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Causes Of World War I Paper

998 words - 4 pages

Causes of World War I

I feel that there many reasons for the start of the First World War and not just one, I think it’s a bit more complicated than that. I have put them into five categories but could be split into more if necessary. All the categories concern the main powers of Europe. The war was mainly started by feuds between the powers.

There are two main alliances between the powers. ‘The Triple Alliance,’ which contained: Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy. ‘The Triple Entente,’ which contained: Great Britain, Russia and France. The trigger to the war I feel was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, on the 28th of June ...view middle of the document...

The First World War had started. This was not really the only reasons why France and Britain wanted to go to war with Germany; there are quite a few reasons why. The Main reason why was the Franco-Prussian war. In July 1870, France declared war on Prussia in part over a disagreement about a Prussian prince accepting the crown of Spain. By September 1870, a French army had been defeated, Emperor Napoleon III had been captured at Sedan, France was declared a republic, and Paris was under siege. In January 1871, Wilhelm I of Prussia was crowned Kaiser Wilhelm I of a unified Germany at Versailles, Paris fell, and France surrendered, losing Alsace and Lorraine and were forced to pay huge compensation. Otto von Bismarck, Chancellor of Prussia since 1862, and now Germany, wanted to keep France isolated to prevent the recovery of Alsace and Lorraine.

The reasons why Britain went to war with Germany were their ‘Naval Rivalry’, their ‘Industrial Rivalry’ their ‘Imperial Rivalry’ and their agreement with Belgium. The agreement with Belgium consisted of a promise to help if Belgium was invaded. This treaty was created after Belgium was declared a country and was to protect their independence. Wilhelm II was related to Queen Victoria, her nephew, so he used to visit England a lot as a child. However Britain and Germany were the chief rivals at sea. Under Admiral Tirpitz, State Secretary of the Imperial Naval Office from 1897, a long-term shipbuilding programme began. The German Navy Law of 1898 increased the German battleships from nine cruisers to twelve. In 1900 Germany passed a Navy Law which doubled the German battle fleet.

In the meantime, Britain produced her first Dreadnought (literally, the word means fear nothing). Dreadnoughts were large, fast and heavily armed battleships with 12inch guns. They set a new standard in naval armaments and...

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