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The Causes of World War I.

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Introduction

The Causes of World War I World War I was the result of leaders' aggression towards other countries that was supported by the rising nationalism of the European nations. Economic and imperial competition and fear of war provoked military alliances and an arms race, which further worsened the tension contributing to the outbreak of war. World War I eventually transformed into a European struggle as 32 countries finally got involved in the war. However, what were the long terms causes for the major countries of the Alliance system in 1914: Britain had a large empire and had a strong navy; it had been the main industrial country in Europe for over 100 years. Long Term Cause: Germany's emergent strength. For example, Germany was now producing more iron and steel than Britain; Germany was building a navy as big as Britain's; Germany was growing its empire throughout Europe. Population: 45 million Soldiers: 711,000 Warships: 185 Money Spent on Military: �50 million Germany had only become a united country in 1871, but by 1914 it built up an overseas empire. The Kaiser wanted Germany to become a 'world wide power'. Long Term Cause: Jealousy of Britain's Empire and prosperity; fear of having unfriendly countries (France and Russia) on its eastern and western borders. Population: 65 million Soldiers: 2,200,000 Warships: 97 Money Spent on Military: �60 million Russia was the largest country in the world, however its leader, Tsar Nicholas II, was not very able and most of its people lived and worked in terrible conditions. ...read more.

Middle

I have now covered the general concerns for the countries and how they formed into their alliances; but their main question of this essay is what were the main causes for World War I: THE ARMS RACE: One of the causes of World War One was the build-up of weapons and armies in Europe. There were a number of reasons why this was happening, mainly the usual reason for an arms race was: paranoia. For instance, if you're France, you look over and see that Germany has, 15,000 troops ready to move at a moment's notice. You only have 10,000. The natural reaction in this situation is to make it so that you have more standing troops than Germany, so you step up your army. Now let's say that you're Germany. You see that France just doubled their army, and has more troops ready than you do. So, of course, you need more. Things rotate from here. When you've got an entire continent doing this over more than forty years, it's easy to see how the situation can quickly get out of hand. A good illustration of this is the fact that, from 1870-1914, the standing armies of France and Germany doubled. In 1889, Great Britain decided that it was a matter of necessity to have a navy two and a half times larger than anyone else. ...read more.

Conclusion

The German invasion of Belgium to attack France, which violated Belgium's official neutrality, prompted Britain to declare war on Germany. World War I had begun. However there were other points that were also involved in steps to war: * Germany's invasion of Belgium. * Germany's desire to dominate Europe. * The size of the British Empire. * France's desire for revenge. * The alliance system. * Austria's rivalry with Russia. * Germany's fear of being surrounded by France and Russia In my view one of the main reasons of World War I was the fact of paranoia and jealousy of rival countries. We can say that this lead to the huge growth of European countries armies and empires. I think that every country had the prosperity to be one of the most powerful countries in Europe, therefore this lead to having wars with other countries to recognize who is more dominant. Subsequently, in my view this war was inevitable due to the hunger for power and dominance. The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand was the spark of the World War and produced a chain reaction throughout Europe. Although we can say that it was the 'main' cause of the war, Europe was in a period of time where it was the epicentre of desire for supremacy. From this essay I can now say that the World War was inevitable in my view but was triggered by: * The Assassination of Archduke Ferdinand. * The Armed Race-jealousy. * The desire for power. ...read more.

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