World War I: the Beginning, causes, US involvement, and the course of the war
In the late 1800's the chancellor of Germany, Otto von Bismarck created a secret defensive alliance called the three empires alliance. Germany, Austria, and Italy banded together in case of a war with France. In the Beginning Russia was part of this pact but later pulled out. Bismarck kept the alliance together but he was powerless to what would happen next.
A new German Kaiser brought an end to this early Alliance. Kaiser William II fired Bismarck and dissolved the three empires alliance. William was distantly related to British royalty and had hopes of future commerce with them. Allying against France, a friend of Great Britain would not help matters any.
Early in the 1900s a new set of alliances was formed. Two pacts were made that were defensively set against the each other. The Central Powers consisting of Germany, Austria, Italy, and later the Ottoman Empire were defensively allied against attack from the Three Entente made up of France, Great Britain, Russia, and later the United States and vice versa.
In 1914 these Alliances were tested. The archduke of Austria, Franz Ferdinand, was assassinated in Serbia. This caused rising tensions between German speaking lands and the Slavic speaking countries that bordered them. The Central Powers declared war and invaded Serbia who then asked for help from the Russians. Russian troops were built up along the German border but no military action was taken. The Germans viewed this as an act of war. Ultimately war between the Central Powers and the Three Entente began.
At first when the war in Europe began U.S. president Woodrow Wilson declared the U.S. to be neutral. The American public wanted nothing to do with this war. In their eyes it...