Essay on The Alliance System Led to World War I

  • Category: War, World War I,
  • Words: 596 Pages: 3
  • Published: 01 September 2021
  • Copied: 150

During 1880 to 1914, Serbia and Austria-Hungary were in an ongoing conflict due to the belief their country was superior, and the nations building up their colonies, their militaries, and alliances. It was no surprise that on the 28th of July 1914, World War 1 was declared because of the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary by a member of a nationalist group called The Black Hand from Serbia. This war lasted from 1914 to 1918.  Militarism, imperialism, and nationalism, contributed greatly to the declaration of WW1. Despite the significance of these contributions, the alliance system was the most crucial factor. Alliances brought many countries into the war to make it a world war, and it fuelled tension throughout Europe.

Alliances were a critical factor of World War 1 because the system brought numerous countries into the war to make it a world war. From 1880 to 1914, Europe’s six prime powers were separated into two alliances which soon formed the sides of conflict in World War 1. Britain, France, and Russia united to form the Triple Entente, while Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy joined together to create the Triple Alliance (although Italy, despite being allied with Germany and Austria-Hungary, remained neutral until May 23, 1915, when it joined the war on side of the Triple Entente).  These two alliances brought almost the whole of Europe into conflict, resulting in World War 1. If these alliances didn’t form, the war would have just been between Austria-Hungary and Serbia. Therefore, through the alliance system, World War 1 occurred due to the countries forming together to create the Triple Entente and Triple Alliance making a world war. 

Alliances had a significant impact on World War 1 because of the conflict between the Triple Entente and Triple Alliance. The Triple Entente and Triple Alliance divided Europe into tension and conflict. Because these countries were so loyal to their alliances, when the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary was assassinated by a Serbian, it caused havoc throughout Europe. Russia became involved because of the nation's alliance with Serbia, which caused Germany to declare war on Russia because it had an alliance with Austria-Hungary. Then finally Britain proclaimed war on Germany because of its invasion of neutral Belgium as Britain had agreements with both Belgium and France.  All these war declarations were the result of the alliance system that caused the outbreak of World War 1. 

Although alliances had a substantial impact on World War 1, militarism, imperialism, and nationalism still played a large part in the declaration of the war. The nations in Europe were all gradually building up their military system from 1880 to 1914. Militarism fuelled a potent arms race between all European countries and threatened the role of diplomacy which resulted in World War 1.  Many nations in Europe were imperial powers (countries who thoroughly used imperialism to build up their nation’s superiority) prior to World War 1. This rivalry, because of the nation’s trying to colonize smaller nations, created conflict throughout Europe and became a major factor in the breakout of World War 1.  Nationalism was a prominent factor in the cause of World War 1, because all nations believed their country was superior. This superiority belief sparked the war and tension between these countries.  Despite the importance of all these factors, the alliance system was still the most significant factor in the commencement of World War 1.

In conclusion, the alliance system was the most significant factor in the initiation of World War 1. The alliance system brought many European nations into World War 1 which produced a world war instead of a war between Serbia and Austria-Hungary. Alliances were also a loyal agreement between nations, and due to a countries fidelity to either the Triple Entente or Triple Alliance, it caused tension and conflict between the two alliances resulting in World War 1.


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