Was The Great War Inevitable
Was The Great War inevitably? This is the question I will attempt to answer in this brief essay. The continent of Europe in 1914 was rittled with alliances made out of fear and paranoia. On one side you have the Central Power comprised of the countries of Austria-Hungary, Germany, and Turkey. Then one the other side you have the Entente Powers composed of the nations of France, Great Britain, Russia, and in the later portion of the war the United States.
Let us take a closer look at these alliances and why they were formed. These alliances were the main reason for the hostile climate in Europe at the time and, were the preamble to The Great War. Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany transitioned from the policy of maintaining the status quo of the country to a more aggressive stance, when he decided not to renew the Reinsurance Treaty with Russia in 1890. This showed Russia that Germany effectively opted for the Austrian alliance. This treaty seemed to be the only obstacle keeping Austria-Hungary and Russia from going to war with one another. Kaiser Wilhelm effectively drove Russia to seek an alliance with France for fear from aggression from Austria-Hungary. Moreover France wanted support against Germany in case of an outbreak of war. Slowly France and Russia formed an alliance. During this time Germany was building its navy. Britain and it’s paranoia took Germany’s reconstitution of its navy from a mere costal fleet as a direct threat to their sovereignty as an island nation and a slap in the face to their own navy, which was established to be the greatest navy in the world during this time. This arms race with Germany leads Great Britain to the alliance table with France and Russia.
... move towards attacking Germany. Germany was now engaging in war against another of the worlds great powers. Germany had invaded Russia well before the ... after the German troops entered Poland, Britain and France declared war on Germany. Hitler did not want this because it was ... USSR, and the declaration of war on the US. Plus other factors, like Hitlers alliance with Italy, despite its obvious ...
With these alliances in place, the European nations believed to have their agitating rival in check and now just didn’t view war as inevitable but were enthusiastic and welcome war. Also the attitudes among the European nations during this point in history were an irrational and extreme sense of nationalism. This nationalism has an inherit flaw. Nationalism is the attitude to hold one’s country economic, militaristic, and political goals above everything else including one’s own life. Also to hold one’s own country above all other nations. Nothing wrong with having pride in one’s own country, in fact it’s rather patriotic in my mind. However the inherit flaw with this specious mind set is the hatred for other countries that usually occurs, which was the case in pre-war Europe. Along with a nationalist mind set there is an almost natural flow toward Militarism of a nation. This is the inherit flaw with an extreme Nationalist view point. Hatred for other countries along with the buildup of military forces would make other countries to have cause for concern as was the case with Germany, France and Great Britain. There was plenty of ill will between France and Germany. France was left quit bitter after the Franco-Prussian war.
In which they lost the large territories of Alsace-Lorraine to Germany. Plainly put France was eager for the opportunity to regain this lost territory. German’s Nationalism fed into their militarism and an arms race to build a navy to rival Great Britain’s. Germany’s Militaristic actions brought major concern to Great Britain. The British were known to have a superior navy and had to maintain a strong naval force for the reason they were an island nation and relied on their naval supremacy to secure their economic and political interest abroad. However I feel British Nationalism is what leads them to build the Dreadnaught. This was a new battle ship Great Britain developed and deployed. It was a technological and engineering marvel for its time, which Germany could not help but try to imamate. As you can see, Nationalism can be a dangerous double edged weapon. That can be used to uplift the people of a country by giving them a sense of pride in their selves and in their nation. It can also be used as a procurer to war. Gavrilo Princip was a nineteen year old Serbian Nationalism. Whose’ bullets ignited The Great War.
The United States was not always a united nation. Before the United States became what it is today, it had been just thirteen colonies. Those colonies transformed from a united country into something more, a transcontinental nation, with the help of many events.Though deaths and sacrifices were made in the process, it helped shape the transcontinental nation. The thirteen colonies went from a new ...
In summary, “Was The Great War Inevitable”? In the deep recesses of my heart I want to say that World War I was not inevitable if key occurrences had played out differently. Namely The Balkan Crisis. If Austria-Hungary hadn’t been so opportunistic by annexing Bosnia and Herzegovina in their attempt to stabilize the region, after the Turks seized control of Constantinople. This annexation provoked Serbian Nationalist into a terror campaign against Austria-Hungary. This further destabilized the region. Then Russia, seeing how Austria implements its military may not have been so anxious to form an alliance with the Balkans against Austria-Hungary. However Germany came to the aid of Austria-Hungary and Russia backed out of the conflict. Moreover there was a second Balkan Crisis because the victors of the first could not agree on how to divide their spoils and former allies Bulgaria attacked Serbia but was quickly defeated. For one reason or another, I keep feeling if these events had played out differently or if the other great European powers kept their circle of influence out of the region. Archduke Franz Ferdinand may not have been assassinated.
Another occurrence was Kaiser Wilhelm II decision not to renew the “Reinsurance Treaty” with Russia. This treaty was implemented to keep Russia and Austria-Hungary from going to war with one another. However by this treaty not being renewed, it forced Russia to seek support elsewhere to protect itself from Austria-Hungary and Germany. Russia found support from France. Like I stated early, France was eager to get back at Germany for the outcome of the Franco-Prussian War. I feel, had this treaty been renewed the sloppy stability of that region of Europe could have held for awhile still.
Let us transition to the comedy of Nationalism in pre-war Europe. I used the word comedy because I struggled to comprehend the Nationalism ideology of the great powers of Europe. They were all to have this great pride in theirelves and in their nation but every one of them formed alliances with another country with whom they had a common enemy. I could have it wrong but this action screams chicken shit to me. It’s as though these extremely nationalist countries were afraid to fight their own fight because someone else might jump into the conflict. I say; if you’re that worried you have no business starting a conflict. I realize this is a very simplistic view. Like I said I struggled to understand this ideology because their actions (the formation of an alliance) contradict the idea of being a nationalist.
To What Extent Is It Reasonable To Blame Germany For The Outbreak Of World War I To what extent is it reasonable to blame Germany for the outbreak of World War I. Germanys invasion of France via Belgium was the initial act of war that brought about the commencement of war. However, is it fair to say that it was Germany and Germany alone who acted to bring about this first step I would argue that a ...
Lastly let look at this spider web of the alliances of the time. I believe this was the direct cause for turning what I feel would have been a regional conflict (the assassination of the Archduke) into a world conflict. To keep it simple. With all these alliances in place if any one nation declared war on another all the Great Powers of Europe would have been dragged into the conflict do to these alliances. For example, Archduke Franz Ferdinand survived the assassination attempt on his life. Instead France invaded Germany. This would have sucked in Russia to the aid of France and Austria to the aid of Germany, and all the dominos would have still fallen and the Great War would still have its place in history. It would have read a bit differently.
In closing, Yes World War I was inevitable. With the formation of all the alliances, it would not have mattered who would have fire the first shot. Once one country declared war on another, the rest of Europe’s great powers would’ve been dragged in due to their alliance with another country. Add in the enthusiasm to the prospect of war that whole continent was feeling at the time as well, and the people received what they were hoping for, a war.