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Causes of the First World War (Evaluating Fischer and Ritter's claims)

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Introduction

Many historians have looked at World War One, of the most deadliest wars in history lasting from 1814 to 1818 as inevitable; however, the question of "Who had made it inevitable" still remains the topic of ongoing debates. It had been commonly agreed that World War I was the result of irresponsible and belligerent acts committed by European powers, with the main antagonist being Germany; yet, it was also clear that the complex and tensioned foundation state of Europe in the beginning of 19th century with unresolved conflicts and tension contributed significantly to the causes of "Great War". 1st paragraph : Bad rulers and unresolved tensions. A country is only as good as its leader; and one of Europe's main problem during the 18th and 19th century were the powers' poor quality of government in time of conflicts and tension. Turkey was falling apart - the 'sick man of Europe'; Austria-Hungary was in danger from growing Pan-slavism in the Balkans; Wilhelm II of Germany was unpredictable and confrontational, as commented by R.J Unstead : "The ...read more.

Middle

2nd Paragraph : Nationalism, Militarism, Imperialism, Alliance System. Nationalism, militarism, imperialism, and the entangled alliance system and dominated the Europe scheme in the late 18th and 19th century. Nationalism, or desire of people with same culture and such to be united under one's leadership, was the foundation for pan-slavism and pan-germanism, the two leading "trouble-makers" of Europe. The Serbs' nationalism had from the beginning upset the Hapsburgh family, causing conflict between Austria and Russia, and to add to the problem, was the main motive to the assansination of the Austrian royal, Arch Duke Ferdinand. French nationalists were grieved with revengeful feelings toward Germany; it was reasonable to say France did not desire for war, but was not avoiding it either. Also with nationalism raising high in Germany and Welpolitik, Wilhelm wished to increase Germany's military power and "a place in the sun"; this puts him at odd with Great Britain. Extreme nationalism results in nationalists' desire to demonstrate the country's power, and this established militarism. ...read more.

Conclusion

The unification of Germany and her belligerent acts, in addition to other nation's high nationalism spirit, had resulted in militarism, imperialism, entangled alliance system with numerous conflicts and crisises, leading to wwI. Paragraph 3 : Short term causes Resulting form various forces and conflicts during the 18th and 19th century, the countdown for war was quite sudden but not unexpected. After the assasination of the Austrian royal, Austria was sure determined to punish Serbia for it, but without Germany's consent with the "blank cheque", she should have resisted sending the unreasonable ultimatum due to Russia's likely support for the Serbs. Russia, due to her self-interest in the Balkan "powder keg", felt compelled to protect the Serbia from Austrian invasion; therefore rejected Germany's last attempt to withdraw responsibility in the break-out of war. Due to the Schiefflen Plan, as Russia mobilized, Germany declared war on both Russia and France, and France was surely not at all resistant to start mobilizing. Britain was one country that had the least to gain if entering the war; however, she lost her options when Germany invaded Belgium, and the Great War occured. ...read more.

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