• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

World War I: Could it have been avoided?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

J.P. Shivanandan Western Civ - 6th period May 30, 2007 World War I: Could it have been avoided? Through out the course of history, Europe has experienced two wars that have affected both society and government in the modern era. The First World War in 1914 and the Second World War in 1941 dramatically changed Europe. During the Second World War, it was easy to distinguish between good and evil. On the other hand, during the First World War, the lines were not as clearly drawn. Though people view the Germans as the instigators of the First World War, this is not entirely true. The clarity of which country started what was mixed up between varieties of different circumstances during the time. Before the First World War, many new ideas about government and views had been preached and they were beginning to take root. Countries such as Austria-Hungry were threatened by nationalism and other ideas. On the other hand, nationalism, militarism, and imperialism helped the new German nation, created in 1871 by the Franco-Prussian wars, grow stronger militarily (Online: German Notes). Countries had been introduced to the concept of developing foreign relationships to receive aide from allied nations if they were attacked by a common enemy. ...read more.

Middle

Once Germany had entered the war, the people felt "that they belonged together," and it was "what they should have felt in peace time" (Zweig, 277). Nationalism helped unify the people and make them feel like a team instead of an individual during the war. Unlike Germany, the Austria-Hungry Empire was threatened by the growth of nationalism in small groups and attempted to repress the threat. With its diverse cultural of Czechs, Slovaks, Serbs, Croats, Romanians, and more, Austria-Hungry faced difficulties satisfying the citizen's needs and containing the nationalist minorities because of the diversity (Online: The Corner, "Nationalism"). Serbia only heightened this problem by attempting to unite the minorities in Austria and overthrow the Austrian government (Perry, 511). Once Gavrilo Princip, a member of a Serbian nationalist group called the Black Hand, assassinated Archduke Francis Ferdinand, who was next in line for the throne, on June 28, 1914, Austria was unable to ignore this nuisance anymore (Simkins, 22). On July 23, 1914, Austria presented an ultimatum to Serbia who agreed to all but one of the demands. Nevertheless, Austria still declared war on Serbia (Perry, 511). Nationalism contributed to the First World War because it unified the people of the new German nation but, attempted to destroy the Austria-Hungry Empire in Europe. ...read more.

Conclusion

If the alliance system, nationalism, militarism and imperialism had not been used, then Europe may not have experienced the First World War. The alliance system had brought about the war because it obliged countries to enter into the fight. The alliances between the powerful nations divided Europe in two; the people on the Triple Alliance and those on the Triple Entente. Similarly, nationalism helped accelerate the war because it encouraged countries to fight for their nation. Also, nationalism threatened empires such as Austria-Hungry because of the diverse interests and the country could not satisfy the needs of all the different people. Militarism also had an impact on the First World War because of the powerful armies and the production of new weapons, such as rifles and tanks. It gave power to the generals, who thought the solution to everything was using force. Finally, imperialism influenced the war because Germany needed to spread its culture and obtain the supplies necessary for them to maintain their army and navy. Alliances, nationalism, and militarism all contributed to the start of the First World War and if these developments in society had been avoided, there may not have been history of the horrific events of the First World War. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. "How militarism, nationalism and imperialism contribituted to the outbreak of World War One."

    Germany wanted to build up its wealth, power and international image. European nations began to acquire colonies in Asia, Africa and the Pacific. Their imperialistic activities accelerated from 1880 onwards. Between 1895 and 1905 imperialistic expansion reached its climax. Colonial rivalry led to strained relations among the European powers.

  2. How imperialism, nationalism and militarism contributed to the outbreak of World War One.

    All the countries within the hostile camps were building large armies and navies during the pre-war years. Because Britain had a great navy, Germany also needed to have one too. Germany and France competed for larger armies. The more one nation built up its army and navy, the more other nations felt they had to do the same.

  1. Why did tension increase in Europe between 1900 and 1914?

    He also wanted to occupy other parts of Germany and, of course, Alsace-Lorraine also had to be returned to France. * One and a half million French soldiers had been killed during the war, many of them in appalling circumstances.

  2. Could the American War of Independence Have Been Avoided?

    having to strictly obey rules which they had been previously allowed to ignore. If more tact had been used maybe Britain could have avoided America's revolt in the early stages. The Tories should have realised that America would react badly to their new strict control after the laxness of the

  1. Causes of WWI.

    Remarque tells the story in the first person that makes the reader feel as if he or she is one of the soldiers, that makes the novel even more dramatic for the reader: We see men living with their skulls blown open; we see soldiers run with their two feet

  2. American History.

    - Like the Pilgrims, he also stressed community, equality, and their covenant w/God, which required them to create a model "city upon a hill." Later on, more formal institutions echoed the ideals expressed in the speech, for the General Court, which originally governed the Company, was changed into a colonial legislature.

  1. The Prelude to the 1975 War and the Cairo Agreement.

    In March and April of 1985, a new round of Christian-Muslim fighting pitting a Palestinian-Druze-Shia coalition against the Lebanese Forces engulfed Sidon. The army was dispatched but appeared powerless to stop the combat. The Christian villages east of Sidon began to fall to the Leftist pan Arab and Palestinian forces

  2. From rebellion through rivalries to reformation

    the shirtless motif spilled over into concerts and political rallies, reviving the genre originated by Oswald Mosley, when Parliament banned the wearing of "political uniforms" by the British Union. Some Skinheads even suggested that "your skin is your uniform." Skinheads remained a localized phenomenon until 1985, when black-rioting brought droves

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work