Due to increasing nationalistic attitudes in all the GreatPower nations throughout 1870 up till the few years prior tothe war, alliance systems became crucial and extended toaccentuated justification of imperialistic attitudes.Nationalism was extremely prominent in Europe - all themajor nations felt the need to protect and uphold its country'spersonal desires and needs by striving to be richer and more
Out of Imperialism, Alliances, Militarism and Nationalism, itis of my opinion that the alliances were one of the mostsignificant causes of WW1.The reason being that it wasreally due to the alliances that there was such a profounddichotomy between the significant European countries.Without these alliances, WW1 would probably have been amuch smaller scale war between only two or so countries.Since attributing one of the causes of WW1 to the dichotomyand tension in Europe at that time, one coud go a stepfurther and claim that the three major alliances and theresulting relations between them were primary contributorsin establishing the climatic events that led up to WW1.Thethree alliances were the Three Emperors League, the TripleEntente and the Triple Alliance.
At first, Bismarck had kept Germany friendly with Russia. Kaiser Wilhelm overturned this, and concentrated instead on theDual Allianceof 1879between Germany andAustria-Hungary - which became theTriple Alliance(or CentralPowers Alliance) when Italy joined in 1882.
Alarmed by this strong central bloc:
a. France in 1894 made an alliance with Russia, and
b. In 1904 France made an agreement with Britain called the
(= ‘Friendly Relationship’ –
not a formalalliance, but a promise to work together).c. In 1907, Britain made an entente with Russia, thusforming the Triple Entente (France, Russia, GreatBritain).d. In 1902 Britain made a naval treaty with Japan.
The Triple Entente alarmed Germany, which felt itselfsurrounded by the...