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The alliances: in 1914 the six most powerful countries in europe were divided into two opposing alliances: the triple alliance( g, a, i) formed in 1882, and the triple entente(b, f, r) formed in 1907.
the triple alliance:
germany,prussia powerful, it took from france the industrial area alsace-lorane and, to guard against a revenge attack, formed an alliance with austria-hungary and A. By 1914german industry was second in the world only to that of the usa. Germanys concerns, german kaiser wanted more overseas colonies. In the 1890 the kaiser ordered the building of a large navy. German leaders were very worried by what they called encirclement, russia to the east and france to the west.
Austria hungary: it was made up of different etnic groups, and by 1914 the main concern of theemperor of austria-hungary was how to keep this fragmented empire together. But also faced other problems, serbia was becoming a powerful force in the balkans, and russia, that supported the serbs, and had a very strong army.
Italy: was formed from a collection of smaller states. By 1914 the country was settled and was looking to flex its muscles. Italy wanted to set up colonies and build up andoverseas empire. There is evidence that germany and austria did not entirely trust on italy.
The triple entente:
britain: in the nineteenth century had tried not to get involved in european politics. However, by the early 1900s the picture had begun to change. The three main reasons, france and britain had reached a number of agreements about colonies in north africa, russia was defeated in a waragainst japan, this weakened russia so that britain was less concerned about one of its most dangeous rivalsof the nineteenth century. And britain was very worried about germany. The kaiser made it very clear that wanted an empire and a strong navy. Britain began to co-operate with france and rusia.
France: france was also worried about the power of germany, and also allied with russia. Francewanted to protect itself against attack by germany, and to get back the region of alsace-loraine.
Russia: also was worried about the growing power of germany. It also had a long rivalry with austria-hungary, thats why russia was so freindly with serbia. Russia lost a war with japan in 1905, there was then a revolution against the ruler, tsar nicholas II. He survived, but he knew russia could notafford to lose in any other conflict. The russians began to build up a large army in case of emergencies in the future.

The balance of power: piliticians at the time calles this system of alliances the balance of power. They believed that the size and power of the two alliances would prevent either side from starting a war.

Anglo-german rivalry: this was one of the most significant causesof tension in europe. Ever since the battle of trafalgar in 1805, britain had ruled the seas without any challenge. This situation began to change in 1898 when the wilhem announced his intention to build a powerful german navy. Britain felt threatened by this. Germany`s navy was much smaller than britain`s but the british navy was spread all over the world protecting its empire. Germany didnt havemuch of an empire. The kaiser and his admirals felt that germany needed a navy to protect its growing trade. They felt that the british were overreacting to the german naval plans. Britain was not convinced by what the germands said, britain raised the stakes in the naval race by launching hms dreadnought, germany responded by building its own dreadnoughts, both spen millions on their new ships.The arms race on land: while britain and germany built up their navies, the major powers on mailand europe were also building up their armies. In germany war and militarism were glorified. The kaiser surrounded himself with military advisers. He staged military rallies and processions. He involved himself closely in germanys military planning.

Plans for war: many countries felt so sure that...
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