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

The Main Reason for the Cause of WWI

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Main Reason for the Cause of WWI WWI was from 1914 to 1918 and consisted of France, Great Britain and Russia on one side, and Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy on the other. There were many reasons for the cause of WWI, but in order to find out which one was the most important, it is necessary to look at the alliances, the rivalries between the countries and the Balkan problem. Firstly, it is necessary to look at the alliances in the lead-up to the war. There were alliances between all the main powers involved in the war (on their separate sides). France was allied with Russia with the "Franco-Russian" alliance (1892). Britain was allied with France with the "Entente Cordiale" (1904). Finally in 1907, The "Triple Entente" was made allying France, Britain and Russia together. This was 'one side' in the war and was fairly recent in its alliance unlike the other side in which the complete "Triple" alliance was established in 1882, linking Italy with Austria-Hungary and Germany. ...read more.

Middle

From there, both countries were expecting war having spent so much time preparing for it. Also, the Germans and the French neighbours made war plans for land battles; the Schlieffen Plan and Plan Seventeen. These were created expecting the worst in a war e.g. The Schlieffen plan assumed that Russia and France both declared war on Germany and involved swift tactics to take Paris the attack Russia. These assumptions really boosted the expectations as well, to a point where a conflict would automatically (almost willingly!) turn into a full scale war. This shows that the fierce rivalry between the countries created technological advances and war plans that would all be to waste if not used properly. It was almost like the countries knew what the war would be like and were just waiting for a spark in the gunpowder. Ultimately, it is necessary to look at the problem in the Balkans. The Balkans was under control of by the weakening, Turkish (Ottoman) empire, and wanted freedom. ...read more.

Conclusion

In the end, that was what happened; the heir to Franz Joseph of Austria-Hungary, Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in 1914 while in Serbia. This shows how the Balkan problem grew with Austria-Hungary to a point where war was almost inevitable. In conclusion, looking at all the possible reasons for the outbreak of WWI, the alliances - how they would be dragged in to a conflict, the rivalry - how the tension was very high and the Balkan problem - the rivalry with Austria-Hungary and the Balkans. Each reason is equally important in the cause of the war, and even though the real reason that started war was the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, the main cause showed from the evidence above would be all the tight alliances between the world powers. Purely because it is what caused WWI to be a long, four year war, rather than a battle between two countries, it was the alliances and their interference that up scaled all the battles, and really caused a world war. ...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 International relations 1900-1939 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 International relations 1900-1939 essays

  1. Explain the importance of the war at sea to the final outcome of WWI

    British tactics at this point were pretty poor, although there were methods put into practice, such as decoy ships. The climax of this first submarine campaign culminated in the sinking of the passenger ship called the Lusitania. It was torpedoed south of Ireland, having started its journey in New York, claiming nearly 1200 innocent lives.

  2. Was The Naval Arms Race The Most Important Cause Of The Outbreak Of WWI?

    As the Germans built up their navy, so the Brits had to aswell. They developed a super-ship, more heavily armed and armoured than anything that went before it. It was called the Dreadnought. The Germans then built equivalent ships and so a race to build the most began, The Naval Arms Race.

  1. As demonstrated by these five historians, the theories on the primary cause of WWI ...

    England was intent on entering the war if France did, and simply utilised the Belgian issue as a guise for this intent. Fay Fay's perspective on the origins of the first war became the most accepted and durable of the revisionist arguments.

  2. Questions on World War One.

    While for Germany the fleet was a luxury, the British regarded their own fleet as essential for their survival as an imperial world power. Tirpitz's "risk theory" amounted to diplomatic blackmail. The effect was inevitably to bring Britain closer to both France and Russia, whereas she might have been a natural ally of Germany.

  1. To what extent did nationalism within the Austria-Hungarian Empire contribute to the outbreak of ...

    Germany's relations with Austria and Italy through the Alliance and with Russia through the "entente" and eventually the "Reinsurance" Treaty ensured that she was at the centre of the web. Both the Dual and Triple Alliance were aimed principally at France.

  2. Causes of WWI

    of the Austrian territories she had coveted at the peace settlement of 1919. Naval Rivalry Britain and Germany were the chief rivals at sea. Under Admiral Tirpitz, State Secretary of the Imperial Naval Office from 1897, a long-term shipbuilding programme began.

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