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

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 revenge報復 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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