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

Assess critically three causes of the First World War

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐Assess critically three causes of the First World War Nov 03 The rise of militarism brought military forces into the forefront of government priorities as European powers engaged in an arms race. This arms race became the source of tension and competition between Britain, France and Germany. In particular, the Kaiser William II of Germany resented the strong navy of Britain, and heavily increased the power of the German navy, starting a competition for power in the seas. The armies of France and Germany double between 1870 and 1914. The emphasis on militarism expressed the preference of force as a means of solving problems for the powers, and pointed to war as an inevitability. All the powers had military agreements with their allies, and when WWI broke out, the powers were more ready to strike. As such, militarism was a contributing factor to the readiness of countries to enter the war. ...read more.


What these two crises also revealed was the increasing rivalry between the strengthened alliances between countries that felt the threat of a common enemy, such as the Anglo-French Entente against Germany and Austria-Hungary. Conclusively, while most colonial disputes between the Great Powers were resolved through concessions without war, the build-up of tension and further alliance strengthening provided context and impetus for entering war in 1914. The Sarajevo assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand on June 28, 1914 gave the Austrian Government cause to launch military action against Serbia, and subsequently set off a chain of events, which ultimately led to the outbreak of World War I. For years Serbia had been steadily growing in power and prestige with its? victories in the First and Second Balkan war, a fact which Austria-Hungary resented since the installation of the Karadjordjevic dynasty in 1903. ...read more.


At this time, the Russian government (25 July) vowed to mobilize should Serbia be attacked. On the same day, Serbia replied to the ultimatum by accepting all but one of the conditions, knowing that this could lead to the outbreak of war, and mobilized. When the reply was received, A-H then mobilized, and by the 6th of August all the Great Powers of Europe apart from Italy had involved themselves in what became WWI. The Sarajevo assassination therefore can be seen as a defining moment in the outbreak of the Great War in that it was deliberately exploited by Austria-Hungary In conclusion, while there were varying reasons for the outbreak of the Great War, factors such as imperialism and militarism were not direct causes, but rather allowed for the build-up of tension and preparation for war, so that when the July Crisis lead to war, the Great Powers of Europe were ready to participate both militarily and interest-wise. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate History 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 International Baccalaureate History essays

  1. Compare and contrast the causes of the First World War and the Second World ...

    Having felt that they had lost the war unjustly in the first place, and that they had been "stabbed in the back" by the liberal, "November criminals" who had signed the agreement, mass feelings of nationalism spread throughout Germany, in turn helping Hitler (who appealed to a traditional, conservative public)

  2. Why were the central powers defeated in the First World War

    and they could send a liberty ship every day. Moreover, US troops were "fresh", young, fit and optimistic, they were trained efficiently and well equipped and thus could fight more effectively. The US joining the war also elevated the morale of British and French fighting soldiers.

  1. Wars frequently begin ten years before the first shot is fired. To what extent ...

    This policy demonstrated the aggressive approach that the Germans wanted to implement, which resulted in friction with other nations. There are 5 main reason why Britain adopted such an ambitious policy and this more authoritarian approach. The first reason was that the expansion of Germany towards being an expansive, strong

  2. IB History HL, Extended Notes: Russia, the Tsars, the Provisional Govenment and the Revolution.

    Early Reforms 1917-1918 1. Large number of decrees issued to begin Russia?s transformation into a communist state. 2. 8-hour workday and a system of social insurance planned to cover old age, sickness, injury, unemployment, maternity, widows, and orphans was introduced.

  1. Examine the Main Causes of the First World War

    neutrality from both parties in the events of war involving a third party. The important thing to note is that the Triple Alliance had a militant approach rather than a neutrality clause like in previous treaties which illustrates the militaristic nature of Kaiser as The Reinsurance Treaty was signed under Bismarck in 1887.

  2. To what extent were economic conditions the predominant factor in the proliferation and manifestation ...

    The coherence and harmony of the middle class was entirely disintegrated as winners and losers confronted each other across a deep chasm carved by the force of hyperinflation. The deep new social divides of the middle class led to the fragmentation of the parties that had represented this portion of society, rendering them immobile against visceral demagogy from the right.

  1. The Causes of WW1. First World War caused by MANIA: Militarism - Alliances ...

    In March 1909 both gave their acknowledgements but Russia suffered huge humiliation and the result in Serbia was the growth of nationalist terrorist organizations. Historian Imanuel Geiss argues "the Bosnian crisis was a kind of dress rehearsal for the First World War".

  2. To what extent did militarism contribute to the origins of the First World War ...

    Germany?s attempt failed as France and Britain ended up allied. After the retirement of Bismarck and the replacement of Wilhelm I by Wilhelm II, the German navy started changing. With the new ambition to transform Germany into a global power, Admiral Alfred von Tripitz initiated the formation of the Navy League.

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