System of Alliances

Discussion in 'World War 1' started by liverpool annie, May 9, 2009.

  1. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    The alliances developed post-Bismarck (Triple Alliance and Triple Entente) went against the national interests of the respective countries. Germany and Austria-Hungary's alliance with Italy made little sense. Even more so, Britain and France's alliance with Russia was a recipe for war. Russia's Czar was a proponent of war - many of his generals recognized the foolishness of it. Further, Russia's territorial ambitions in the Balkans were of no relevance to Britain or France. Russia was more ideologically and geopolitically in line with Germany - where pre-Kaiser they had formed the Leage of the Three Emperors. Thus, after Bismarck the balance of power fell apart.

    And it is exactly this system of alliances which allowed the shooting of Franz Ferdinand - a local conflict - to become an international war. Russia and Austria-Hungary had conflicting desires in the Balkans, yet it easily could have become a situation similar to the Spanish Civil War. Instead, due to alliances France, Britain, and Italy (and in some respects Germany - although they pushed Austria-Hungary to declare war) were pulled into a conflict where they had no interests. The alliances allowed a series of bluffs to become something real (neither Austria-Hungary or Russia were ready for war when they declared it).

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