Alliances and the First World War: Essential Background - Fact 1 World War I was all about the place of Germany in Europe Alliances and the First World War:
Essential Background - Fact 2 France and Germany hated each other! When Germany became united country in 1870-1, France went to war to try to stop it but got WHOPPED! Alliances and the First World War:
Essential Background Fact 2 (cont.) France also lost Alsace-Lorraine in 1870-1. The French never forgave the Germans. They wanted REVENGE. Alliances and the First World War:
Germany in the Middle Germanys BIG problem was that it was IN THE MIDDLE. That made it VULNERABLE if it came to a war. Alliances and the First World War: Three Emperors League, 1881
In the 19th century, Germanys brilliant Chancellor, Bismarck, solved this problem by keeping friends with RUSSIA and AUSTRIA-HUNGARY (the Dreikaiserbund). Alliances and the First World War: Triple Alliance, 1882
Then Bismarck allied with Italy and Austria-Hungary (the TRIPLE ALLIANCE, 1882). Together with his friendship with Russia, this kept Germany safe. Alliances and the First World War:
Germany encircled But when Kaiser Wilhelm became Emperor, he dumped the Russian alliance. He kept the Triple Alliance, but this did NOT solve the problem of Germanys encirclement. Alliances and the First World War:
Franco-Russian Alliance, 1892 Instead, in 1892, Russia made an alliance with FRANCE. Although it was only a DEFENSIVE alliance, it was Germanys worst nightmare! Alliances and the First World War:
Webs of Alliances There were many more alliances. Alliances and the First World War: Anglo-Japanese Naval Agreement, 1902
A very important one was the 1902 Anglo-Japanese naval alliance, which freed up Great Britain from protecting its Empire in the far east Alliances and the First World War: Entente Cordiale, 1904
which allowed Britain to make the Entente Cordiale (friendly relationship) with France in 1904. Alliances and the First World War: Triple Entente, 1907 In 1907 Russia joined Britain and France to make the Triple
Entente. So by 1914 Europe had divided into two massive superpower blocs. Alliances and the First World War: The Balkans
But Russia was also allied to Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria. When trouble erupted in the Balkans in 1914, the nations found their alliances dragged them into war Alliances and the First World War: How the Alliances caused war
like mountain climbers tied to the same rope. (i.e. it is arguable that THE SYSTEM OF ALLIANCES CAUSED WORLD WAR ONE.)
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