Kaiser Wilhelm II -||- Wilhelm's Chancellors -||- Admiral von Tirpitz and the Naval Race -||- Alliance with Austria-Hungary -||- Relations with Europe -||- Internal Discontent and new Social Orders -||- Industry and Economy -||- The Schlieffin Plan -||- World War I
~~~~~-To Wilhelm II's Germany-~~~~~
Alliance with Austria Hungary
Many would argue that it was the Empire of Austria-Hungary that dragged Germany into war. This is partially true.
The Empire of Austria-Hungary (sometimes known as the Dual Monarchy)
seemed logically next in line for the title ‘sick man of Europe’.
They knew this and wished to prevent such an even t happening.
The elderly Emperor Habsburg foung a compromise with the Hungarian
representatives to help quell some of the nationalist uprisings in the area.
This formed the Dual Monarchy. There
were still problems of different nationalities under one Empire however, and the
largest of the problems would manifest itself through the Balkan States.
Austria and Germany have always had strong historic ties.
When Hitler came to power, he called for he unity of all German people,
this call included the German people of Austria.
Therefore, it was easy to form a lasting alliance with each other, though
it seemed that Austria always got the better deal.
It’s continous support for Germany did not earn the Empire the same
fears from the other European powers simply because Austria-Hungary was not as
powerful. At the same time, for the
Germans, Austria-Hungary was their only ‘halfway reliable ally’.
Fears of encirclement led the Germans to continue and desperately hold
onto Austria-Hungary. This is what led the Kaiser to present the Austrians with the
‘blank cheque’ for war with the Balkan States, and to be dragged into a
matter that was supposed to be localized between the Dual Monarchy and the
Balkans. It can also be said that
the complicated alliances in Europe had spelt the doom for World War I.
France was allied with Russia, and Russia was allied with the Balkan
States in ‘Slavic Unity’. Russia warned Austria that if the Balkans were attacked, they
would arm, and Germany warned Russia that if that was done, they would attack.
Everything else happened in a great chain reaction- the French/Russo
Alliance would cause the Germans to attack Franch first (it was closer), by
invading Belgium. This would bring
Britain in and start the World War.