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

What were the Causes of the First World War?

Extracts from this document...


What were the Causes of the First World War? Thursday, 03 May 2007 There were many reasons why war broke out on the 28th July 1914. This was not the only date that it became a 'World War'. Austro-Hungary declared war on Serbia and from then it was a knock on effect. The War did not start just because of one assignation. The tension in mainland Europe had been building up for many decades. Everyone involved was waiting for was the ultimate trigger. One of the major long-term causes was the alliance system. Eventually the small war between two small countries resulted in world war because of the alliance system. The Franco Prussian War (1870 -1) was a major contributor to the 1st World War. The Treaty of Frankfurt (1871) ended the war but induced some extreme penalties upon France. Germany (was Prussia) took the two French provinces of Alsace and Lorraine, tempting because of their strategic position as well as rich iron and coalfields. This caused immense tension between the French living there and the German occupying soldiers. France wanted severe revenge for the loss of life and land. Slowly but surely smaller alliances grew in size and amount of countries involved in them. ...read more.


In 1907, as predicted in 1904, the 'Triple Entente' was set up between Russia, Britain and France. It further isolated Germany because she was 'surrounded'. This entente 'closed the circle'. The Naval Arms race was another major cause long-term cause of World War One. Admiral von Tirpitz was the creator of the German navy. Tirpitz believed that if Germany was to be a 'genuine' world power she had to have a massive navy that would challenge Britain's. Tirpitz believed that Germany's navy would not drive Britain into a hostile alliance with them but quite the contrary. They believed it would make an Anglo-German alliance more likely. Unfornatually Britain reacted very differently than expected. Britain felt threatened by the growth of Germany's navy and it pushed Britain even more into the hands of Germany's enemies. In 1906 Britain accelerated the navel arms race by launching the first 'Dreadnought' type battleship. Admiral Fisher of the Royal Navy believed that it would give Britain such a lead that Germany may stop in the naval arms race all together. The Dreadnought class was faster, better armed with guns that could fire further and more accurately than any other battle ship in the worlds. It could sink any rival before their guns came into range of the dreadnought. ...read more.


The main result of the Balkan war was that turkey lost most of its empire, Serbia and Greece gained more land. Most of the causes of the 1st world war were because of long term tension going back decades, but some causes, and the trigger, only go back a couple of days. On Sunday the 28th of June 1914 the Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo, Bosnia along with his wife. Serbia had planed to assassinate Ferdinand on this trip to see his army, which was on, manuvers. Due to the driver getting lost it gave Gavrillo Princip a chance to shoot the duke and his wife. This one shot allowed Austro-Hungary to issue a strong ultimatum, which Austria knew that Serbia would not accept. So with the support of Russia, Serbia rejected the ultimatum and Austro- Hungary declared war on Serbia. After the assignation war broke out very quickly. At first it was just two countries but then because of the alliance systems this "War" quickly escalated into a "World War" because of the alliances between most of Europe. The 1st World War was a horrific event in the span of history resulting in the loss of millions of lives. A Hotel in Verdun: Cloister of the Hotel de la Princerie And After Death and Destruction A field of dead French and German troops near Champagne Ross Clabburn ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...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. Marked by a teacher

    Why Did The First World War Break Out in 1914?

    5 star(s)

    On 2nd August, Britain mobilised its fleet of warships. The French army was put on a war-footing ready to fight any German invasion and Germany declared war on France on 3rd August, either because Germany was worried about a French attack or because the Schlieffen Plan said France had to be attacked before Russia.

  2. What where the causes of WW1

    This was the first war in the human history where the weapons of defence were superior to offensive. The First World War is also known as a war of attrition. In order to protect themselves from modern weapons, men dug in along the whole of the Western Front.

  1. Long term Causes of World War 1

    The causes of WW 1 were many and varied and they are viewed differently by different people The causes of World War One (WW 1) were many and varied and they are viewed differently by different people. The actual explosion that was WW 1 was the assassination of Archduke Franz

  2. Causes of World War 2

    After some time of re-taking lost land and colonies, strengthening his army and updating his army technologies, Hitler saw how reluctant the other European countries were to act, if they even decided to act at all. So as a result Hitler had made himself a very formidable foe and nobody had stopped him.

  1. The Alliance System and the Causes of the First World War

    Germany as an ally of Austria, was bound to defend her ally; seeing a weakened Austrian Empire would have put Germany in real danger in Europe. Although source G might indicate that Germany was planning a war, and therefore prepared its army, source G is not enough to simply declare Germany as the only cause of the war.

  2. The First World War was a result of Anglo-German rivalry. How true is this ...

    The Russians then went on to create a further entente with Britain in 1907, as it was clear that Germany was now a larger threat than Russia.

  1. The Battle of Verdun.

    have killed his friends and companions, but the fact that it is not demeaning to Germans and is in fact treating them as equals means that the source is unlikely to be suffering from considerable bias so it is useful when considering the battle of Verdun as well as fairly reliable.

  2. 'The First World War was the result of a badly mismanaged Balkan Crisis in ...

    war on the 3rd of August from Germany based on a complete lie, an apparent bombing by France of Nuremberg, but which was necessary for Germany in order for them to carry out the Schlieffen Plan. Remack however would disagree with this analysis.

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