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Assess the importance of the underlying factors resulting in war in 1914.

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Assess the importance of the underlying factors resulting in war in 1914. There were many underlying factors that resulted in the war in 1914. The importance of these has been a great source of debate amongst historians since. We are able to divide these factors into four main causes of the war. These factors are all linked together by Germany's increasing paranoia and desire to have security in Europe. This all started with the unification of Germany in 1871. At this time, Otto Von Bismarck, the then leader of Prussia had defeated France in the Franco Prussian war. He saw this as the perfect opportunity to unify Germany, which had beforehand been a mass of small independent states. After doing so, Bismarck set out to now gain peace for the people of Germany. He attempted to do so by forging a number of alliances with powerful nations surrounding Germany. By 1882, Germany had allied itself with Austro-Hungary and Italy forming the triple alliance. ...read more.


However, Austro-Hungary also wanted the Balkans, as it feared communities in Austro-Hungary would also try to self-determine themselves. This kept Bismarck from allying with Russia, as the two countries were irreconcilable. In 1870, Bismarck had two great worries. At this time Bismarck set out to control the seas and in 1870 the Anglo-German Naval Race. Britain and Germany were competing to make the most warships and have control of the oceans. By 1914 Britain had won the race. His other objective in 1870 was to keep France and Russia from uniting. He did this with the reinsurance treaty. However, in 1888 the new German emperor took over, Kaiser Willhelm II. Willhelm had had a harsh childhood and was brash arrogant and inconsistent. Bismarck foresaw the conflict that would arise between the two. Bismarck threatened to leave and Willhelm let him. By 1890, Bismarck had left office. Willhelm did not renew the reinsurance treaty between Germany and Russia, which left France able to ally itself with Russia. ...read more.


The pan-Slavist movement was born in Serbia, which gained its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1878. After becoming an independent country, Serbia was instantly hostile towards Austro-Hungary. Serbia looked to Russia for Slav support. Serbia really wanted to encourage ethnic groups in Austro-Hungary to break away and self-determine themselves. By 1914 Austria had become increasingly angry at Serbia. The pan-Slavist movement was heading south westerly. It became obvious that the two movements were going to collide. The point at which this collision would take place was the Balkans. In 1914, came the Bosnian Crisis were Austria attempted to annex Bosnia and Herzegovina. Serbia looked for support from Russia and Russia complied. In conclusion I believe it was an intertwined tapestry of these events that ultimately led to the war. I do however feel that the most important of these factors was the arrival of the new German Emperor Kaiser Willhelm II. With his introduction came an upset in the peace. Germany lost its security within Europe and France was able to unite with Russia losing Germany its military advantage within Europe. ...read more.

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