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

"To what extent can it be said that the First World War was caused by the alliance system?"

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

"To what extent can it be said that the First World War was caused by the alliance system?" The First World War took place between 1914 and 1918. Although the conflict began in Europe, it ultimately involved countries as far away the USA and Japan. Historians still disagree over the fundamental causes, as there are numerous factors contributing to the outbreak of war. Although it was set off by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria by a Bosnian Serb nationalist in Sarajevo, World War 1 was a result of leaders' aggression towards other counties, which was supported by rising nationalism of the European nations. Imperial competition and fear of war prompted arms race and military alliances, which further escalated the tension contributing to the outbreak of war. The alliance system was a cause of mistrust and belligerent attitudes in Europe. By the summer of 1914 Europe had been divided into two distinct groups: The Triple Alliance, that incorporated Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy and The Triple Entente, that consisted of Franco-Russian Alliance with Britain as an entente partner of both. The alliance system was also responsible for the military plans that led to the spread of war. ...read more.

Middle

The alliance system therefore had a considerable effect on the outbreak of war. The military plans also prevented countries from reconsidering their actions. Once implemented they were virtually unstoppable as Germany found in 1914 when deciding that diplomatic victory would suffice as opposed to war. During June and July of 1914 the alliance system proved to be influential on the way in which countries acted. After the assassination of the archduke Ferdinand on the 28th of June 1914, the Austrian government was split. The Chief of Staff urged war while the Count Stephen Tisza and the Hungarian minister were opposed to war and still members of parliament hesitated about the actions that should be taken. However these attitudes changed on the unprecedented arrival of a German unconditional support of Austria's actions. Similarly Russia received full support from France in the event of Austrian invasion of Serbia. This support offered by the alliances influenced the declarations of war. The menace of hostile division that led to arms race was another cause for the First World War. Armies and navies were greatly expanded. The standing armies of France and Germany doubled in size between 1870 and 1914. ...read more.

Conclusion

In the Middle East, the crumbling Ottoman Empire was alluring to Austria-Hungary, the Balkans and Russia. Imperialism and nationalism had influenced the declarations of war to a great extent, however they still cannot be the central causes of World War One. In conclusion it is evident that the alliance system was only one of the most significant causes of the First World War. However it can be said that the mobilisation plans of the allies played a significant role in the spread of war. Nonetheless the organisation and function of the alliance system may remind one of the world of Alice in Wonderland: "I don't think they play at all fairly Alice began, in rather a complaining tone and they all quarrel so dreadfully one can't hear oneself think - and they don't seem to have any rules (Lewis Carroll)." At the outbreak of war that countries such as Italy, Britain, Germany and France were in fact not following a set of rules but were reacting to events around them. The priority given to maintaining trade and bonds that were created emphasise the superficial nature of the alliances. There were other significant causes such as the arms race, nationalism and imperialism that undoubtedly led to war. Olga Sherlygina 10-1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate History 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 International Baccalaureate History essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    To what extent was the alliance system responsible for the outbreak of World War ...

    alliance Russia promised Serbia that they would defend it from attack and retaliate against the country who attacks Serbia. However at the time Austria-Hungary had control over parts of Serbia and parts of the Balkans, this conflicted with the Russians policy and therefore provoked attack.

  2. What was the Effect of Nationalism on World War I?

    This nineteenth century theory is basically suggesting "survival of the fittest", and inspired by the scientific theory of Charles Darwin, this new idea was influential and emphasized on competition of the national groups. This ideology focused on the frantic efforts for existence between the different "races" or "countries" in which inevitably, the weak would be demolished by the strong.

  1. The cold war - the conferences and the start of the cCold War

    The main reasons for this were: * The continued Soviet Military presence in Eastern Europe * The Soviet attitude toward the dismantling reparations and German Industry IV. The background to the events of the next 4- 5 years was set largely by Soviet actions in Eastern Europe.

  2. Wars frequently begin ten years before the first shot is fired. To what extent ...

    In 27 December 1893, the Franco-Russian Alliance was formalized and it declared that the agreement would last as long as the Triple Alliance. The wide divergence between the two alliances produced tension and hostility. Europe was faced with two opposing military alliances, the Triple Alliance and the Franco-Russian Alliance.

  1. IB History HL, Extended Notes: Russia, the Tsars, the Provisional Govenment and the Revolution.

    Lacked material wealth/stability, susceptible to revolution. 4. Attempts to construct a middle ground of ?enlightened conservatism? produced enemies on both sides of the political spectrum. Assassinated in 1911 by a socialist with connections to the secret police. Assessment 1. Said 20 years of peace needed, only had 7.

  2. What were the most significant factors in the ending of the apartheid system and ...

    While Mandela inspired the people and changed the way apartheid was viewed in South Africa and around the world, the government still refused to change. Mandela?s imprisonment, the increasing protests and the call for change meant that it seemed unlikely South Africa would ever be able to solve their escalating crisis without falling into civil war.

  1. Notes on the History and Development of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

    - Between 1969 and 1974 the PLO engaged in an armed struggle: - 'Lisa Beyer: "The impossibility of a victory with Israel had Arafat led the PLO in the 1970s on a bloodthirsty campaign of terrorism." - PLO attacks were targeted on Israeli border areas.

  2. To what extent was Germany responsible for the outbreak of war in Europe in ...

    As a result there was a rise in nationalism and nationalist parties playing a large role in allowing for Hitler and the Nazi Party to get into power in 1933. Hitler?s promises of reversing the terms of the Treaty of Versailles and restoring the German economy following the damaging effects

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