Was The First World War Caused By The Alliance System?

1086 words - 5 pages

First World War caused by the Alliance system?

Introduction:

The Great Powers in Europe were seeking to make alliances along Europe for defensive purposes and the settlement of outstanding disputes between them. However, these alliances were not just normal alliances where one country would agree to defend the other in case of war, these alliances of the 19-20th century which eventually lead to the First World War, were by 1914 translated to war-tactics alliances. This meant that alliances were accompanied by military discussions in which generals were seeking to find how they could best combine their troops if there was a war. Also, countries and alliances would choose who their enemy ...view middle of the document...

- Germany and Austria were obliged to come for Italy’s help in the event of a French attack on Italy.

- Italy had to come for help if France attacked the Germans

- If any one or two of the powers of this alliance was in war with two or more Great Powers, then the other one left who was not involved in war, had to come and help.

- This example here with the Triple Alliance shows how it was again inevitable that the three countries, Italy, Austria and Germany came to war.

- Everyone during this alliance system in Europe were loyal to each other, an example of this is when Germany agreed to support Italy in North Africa during a Franco-Italian war. This shows that Italy owed Germany for getting the help during this war, therefore when World War one broke out, Italy could not back off and not help them.

- There were many tensions between the different alliances, for example when in 1888 when Germany and Italy signed a military agreement, which eventually alarmed and provoked France and Russia and consequently warned them.

- However in 1900-12, Germany and Austria had little faith towards Italy’s loyalty, since they found out that Italy made a secret agreement with France, assuring them that Italy would remain neutral if there was an attack to France or if France declared war.

Paragraph 3:

- 1891-1894 – Franco-Russian Alliance.

- Russia agreed to provide between 70 000 and 80 000 troops against Germany, if Germany attacked France or if Italy attacked France with the German support. Here we can see how alliances were already deciding who were their enemies, since they even agreed who would attack and how they would defend themselves.

- France would supply 1 300 000 men against Germany, if Germany or Austria supported by Germany attacked Russia.

- If one or more members of the Triple alliance (Germany, Austria and Italy) mobilized, then both Russia and France would mobilize too. This agreement here shows how it was unavoidable that when Germany started mobilizing by 1914, after it declared war on Russia, then France mobilized as well.

- The agreement between France and Russia was also made indefinite, and also a Naval...

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