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

What where the causes of WW1

Extracts from this document...


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.


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.


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.

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. World War 1 - The role of the Alliance System

    The reason it was a world war, was because all of the colonies from empires like Great Britain's and France's became involved.

  2. Explain the different aims of the three leaders, Clemenceau, Lloyd-George, and Wilson at the ...

    and Clemenceau emerged quite satisfied, Lloyd-George was moderately happy, and Wilson was disappointed with most except the League of Nations. 3. Explain the purpose and intent of the League of Nations when it was established in 1921 WORD COUNT: 693 "The League sought to create a brotherhood of nations dedicated to work together for the good of all mankind.

  1. Long term Causes of World War 1

    The Serbian-Austrian relations were especially tense as Austria had demanded for an independent Albania, thus preventing Serbia from expanding into the Adriatic during the 1900s.

  2. How far was Germany to blame for causing WW1

    and be recognised as a supreme power in its ability to rival other countries, particularly Britain due to its empire, as it wanted an empire of its own with a prevailing army behind it. These actions and desires of Kaiser understandably brought arise to unease and tension between itself and other super powers.

  1. The main cause for WW1 was naval Rivalry. To what extent do you agree ...

    28th June 1914 Franz Ferdinand, The Arch-Duke of Austria-Hungary was assassinated. Franz was travelling by car from the railroad to the town hall when suddenly Gabrinovic (A member of the black hand) threw a grenade at the car but Franz and his wife were left uninjured whereas several officers riding in his attendance were injured.

  2. Why did the Assassination of Arch Duke Franz Ferdinand Start WW1?

    As Austria Italy and Germany, all wanted to expand their empires without taking little land from each other it seamed logical to create an alliance together. Britain had little concern for what happened in Europe, it wanted to concentrate its priorities overseas to its vast empire.

  1. The failures of Gallipoli

    out well making the battlefield and landings very disorganised because the plan was too ill thought out to follow. The reason that Churchill might have thought that his plan was so ingenious was because he might have had cyclothemia. If he did have cyclothemia he must have been on a

  2. World War 1 - How Two Bullets Caused 20 Million Deaths

    He gave in and revealed everything. All the members of the Black Hand Gang were captured and sentenced in prison if they were below 20 or sentenced to death if they were above 20. Austria was really angry and world war one was on the brink of happening.

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