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Alliance System

By felixchan May 08, 2012 889 Words
Assess the importance of Alliance System relative to other factors which brought about the outbreak of WW1. The relative importance of alliance system is smaller than other factors .Other factors that lead to the outbreak of WW1 such as extreme nationalism, new imperialism, militarism and pre-war crisis are relatively more important than it.

To compare with extreme nationalism, alliance systems got less influential than it regard its definition in meaning. Alliance system is a system that empowering the European power to prevent war caused by increasing political, economic, and military rivalries. By this mean, it is defensive rather than aggressive. From the history of 20th century, Triple Entente sighed in 1907 by three European great powers, Britain, France was a example of defensive. It one side settled the Anglo- French and Anglo-Russian conflicts and the other side counter balanced the threat of Germany. It was only divided into two opposing camps (Triple Alliance, signed in 1882 vs. Triple Entente) and more importantly, the Triple Entente did not form a military alliance until after the outbreak of WW1.However, extreme nationalism means believing in racial superiority and national glory, to struggle among the powers for hegemony by foreign expansion. It is more aggressive than the alliance system. Under the influence of extreme nationalism, four ideological movement were emerged from the Europe power which were the Long term cause of WWI The Pan-Germanism, it advocated the expansion of Germany to the east, west south and to establish a large colonial empire in the Balkans and Western Asia. It raised the ambition of German people and stir up trouble of the other powers. The Pan-Slavism, it was aimed at Russia control over Constantinople and the Straits. It contradicted with Pan-Germanism and provoked the wars in Balkan. The Greater-Serbian Movement, it aimed to liberate the Serb peoples still within Austria-Hungary and Turkey. It increased the hostility between the Austria-Hungary and Serbians and raised the eastern questions. The revenge of France on Germany, it aimed to take revenge on German from French because of the defeat in Franco-Prussian war. It forced Germany to isolate France and they increased their arm size. Four of the events directly or indirectly drew the powers into the outbreak of WW1 since the scope of the extreme nationalism was huge, it lead to pre-war crisis, armament race and the suspicious among the powers. Alliance system got less influence; it is just a balancing system, which checked the powers in its original aim. Therefore, the alliance system got a relatively smaller importance than extreme nationalism. The alliance system also got a smaller important than new imperialism. Some people may argue that the importance of it is it turned a local war into the general war. Take the dispute between Austria and Serbia as an example. Because of as an important alliance of Germany, Germany forces to support Austria unconditionally even at the danger of war. This in turn encouraged A.H. to send an unacceptable ultimatum to Serbia and local wars between two of them was then turned into a general war with the initiation of other powers. It was also the outbreak of WW1. However, the root of the local war was the new imperialism. It means the rapid economic and political partition of the world. Under the influence of it, the powers increased scrambling colonies and rivalries resulted. Britain and France struggled over Egypt, china and South East Asia. German and France struggled over morocco which lead to Moroccan Crises (1905, 1911) France and Italy struggled for Tunisia. Moreover, many economic rivalries were occurred. Such as economic rivalries between France and Germany over the colonies or spheres of influences (e.g. Morocco), and between Russia and Germany over Turkey. They created much discontent and tension among the Powers and accelerated the formation of Alliance system and armaments race. It directly leads to the pre-war crisis, Moroccan Crises, Bosnian Crisis in1908, Balkan Wars. (1912, 1913). Contributed to the outbreak of WW1.This mean the local war of Serbia and A.H was originated by the scramble for concessions(Balkans)mean of new imperialism and the alliance system was relatively less important. With the pre-war crisis, the alliance system was not effective as powers in two camps not intense in helping each other, which cause a relatively less important in the outbreak of WW1.In the Bosnian Crisis(1908).Britain and France did not support Russian claim to the Straits. In 1913.Britain co-operated with Germany and A.H in stopping Serbia an ally of Russia from annexing Albania. Italy declared war on Germany and A. H., her former allies, arter the Entente Powers had promised Italy territorial concessions. These weaknesses of the system made it not so important in the outbreak of the war. In contrast, the pre-war crisis was contributed more on ww1 than alliance system .In the result of Moroccan crises, it lead to close collaboration of French and Britain, which lead to Triple entente and increase the risks of general wars. More, it determinate Germany in supporting Austria by sending a blank cheque latter. For the Bosnian Crisis(1908),it forced the Serbs living in Bosnia began a terrorist agitation against Austrian rule which culminated in the 1914 assassination at Sarajevo.

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