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Causes of WW1

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Introduction

Causes of World War One There many factors contributing to the start of World War One, one of the bloodiest wars ever fought, both short and long term. The long term causes were Militarism, the Alliance System, Imperialism and Nationalism. The short term events include the First Moroccan Crisis, the Second Moroccan Crisis at Adagir, the annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Germany's "blank cheque" and finally the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand at Sarajevo. Militarism was ripe in the European countries during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Militarism means; "The belief or desire of a government or people that a country should maintain a strong military capability and be prepared to use it aggressively to defend or promote national interests". One example of militarism leading up to World War One are the British-German Naval Race. The Naval Race began after Kaiser William II announced the Tirpitz Plan to increase Germany's naval size. Britain, who went by the "Two-Power Standard" at that point, also increased their naval size. However in 1906 Britain introduced the HMS Dreadnought into service. The Dreadnought was a revolutionary ship, rendering most previous battleships obsolete with its superior speed, thicker armor and bigger guns which had a far larger range. ...read more.

Middle

put it "a place in the sun" but at that time most of the most profitable areas had already been colonized by the French and the British. This led to increased tension between the Britain and Germany and between France and Germany although the British-French Entente was strengthened. Nationalism was another of the main reasons for WW1 and was mainly in the Balkans. The Austro-Hungarian Empire at the time was interested in expanding into the Balkans at the time and Russia did not approve as most of the population in the Balkan area were Slavs, like the Russians. The Austrians however were of the Germanic race but the Austro-Hungarian Empire at time had many different nationalities within its borders. Apart from the Austrian native people there were Serbs, Romanians, Magyars, Germans, Czechs, Poles, Slovaks, Ruthenians, Serb-Croats, Muslims and Croats. As you can see, many nationalities. The big independent state in the Balkans at the time was Serbia and after the Austro-Hungarians annexed Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1908 the Serbs were very angry as they did not want their fellow Slavs under the rule of a Germanic empire. Russia supported this view and started a policy called "Panslavism". This Policy was intended to unite the Slav people under one banner. This Slav Nationalism eventually led to the spark that started the whole war. ...read more.

Conclusion

Serbia however, after recieving the promise that Russia would support them if they were invaded, did not agree to all these demands and so Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia on July 28 1914. Russia started mobilizing its troops a few days after. Germany declared war on Russia on August 1st and on France on August 3rd. Germany then proceeded to launch a pre-emptive strike on France before the Russians had a chance to mobolize all her troops. During this attack the Germans violated Belgium's neutrality by following the Schiefflen Plan which involved going through Belgium and northern France quickly securing Paris and then moving onto the Russians. This plan failed however as the Belgians and French put up a much tougher resistance than expected. The invasion of Belgium was what brought Britian into the war as Britain thought herself as Belgium's "protector". In conclusion I think they were alot of factors that contributed to the outbreak of World War One but I think that the assassination of Sarajevo had the greatest repurcusions. I think this because if the assassination had not happened then the war would not have begun and at the end the Treaty of Versailles that eventually led to the rise of Nazism in Germany would not have happened. Nor would the Russian Revolution and subsequently the rise of Communist Russia and the Cold War. ...read more.

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