Causes Of World War I Essay

8564 words - 34 pages

The Origins Of World War I 1871 ? 1914. By Joachim Remak. The Dryden Press, Hinsdale, Illinois, 1967. ix + 150 pp. Bibliographical Notes and Index. Paperback, ISBN 0-03-082839-2.The Origins Of The First World War Second Edition. By James Joll, with a foreward by Harry Hearder. Longman House, Essex, England, 1992. xiii + 240 pp. Further Readings; 5 maps: Index. Paperback, ISBN 0-582-08920-4.The causes of World War I have been discussed in great detail in many publications. Most agree that the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand was the final piece of the complex puzzle, but there were other factors that contributed to the outbreak of war. James Joll uses the approach of starting from the assassination and building layers of other possible factors around it, while Joachim Remak gives us a timeline approach to the events leading up to the murder.Bismarck, the German Chancellor from 1871 to 1890, started the alliance system. After the Franco-Prussian War, Bismarck held that Germany was a satiated state that should give up ideas of further conquest. Thus Bismarck organized a system of alliances designed to maintain Germany's hegemony on the European continent. France was determined to challenge the hegemony of Germany because France had been defeated by Germany in 1871 and had been forced to cede two provinces (Alsace-Lorraine) to Germany. Bismarck tried to befriend Austria, Russia, Italy and Britain in order to isolate France. Bismarck's succeeded in forming the League of the Three Emperors (1872) with partners of Kaiser William I of Germany, Czar Alexander II of Russia and Emperor Francis Joseph of Austria. These three rulers agreed to maintain the existing territorial arrangements in Europe, resist the spread of revolutionary (e.g. socialist) movements, and to consult one another if any international difficulties arose. France was being diplomatically isolated. But the underlying weakness of this personal understanding between the three emperors was the rivalry between Austria and Russia over the Balkan Peninsula, both sought to dominate the Balkans. Rivalry between Austria and Russia in the Balkans came to a head in 1877-78. In 1875, five Balkan states revolted against the Turkish rule. Russia supported the Balkan states and defeated Turkey. The ?Turks had little choice but to ask for peace?1 and on March 8, 1878, Turkey was forced to sign the Treaty of San Stefano, in which an independent, Big Bulgaria was created. Seeing that this Bulgaria would be a Russian puppet, Austria intervened, supported by Britain, the traditional rival of Russia in the eastern Mediterranean. Bismarck volunteered to act as a mediator and called the Congress of Berlin to settle the Balkan problems. At this Congress, Germany sided with Austria and Britain. Russia had to give up the Treaty of San Stefano and sign the Treaty of Berlin. The Treaty split Bulgaria into three parts (Bulgarian Proper was to be independent, Eastern Rumelia and Macedonia were to be ruled under...

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