, it made them more confident; in particular, Austria-Hungary was only

  1. What Role Did The Alliance System Play In Causing The First World War?

    The Triple Entente, an informal coalition between Great Britain, France and Russia, now countered the Triple Alliance. International tension was greatly increased by the division of Europe into two armed camps. Germany - there goal was to make a empire, in fact and empire bigger than Britain; so before 1870

  2. Causes of WWI

    The German Navy Law of 1898 increased the German battleships from nine cruisers to twelve. In 1900 Germany passed a Navy Law which doubled the German battle fleet. In the meantime, Britain produced her first Dreadnought (literally, the word means fear nothing).

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work