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What Were The Causes Of World War One?

1111 words - 5 pages

There were a number of varying causes, which led to the outbreak of World War I, which was the most devastating war prior to 1914. These included nationalism in the Balkans and among the great powers, the alliances between the great powers and competitions amongst Germany and Britain over the quantity of their armaments, and also there was economic tension between France, Germany and Britain. There was increasing unrest especially in Europe, as even the common people could sense they were on the brink of a major and crippling war. The assassination of Austrian Archduke, Franz Ferdinand on June the 28th was the catalyst of the First World War.There was increasing nationalistic attitudes in ...view middle of the document...

This was the catalyst of The First World War as it led to Austria-Hungary declaring war on Serbia on the 28th of July 1914.The competition between the greater powers caused suspicion amongst them, which led to treaties and alliances between them. There were two main alliances - the Central Powers (Triple Alliance) and the Triple Entente (the Allies). The Triple Alliance was made up of Italy (then later Turkey replaced Italy), Austria-Hungary and Germany and the Allies consisted of Great Britain, France and Russia. The US joined the Allies later on in the war. Germany's policy was to try and make threats of war to the other countries to for their political ends. These alliances made the paranoia in Europe more pronounced, as the atmosphere was one of expectation of the inevitable war.The armaments race was another factor leading up to World War One, as the greater powers were all competing to build up their military. Germany and Great Britain were the main countries that took up this challenge and pursued it doggedly. Germany was by far the winner where military organisation was involved. Britain was determined to have the greatest navy fleet in the world and it had to be two and a half times larger than the next largest fleet. Germany wanted to meet Britain's navy, so they increased their naval fleet production. Attempts had been made for disarmament in 1899 and in 1907 in conferences. However, there was already too much international rivalry and suspicion for the leading powers to cease producing arms and upgrading military paraphernalia. The race for arms inevitably resulted in what the world did not want - a world-scale war.Imperialism also caused a great deal of tension in Europe. France, Germany and Britain needed to expand their economies, which were affected by the Industrial Revolution. They sought foreign markets as their solution. Their target was Africa. Britain and France hitherto had led the European market, but Germany was slowly becoming stronger economically from acquiring new territories, and posed a threat to their places at the head of the...

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