Jessica Gray, Bernadine Cross, Tameka Freeman, Rikia Wyatt His/114
January 4, 2012
Alliance System and New Imperialism
Otto Von Bismarck formed of designed the European balance of power. The power was known as the Big Five Britain, France, Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Russia. Between 1870 and 1914 the competition within the European states for territory dominance and control caused separation. Bismarck departed from office in 1890 which caused the disintegration of the European balance of power. In 1914 peace was no longer guaranteed when Europe divided into two camps. The formation of the National Units of Germany and Italy justified Nationalist aspirations of expansion. Bismarck guided the way to forming new alliances. Germany was under the chancellorship of Bismarck when he joined the three most conservative powers of the Big Five- Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Russia into the Three Emperor’s League. The League made consultation over mutual interest and friendly neutrality corner stone of the alliance. Identifying enemies and choosing allies depended on geographic weaknesses. Each of the Great Powers had geographic weaknesses. Germany’s weakness lay in its North seaports. German shipping along its only coast could be concurred by a powerful naval force. An event like this could have destroyed their international trade. Powerful land forces could surround Germany. Austria-Hungary was Europe’s second largest nation in the land. The size and diversity threatened to destroy the land. There was no geographical unity and the vulnerability came from within. People of many cultures who spoke many languages lived there. The citizens longed for independence and self-rule which posed a threat from within. The land was agriculturally challenged and unable to respond to the Western industrial challenge. Social and political pressures were threats from within. Russia’s vulnerability was...