Names - Names From the time of its start until the approach...

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Names From the time of its start until the approach of World War II , the First World War was called simply the World War or the Great War and thereafter the First World War or World War I. [14] [15] At the time, it was also sometimes called " the war to end war " or "the war to end all wars" due to its then-unparalleled scale and devastation. [16] In Canada, Maclean's magazine in October 1914 wrote, "Some wars name themselves. This is the Great War." [17] During the interwar period (1918–1939), the war was most often called the World War and the Great War in English-speaking countries. The term "First World War" was first used in September 1914 by the German biologist and philosopher Ernst Haeckel , who claimed that "there is no doubt that the course and character of the feared 'European War' ... will become the first world war in the full sense of the word," [18] citing a wire service report in The Indianapolis Star on 20 September 1914. After the onset of the Second World War in 1939, the terms World War I or the First World War became standard, with British and Canadian historians favouring the First World War , and Americans World War I . Background Main article: Causes of World War I Military alliances leading to World War I; Triple Entente in green; Triple Alliance in brown Political and military alliances During the 19th century, the major European powers went to great lengths to maintain a balance of power throughout Europe, resulting in the existence of a complex network of political and military alliances throughout the continent by 1900. [19] These began in 1815, with the Holy Alliance between Prussia , Russia, and Austria. When Germany was united in 1871, Prussia became part of the new German nation. Soon after, in October 1873, German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck negotiated the League of the Three Emperors (German: Dreikaiserbund ) between the monarchs of Austria-Hungary, Russia and Germany. This agreement failed because Austria-Hungary and Russia could not agree over Balkan policy, leaving Germany and Austria-Hungary in an alliance formed in 1879, called the Dual Alliance . This was seen as a method of countering Russian influence in the Balkans as the Ottoman Empire continued to weaken. [9] This alliance expanded, in 1882, to include Italy in what became the Triple Alliance . [20]
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Bismarck had especially worked to hold Russia at Germany's side in an effort to avoid a two- front war with France and Russia. When Wilhelm II ascended to the throne as German Emperor ( Kaiser ), Bismarck was compelled to retire and his system of alliances was gradually de-emphasised. For example, the Kaiser refused, in 1890, to renew the Reinsurance Treaty with Russia. Two years later, the Franco-Russian Alliance was signed to counteract the force of the Triple Alliance. In 1904, Britain signed a series of agreements with France, the Entente Cordiale , and in 1907, Britain and Russia signed the Anglo-Russian Convention .
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