How did the interdependency of the alliance systems help lead to the outbreak of World War 1? Was it only the alliance systems which led to war or are there other factors to consider?

Essay by doofus17Junior High, 9th gradeB, November 2014

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In 1914 the First World War broke out. This was no surprise as unrest had been building up between several European countries for a number of reasons. Already in place were two alliance systems. These consisted of the Triple Alliance which was Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy, and the Triple Entente which was Britain, France and Russia. These alliances involving the major powers were brought in to try and avoid a war in Europe. Then, there was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand who was also the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne by a Serbian nationalist. Another thing that made war in the Balkans was the fight over the territories given to different countries after the split up of the Ottoman Empire. Then in countries such as Germany, the people had so much National pride that they thought they should have more land because they were better than everyone else. Although the interdependency of the alliance system did play a major role in the lead up to World War 1 but it was not the only major reason.

As we can see, the alliance systems had the opposite effect. Also, imperialistic countries such as Germany who had a superior attitude which made them believe that they had the right to gain more territory in Europe with the help of their allies and they thought that if Austria-Hungary invaded Serbia, it would give them a good excuse to invade other countries and grab territory for themselves as they thought that they (i.e. Germany) were the best. They also had many keen volunteers that were willing to fight and die to make their country bigger and better so other countries were too scared to challenge them. Even then, some of the alliances were strained relationships. "The continent had for centuries been a melting...