Alliance Origins and Their Effect on the Outbreak of World War One Essay

Alliance Origins and Their Effect on the Outbreak of World War One Essay

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Alliance Origins and Their Effect on the Outbreak of World War One

The First World War began after a complex series of events, which had
distinct roots that can be found in the foreign policies of European
countries' governments. It is not easy to explain how a conflict
between Austria-Hungary and Serbia developed into a world war but it
can be figured out through careful examination of the alliance systems
at the outbreak of the war. Rivalries were increasing and quite
evident in the twenty years preceding the war. The network of
alliances had shifted the advantages of a winning war for various
countries throughout this time because of the considerable number of
sides changed by different countries. When it all came down to it
however, it was the Central Powers consisting of Germany and
Austria-Hungary against the Triple Entente consisting of France, Great
Britain and Russia. The foreign policies prior to the July crisis of
1914 were most definitely conductive to the outbreak of the war and
essential in the escalation of hostilities between the countries of

The first chancellor of unified Germany, Bismarck, is usually held
most responsible for the creation of the Triple Alliance. "Bismarck
first tried an arrangement with both Austria-Hungary and Russia, but
this Dreikaiserbund (Three Emperor's League) shattered on
Austro-Hungarian and Russian competition in the Balkans" (Tucker 2).
Bismarck then initiates a duel alliance with their closest ally,
Austria-Hungary, and he makes certain that Germany will not be
inclined into any of the internal affairs that plagued Austria-Hungary
because the empire was "a polity of five ma...

... middle of paper ...

...not Germany. This little conflict turned into
a full fledge war that lasted for years although everybody believed in
the months preceding the attack that a war would not even last a
month. The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand was the hand that
started to topple all the dominoes that were laid down by countries
and their allies in the years before the Great War.

Works Consulted

Tucker, Spencer T. The Great War 1914 - 18

Bloomington, IN; Indiana University Press. 1998

Keegan, John The First World War

New York, NY; Vintage Books. 1998

Joll, James The Origins of The First World War

New York, NY; Longman Inc. 1984

McDougal Littell The Americans

Evanston, IL; McDougal Littell Inc. 2003

Berghahn, Volker H. Germany and the approach of war in 1914

New York, NY; Bedford/St. Martin's. 1993

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