The World War I was a military conflict that lasted from 1914 to 1918. It involved two opposing alliances in Europe- the Triple Entente which included France, Great Britain, and Russia, and the Central powers, which included Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy. Also known as the “Great War”, it was one of the deadliest conflicts in history, killing over ten million soldiers. Why was this war fought? There are many reasons that caused the outbreak of the World War I. There are underlying long term causes that led to the First World War and immediate causes that made the war inevitable.
The World War I was caused by many reasons that built up over a long period of time. These long-term causes included militarism, the creation of alliance systems, imperialism, and nationalism. Firstly, militarism was one of the causes because the buildup of military strength in each country as well as the development of advanced weaponry added to the warlike mood and led to paranoia and hostility among them. New weapons included machine guns, tanks, poison gas, and submarines. According to Document 1, Great Britain, France, and Germany increased the amount of money spent on weapons from 1870 through 1914. Great Britain’s expenditure per capita increased from $3.54 in 1870 to $8.23 in 1914. France’s expenditure increased from 2.92 to 7.07, and Germany’s expenditure increased from 1.28 to 8.19. Great Britain and Germany were also in a naval competition. Britain built battleships and Germany built submarines also known as U-Boats. As more and more countries began to mobilize, there was more paranoia and hatred against each other. Secondly, the creation of alliance systems was another cause of the war. In Document 2, the map shows the members of each alliance system. The members of the Triple Alliance also called the Central powers, included Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy.
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 ...
Members of the Triple Entente were France, Great Britain, and Russia. These nations stated that their alliance was purely defensive and that they would not start a war. They also promised each other to help each other if any one of them was attacked by someone else. This is how the alliance systems contributed to the outbreak of the war. Thirdly, imperialism was a long term cause of the WWI because the desire to control overseas regions led to sharp competition and rivalry among the nations of Europe. For example, there was hatred between Great Britain and Germany because they competed for land. Their colonies bordered on each other in East Africa, and in the Middle East, Germany wanted to construct a Berlin-to-Baghdad railroad which posed a threat to the British and to their “lifeline to India” through the Suez Canal. Finally, nationalism played a big role of causing the war. Nationalism stirred deep emotions. It was a source of anger and antagonism between France and Germany. Ever since France was defeated by the Germans in the Franco-Prussian War, France hated Germany and had a passionate desire to regain Alsace-Lorraine. Many groups of people wanted to be independent and be free of control by other nations. Bosnia and Herzegovina wanted to be independent from Austria-Hungary so they could be unified with Serbia. In Document 6, Sidney Bradshaw Fay stated that all the European countries were responsible for the outbreak of WWI because either the leaders did something to cause the war, or did nothing to prevent it.
Immediate causes of the World War I were the assassination, the ultimatum, and the mobilization of Russia. The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand on June 28, 1914 sparked the outbreak of war. This Archduke of Austria was killed in Sarajevo by Gavrilo Princip. Princip was from Serbia which wanted unification with Bosnia and Herzegovina, and opposed to the Austrian rule. On July 23, 1914, Austria-Hungary sent Serbia an ultimatum. This can be seen in Document 3. The accusations made by Austria-Hungary to Serbia were the harboring of terrorists, not suppressing terrorism, and tolerating unrestrained language on the part of the press. Also, there were two demands- to stop promoting terrorism and to collaborate with Austria-Hungary to investigate terrorists. If the ultimatum was not answered positively within 48 hours, Austria-Hungary would declare war on Serbia. As shown in Document 7, the assassination and the ultimatum caused the alliance system to uncover. Both France and England dreaded the rise of Germany, so they joined together to threaten Germany. Serbia refused to accept the ultimatum, and on July 28, 1914, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. Russia then mobilized against Austria-Hungary to defend its Slavic brothers in Serbia. This led Germany to declare war on Russia and on France. When Germany invaded Belgium, Britain declared war on Germany, because it was paranoid of German invasion. In Document 5, the German delegation leader stated that the mobilization of Russia made the war inevitable. He also stated that the cause of the war was the assassination of the Archduke, and imperialism of all the European countries.
How the European Alliance Helped Cause World War 1Historians have spent many years analyzing the origins of World War 1. Many factors are considered by historians when asked this question; nationalism, imperialism, militarism, etc. However all of these factors are influenced and tied together by the alliance system in place at the time tensions in the Balkans erupted. In this time period the ...
In Conclusion, few countries remained untouched or unchanged by the war. World War I had a devastating effect as millions of soldiers died and civilians were killed in the war. However as history is known to repeat itself, it is evident that World War I taught the world nothing. In 1940, an even greater war occurred that changed the world again forever.