Q:

How did alliances contribute to the outbreak of World War I?

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Quick Answer

Alliances contributed to the outbreak of World War I by forcing the great powers of Europe to go to war when their allies did. The two great alliances prior to the outbreak of war were the Central Powers, which consisted of Germany and Austria-Hungary, and the Entente, or Allied Powers, which consisted of Great Britain, Russia and France.

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Full Answer

The spark that lit the fuse of war was the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, the Archduke of Austria, in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914. The assassin was a Serbian nationalist who wanted Austria-Hungary out of the Balkans. Austria-Hungary sent the Serbian government an ultimatum that promised war if specific demands were not met. However, Russia had promised to protect the Serbs and threatened retaliation. Once Austria invaded Serbia on July 28, 1914, the German army began mobilizing for war, prompting the Russian army to do likewise. Assuming that the Austro-Hungarians would take care of the Russians, Germany declared war on France on August 3, launching an invasion through Belgium, which was a neutral country. Due to its alliance with Belgium, Great Britain joined the war against the Germans on August 7. Because of the complex alliances necessitated by the balance of power theory of European relations, the outbreak of war in a small corner of the continent flared up into a continent-wide conflagration.

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Related Questions

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    How did imperialism affect World War I?

    A:

    Imperialism affected World War I in several ways, such as shaping political alliances between nations engaged in the war and by diverting attention away from domestic issues and towards economic improvement achieved by nations gaining control of African lands. Britain, the United States, Russia and Germany acted as key players by engaging in imperialism during World War I. They sought to gain critical resources and establish an international presence through imperialism, which also allowed them to gain political control.

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  • Q:

    Who were the enemies of the Allies in World War I?

    A:

    In World War I, the Central Powers of Austria-Hungary, Germany, Bulgaria and Turkey, formerly the Ottoman Empire, fought against the Allies. More than 20 countries made up the Allied and Associated Powers, including the United States, France, Great Britain, Russia and Serbia. Japan, Italy and Belgium were also major countries in the Allied forces.

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  • Q:

    Who were the Allies in World War I?

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    The Allied Powers in World War I consisted of France, Russia, Great Britain, Japan, Italy and the United States. They fought against a group of European countries known as the Central Powers that were formed by a treaty called the Triple Alliance.

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  • Q:

    What sparked the beginning of World War I?

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    The beginning of World War I was sparked by political, economic and territorial conflicts among the great European powers. Militarism, a sophisticated web of group of alliances, nationalism and imperialism also led to the outbreak of the World War I.

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