Name the two military alliances formed before the First World War. How did their formations make the First World War inevitable?
The two triple alliances formed before the First World War were:
(i) Triple Alliance: It had Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy as its members.
(ii) Triple Entente: It has Britain, Russia and France as its members.
The conflicts within Europe and the conflicts over colonies mentioned earlier had begun to create a very tense situation in Europe from the last decade of the nineteenth century. European countries began to form themselves into opposing groups. They also started spending vast sums of money to increase the size of their Armies and Navies, to develop new and more deadly weapons, and to generally prepare themselves for war, Europe was gradually becoming a vast armed camp.
France was defeated very badly in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71. After this war the German Chancellor, Bismarck adopted such a diplomatic foreign policy as to keep France isolated and prevented her from establishing friendly relations with any other European country. Britain as stated above, was alarmed at the growing military power of Germany. As early as in 1879 Germany had concluded a secret military alliance with’Austria-Hungary called the “Dual Alliance”. It provided for mutual military assistance in case either country is attacked by France or Russia. Italy joined it later on in 1882. Thus, it was converted into “Triple Alliances”. Britain, Russia and France formed the Triple Entente in 1907. Thus Europe was divided into two hostile groups. The real aims of the countries which joined these alliances were the extension of their colonial possessions, an all-European war almost certainly would become a world wide war.