World War I: Germany's Alliances

The author of the source, Gary Sheffield, believes that Germany was completely aware that, with their actions and decisions, they would be creating a major war. Sheffield uses case studies such as Germany’s alliance with Austria and the fact that Germany broke a French-Russian alliance to support his view. As well as this, Sheffield states that WWI was utterly and completely Germany’s fault as he states that Britain, Russia and France’s stance in the war was completely defensive, and so, they did not have any hand in the creation and/or development of the war, but only attempted to end the war. Sheffield’s view of the reasons for WWI is similar to that which the Triple Entente used to place the reparations of the war upon Germany in 1918. …show more content…
Each of these countries was looking out for themselves while making these pacts. These alliances were said to have been a major reason for the fast-paced development of the war as many countries which had no business in the war were forced to take part in the war. An example of this would be Germany’s alliance with Austria-Hungary, which was one of the first major alliances during WWI. Austria-Hungary were having difficulty controlling Serbia (one of their colonies) when Russia decided to defend Serbia against them, and as they were evidently struggling with these many countries that were against them, Germany decided to act on their alliance with Austria and team up with them against Russia. Alliances in the late 19th century were a form of defence – countries used them in the hopes that other countries would not attack them, knowing them were defended with alliances. They were a method of which European countries practiced the foreign policy known as protectionism. The source is correct in the sense that Germany was one of the first countries to act on the alliance system during WWI, in which they gave Austria “unconditional support, without which may have not allowed the war to develop so quickly. However Germany was not the only country to offer alliances (i.e. Britain and Belgium alliance): and so the complete …show more content…
The source is correct to an extent that Germany knew that their actions would later result in a war, but without other countries’ involvement, the war would not have been possible. Austria’s expansionism into the Balkans began the issue of revolution and Russia’s involvement into the war. In addition, Britain and France’s involvement to the war could have been minimized if it were not for the existence of alliances. The source may not be embraced with the issue of Russia, Britain and France’s position as being purely defensive considering each of these countries had a contribution to the creation and development of the

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