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Long term Causes of World War 1

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Long term causes of world war 1. The long term, underlying causes of World War I were nationalism, militarism, imperialism, and the defensive treaty alliances of both sides. Militarism is another name for the arms race. Great Britain and Germany were distrustful of one another and attempted to keep their military might as powerful as possible. Great Britain felt the development of German naval might was a threat to their empire. Nationalism was developing in areas like the Balkans, which would lead to conflicts between the major powers. Imperialism was the desire to expand one's nation via colonies or control over other areas of the world. This also would lead to conflicts between the major powers. Once the "spark" of the assassination of the Archduke ignited the conflict in the Balkans, the alliance system would draw the major nations into the Great War. Superficial and more fundamental causes Nobody doubts that the 'trigger' or 'spark' was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife by the Serbian Black Hand terrorists in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914. The real question is this: Why was this crisis not dealt with in a more conventional, much less destructive way? ...read more.


This aggressive movement led to increased tension between Russia and Austria as Russia supported the independence movements of the Slavs. Turkey then supported Austria as she thought that they wold be able to save her from breaking even more. In Western Europe: The loss of Alsace-Lorraine by France to Germany in 1871 led to much bad feeling between the two countries. The Kaiser's self-proclaimed goal of making Germany "have a place in the sun" did nothing to ease tensions. Instead, the military buildup in Germany, especially the expansion of the Navy, drove Britain, who was alarmed at the direct challenge posed by the German High Seas Fleet to the British Royal Navy, into an alliance with France. Thus, when World War I began, everything began falling into place: Austria and the Ottoman Empire declared war on Serbia, which then caused... Russia and France to declare war on the both of them...which then led to Germany declaring war on them. In order to invade France via the Schlieffen Plan (which called for the invasion of France via Belgium), Germany invaded Belgium which was a direct violation of the neutral guarantee and that led to Great Britain's declaring war on the Central Powers. ...read more.


When he was killed by a Serbian, the Balkans were outraged and sparked the war to start. By the time that the Archduke was assassinated, the world was just looking for an excuse to start the war. ADDED: There is an eighth reason, which is of the utmost importance and which has already been stated above: >>>"Austria and Germany [...] instead of just trying to work things out between Austria and Serbia they would rather risk a world war, that clearly shows that Austria and Germany wanted a cause for war and that's what the assassination served as <<< According to the German historian Fritz Fischer, there is a wealth of documentary evidence that points a very clear, accusing finger at Germany. By "Germany" he doesn't of course mean all Germans, but the German General Staff. If one examines the German and Austrian documents together, it becomes very clear that there were 'hawks' and 'doves' in Vienna. At one point it looked as if the 'doves' were about to carry the day, and the consternation of the German General Staff knew no bounds. They used all their contacts and all their influence to make sure they got their 'jolly little war'. Austria-Hungary was put under immense pressure to escalate the crisis. This eighth reason is as important as the preceding seven put together. ...read more.

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