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Cause of World War I

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History Essay Causes of World War I "Why did World War I start in 1914 and not earlier?" Lauren Young Miss Mosher 11HL April.16/07 1320 Words The origins of World War I can be traced back from the 1870's up to 1914, the beginning of the war. Between these two dates there would be a chain of events that would lead Europe to the outbreak of war. Throughout the 40 years leading to war, Europe had survived continuous crises increasing the friction between powers but not enough to start what was soon to come, one of the greatest wars of all time. By 1914 these problems within Europe had become insoluble apart from resorting to war, shown by the outcome from the assassination of Franz Ferdinand of Habsburg on the 28th of June, igniting the breakout of war. In 1914, there had already been conflict and tension building, what was needed was one event to set everything off. It was inevitable that a war was coming but it was in 1914 where everything would come together and World War I would be born. Leading up to war, the international atmosphere was calmer then it had been for a long time. ...read more.


The nationalism in Germany began to increase greatly as its economy began to dominate as well as the population size reflected in Wilhelm's seek for Germany's "place in the sun". Other countries surrounding Europe reacted to the growth of German power by forming defensive alliances. Negotiations began in 1892 between Russia and France ending in a military alliance, giving rise to the threat to the 'encirclement' of Germany causing them to establish their own alliance. There were now conflicting alliances of the Triple Alliance, Franco-Russian alliance and then the Entente Cordiale between France and Britain established in 1904. With the rival alliances formed across Europe, it would not take long for Germany to try and tear the allies apart. Germany attempted to break up allies Britain and France during the Moroccan Crisis; however, it only resulted in the strengthening of the alliance as Britain came to support France. "Some historians would argue that that it was to a large extent Germany's aggressive posturing in the years before 1914 that poisoned the international climate and seemed to bring war closer".3 Relations between nations only continued to worsen creating a warlike mood before 1914. For example, Germany was unwilling to end the construction of a strong navy threatening the area where Britain has flourished the most, creating tension between the two. ...read more.


Through all of this tension and conflict spreading throughout Europe, what was needed was a final conflict to ignite. The trigger was provided with the assassination of the Austrian heir, Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife on June 28th, 1914 in Sarajevo. This final conflict was what brought all of the Europe and eventually the entire world into war. By this point there was little doubt that a war could have been avoided. However, even after the assassination, many were trying to remain peaceful and prevent the outbreak of war by resolving conflicts through discussion while others were doing everything in hopes that a war would break out. The conflicts across Europe had become too influential in each country's view of nationalism. With the formation of allies countries felt threatened, boosting nationalism. No country wanted to back down or be taken advantage of therefore, they all wanted to improve their country for themselves and for their own protection. With the tension that had been building since the crises, it is inevitable that war was willing to break out; all that was needed was the push of the Black Hand, a Serbian terrorist group, to bring Europe over the top and into the Great War. The war did not start earlier because there needed to be that time of tension between the countries building the intensity to a climax that would happen in 1914 and therefore begin the war. ...read more.

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