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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: History
  • Essay length: 1069 words

In this essay, I aim to find the most important cause of the First World War. There were four main causes. They were nationalism, imperialism, militarism and the alliance system.

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

In this essay, I aim to find the most important cause of the First World War. There were four main causes. They were nationalism, imperialism, militarism and the alliance system. Nationalism is the desire to achieve political independence, especially by a country under foreign control or by a people with a separate identity and culture but no state of their own. The people who lived in the Balkans, countries of Eastern Europe which had been ruled by the Turks, wanted to be independent. Imperialism is the conquering of other countries and the building and expanding of empires. In 1870, France was forced to hand over two of her provinces, Alsace and Lorraine to Germany in the peace treaty after the Franco-Prussian war and most Frenchmen wanted it back. Germany started late in the race to build colonies but was trying hard to catch up. Militarism is arms races. It is the strengthening of armed forces. Britain and Germany had a naval race.

Middle

As Russia was allied to France, the Germans declared war on France (3 August). France had strong defences on its borders with Germany so the plan was to attack France through Belgium. Britain had a treaty with Belgium and when the Germans invaded Belgium, Britain entered the war on the side of Russia and France. So, thanks to the alliance system, six countries were at war instead of just two. In this essay, I aim to find out who was most to blame for starting the First World War. Germany was a fairly new country. It only existed since 1870, and its neighbours were worried that if it continued to grow, it could become one of the greatest powers in the world. Germany encouraged Austria to blame Serbia for the assignation of Franz Ferdinand. When Russia got ready to fight, Germany declared war on Russia. As Russia was allied to France, Germany declared war on France. This shows that Germany was always willing to make the first move.

Conclusion

Austria blamed Serbia for the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. From then on, Germany took control mainly by declaring war on Austria's enemies. France joined the war by an alliance with Russia. In 1870, France had lost a lot of land to Germany and most Frenchmen wanted it back. The First World War was a good chance for this. Britain had a vast over-sea empire. Germany was jealous and was trying hard to catch up. Britain and Germany added to the war by having a naval race. They both spent masses amounts of money building the new super weapon. They were battleships called Dreadnoughts. I do not think that the First World War was anyone's fault. I think that it was a big mistake. Austria blamed Serbia for the assassination of Franz Ferdinand with no intention of starting a European war. However, I think that Germany was most to blame for starting the First World War. Once Austria blamed Serbia, Germany declared war on Austria's allies, and their allies and so on. Eventually, thanks to Germany, most of Europe was involved. ?? ?? ?? ??

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