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

How and Why did the First World War start?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How and why did the First World War start? World War One lasted four years, from 1914 to 1918. Over fifteen million casualties were created because of it. This includes over approximately ten million deaths. Along with that, four empires were affectively destroyed. So how and why did it start? There were many reasons both long and short term. Altogether they prepared time bombs, ready to explode into a destructive war zone throughout the world. During the war, one country dropped out of the fighting, one joined in and another switched sides. Ruler of Germany and Grandson to Queen Victoria, Kaiser Wilhelm II loved the army. He became Emperor at the age of 29 despite being partially deaf and finding it hard to balance. He envied the British Military and devoted himself to making his military defence better, especially the navy. He was determined to beat Britain's navy. When Britain launched the first Dreadnought ship, it put increased pressure on Wilhelm. He encouraged the Grand Admiral Tirpitz to build ships that could compete with the Dreadnought. ...read more.

Middle

The trip was successful and Britain was at peace with France. Altogether, Russia, Britain and France created the Triple Entente. Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy joined to form the Triple Alliance. So, over 15 years or more there had been a clearer and growing division in Europe creating effectively two major powers - the Triple Alliance and the Triple Entente. This was a time bomb waiting for a spark to set off a war. On the 28th June 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand was murdered. He was Austria-Hungarian and was visiting Serbia by invitation. He knew the trip was dangerous due to the conflicts between Austria-Hungary and Serbia but went anyway. He was taken by car through the streets to the City Hall. There were huge safety precautions for the visit. Police lined the streets and suspects for murdering him were arrested before the visit. There were also several hundred Serbian soldiers kept in their barracks. However, members of the Black Hand gang were also lined along the streets. These were Serbian extremists that feared the connection between Austria-Hungary and Serbia would be bad for the country. ...read more.

Conclusion

When Franz Ferdinand was murdered Austria-Hungary blamed Serbia for his death. On July 28th Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. As Germany had an alliance with Austria-Hungary, they fought as well. Italy also joined with Germany and Austria-Hungary, as they were part of the Triple Alliance. To help Serbia, Russia put its forces along the German and Austrian borders. Germany then declared war on Russia and its ally - France. In order to get to France, Germany needed to invade Belgium. However, Britain had agreed to protect Belgium from taking sides and declared war on Germany and Austria-Hungary on the 4th August 1914. On April 26th 1915, Italy changed sides. European colonies and the British Empire were dragged in from all over the world to join the First World War. Numerous countries were dragged in through colonies, allies and alliances. Within years, there was a colossal division worldwide - over twenty different countries were involved in some way or another. On a long-term basis, World War One started due to rivalry for colonies, the arms race and the alliance system. On a short-term basis, Franz Ferdinand's murder started the war. However, Germany was held responsible for the war and was fined a huge amount for reparations and gave back territory to countries worldwide. ...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 Germany 1918-1939 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 Germany 1918-1939 essays

  1. Which had a greater impact on the on the start of the second world ...

    Many Germans resented this as Germany was not given the chance to influence the terms or have a say. Also they were bitter about accepting responsibility for the war as they didn't believe the blame should go to them as war was going occur anyway, the Germans thought that Franz

  2. What were the causes of World War II?

    On September 1st, 1939, Hitler invaded Poland. Two days later, on September 3rd, 1939, Chamberlain declared war on Germany. This was the beginning of a long-lasting World War - a war that would take away the lives of 6 million Jews, as well as other peoples'.

  1. The Fall of France in World War II.

    Despite that it was also a direct violation of the clause for the demilitarized buffer zone between Germany and France in the Versailles Treaty, Hitler took his chances and succeeded in taking over the Rhineland. Hitler and his generals knew well that the German Army was weak and far behind

  2. How did World War II start?

    or aircraft, the navy could only have six battleships, and the Rhineland should be a demilitarised zone for at least fifteen years. Alsace and Lorene to France, the Saar land to be administered for fifteen years, it contains coalmines, which will be used by France.

  1. Were the Great Powers ready for war in 1914?

    The military expansion can be show as Germany being 'warlike and aggressive' however a great military is needed to be ready of war. In 1906 the French army was a more sophisticated army than the Germans despite the fact that Germany had 10,000 more men.

  2. Nazism and the New Age.

    For the masses, it was enough that they submit to the leadership, which would weld them into one entity through a common psychic experience. [Today this would be called a guided group "light experience", practiced by most NA channelers on their followers.

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