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Explain the Causes of World War One

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Introduction

´╗┐WHAT WERE THE CAUSES OF WWI? World War One was a turning point in history. Many scholars study this event and what caused this huge conflict. Germany used to be the sole one responsible for this war, but many controversial debates later, the blame was gradually put on the other great powers of Europe as well. In this essay, I will be analyzing the main causes of WWI, especially targeting the long-term causes. Most of these causes and events may be classified into 4 main themes: imperialism, the alliance system, militarism & nationalism. Imperialism contributed greatly to the outbreak of WWI. Imperialism is when a country takes over other lands and subjects them to their rule to extend their power and influence. In the pre-WWI era, the great powers of Europe strove to expand their empires. Germany, who only became an united nation in 1871, desired a large empire like Britain?s, who at the time had an empire that stretched out over 5 continents and colonized about 1/3 of the world. ...read more.

Middle

This shows how easily countries may begin to consider war and attack to take over new lands. Another event that shows clear intent of imperialism is the Bosnian Crisis in 1908, when Austria-Hungary took over Bosnia, tension grew so thick between Austria-Hungary and Serbia that with one tiny trigger, war would be a possible threat. Another main cause of WWI was militarism. Britain, who had the strongest navy at that time, felt threatened when Germany decided they wanted to build their navy power as well. The Anglo-German naval race of 1906-12 started when Kaiser William II of Germany released the Tirpitz Plan, which was a plan to increase Germany?s naval size. The British brought out the HMS Dreadnought, a deadly battleship, in 1906. Though Britain eventually won, it was clear Germany posed a serious threat. There was also an increase of armed forces which created the mood and atmosphere for war. By 1900, Russia had the biggest army of 1.1 million, though the number had decreased to 0.8 million by 1914. The armies of Germany and France had more than doubled from 1870, though England?s army had not increased much as they prioritized the naval race over building their army. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, William II was young and felt no need to have Russia on their side. It should be taken into account that if there wasn?t an alliance system, WII might not have been a ?world war?, just one between Austria-Hungary and Serbia after an immediate cause- the trigger event of the assassination of the heir of the Austrian throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Bosnia on 28th, June 1914. The assassination of the Archduke was committed by Gavrilo Princip, a Serbian nationalist. He was part of the ?Black Hand?, a secret Serbian nationalist society. This links to nationalism as the Serbs were tired of being ruled by the Austro-Hungarians, and in return, murdered Austro-Hungary?s heir. This shows how much they were wiling to do to make their point. This also links back to the alliance system. France, bound by treaty to Russia, found themselves at war against Germany, and by extension, war against Austria Hungary. Meanwhile, Britain who was allied to France, declared war on Germany. Once again, it should be mentioned that if it were not for the alliance system, perhaps not as many countries would?ve been involved in the war. ...read more.

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