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Causes of WWII

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Introduction

The Causes of World War I Why and how did multinational problems in the Balkans develop into a European war in 1914? Word Count: 1563 Date due: December 11th, 2007 By Rasmus Hansen 2.u Birker�d Gymnasium CONTENTS Introduction ............................................................3 The Triple Alliance.....................................................3 The Triple Entente.....................................................4 Conflicts in the Balkans...............................................4 Balkan wars.............................................................5 July Crisis and Blank Cheque.......................................5 Conclusion...............................................................6 Bibliography............................................................7 The causes for World War I are very complex and include a large number of factors. All the great nations of Europe became involved in a huge and global war, due to diplomatic and multinational problems occurring in the Balkans. Multinational problems led to a massive European war in 1914, due to complex cobwebs of alliances and agreements. Nations felt obliged to interfere in the matter and thereby assisting or supporting their allies which inevitably led to crisis and war. The Ottoman Empire, along with Russia and Austria-Hungary, had great interest in the Balkans but the situation was marked by disagreements between the nations. Therefore the powerful European powers, including Britain, Germany and France intervened, which ultimately caused the situation to spiral out of control. Moreover, the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, is by many historians believed to be the main reason for the world war, however, the following July crisis was a result of growing multinational problems in the Balkans. ...read more.

Middle

Conflicts in the Balkans were at a peak in the years up to World War I. In 1909, a very serious event took place called the Bosnian crisis. Bosnia-Herzegovina, which was under Turkish rule, was annexed by Austria-Hungary. This act caused increased tension among the Great Powers, and was an extremely important contributor to the Great War (WWI). Turkey and Russia disapproved of Austria-Hungary's act, as Turkey ruled Bosnia, and Russia supported the Serbs who wanted to have Bosnia integrated in its own state. Germany lacked allies and its only real trustworthy ally was Austria-Hungary, and therefore Germany supported Austria in its cause as she felt she was obliged to aid her. Austria-Hungary was considering an attack on Serbia to crush the resistance, but she knew that this act could easily have dire consequences. She feared that Russia, who supported Serbia's fight for independence, would intervene and aid Serbia, and therefore relied upon German assistance if necessary. Germany was asked where she stood in this matter, and Germany's reply was to support Austria-Hungary and mobilize if necessary. Russia, who were worried about the vast power of Germany and Austria-Hungary would not risk open war because of Serbia and pulled out of the conflict, which meant great humiliation of Russia. ...read more.

Conclusion

Austria-Hungary waited until the 23rd of July 1914, to send a harsh ultimatum to Serbia. However, Serbia could not accept these conditions and was aware of the fact that it had Russia's full support. When Serbia did not accept the ultimatum, Austria-Hungary, followed by Germany, felt that she had no choice but to declare war on Serbia, thus involving Russia. However, this declaration of war against Russia would pull in Russia's allies, Britain and France (The Triple Entente), making the war develop into a massive European war. To fully appreciate and understand how WWI was caused, one must look into the many conflicts and tensions that were build up in the years before the war. The Balkan affairs were extremely important as they were what caused a background for a future war. Relations between the countries and more importantly, the alliances, were getting increasingly worse, as nations wanted to give their full support to their allies. These Balkan events build up tension, and when the Archduke Franz Ferdinand was shot dead by Serbs, the whole situation escalated into war. Therefore, it is hard to say what directly caused the war. We know that the July Crisis itself set off the war, however, it would not escalate in such an extreme way if the complex events in the Balkans hadn't taken place. ...read more.

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