Causes of World War I

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Johnny Korn

Alliance system caused world war I

Word count: 1,423

World-War-One began in 1914 and lasted for four years. Historians have debated over the many causes of this war. This essay will look at the extent to how the alliance system was a cause for the war by looking at how it divided Europe into 2 antagonistic power blocks, how the secrecy of alliances led to fear, suspicion and therefore caused crisis, and how the alliance system could and did transform the many local disputes into general conflicts. On the hand other, this essay will also evaluate how three other factors, militarism, economic rivalry and domestic issues of European powers were also causes for war. It will be argued, finally, that the alliance system was to a great extent the cause for the Great War. The alliance system is a major cause for World War One. This is because it led to the division of Europe into two antagonistic power blocs. The Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy were directly opposed by the Entente powers of France and Russia and later included Great Britain to form the Triple Entente in 1907. This division of Europe into two power blocs had increased antagonism and tension between nations of the two blocs. The effect of the Franco-Russian alliance of 1894 on Germany clearly demonstrates this point. The Franco-Russian alliance had created a dual front threat on Germany, which Bismark had always sought to prevent. Further, as Great Britain had confirmed alliance with Russia and France in forming the Triple Entente of 1907, the German fear of `encirclement' was confirmed. Consequently, Germany tightened alliance commitments with Austria-Hungary and Italy and took on a more antagonistic stance towards the Triple Entente power bloc. Historians Fay and Craig have argued that the division of Europe into two power blocs due to the alliance system had increased tension among the antagonistic nations of the alliances. Thus, this argument...
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