The Extent to Which the First World War was Caused by the Alliance System

Good Essays
The Extent to Which the First World War was Caused by the Alliance System Many historians have debated about the main causes of World War I. The importance of the alliance system, which was developed in Europe in the decades before, as a cause for the war is still an important topic that historians debate today. The alliance system was the division of two armed camps between the European major powers: the Triple Alliance (Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy) and the Triple Entente (Britain France and Russia). This system was a major proponent of the war, because it had created unnecessary tensions, was unable to resolve long-term problems, and created expectations among the nations involved. However, it being the sole reason for the cause of the war only goes so far as to an extent. Other problems played a role too, such as imperialism, the arms races, domestic factors and nationalism. The alliance system was a sole factor for the cause of the war for many reasons. It created many unnecessary tensions throughout Europe. The fact that there were two alliances had led countries to frame their foreign policies according to the situation in which they faced. An example of this was when the Franco-Russo Alliance was formed, which caused Germany to be in fear of encirclement. As a result, Germany evoked hostility amidst its neighbours. Thus, this demonstrates that the alliance system was a cause of WWI because it created unnecessary tensions throughout Europe – thus, a cause of WWI. Among the other problems of the alliance system were the expectations of the countries that had plunged into war. The dangerous effect of the formation of th... ... middle of paper ... ...tion of the Archduke clearly demonstrate that nationalism was an explosive force which finally exploded into war following Sarajevo in 1914, thus a major cause of WWI. In conclusion, tt can be said that the alliance system contributed to the growing tensions of the proceeding period. The alliance system had its flaws; it was unable to resolve unnecessary tension, long-term problems that occurred after the dismissal of Bismarck and expectations of its allies when a country launched into war. Nonetheless, the system’s influence on the cause of the war was only to a certain extent because there were other vital reasons as well, such as domestic factors, imperial rivalry, the arms race and nationalism. All of these contributed to the outbreak of the Great War - the alliance system was simply only one of the many of them.
Get Access