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The Pros and Cons of Alliances

The analization of the pros and cons of the alliances during World War 1, with the help of Barbara Tuchman.

Hanna Friedlander

on 24 September 2010

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Transcript of The Pros and Cons of Alliances

The Pros and Cons of Alliances During World War I Triple Alliance Triple Entente Alliances in General “War makes fright,
fright makes alliances,
alliances make war” The Big Picture Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy Britain, France, and Russia Britain, France, and Russia Hanna Friedlander, Brent Heard, Mahen Seneviratne “He could not understand an alliance as a security for peace; like most Englishmen, he regarded all alliances as a commitment to war” (Grey qtd. in Kagan 184)
[...] the Russian people, having been forced to fight without guns or munitions, suffered a loss of confidence in the government which had spread like a plague, with ‘terrible consequences’” (Agourtine qtd. in Tuchman 75) CONS: Bismarck Peace keeper Wanted to avoid war, by maintaining a balance of power and using alliances as a security blanket for peace “Some modern claims that the [Bismarckian] system could not last focus on social and economic forces that they believe were bound to undermine it. The depression that started in 1873 and lasted into the 1890s put an end to free trade on the Continent and led to tariff wars, embittering international relations, especially between Germany and Russia” (Kagan 117) Feuds between the Great Powers led to alliances between nations with similar views, officially ending the Bismarckian system “Under the terms of the Austro-German alliance, Germany was obliged to support Austria in any conflict between France and Russia, both parties were obliged to move against Germany if either became involved in a ‘defensive war’ with Germany. These arrangements made it inevitable that in any war in which she engaged, Germany would have to fight on two fronts against both Russia and France.” (Tuchman 22)
“The new alliance [the Three Emperors' League] brought the advantages of uniting the three conservative monarchies, preserving the peace between Russia and Austria, sparing Germany the danger of being involved, and, most attractive of all, it prevented an alliance between France and Russia.” (Kagan 109) During the war between Russia and Turkey in 1887, Russia was angry and wanted to go to war, having Germany on her side but: "[Bismarck] rejected a war that would destroy Austria as a great power and with it the balance of power" (Kagan 105) Bismarck, while keeping within his own system of alliances that Europe accepted, negotiated a Dual Alliance with Austria in OCtober of 1879 Bismarck later accepted Italy into the group causing the Triple Alliance, calling this alliance "our league of peace" (Bismarck) Between 1873 to the 1890s, the depression officially ended free trade within Europe causing bitterness, escpecially between Germany and Russia 1904: The Entente Cordial was formed between Britian and France August 31, 1907: Russian joined Britian and France forming the Triple Entente Kagan, Donald. On the Origins of War: And the Preservation of Peace. New York: Anchor, 1996. Print. Tuchman, Barbara W.. The Guns of August. 1962. Reprint. New York: Presidio Press, 2004. Print. "Quotes." Think Exist. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Sept. 2010. <thinkexist.com/.../war_makes_fright-fright_makes_alliances-alliances/193902.html >. Works Cited Blog it Up! Summary: What impact did the Bismarckian System of Alliances have on the war? Was the Bismarckian System of Alliances...?

1. Effective in preventing war (until Wilhelm II dismissed Bismarck and his policies)

2. Instrumental in pitting nations against each other, expediting war

3. Irrelevant, as war was bound to break out anyway

4. Not important, as the Depression of 1873 increased tensions within Europe anyhow In Correspondence with the questions:




4. As Annie K. sad: The Bismarck's alliance system helped prevent war until he was succeeded by General Leo von Caprivi as Chancellor, the main aspect of his policy ("[maintaining] a connection with the Russians [...] to keep them isolated from France”) was almost immediately broken. This act is considered by some to be the act that set WWI in motion (Kagan 121). The Depressoin of 1873 because the depression really broke apart the peace that Bismarck had worked so hard to achieve. Between 1873 to the 1890s, the depression officially ended free trade within Europe causing bitterness, escpecially between Germany and Russia. When Russia and Germany became pitted against one another, the Bismarckian System of Alliances began to fall short. Number two is correct because Germany was “squeezed in between the major powers of Europe and would either have to fall or conquer to get out of the middle.” Being trapped in the middle of continental Europe led Wilhelm II to seek alliances and build German power, leading up to WWI. (Summarized by Brent bades off od Bredon's wiki respons). I believe a war in Europe would gave been inevitable because of the emerging generation. Not content with the way things were held constant, the new generation wanted to make a name for itself by destroying the bonds of the old. In no country were those ideals more prevalent than Germany. There would be an upheaval in Europe when one country would feel strong enough to challenge the balance of power established by the Congress of Berlin; Germany was that power (Kagan 115). (This statement was said by our classmate, Bruno).
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