Alliances were one of the reasons why there was World War I. The alliances started as Triple Entente and Triple Alliance. The Triple Entente involved three countries which were Britain, France and Russia. For Triple Alliance, there were Germany, Austria Hungary and Italy. Then later on the alliances involved more countries and the alliances were called Central powers and Allies. They became alliances secretly during the 19th century.
Prussian Chancelor Bismarck formed a new German empire out of multiple small German states around a Prussian Core because France and Austria-Hungary might act to destroy Germany because of their recent defeats. He also wanted a careful series of alliances and foreign policy decisions to stabilize Europe until Germany becomes an established fact. Bismarck wanted to have an alliance with other countries and he knew that France were not one of them because of the hatred and anger they have over the German ...view middle of the document...
In 1881, the Dual Alliance signed a Triple Alliance with Italy. They promised that they would go to war if they were attacked by France. There were two clauses to this contract: If any member found themselves at war with two or more nations, the alliances would come to help them and voiding the deal if the Triple Alliance members were the aggression.
Later on, Russia entered into an agreement with France in 1892 called Franco-Russian Military Convention. This was designed to counter triple alliance and threatened this with war on two fronts. Then in 1907, Britain and Russia signed Anglo-Russian Entente. Britain and France signed an Anglo-French Naval Convention, promising the powers would defend certain naval interests for each other. Germany embarked on a lavish naval spending programme designed to challenge Britain supremacy on the seas and secure colonies.
Austria-Hungary was recently annexed to Bosnia. This angered the Russians because they believed that they were the leaders of the Slavic people. Russia entered an Alliance with Serbia. The act that started the war was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary on June 28, 1914. Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia and moved the troops to the border. Russia declared war on Russia and France then Germany declared war on Russia and France.
Britain pledged they would help defend Belgium in the Treaty of London. Germany tried to sidestep the French forces and attack through Belgium, this brought the British empire to war. Ottoman Empire was an old enemy of Russia and made and alliance with the central powers.
Bulgaria was feeling bitter about their previous losses at the hands of Serbia and joined the Central powers. Queen or Romania persuaded her husband to join the Entente Alliance. Britain had an alliance with Japan and the Emperor of Japan sent troops out to help the British. Italy late joined the Entente Allies as well in 1915, fighting against the central powers. USA joined the war in 1917 after a German naval attack on the American passenger ship in the Lusitania. The war was not only in Europe but also in the colonies in Africa, Asia and the Pacific. The secret alliances between countries were one of the causes of World War I.