An alliance is an agreement made between two or more countries to give each other help if it is needed. When an alliance is signed, those countries become known as Allies.
A number of alliances had been signed by countries between the years 1879 and 1914. These were important because they meant that some countries had no option but to declare war if one of their allies. declared war first. (the table below reads clockwise from the top left picture)
The Dual Alliance
Germany and Austria-Hungary made an alliance to protect themselves from Russia
Austria-Hungary made an alliance with Serbia to stop Russia gaining control of Serbia
The Triple Alliance
Germany and Austria- Hungary made an alliance with Italy to stop Italy from taking sides with Russia
Triple Entente (no separate peace)
Britain, Russia and France agreed not to sign for peaceseparately.
Russia formed an alliance with France to protect herself against Germany and Austria-Hungary
This was made between Russia, France and Britain to counter the increasing threat from Germany.
This was an agreement between Britain and Russia
This was an agreement, but not a formal alliance, between France and Britain.
"Many Europeans were more interested in punishing the Germans than in preventing another world war. After all, the United States had been at war for just one year. Its European allies had been fighting for over four years. David Lloyd George of Britain demanded that Germany pay for the trouble it had caused; Vittorio Orlando of Italy insisted on a share of Germany’s colonial empire. And France’s Georges Clemenceau required not only the return of the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine but also assurances that his nation would be safe from future German aggression. Therefore the treaty contained the following articles:
80. Germany will respect the independence of Austria.
81. Germany recognizes the complete independence of Czechoslovakia.
87. Germany recognizes the complete independence of Poland.
119. Germany surrenders all her rights and titles over her overseas countries.
159. The German military forces shall be demobilized and reduced not to exceed 100,000 men.
181. The German navy must not exceed 6 battleships, 6 light cruisers, 12 destroyers, and 12 torpedo boats. No submarines are to be included.
198. The Armed Forces of Germany must not include any military or naval air forces.
231. Germany and her Allies accept the responsibility for causing all the loss and damage to the Allied Powers.
233. Germany will pay for all damages done to the civilian population and property of the Allied Governments. [The figure was later set at $33 billion].
428. To guarantee the execution of the Treaty, the German territory situated to the west of the Rhine River will be occupied by Allied troops for fifteen years.
431. The occupation forces will be withdrawn as soon as Germany complies with the Treaty.
Not surprisingly, Germans felt betrayed by the treaty."
Taken from Facing History (visit this site for more information and resources)