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

Was World War one inevitable?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

WAS WORLD WAR ONE INEVITABLE? Alex Nathan February 2002 There are many different views on why World War 1 started, and whether it was always going to happen. Some thought it was Germany's ambition that brought about the war, some thought that Austria's desire to crush Serbia started it, but a clear answer has never been found. World War 1 was called the war to end all wars. When the news came to the people of the countries involved in 1914, the majority seemed happy and excited that they were at war. The triple alliance (Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy) was at war with the triple entente (France, Russia and Britain). Before the war, Britain and Russia had tried to settle the rising tension in Europe with peaceful negotiations, but Kaiser Wilhelm and his Austria-Hungary alliance declined these offers. Germany gave Austria-Hungary the "blank cheque" or in other words the go-ahead to declare war on Serbia, and France gave Russia, who had signed a military agreement with Serbia, the go-ahead to defend the Serbs. This, adding to the assassination of Franz Ferdinand of Austria in Sarajevo on 28th June 1914, all combined to mark the start of the second biggest war in the last century. But the question is, was this war inevitable? This essay will argue that World War 1 was inevitable because of the tension between the Balkan countries and the great powers, as well as the alliance systems. ...read more.

Middle

Germany had France and Britain to contend with. Soon 90 per cent of Africa was under European rule, but Germany still felt hard done by, as they had got the least. The Germans were not as successful as Britain, France or Russia in using imperialism to gain respect back in Europe. Germany was left with a little of Africa and a few Pacific islands. This lead to German jealousy. Then there was the problem with the Balkans. The Balkan countries had defeated the Turks and led to the downfall of the Ottoman Empire and the Treaty of San Stefano in 1878. Austria was interested in the Balkans because it desperately wanted to expand its empire. The countries in the Austrian Empire had seen what the Balkan states had done to the Turks, and the Austrians were worried that they would have a rebellion on their hands. The Austrians also wanted Bulgaria free from Tsarist rule. Germany had given Austria more confidence in provoking Serbia by signing a military agreement with them. Germany said that they would back Austria whatever. Russia was interested in the Balkans too. They wanted a warm water port and to protect Serbia (who had the same basic orthodox religion as Russia) from Austria, stunting the Austrian expansion. Serbia wanted to kick Austria out of Bosnia and join up with the Bosnians. But the other Balkan countries all wanted to rule themselves and grab land from neighbouring countries. ...read more.

Conclusion

Source: I.Geiss (ed.), July 1914, London, 1967. Cited in The origins of the first and second World Wars - (Frank McDonough) But German generals and private companies wanted war. The companies because they would reap the profits, especially the ones that made weapons and other products useful in war-time situations. The officials wanted war because they thought; what is the point of having all this naval force and all these weapons if we don't use them? The war had started and Germany had invaded Belgium on route to France. Britain had to join in. So the first World War was started and it seemed it was always going to. In conclusion, this essay finds that there were too many troubles and conflicts growing in Europe at the time for there not to be a war of some sort. The war in the end turned out to be on a near-global scale with the USA sending in some troops in the last year. From the evidence I think that war was always going to happen, but could have been avoided on such a large scale. For example, if the Austro-Hungarian and German alliance had agreed to British and Russian ideas of peaceful discussion, the war could have turned out completely differently. It could have ended up a war between just Austria and Serbia, or just Russia and Germany, or many other combinations of events. So, this essay finds that, yes, World War 1 was inevitable, but not on a global scale. ...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. History essay why did world war one happen

    German leaders were very worried by what they called 'encirclement'. Friendship between Russia and France was seen as an attempt to 'surround' and threaten Germany. As a result of this tension both sides adapted plans to deal with the system.

  2. Was WWII Inevitable?

    In addition, he viewed the Soviet Union as standing in the way of the Nazi goal to acquire "lebensraum" (living space for Germans). American isolationism also played a decisive role in allowing WWII to happen. The American government had opposed intervention in European affairs since before World War I, seeking to avoid undesired expenditures on their part.

  1. How successful was Bismarckas Chancellor in his foreign policies between 1871-1890?

    As Bismarck said a few years before during the Eastern Crises, no Balkan issue was "worth the healthy bones of a Pomeranian musketeer". So, although this alliance with Austria-Hungary and later with Italy brought some advantages to Bismarck of which I stress the fact Germany had at last an anti-French

  2. Did Serbia benefit from the Balkan Wars?

    Kosovo was the centre of this great kingdom. During this era, Serbia was recognized by the great monarchies of Europe. It was Serbia alone who created this great kingdom, and Serbia who defended it in 1389 against the Ottoman Turks under the leadership of the Serb, Prince Lazar.

  1. Questions on World War One.

    To what extent did the Balkans settlement of 1913 sow the seeds of World War One? The Balkans - focus of Austro-Serbian rivalries and places where Pan-Germanism Vs Pan-Slavism The 2 Balkan Wars resulted in the Balkan settlements - Ambassadorial Conference (1913)

  2. AMR essay

    The Cold War was an important thing for Nixon to consider because it was still going on and America had been expressing hated toward Communists since the beginning. Visiting China would be good though because it could speed up the end of the Cold war that they were stuck in.

  1. World War One

    With the stalemate holding the war in Verdun at a standstill both General Rawlinson, who was in charge of British Forces at the Somme, and General Haig believed an attack at the Somme would take the pressure away from Verdun and the focus on where they had set up i.e.: the Somme.

  2. World War One Project

    them but the death toll grew too high and the price of war was getting too much for each side. Britain alone spent about $35,334,012,000 on WW1, Germany spent $37,775,000,000 repairing their damages which left them in severe debt which played a significant part in Adolf Hitler?s reasons to start WW2.

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