How the European Alliance Helped Cause World War 1

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How the European Alliance Helped Cause World War 1

Historians have spent many years analyzing the origins of World War 1. Many factors are considered by historians when asked this question; nationalism, imperialism, militarism, etc. However all of these factors are influenced and tied together by the alliance system in place at the time tensions in the Balkans erupted. In this time period the Ottoman Empire had lost much of its control and power in the corridor to Europe. Many of the leading nations of Europe sought to emplace their influence in this region to serve as an economical attributor to its powerbase. With land being the primary means of travel between the East and West, having control of the corridor would be extremely favorable for any leading power to impose taxes, control the flow of goods, and serve as a barrier against future invaders.
Before 1914 the five Great Powers; Great Britain, France, Germany, Austria-Hungary and Russia controlled Europe. In order to avoid conflict early on, the major powers went through great lengths to maintain a balance of power constructed from a complex network of political and military alliances throughout the continent. Germany was the chief orchestrator of these alliances when is first made a secret alliance with Austria-Hungary in 1879 (Duffy, "The Causes of World War One"). Three years later Italy joined this “Dual Alliance” to form the Triple Alliance because it was annoyed with France for stopping its plans to colonize North Africa. In 1870 Germany’s industrial and economic power had grown greatly after the unification and the foundation of an empire built from the Old Prussian Empire. Tucker and Wheeler provide excellent details of how Chancellor Otto Von Bismarck, who successfully united Germany, carefully and tactfully, planned treaties with the other Great Powers. Strategically, for the sake the…...

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