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

What caused Word War I.

Extracts from this document...


What caused Word War I. There is not just one reason alone why the WWI started, one moment two countries would be fighting and then straight after another country could be fighting. Europe was pretty much at each others throats from 1871 until the war started in 1914. The many long term causes were building lots of tension between the complex alliances and eventually the tension would grow so big and would only need one thing to spark off a world war. In this essay I will discuss the main long and short term causes of The Great War and what effect they had. The 'Triple Alliance' and 'Triple Entente' First of all, the main powers in Europe were Great Britain, France, Germany, Austria-Hungary and Russia. The aim of these countries was to keep a 'balance of power' to prevent large scale wars. There were two main alliances during the WWI. In 1882, Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy signed a document stating they would give each other military support if there was a war. ...read more.


Britain based the strength of her navy on the 'Two Power Standard.' This meant that Britain's navy could battle and defeat any two navies in the world! On the other hand Germany wanted an empire as large as France's or Britain's so they needed to expand their trade, mainly because of expansion in war and military, and as most of her trade was done over seas she needed a large navy to protect her ships while they were travelling from country to country. With Germany's only coast being next to Britain she would need a navy as strong as The Royal Navy, if not it would be easy for Britain to trap Germany and stop all their trade causing major problems! As the naval race started both countries started to produce battleships faster than ever and Germany was sure Great Britain would not be able to keep up. But this was wrong because the cost of creating these battleships for Britain was much less of there total income than in other countries. ...read more.


A young student, and member of the Black Hand, Gavrilo Princip, assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian throne, on June 28th 1914, on his visit to Sarajevo, as he drove past a crowd in an open topped car. He and his wife were shot with a pistol and were soon dead. After three weeks Austria delivered an ultimatum to Serbia. She wanted: * Serbia to take full responsibility for the murder, though Gavrilo Princip was not Serbian but Bosnian. * The right to police 'anti-Austrian' groups within Serbia. * The right to prosecute these and other conspirators in Austrian courts. Serbia was given 48 hours to accept the ultimatum, declining it would mean war. After talking with Russia Serbia declined the ultimatum and Austria declared war on Serbia. In conclusion, the complex alliances caused the small troubles in the Balkans to turn into a World War. Austria gained support from Germany whilst Serbia gained support from Russia and France, and Britain only came into the war when Germany invaded Belgium, while in the Schlieffen, trying to get to France. So you can see how a few gun shots led to the largest and bloodiest war ever! By Danny Waddington ...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. Questions on World War One.

    the view that it's an "accident" was too fatalistic. Instead, - lack of statesmanship should be stressed. - the background factors were certainly important behind the diplomatic and military calculation. N.B. The decisions made were seldom accidental, but conditioned by specific historical environment.

  2. What caused war in 1914?

    Germany knew that France was allied to Russia and that they would intervene with their conflict, so Germany then declared war on France. Germany attacked France through neutral Belgium, so Britain tells Germany to leave Belgium. Germany refused to leave Belgium so Britain declared war on Germany.

  1. Why was Europe on the brink of change at the turn of the 20th ...

    In 1862 Bismarck was appointed Chief Minister in Prussia where he skilfully propagated the bringing together of the German states by convincing Germany to unify against France. Bismarck deliberately encouraged the growing rift between Prussia and France by publishing the Ems dispatch.

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

    Most of Bismarck's political energy had been aimed at not so much finding allies for Germany but in avoiding having a combination of enemies facing her. He considered that this was most effectively achieved by creating mutual aversions amongst the other powers.

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