Western Europe, the Ottoman Empire, the Balkans, and Russia became entangled in a series of alliances - agreements between two or more countries that pledged to fight with each other in times of war and to support each other in a variety of ways during times of peace.
Alliances, then, are agreements of mutual advantage made between nations with common enemies; they are not treaties of friendship or support for common beliefs. Following are a few of these alliances from this period:.
And if we look at these alliances, it is clear that Britain avoided them prior to the turn of the 20th Century. Since the British had the strongest navy in the world, it assumed that by continuing to grow its naval power, it could protect its colonial powers against any other European power. But by , the Germans were building a navy to compete with and eventually supercede the British navy. At that time, Britain entered two alliances - one with France and another with Russia.
Conclusions about Organic Weakness 3 - how shifting and entangling alliances led to war : The consequence of these alliances was the division of two divided and armed camps that existed in Europe by Thus, one offense against any Euroean nations might ultimately draw in that nation's ally, and that ally's ally, or allies.
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The alliances gave smaller powers - like those in the Balkans - an opportunity to begin a crisis that could become a world war. Yellow journalism was rampant thoughout the late 19th Century world.
For the first time, more people were literate than illiterate - which encouraged the growth of mass-circulation newspapers. In Europe and the United States, journalists learned that bad news, crises, alliances, and wars stimulated and sometimes even created circulation. According to W.
Whatever else it is, our newspaper must be excessively interesting, not to the good, wise men and pure in spirit, but to the great mass of sordid, squalid humanity. Humanity is vulgar, so we must be vulgar. It is coarse, so we must not be refined. It is passionate; therefore the blood that flows through our newspapers must be warm. However, this chapter reads in parts like the Ph. After these two short chapters Fried follows a chronological path and allocates more space to the intricacies of the internal decision-making system.
The third chapter covers the period of July-December The Empire, just like the other powers, entered the war in the expectation that it would be short and victorious, and that teaching a harsh lesson to the Serbs and achieving their war aims in the Balkans as quickly as possible was key. In addition to its positive war aims against Serbia, Austria-Hungary also sought to preserve its territorial position against Italian and Romanian irredentist desires.
The status of Albania and the need to gain a land bridge became important in this respect. Sadly the imperial army failed miserably against the small but apparently superior Serbian forces again and again. To make the matters worse Germany, anxious regarding Italian and Romanian participation in the Entente, put pressure on the Empire to make territorial concessions before it was too late.
Throughout the book there are a number of attempts of this sort by Fried to correct the previous consensus as to the character of key actors. He not only fought viciously against the ever increasing lists of demands coming from these countries, but also against Germany and, surprisingly, the Austro-Hungarian High Command.
The fifth chapter October —June opens with the long-waited victory against Serbia. The imperial army finally managed to overrun Serbia, with relative ease in the end, but only after getting substantial help from Germany and Bulgaria. The victory, however, did not provide the relief that Austro-Hungarians had been longing for.
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Dividing the spoils of war between the allies also turned out to be very difficult. The Bulgarians immediately increased their demands pp.
Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia - HISTORY
Up to that time Conrad had argued that the Monarchy was surrounded by enemies who needed to be defeated separately, before they could unite. This led him to the notion that the best plan was a war against the Serbs and Russians, followed later by a confrontation with Italy. Conrad regarded the July crisis as the last chance to settle the unfavourable strategical and political situation of Austria-Hungaria.
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His doubts could easily be dispelled and, convinced by Conrad, his only hesitation resulted out of the need to prepare public opinion for war. He condemned militarism and took the risks of war more seriously than Conrad. As a Magyar he was aware that a Habsburg victory would be a domestic defeat for Hungarians. Tisza was convinced that there were quite enough Serbs in Austria-Hungary already, in particular in Transleithania. If Austria were to annex Serbia, the fragile ethnic balance in the Dual Monarchy would get lost. Austrian plannings after the assassination included another element that shows slight interest in peace.
When Vienna first considered the advantages of a military response it sought the reaction of the German ally. The Austrian ambassador in Berlin found that the Germans, especially Kaiser Wilhelm, supported a war to punish Serbia and offered full German support. This was in clear contrast to events during the Balkan War of , when Berlin refused to back Vienna in any intervention.
Tisza and the rest of the ministers, of which a majority favoured war, agreed on 7 July to the idea of presenting the Serbian government with a series of demands. In the belief that a diplomatic victory alone would not be enough to destroy Serbia as a threat, the demands were written in such extreme terms that Serbia could not accept them.
A Serbian refusal to comply would then become the excuse for war. Within a week, Tisza himself consented to this plan however he insisted that no Serb territory would be incorporated within the war. The final drafted ultimatum consisted of points and demanded the dissolution of the secret societies, namely the semi-official Narodna Odbrana. Serbia replied to the ultimatum on July Accepting most of its demands it had a few reservations and requests for clarification.
The Causes and War Aims of World War One
As time passed, however, it became clear that Russia would support Serbia regardless of the situation. The Serbian army began to mobilize three hours before the reply was handed over. This might be rational but it does not imply a strong effort for peace. Due to the Serbian response not accepting every point, Austria broke off diplomatic relations on July 25 and Francis Joseph ordered the partial mobilization of Habsburg troops, as of July From what we have seen about the background and the decisions taken by the Austro-Hungarians and the Serbs, we can add some further reasons why those two states went to war in Undoubtedly, both governments believed their prestige and credibility were on the line.
Not only in the international context, but also at home. The Emperor Franz Joseph saw the assassination as a personal attack on the royal family and this required a strong response This notion was intensified by the Serb involvement. During the trade war with Serbia in , Austria Hungary closed its borders to pork imports. The inappropriate tactic of economic pressure was replaced by more direct methods to establish some sort of control in Serbia. These would finally peak in the war. The other setback for Vienna occurred when the Austrian historian Heinrich Friedjung was asked by Ballhausplatz officials to examine documents from Belgrade in order to assail South Slav politicians for disloyality.
He published a report but had to learn that the documents had been forged.