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Who Was Responsible for the Outbreak of World War I?

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Introduction

Who Was Responsible for the Outbreak of World War I? by Shaun Harrison In studying the causes of World War I, each of the six countries; Austria, France, Germany, Great Britain, Russia, and Serbia, plays a specific role that contributed to a global conflict. But was one country more responsible for the outbreak of the war than the others? This interpretation is left to historiographers with a multitude of theories, putting each of the involved countries at most blame for the war. Germany gave its full support to Austria-Hungary in war against Serbia as demonstrated by the "blank check" given by Kaiser Wilhelm. Germany had also been planning a great European war for years, having the Schlieffen plan, for a two front war, readily available. ...read more.

Middle

The assassination of Austrian Archduke Ferdinand by Black Hand radical, Gavrilo Princip started the chain reaction leading up to the war. The Serbian government knew of the plots to kill Ferdinand but did nothing to prevent them. Serbian nationalism was a cause for the assassination. The second Serbian mistake was rejecting article six of the Austrian ultimatum. In doing this, Serbia began a war with Austria. Serbia was the first countries to mobilize, which is generally a sign of war. Serbia then escalated the war by asking Russia for assistance. This move then helped bring Germany and France into the war, making a world war inevitable. France had been wanting a war with German since its defeat in the Franco-Prussian War, still bitter over its loss of the Alsace Lorraine. It instigated the Franco-Russian Alliance which later became the Triple Entente in order to rival Germany. ...read more.

Conclusion

Britain entered the war because of an old agreement to keep Belgium neutral. Sir Edward Grey could have prevented the war if he had urged Russia and France to warn Germany that England would back them in a war. Or, he could've listened to German urging to warn Russia and France of a war. He did neither. Great Britain was drawn away from German efforts for a diplomatic settlement and into the support of the military aggression of Russia and France. Britain involved itself in the war, like its involvement in the Balkan matters. In the end, it's hard to say if one country was more responsible for the outbreak of WWI than another, it's just a matter of opinion. One thing seems certain however, no one country was entirely inculpable in the chain of events leading up to the war. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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