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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: History
  • Essay length: 1644 words

Origins of World War One Alliances and Ententes

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

Origins of World War One Alliances and Ententes In August 1914, World War One broke out. The main cause of the war has never been established and has been among the many debates among historians studying this period. Many historians have conflicting views about what caused war to break out in 1914, and many believe there is not one cause to blame but was the result of many conflicts and disputes between different countries over a long period. There are also other causes for the outbreak of World War One including Political systems and developments, Colonial Conflicts and rivalries, The Moroccan Crises, The Balkan Wars and the July Crisis. In my opinion, Alliances and Ententes was to blame for war to break out in 1914. The main reason for this is that after Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire was shot by a Bosnian Serb nationalist. Therefore, Austria-Hungary issued Serbia an ultimatum, which they had chose to ignore, and as a result Germany, who was their ally persuaded Austria-Hungary to declare war on Serbia. Russia, who supported Serbia, began to mobilise. This began to escalate and France, Germany and Britain consequently got involved because of their alliances or ententes.

Middle

The colonial conflicts included The Far Eastern Crisis, which had been a contentious issue of international rivalry. The rivalry began because Britain, who had established her economy in the Far East, felt that her position was being challenged by other powers. The crisis began after Chinas defeat by Japan in 1895 and ended with Japan's victory over Russia in 1905 at the Russo-Japanese War. The Russo-Japanese War had began after arguments over territory because Russia wanted to build a railway through Manchuria and therefore also wanted control, there, however, Japan disagreed, and therefore, war broke out. His was followed by the Boxer Rebellion an international force was sent to calm the rebellions in Manchuria. This meant that Russia could use the situation to gain more control on the territory. This worried Britain that Russia could have total control of Peking and so approached Germany to help her keep an eye on Russia and her actions. However, Germany told her that she was detached to the future of Manchuria. As a result Britain approached Japan and this resulted in the Anglo-Japanese Alliance. This resulted in Germany becoming diplomatically isolated from the rest of Europe, and also for Britain it meant that she began to move away from her policy of 'Splendid Isolationism.'

Conclusion

If Russia were to unite with the Balkan states then it would have access to water and could then proceed to build a navy of its own. Tempers ran high in the Balkans. The only friendships that remained were the Alliances, especially the alliance between Austria-Hungary and Germany whose alliance was strengthened. The last spark before World War One began was the assassination of the heir of the Austrian throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand by Gavrillo Princip a Serb nationalist and a member of the Black Hand on 28th June 1914. The motive for the assassination was that they feared that once the Archduke came to the throne he would continue to persecute the Serbs within the Austrian Empire. The Austro-Hungarian government blamed Serbia, and issued the Austro-Hungarian government a list of demands to the Serbian government, who inevitably refused these demands and denied having any part in the assassination. Therefore, World War One broke out. It is therefore reasonable to suggest that Alliances and Ententes were to blame for the outbreak of WWI because if countries such as Austria and Serbia did not have any allies there would not have been a World War, just a European War. Also, the countries colonies became involved. However, it must be stressed that there were other causes that eventually resulted in the outbreak of war in 1914. Rhiann Johns History Mrs Thomas

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