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What where the causes of WW1

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Introduction

The Causes of the First World War. An event happened on the 14th of august 1914 that led to the death of over 20 million people both military and civilians with a further 21 people wounded and 7.5 million taken as prisoners. It was then when all the nations in Europe including the five great powers Germany, Britain, Austria-Hungary and France and Russia declared war on each other causing a great war often known as the First World War. The war finally ended on 11th of November 1918, however majority of the damage was caused after the war ended. The consequences of this war where huge a flu epidemic spread across the globe killing at least 20 million more people, Furthermore, the land throughout Europe was destroyed due to the heavy artillery and trench warfare. Cities in France, Germany, Russia, and other countries were in ruins. Not to mention the huge unemployment rate and economic damage. In this essay I will discuss the causes of the First World War both long term and short term. I will discuss the MAIN long-term causes of world war one Militarism Alliances Imperialism Nationalism, and several short term causes such as the Balkan wars, Boer wars and the Agadir crisis among many others. Firstly I will focus on nationalism and how it contributed to the start of world war one I will discuss different instances of nationalism such a the Treaty of San Stefano and how the French where defeated when they attempted to stop Germany was becoming an independent and how that lead to the French seething with hatred. Secondly I will look at imperialism and how it caused the nations of Europe to fight over certain countries such as the Fashoda incident which led to the British and the French to clash over Sudan thus finding themselves in very difficult position. I will also focus on how countries developing their weaponry and defences can cause aggression, confidence and tension between nations. ...read more.

Middle

Now that several countries where arming themselves heavily the where all terrified from each other so the formed alliances splitting Europe into two dangerous groups. Within Europe during the early years of the twentieth century, a system of military alliances was formed to provide European powers with a sense of security before the commencement of the war. Two rivalling alliance systems where established. ?The Dual Alliance consisted of the Central Powers, Germany and Austria-Hungary that had existed since 1879 when Bismarck had befriended the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In the agreement, both countries pledged that they would go to the aid of the other if attacked by Russia. This was done to ensure that Germany would always have an allied nation on its border if war were to occur. Italy later joined this alliance in 1882 forming the triple alliance, which remained intact until the beginning of World War I. The conditions of the alliance changed after Italy was added and stated that countries would aid any other that was under attack from two or more countries. The other alliance: The Triple Entente was made up of Great Britain, France and Russia. As a result of Germany's build-up in naval resources, Great Britain was forced to abandon its isolation policy and adopt allies. France joined Great Britain in 1904. Unlike the Triple alliance, this agreement contained no promises of military support, although the two powers began to talk of joint military plans. The Triple Entente was completed when Russia joined in 1907. As the two key alliances strengthened, a potentially disastrous situation was created whereby if any single country was to provoke or be involved in any conflict, allied nations of both sides would come into the conflict to assist any allied nation and would eventually cause mass war. Several short-term events that helps to intensify tensions and conflicts one which is the Balkan wars. The Balkan Wars were two wars in South-eastern Europe in 1912-1913. ...read more.

Conclusion

The action was confined to the Dardanelles Strait and the tip of the Gallipoli Peninsula near Istanbul. The same year, Italy had withdrawn from the Triple Alliances when war started, and on the Eastern Front Russians were losing their lands and over 750,000 soldiers were taken as prisoners. By the end of 1915 the whole society of Europe mobilized for war. This was to be the world's first Total War. Women were taking on the jobs, and most male population was sent to war. The total war started when Germans used their first gas attack: Gassing was the start of total war, because it broke all limits, the social taboos, the gentleman's etiquette of other wars. In conclusion I think that nationalism was the main long-term cause to world war one as nationalism leads to imperialism imperialism leads to militarism and alliance ad also nationalism is that prompted Gavrilo Princip to assassinate archduke Franz Ferdinand and it is what lead to alliance which turned Europe into a volcano simmering to erupt, unfortunately in that case war was inevitable and was bound to happen so even though the murder a Sarajevo was the spark to that caused the great war to happen there were several things that have been building up over that last 50 years before the war that caused it to get to that point of instability. "The last twenty years of the 19th Century, say 1880 to 1900, those years were characterized by an immense optimism. It was thought that public health, invention, the telegraph, the telephone, ultimately the wireless and the radio, were going to civilize human life in a way that it had never been civilized before. And, then, all of a sudden, what happens is ghastly war breaks out and spoils everything." The inventions that were supposed to improve the standards of living for humanity in fact made the war more tragic. "The age that died in 1914 was a brilliant one - so extravagant in its intellectual and aesthetic endowments that we who have come after can hardly believe in its reality." ...read more.

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