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

Causes of the First World War

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Essay Writing History The causes of the First World War 2006 Why do you think the Sarajevo murders 'lit the fire' when previous events as the Moroccan crisis and the Balkan wars had not? During his visit to Sarajevo, Bosnia, on Sunday 28th of June, 1914, the Archduke and heir to the throne of Austria, Franz Ferdinand, was killed in company of his wife, Sophie. The one to blame was Princip, member of a terrorist group, which planned the assassination. For this, the Austrian government blamed Serbia and sent an ultimatum. Before the Serbian government could think of something to answer back, Austria declared war to Serbia the 28th of July. Not only these countries were involved, but most of the European forces, and within some days, all of these countries were part of this bloody war. Although there were previous events to the war which inclined countries to the war, the Sarajevo murders indeed "lit the fire" to start it. In 1914, the six powerful forces of Europe divided themselves into two powerful opposing alliances: the Central Powers or Triple Alliance (Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy), united in 1882, and the Triple Entente (Britain, France and Russia), formed in 1907. Both were similarly equipped with weapons and naval force. ...read more.

Middle

France was mostly concerned about Germany. She had resentment for being beaten in the Franco-Prussian war, and having lost the industrial region of Alsace and Lorraine. She had developed an army and industries to stand against Germany, as well as keeping a close relationship with Russia. Russia was the largest power of the six. It shared French concern about the growing power of Germany. She backed Serbia mainly because she had and old rivalry with Austria-Hungary and shared the Slav race with Serbia. After the Russo-Japanese War, Russia started to build up a large army in case she needed it in the future. Many countries knew the war was "bound to come". For this, all of the six powers began to think up of detailed plans for the future war. Germany knew that if the war broke out, she would have to stand against both France and Russia. For this, she came up with the Schlieffen Plan. Under this, she would quickly attack and defeat France, then, she would centre her troops on Russia. Austria-Hungary relied completely in Germany's plan, and after Germany had beaten France, she would join with her against Russia. The Russian army was huge but it wasn't well trained or equipped (quality not quantity). ...read more.

Conclusion

Finally, when the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie were murdered, Austria found the perfect excuse to declare war on Serbia. First, she sent an ultimatum, and without waiting for response, she declared war on Serbia on the 28th July 1914. According to all the events previous to the war, it is supposed that they weren't a great deal to Europe to "lit the fire" to the war, since they didn't last for many years or produced a big opposition between countries. Also, things like Balance of Powers, which intended to prevent both sides from starting the war, made it difficult. However, it is known that these events began to incline countries to war, and made them prepare their selves for it. Certainly, if all the arms race, and the plans of war hadn't take place, the countries wouldn't have been provoked to start the war, so if all the previous events to the war hadn't taken place, the war wouldn't have started at all. Although the Sarajevo murders were the perfect excuse for Austria to start the war, all the tension produced before and the crisis in Morocco and The Balkans which "rose the temperature" and "sparked to lit the bonfire" contributed to its decision, and were the main factors, as well as the murders, which made Austria decided herself to fight. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE International relations 1900-1939 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 GCSE International relations 1900-1939 essays

  1. Why do you think the Sarajevo murders lit the fire when previous events such ...

    As Serbia was a small country they could do nothing and so they looked to Russia (another much larger Slav nation) for help. Russia agreed but in 1909 backed down due to German interference when they declared their support for Austria-Hungary.

  2. Explain why events in the Balkans contributed to the growth of international tension in ...

    But this time the other European powers did not attempt to resolve the crisis allowing Serbia to take over any land as she wanted. Perhaps insinuating that the countries didn't want to avoid war that things had gotten so bad that a fight was necessary, remember Austria - Hungary even promised to 'crush' Serbia, as relations had declined so much.

  1. Dear Diary, It was the start of the Christmas month and I was ready ...

    not to go beyond 20 oz. tobacco per week. These are the substitutions: 4 oz. oatmeal or rice instead of bread, 1/3 oz. chocolate instead of tea, 1 pint porter instead of rum, 4 oz. dried fruit instead of jam, 4 oz.

  2. What were the causes of the First World War and who was to blame?

    These countries competed for economic expansion in Africa. Although Britain and France resolved their differences in Africa, several crises foreshadowing the war involved the clash of Germany against Britain and France in North Africa. In the Middle East, the crumbling Ottoman Empire was alluring to Austria-Hungary, the Balkans and Russia.

  1. The Causes of World War I.

    This Entante was formed in response to the German alliance with Italy and Austria. The formation of these two groups of allies set the stage for the hostilities of 1914. The next factor that caused the outbreak of these hostilities was the Moroccan Crises.

  2. The Alliance System and the Causes of the First World War

    It also gives the impression that Britain accepted this simply because the British government felt that they cannot back down, which would upset the British and French people creating a negative atmosphere for the British government. However, the British government viewed a European war as 'horrible', which suggests that the Anglo-French entente was not aggressive towards Germany.

  1. Questions on World War One.

    Indeed, from looking more closely at the alliance system before and after Bismarck you may side with Thomson on the "peace-keeping nature" of the alliance system. Bismarck's original system of alliances had been devised to keep the peace. - why Bismarck constructed alliances - fear of revenge thus determined to

  2. To what extent did nationalism within the Austria-Hungarian Empire contribute to the outbreak of ...

    Besides, Germany had also a growing interest in the Ottoman Empire and Constantinople. A Russian alliance would have meant condoning Russian occupation of Constantinople; the Dual Alliance meant that she could set herself against it. Two Germanic nations could work better than a Germanic and Slav combination.

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