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

To What Extent Was The 1st World War The Result Of The Alliance System?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

To What Extent Was The 1st World War The Result Of The Alliance System? The alliance system played a key role in starting the First World War. The alliances increased tension, they restricted states' actions because they were binding and most importantly, they involved more countries into the war; they increased the scale of the war. These are the reasons why the alliances are a key factor in causing the war. However, the alliances themselves didn't cause the war; we must also consider the roles of the other factors, i.e. Germany, Balkans, economic and domestic problems and nationalism/aggressive policies. In the years leading up to the war, many alliances were made. Firstly, Austria and Germany formed the Dual Alliance in 1879; they promised each other neutrality, it was also an anti-Russian alliance. The alliance suggests that they were anticipating future problems, possibly with Russia. In 1882, the Dual Alliance became the Triple Alliance after Italy joined; the alliance became anti-French. France and Russia formed the Franco-Russian alliance in 1891, which marked the end of German direction of the affairs of Europe. Their alliance was initially formed from financial ties in 1888 which became a formal alliance in 1893. ...read more.

Middle

Austria humiliated Russia by annexing Bosnia whist in negotiations with Russia to settle the problem; Russia could do nothing but accept the annexation despite claiming to be the protector of Slav people. The Balkan War in October 1912 began with an attack by the Balkan League, Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece and Montenegro on the Ottoman Empire; the Turks were defeated and this worried both Austria and Russia. Austria and Serbia had to cooperate to ensure that Serbia didn't become too large and that Bulgaria didn't get access to the Straits. This crisis however, showed that Austria and Russia could work together; also there was no German intervention to escalate the problem unlike in 1908 and 1914. In the longer term, Bosnian discontent caused terrorism; it was a Bosnian terrorist who assassinated Franz Ferdinand in august 1914. It could be argued that war broke out in 1914 because of rivalry over the Balkans. The decision is really taken in Berlin to use the opportunity in the Balkans to go to war. Also, Russia could not afford to back down this time; they had to intervene against Austria because they backed down the first time. ...read more.

Conclusion

Also Serbia could have accepted the ultimatum even though it was unacceptable. Nationalism is a very important factor to consider although all the factors together can be said to have caused the war; there is no one factor that cause war alone. In conclusion, the alliance system was a key factor in causing the war, yet there are other more important factors that also contributed to causing the war. The alliances themselves were very important because they increased the scale of the war significantly, this was not a cause of the war, but it involved many more countries when it could have just remained in the Balkans. The other factors played an important role because they contributed more to actually causing the war; German foreign policy is an example, it created tension with other powers and encouraged alliances to take form. Balkan nationalism is also an important factor because it is basically the reason for the war in the first place. Finally, the alliances were a significant factor, but they are more valid when positioned with the other factors. History IB - 1 - 07/11/04 Adil Hussain Yr12 IB ...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. 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

  2. To what extent was the Alliance System responsible for the outbreak of the First ...

    Russia was promised support on her claims on the Straits if she supported Austria-Hungary in the annexation. The trick by Aehrenthal brought important consequences such as negotiations between Greece and Montenegro with Turkey and Serbia which involved military plans and the opposition to Austria-Hungary by Russia, which brought it to support Serbia.

  1. To what extent did nationalism within the Austria-Hungarian Empire contribute to the outbreak of ...

    Time and peace were essential ingredients that he needed in order to allow Germany to solve her internal differences and to prepare herself for the gigantic role that she was to play in international affairs. Bismarck described himself as a "Friedensfanatiker" - a fanatic for peace - and this was true.

  2. Questions on World War One.

    Bismarck's departure and William's headstrong qualities were felt primarily in foreign affairs. Bismarck's alliance system began to unravel in 1890. One of the reasons for his dismissal was the widespread resentment within the German government against the complexity of his diplomacy and particularly, against the alliance with Russia that many felt conflicted with obligations to Austria.

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

    To take back Alsace-Lorraine, a rich industrial region, with Germany took from them in 1870 Russia Russia was the largest of the six powers but the country was almost completely agricultural and was building its industries on money borrowed from France. Russia had several reasons for joining the triple Entente.

  2. To what extent can it be said that the First World War was caused ...

    An example of this was when Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia; Austria-Hungary expected support from Germany, whilst Serbia expected support from Russia. The involvement of other countries caused more chaos and subsequently, Germany declared war on Russia to prevent intervention on Austria-Hungary.

  1. Causes of World War 1

    There was also a sense of unfairness and jealousy between Germany and countries such as France and Britain, as they had already seized most of the land in Africa. Therefore, this also led to extremely strong nationalistic pride among the people of Germany, and would have driven the tensions between

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

    The Kruger telegram William II sent to congratulate the leader of the Boers for defeating the British in 1896, his instructions to the German soldiers to behave like Huns in China during the Boxer Rebellion, and particularly the big- scale navy he was building all contributed to British distrust of Germany.

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