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Why did Europe go to war in 1914?

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Why did Europe go to war in 1914? The 'Great War' of 1914-1918 became the first war anyone had ever seen of its kind, not only that, but it was the First World War. It did not, however, begin as a world war. It started in Europe for several reasons. In the ten years running up to 1914 there were two rival powers in Europe. These were the Triple Entente, which was made up of France, Great Britain and Russia. There was also the Central Powers, or Triple Alliance, consisting of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy. There was a long-standing rivalry between France and Germany, which had begun in 1871, when Germany defeated France, and took over Alsace-Lorraine from the French, because of this Germany was expecting France to try and take back Alsace-Lorraine from them. ...read more.


The Kaiser Wilhelm II was in control of a navy consisting of 97 battleships, and the best trained and equipped army in the world. Even so, the Germans were still wary of fighting a battle on the west and east front. The Russians however had there own secret weapon too, it was called the Russian steamroller and was a peasant army with millions of members, the Germans were afraid of all the advances which were being made to this army and wanted to destroy the power before it became fully modernised. The German general, Count Alfred von Schlieffen knew that if Germany wanted to win a was over Europe, they would need a quick and speedy plan to gain victory in the west. ...read more.


On 28 June 1914 Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife were shot dead by a Serbian nationalist, Gavrilo Princip, because Austria-Hungary and Serbia were having a dispute over who should rule over the Serbs of Bosnia. Austria-Hungary then decided to go to war against Serbia in retaliation. Because of the aforementioned European alliance system, this war automatically drew in several other countries. Russia sided with Serbia, whereas Germany gave their support to Austria-Hungary. France and Great Britain, as members of the Triple Entente along side Russia, back with Serbia and joined Russia. Thus the most powerful countries in Europe started a war that would last four long years and kill millions and millions of innocent people, in one of the worst atrocities man has seen. ...read more.

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