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What were the causes of hostility which led up to the First World War?

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Introduction

What were the causes of hostility which led up to the First World War? Jessica Clayton - Lower VI The fundamental causes of the conflict between Europe and the rest of the world were rooted deeply in the European history of the previous century, particularly in the political and economic policies that prevailed on the Continent in the late 1800s. This was the time in which the world recognised the emergence of Germany as a great world power. The underlying causes of World War I were the spirit of intense nationalism that divided Europe throughout the 19th and into the 20th century, the political and economic rivalry among the nations and the hostility at military power. In 1914, Europe still dominated the rest of the world, with Germany taking the leading power both economically and militarily. Whilst Germany had taken over the production of pig iron and steel, Britain; France; Belgium; Italy and Austria-Hungary still lapsed well behind. Russia could never be a threat to Germany or even Britain, despite their industry expanding rapidly. But outside of Europe - it seemed the USA was producing more steel and pig iron than Germany and Britain combined. ...read more.

Middle

Perhaps the most dangerous hostility of all was Serbia's desire to free one's nation from the control of people of another nationality - they wanted to unite all Serbs and Croats. If the Serbs and Croats were to unite then it was inevitable that the Italians, Czechs, Slovaks and Poles would demand their independence too. Hostility was formed when the Austrians became keen to start a preventive war against Serbia. In 1905, the Germans made an attempt to test the recently signed Anglo-French alliance. One of the few areas in Africa at this time not occupied by Europe, was Morocco. England and France hoped they could also gain power over this also, but after declaring their plans, Germany also declared they would support the Sultan of Morocco in keeping their country's independence. However, to Germany's surprise, Russia, Italy and Spain also supported the Anglo-French plans and Germany suffered a great diplomatic defeat in what is known as the 'Moroccan Crisis'. After this defeat, Germany thought the world was allying against her and it therefore caused much hatred. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Balkan Wars of 1912-1913 resulted in an intensified desire on the part of Serbia to capture the parts of Austria-Hungary inhabited by Slavic's. It also strengthened Austro-Hungarian suspicion of Serbia and left Bulgaria and Turkey, both defeated in the wars, with a desire for revenge. Germany was disappointed because Turkey had been deprived of its European territory by the Balkan Wars, so it increased the size of its army. France responded by expanding peacetime military service from two to three years. Following the example of the other nations, the rest of Europe hurriedly gathered together the best military available, for now the great loom of war was inevitable. The war was, in conclusion caused for many reasons. Years of feuding, hostility and animosity culminated in one of the greatest wars our world has seen. But who was really to blame? Despite the fact the world was in fact against Germany - should the blame be shared equally or even more so amongst other countries? I think the answer to this is yes, for if we are to look at the evidence summarised in this essay, Germany are certainly not to take all the blame for what was a brutal and most hostile war. ?? ?? ?? ?? History 3rd March 2002 ...read more.

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