There are many reasons why World War 1 occurred in 1914; many still remain controversial and have been argued by many historians. The alliance system was the major role in the cause of the First World War, as well as the most controversial. However, like James Joll points out, there were other factors as well but the alliance system helped “shape it.”1 An alliance is “a formal agreement or treaty between two or more nations to cooperate for specific purposes.”2 This been said the alliances involved more countries in war since it tied countries together dragging them to war. By the 19th century there were two alliances in Europe. One was a triple alliance that includes Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy but later Italy switched sides, which established Germany and Austria Hungary as Central Powers. The other alliance was the Triple Entente, which tied Russia, France, and Britain.3 Ponting explains that the assassination of Duke Franz Ferdinand from Austria- Hungary was the spark that started the war.4 The alliance system made the war a world war including many countries since the countries were tied together with the alliance system so when one country went to war the others were obliged to follow. Once Austria declared war on Serbia for the assassination of the Duke, Russia would enter the war because they supported Serbia since, according to Ponting, they wanted to support another “Slav and Orthodox State” which led to the outbreaks of war.5 Germany planned to attack France first because they were scared she would mobilize faster than her ally Russia but Germany didn’t expect Russia to mobilize as fast as she did. When she mobilized armies against Austria she had also mobilized armies against Germany.6Britain at the time was neutral which was beneficial to Germany as the German ambassador remarked “has the best colonies and doesn’t need a war with us…”7 Once Germany attacked Belgium, who was neutral, to get to France it guaranteed Britain to come to...
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