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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: History
  • Essay length: 1320 words

The Causes of World War 1

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

The Causes of World War 1 Introduction World War 1 started in 1914 and ended in 1918. In this essay I am going to explain the short and long term causes and how they led to the start of World War 1. The war was mainly between The Triple Entente, which was Britain, France and Russia, and The Triple Alliance, which was Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy. All of the causes fall under 5 main categories: Nationalism, Alliances, Militarism, Imperialism and Ideology. Alliances In 1839, Britain signed an agreement with Belgium promising to help them out if they were ever to be attacked by Germany. This falls under alliances because Britain was promising to stick by Belgium if Germany invaded- so this is a friendship group amongst two different countries. I think this was one of the most important causes of World War 1. It led to the start of the war because in 1905, Germany created the Schlieffen Plan, which contained their strategy for fighting Russia and France because in the event of a war, Germany would be surrounded by these enemy countries. So Germany wanted to invade France so they could then focus entirely on fighting Russia, but in order to invade France they had to go through Belgium, and because Britain had promised to help Belgium if they were attacked, Britain then went and attacked Germany.

Middle

Although I don't think this was one of the most important causes of World War 1, I think it lead to a war because Germany and Britain were already competing to get the best military. Militarism was when people believed that having the best military made your country the best, therefore, in the event of a war whoever had the biggest military would have the bigger advantage. This led to more arguing between the two countries. Imperialism In 1871, Germany took the Border region of Alsace-Lorraine from the French control. France wanted revenge for this because it had been part of Eastern France since 921, during the reign of King Louis the German and later became part of the Roman Empire. This, therefore, played an important part of World War 1 because Alsace-Lorraine became a geo-political prize between the French and German powers- with harsh and rash actions taken by both parties. France was eager to regain this territory and finally did in 1919 at the end of World War 1, at the treaty of Versailles. Russia wanted a bigger empire. It was an enemy of Austria-Hungary and wanted to help countries in the Austro-Hungarian Empire to become more independent.

Conclusion

their fellow Slav nation and declare war on Austria and in doing so cover up their real intention- grabbing a piece or all of Austria. This was quite important as it was the second link in the chain of events that led to the start of World War 1. Conclusion The war was caused by lots of small links combining together to create a chain reaction. These links i.e. both Germany and Russia wanting more land, past resentments (Germany taking Alsace-Lorraine), the Germans wanting to prove they were as powerful as other countries (Militarism), Austria trying to keep its empire together (Nationalism), the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand and past treaties being honoured (Treaty of London, 1839). When we actually study the beginning of the chain- the first link was set in place by the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, by a Serb student in Sarajevo on June 28th, 1914. When Austria declared war on Serbia, Russia, a fellow Slav nation, went to Serbia's side and Germany supported its ally, Austria and France was allied with Russia. When the Germans invaded Belgium, Britain joined the war because of the Treaty of London- therefore Britain declared war on Germany. World War 1 had begun. So in my conclusion, the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand was the most important factor of World War 1.

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