Causes of tension in Europe in the early 20th Century

Essay by Keir September 2006

download word file, 3 pages 1.7

Downloaded 21 times

Marcus Fujita

Towards the end of the 19th century, the tension between the European countries had built up leading to a war involving the whole world, known as World War. Although, there were many factors which built up tension which eventually led to the war, the thing which applied the most tension to the European countries were the alliances between the major powers in Europe. This is because by dividing Europe into 2 different divisions, the divisions pressured each other just by existing and also increased rivalry.

One reason why the alliances had the most tension on Europe was because it created two big groups which had a strong sense of rivalry for each other. The Triple Alliance with Germany, Italy and Austria-Hungary in 1882 was one of Otto von Bismarck, the German chancellor's accomplishments. The Triple Alliance was meant as a method to improve Germany's diplomatic relations with other countries.

But when Kaiser Wilhelm came into power, he started saying and doing things that intimidated the other European countries. For example, he said 'Germany's place in the sun' which had sent a provocative message to the other countries. Soon the Dual Alliance was formed with France and Russia in 1894 and the Triple Entente with Britain, Russia and France was formed after the Anglo-French entente was signed and the Anglo-Russian Convention(1907). Now Europe was divided into two big powerful groups, and when there are two big groups there always is rivalry between these two groups. And rivalry causes conflicts and then leads to fighting.

Another reason why the alliances were the cause of having the most tension on Europe was that the rest of Europe was already afraid of Germany due to its growth. But when the Triple Alliance was formed, it frightened the other European countries even...