The Contribution of the Alliance System to the Outbreak of the First World War

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The Contribution of the Alliance System to the Outbreak of the First World War The "Alliance System" refers to the formation of military alliances or conclusioné”æˆ of ententes諒解 among the European powers during the period of 1871-1914. The Alliance System was first devised設計 by Bismarck; it was one of the underlying causesé å› leading to the outbreak of the First World War. The Alliance System during the period of 1871-1890 was called the Bismarckian System. In the Franco-Prussian War, France was utterly defeated慘敗. By the Treaty of Frankfurt 1871 France was to cede Alsace-Lorraine, and pay an indemnity of 5 billion francs to Germany. To prevent the French attempt of revengeå ±å¾© and the possibility of a two-front war, as well as to consolidateéžå›º the infantåˆç”Ÿçš„ German Empire, in 1873 Bismarck, the German Chancellor首相, created the Dreikaiserbund三å¸åŒç›Ÿ. The emperors of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Russia vowed誓言 to guarantee the status quoç¾ç‹€ of Europe of 1871, resist revolutions and maintain peace in the Balkans. Yet it was only a verbalå£é ­ statementè²æ˜Ž. The Austro-Russian rivalry鬥爭 in the Balkans was unsolved. At the Congress of Berlin 1878, Bismarck placed Bosnia-Herzegovina under Austrian administration, but trisected "Big Bulgaria" to depriveå‰å¥ª Russia of an outlet出路 to the sea. As a result, Germany and Austria-Hungary formed the Dual Alliance兩國 (德奧) åŒç›Ÿ in 1879 against Russia. Nonetheless, the danger of a two-front war still lingered徘徊. Bismarck feared that Russia might leané å‘ to France against Germany. In 1881 Bismarck convinced Czar Alexander III to conclude the ... ... middle of paper ... ... the Alliance System was likely to change a local war to a general war with its chain-effect連鎖å應. After the Sarajevo Assassination塞拉耶弗事件 of June 1914, Germany supported Austria-Hungary unconditionally against both Serbia and Russia. She also declared war on France since France was Russia's ally. Yet not all the powers entered the First World War because of the Alliance System. Britain declared war on Germany because William II insisted on invading France via繞經 Belgium. Not only the Belgian neutrality but the British national security was threatened. Italy did not help Germany in 1914 because she had already reached secret agreements with France in 1900-02. To sum up, the Alliance System complicated the international relations of Europe and added fire to the outbreak of the First World War.

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