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What caused Word War I.

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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.

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