Why did WW1 break out?

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Asha Samrai

History ‘Dry Run’ WW1 Coursework Essay

Why did WW1 break out?

1.   War broke out as a result of a combination of short and long term factors. The system of alliances contributed to the outbreak of war as this caused tension between the countries and everyone became suspicious of everyone else. The triple alliance consisted of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy, and the triple Entente consisted of Britain, France and Russia. There was a lot of mistrust between the alliances and if say Russia and Britain were to fall out, then all of the countries would be involved.

The Moroccan crises played an important role to the cause of World War One as the alliance between Britain and France was strengthened, which threatened the Kaiser and his plans as he didn’t expect Britain to take France’s side over Morocco. They made it very difficult for Germany to climb down in any future crisis. The Kaiser was made to feel humiliated and it would now be difficult for him not to seek revenge.

The arms race between Britain and Germany appears to be a significant factor to the cause of WW1. Each country tried to out produce the other. From 1906 onwards both Britain and Germany were producing powerful ships and the European countries knew that they were preparing for a war that was to escalate very soon. Britain was wondering why Germany wanted such a big navy, unless the Kaiser was planning on attacking the British navy. This produced a lot of mistrust and jealousy between the countries.

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2.  The assassination of Archduke, Franz Ferdinand, heir to the

throne of Austria-Hungary occurred on the 28 June, 1914. The assassination was carried out by Bosnian youths of Serb background. This would have aggravated the Austria-Hungarians and therefore Austria-Hungary was given the opportunity to move against Serbia and resolve its Balkan problems. Germany agreed to support Austria-Hungary against the Serbs, giving them unconditional support in the form of a blank cheque. The Russians had decided to support the Serbians. Austria-Hungary issued an ultimatum to the Serbians containing impossible demands which were to provoke war with Serbia. Germany ...

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