Germany's Kaiser William II's foreign policy and the Schlieffen Plan were two crucial factors in causing World War I. .
By reversing Bismark's carefully planned out policies towards Britain and Russia and dismissing Bismark from chancellor, William's foreign policies were one of the main causes of WWI. After becoming Kaiser of Germany in 1888, William II quickly dismissed Bismark from the position of chancellor in 1890. William took this as an opportunity to reverse Bismark's meticulously planned policies towards Britain and Russia. One of these policies included the Reinsurance Treaty signed in 1887, which formed an alliance between Germany and Russia. This policy stated that Germany was to remain neutral if Austria attacked Russia and that Russia would remain neutral if France attacked Germany. William allowed the Reinsurance Treaty to lapse, which provided for neutrality if either Russia of Germany were to become involved in a defensive war. .
By letting the Reinsurance Treaty to lapse, France saw an opportunity to loan capital to Russia after they were turned down by German bankers. This resulted in the formation of a Dual Alliance between Russia and France in 1891. But William also wanted Germany to have its place in the sun, so he decided to enter the race for colonies. William also began to build up the German nay after Alfred von Tirpitz advised him to do so. This buildup of Germany's navy was a threat to Britain. The combination of Germany's new colonial policies and naval buildup forced Britain to look for allies. So in 1904, Britain joined with France and Russia to form the Triple Entente. .
Because of the unstableness of William's foreign policies, Count Alfred von Schlieffen, army chief of staff, developed a plan to fight a two from war against France and Russia. After France and Russia formed a Dual Alliance, Schlieffen formulated a plan in case Russia was to mobilize against Germany.