• 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 alliance system responsible for the outbreak of World War One in 1914?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

To what extent was the alliance system responsible for the outbreak of World War One in 1914? In the events after the end of WW1 much of the blame for the outbreak of the war fell on Germany and their aggression. However with hindsight we see that things were a lot more complex. The idea that many historians except nowadays that the alliance systems caused WW1, but none of them can agree to what extent they caused the war. Before the war began countries started to make bonds and promises between each other, this triggered a lot of factors that sparked the war. In 1914, when the First World War broke out, Europe was divided into two military alliance systems: the Triple Alliance including Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy, and the Triple Entente that included Britain, France and Russia. The intent of the alliance system was primarily to provide mutual defence in order to maintain the power balance in Europe, but the nations eventually came to rely on it for aggressive purposes. ...read more.

Middle

Even though the Triple Alliance broke, and the Triple Entente just settled colonial disputes, especially the Dual alliance as well as the Franco-Russian alliance played a major role for the outbreak of the First World War. Thus, the Alliance System was very much responsible for the First World War. The Dual Alliance between Germany and Austria-Hungary was formed in 1978. The agreement states, that if either of the countries is attacked by Russia, the other will come to its aid with all forces, and if attacked by another country, it will at least stay neutral. This is very significant for the outbreak of the First World War as Austria-Hungary sought Germany's agreement for its declaration of war on Serbia, and further Germanys support in case Russia would attack Austria-Hungary as result of the war with Serbia. Germany promised its support to Austria-Hungary (known as the 'blank cheque') and as a result of Austria-Hungary's declaration of war on Serbia and Russia mobilized. ...read more.

Conclusion

Since Germany did not want to risk a two-front war, it immediately implemented the Schlieffen Plan and declared war on both, Russia and France. Furthermore the Schlieffen Plan violated Belgium's neutrality, as France was to be taken over through Belgium. Therefore Britain got involved, as it had guaranteed the sanctity of Belgium's borders. In conclusion, even though some alliances were weak and ineffective like the Triple Entente, others like the Dual Alliances were more effective. Furthermore the alliances certainly gave Austria-Hungary and Germany, as well as Russia, confidence to threaten and finally go to war. The Alliance System also created military plans like the German Schlieffen Plan, which was developed after the Franco-Russian alliance was signed. The Alliance System was certainly not the only cause of the First World War; there were many others, which altogether led to the outbreak. However, when one sums up all the events, which were due to the Alliance System, I can conclude that the Alliance System was one of the major causes of the First World War. ?? ?? ?? ?? Robert Foard 12H History ...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

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay


There are some good points in this answer but overall it lacks depth and range of factors. It is always important in History to offer a balanced analysis - to consider all possible reasons for an event and then weigh up their relative importance before reaching a conclusion.

Marked by teacher Natalie Stanley 30/03/2013

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. Notes on German unification - main events

    one whole entity - Nationalism and liberalism were serious threats to the Austrian Empire seeing as the Hungarians would probably want independence; the Polish would want independence, etc... - Prussia was affected by the revolutions of 1848-9, the Prussian King (Fredrick William IV)

  2. Notes on Italian unification - background and main events

    failed for several reasons: o They weren't well organized o They were easily infiltrated by the authorities (spies, etc...) o They betrayed each other quite easily - Due to the numerous failures, Mazzini began to abandon the Carbonari The Revolution of 1820- 1821 - There was a revolution against the

  1. Was germany to blame for WWI?

    No, it was Serbia who started the war when a Serbian terrorist killed Franz Ferdinand. Off course Austria Hungary had to defend itself so they attacked Serbia and Germany, as a good ally supported Austria Hungary as the Triple Entente supported Serbia so why are we blaming Germany for the outbreak of the war?

  2. Compare and Contrast the causes of World War I and World War II

    Therefore, a feeling of nationalism or pride in their country quickly developed under fascist rule. Both Italy and Germany became strong European powers as a result of nationalistic feelings. Their power rivalled the power of Britain. The Soviet Union and France Consequently, the development of nationalism in Germany and Italy became a long term cause of the Second World War.

  1. World War 1 Information

    (Holy Roman and Catholic Southern Germany) > Germany merges into Prussia and Germany is now the strongest power > Race for Colonies > Heightened competition for Europeans to gain colonies-- created tension > Each country wanted to gain prestige over the other countries by gaining colonies > Imperialism and expansion-- tied to social Darwinism and racism

  2. Why were the central powers defeated in the First World War

    And a final cause for failure was the sending of two army corps to Alsace and Lorraine, another two army corps to the channel ports, and two more to East Prussia, all sent by Von Moltke who is in charge of the Schlieffen plan.

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

    Revealed inadequacy in Russia?s communications. Recognized that railways were vital for deployment of troops and dispersal of food. 7. Poor food distribution had led to shortages which had hurt landlord and serf and improved transport would help cereal growers to compete in a world market.

  2. Analyse the causes of the Spanish Civil War

    these were divided because they argued over what reforms should take place. The other major political groups in Spain were the anarchists; they were the ones who demanded the redistribution of the land, which was popular within the peasants. Their trade union was the CNT and organized strikes and protests.

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