Alliances are nations that team up and help one another for a common goal, especially countries during a war. Alliances were designed to keep the peace, but not when rival alliances are formed (Causes of World War 1 Handout, pg 3 & 4). The Schlieffen Plan, created in 1905 by General count Alfred von Schlieffen, was a German war plan. The plan stated that Germany was to attack France then Russia to avoid war on two fronts. This of course got the French and the Russians mad so they teamed up and became apart of the alliance, the Triple Entente.
While I do not agree entirely that their actions were 'unintentional', I do believe that the negligence of the German authorities in which they did not consider the possibilities and consequences of a world war, and the incapability of them not being able to find a better solution as the situation grew worse contributed to the war. In addition to this, other countries also carried partial responsibility as well. McEvedy mentioned in his work that (1982), "And at the same time the Germans made sure that France would fight by asking for guarantees of neutrality that the French couldn't possibly give" (p.46). The Franco-Prussia War in 1870 resulted in a German victory, and France lost some of its land to German territory. Because of this recent wound, France was not willing keep neutrality against Germany.
Why America Joined WWI America was influenced to declare war on Germany in 1917 because they thought they could gain economic benefits. This event happened after the Progressive Era when the S enate decided to declare war on Germany in 1917, because of the destruction of the Lusitania. At the time America was an economic powerhouse and this war would allow them to have world dominance if properly executed. The German Naval Policy which was lacking is what influenced America to join the war, due to the U-Boat that destroyed the Lusitania. America had trade routes across the Atlantic ocean which made the economy massive, However the problem was European countries cut those trade routes off with Naval Blockades.
I think the most significant cause of WW1 was the alliance system. This was most important because different countries would not be involved if they weren’t allies. Before the war happened, Russia, France and Britain had formed an alliance- the Triple Entente. All three countries think that Germany would be a threat to them. Russia thinks that Germany’s army base is too big; UK thinks that Germany’s wealth and navy increased to threaten UK; The relationship between Germany and France had been sour as Germany stole a land from France, and had been in a long-standing feud with Germany from then.
Wilson had the league in place and believed that if there were any mistakes they could be corrected later. In June of 1919, the treaty of Versailles, the most important treaty of this peace meeting was ready. None of the Allies were satisfied with it. The representatives from Germany had no choice but to sign the treaty, but it would make Germany take full blame for the war. Germany would have to pay over $300 billion to the Allies for repairs and they were stripped of their overseas colonies.
Lee states: “ (...) the pact was not necessary for Russia.” Laqueur, an American historian, argue that “it should not be assumed that without the pact Germany would have attacked Russia.” During 1939 Stalin focused on the Balkan States. In the end of 1939, Stalin launched about 20 Soviet divisions against 15 Finish. However, the Soviets experienced humiliating casualties before they were actually successful in taking the land in the beginning of 1940. From 1940 and the first half of 1941, the relationship between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany was becoming evidently worse. Hitler, expressed his view on the Winter War (the attack launched against the Finish) and regarded it “entirely unnecessary”.
Hitler had used propaganda and other tactics to make the German people eager for war. He used the treaty of Versailles as an example for the German people as their anger on the loss of World War one and their treatment under the treaty of Versailles to make them want to take revenge. Moreover, after a winter of waiting, Hitler resumed back to attack on April 9, 1940, nevertheless, as The Blitzkrieg tactic had succeeded on Poland, Hitler attacked Denmark and Norway and occupied them. One month later, Germany launched attacked on Netherlands, Belgium, and France. The main assault was through the Luxembourg and the Ardennes Forest.
It is a hard look into the different stages of occupation, and though it's not meant to be real or historically accurate due to Steinbeck's omission of the faction names, the reader can assume. The way Steinbeck sums up war is,“war is treachery and hatred, the muddling of incompetent generals, the torture and killing and sickness and tiredness, until at last it is over and nothing has changed except for new weariness and new hatreds”(Steinbeck 23) Steinbeck's characterization of the initial invasion of the area is very similar to the way Germany conducted itself whilst invading the countries in Europe and North Africa, but not the Soviets. In the book the occupying force entered at the most opportune time when the defending military was gone and was quick and concise. This directly mirrors how Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941. Germany selected the best time to invade during the period of denial for Stalin.
When speaking of convoys, it must be understood that the British owned the seas. They had the best naval army at that time and at time of war used it to take down any ships that were to support Germany. Logically, there was a huge famine by the end of the war. The second year into the war (1916), civilians were having to pay so much more on essentials. Soldiers also starved.
This intimidated other countries especially Germany after they realised the French had a greater military. However, there are more reasons to mention such as countries having contingency plans for war including Germany’s Schlieffen Plan. These kind of poor choices because it released unstoppable crisis and drama between countries, which caused wars. What is Germany's Schlieffen plan? Primarily "The Schlieffen Plan" is all about Count von Schiefflen thus coming up with a plan that would involve attacking France immediately and after moving all their forces to Russia in time to meet the mobilized Russia army.