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Why did World War one break out in 1914?

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Introduction

Why did World War one break out in 1914? In this essay I am going to explain why world war one happened. There are many causes, both long term and short term for example the rivalry between Germany and France because of the Franco Prussian war, and the assassination of archduke Franz Ferdinand. It is hard to tell which is the most important cause, because lots of countries had tensions with each other, and the war took place because of all these. One long-term cause of world war one was the fact there were two established Alliance systems- the triple Alliance and the triple entente. This was where countries all over the world were backing each other up, each member of the alliances promised to help its allies if a country belonging to the other alliance attacked them. The Triple Entente consisted of Great Britain, France and Russia (formed in1907) The triple Alliance consisted of Germany, Italy and Austria-hungry (formed in 1882). This was an important cause because without it there probably would not have been a 'world war' just war between individual countries, because many different countries were backing each other, the opposition feared, and made their alliance bigger. ...read more.

Middle

Bosnia was an independent country and wanted to extend its influence over Serbia whilst Austria-hungry were determined not to let this happen. It was also the case that Austria-Hungry was made up of a series of nationalities and was afraid that if one country gained their independence the rest would follow and this would lead to the break-up of the Austro- Hungry Empire. This was a very important cause because it involved a lot of countries and Austria-Hungry and Serbia became enemies both countries played a big part in World War 1. This cause was also linked to one of the main causes of tension: the rivalry that existed between Russia and Austria-Hungry. Russia, though one of largest countries in the world, was also one of the most backward in terms of its industrial development. Russia desired more land and so it looked to the Balkans to extend its influence. Clearly this posed a threat to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, as they too wanted to extend their influence in the Balkans. ...read more.

Conclusion

So Germany declared war on Russia, and at the same time sent its vast army towards France and Belgium. The French army was then put on footing ready to fight any German invasion. (These are all important short-term causes and contributed to making the situation a world war.) Germany hearing about this declared war on France and invaded neutral Belgium. Belgium tried to stop this, but their army was nothing compared to Germanys. Britain ordered Germany to withdraw from Belgium. While the Germans were still in Belgium Britain declared war on Germany. To complete the picture Austria Hungry declared war Russia. In my opinion the main cause of this war was Germany's desire to dominate Europe. They continually wanted to make their empire bigger and increase their wealth. Also the alliance system was a very important cause because of all the countries that were linked together. For example Germany invaded France and Belgium, but Britain got involved because they were in an alliance with France. The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand mattered a lot because it caused Austria's behaviour towards Serbia and from that other countries got involved. ...read more.

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