Causes of World War One
*Missing Works Cited*
World War I was a fascinating, yet dramatic war for which there are a lot of different points of view. Some people argue that it was only Germanys fault, where-as others think that it had to do with the pressure put upon them by the other leading powers. Some of the things which triggered the war were the enormous rise in population, which happened very rapidly, caused by the Industrial Revolution. At the beginning of the nineteenth century the population of Europe was roughly 50 million; by 1820 it was about 100 million, and by 1870 it had reached the 200-million mark. By 1914 it had topped 300 million. (Stokesbury 11-12). With all the leading powers focused on the Balkans, war, to many, seemed inevitable. The new countries abused their power which was given to them by their major allies, causing enormous problems, and unnecessary tension to be built ...view middle of the document...
The French also made a secret agreement with Italy, as well as with the Americans. Germany also made alliances with Austria-Hungary, and Italy. (Ross 18). This alliance system, divided the continent into “armed camps,” and thereby made it more likely that such an incident could not be prevented from spreading. (Ross 52). After a lot of problems in the Balkans, caused by the newly formed states, France and Russia both felt that war was destined to come, although both Germany and Britain had shown willingness to cooperate, trying to prevent war, and to make peace. This definitely showed hope as two hostile countries tried to reach an agreement. Forced into trouble in the Balkans, the nations desperately tried to keep peace, unsuccessfully. These countries also had a lot of colonies, mostly in Africa. As they were also competing to get the greatest amount of territory there, they often crossed each other, causing several problems. The French had most of western Africa as well as Madagascar and the northern part of Somaliland; where-as the British mostly had the southern, and eastern parts of Africa, and Nigeria, Gold Coast, Sierra Leone, and the southern part of Somaliland. Germany also had a few territories, both some south of what is now Kenya, Togo, Cameroon, and a small chunk of southern Africa. Belgium, Italy, Portugal, and Spain also had parts of Africa, but they were not as significant as those of the other nations (even though Belgium had a large amount of territory compared to the size of their own country). (Ross 14). “When Britain and France signed the Entent Cordinale in 1904, they agreed to settle their colonial disputes.” (Ross 32). This Entent Cordinale became an immense problem for England, as they could not be friendly with Germany as well. “Lord Haldane visited Germany early in 1912 to try to reach an agreement, but came back empty handed.” (Ross 33) The Ottoman Empire was under a lot of stress even though it was no longer a leading power. It used to reach from Vienna to southern Arabia, but had lost a lot of its strength over time.