The Great War (WW1)
Question: "The system of alliances that existed before 1914 increased the likelihood of war"How far do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer. (20).
The Great War was fought during 1914-1918, mainly between countries in Europe and their respective colonies. Alliances were the union or association formed with another countries to defend and benefit both nations. The system of alliances increased likeliness of war alongside many other factors that ultimately led to the war.
Firstly, inevitably the alliances that the European countries had with each other increased the likelihood of war. The concept of alliances was not to start wars, but to prevent them. Unfortunately, in this case the alliances backfired and actually created a large-scale war between many European nations. The smaller countries in the alliances declared war on each other abut matters that did not concern the bigger countries in the alliance.
However, due to the alliance, the other countries had to be dragged into the problem, and it ended up with many countries who did not technically need to go to war but were bound by the alliance. The countries were divided into 2 main groups: The triple entente (Britain, France and Russia) and the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy). Then there was Belgium who was neutral in amidst countries declaring war on each other. Countries in Europe were insecure about their armies and navies, which ultimately led to the arms race or militarism.
Many countries in Europe wanted the best armies or naval fleets. During that particular time Britain had the largest naval fleet and Germany had the largest land army. The German naval fleet was growing larger and Britain was feeling threatened. The other countries also began to hoard military equipment and enlarge their army and navy fleets.