As mentioned before, the world at 1914 had been split in two, Germany, Austria - Hungary and Italy; The Triple Alliance on one side and Britain, France and Russia; The Triple Entente on the other. However, Italy itself also formed a secret alliance with France, that should an event occur where the Triple Alliance becomes void then France supports the allies of the Triple Entente. Whilst originally Italy claimed neutrality, a year later Italy still entered the war honouring the Secret alliance. Russia itself had made a treaty with Germany, The Reinsurance Treaty as it was called that stood for 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. Therefore, Russia joined the Triple Entente as a response to Kaiser Wilhelm II rejecting the treaty after Bismarck’s dismissal in 1890 as well as the French promise of an open market in 1894, Franco-Russian alliance. Therefore threatening an enemy with a militant response didn't ensure peace but only caused a ‘domino effect’ for everyone else to follow the act due to alliances under the strong belief that the interests of one country were more important than the other.
This form of Nationalism, contributed to the outbreak of war by spiking tensions due to previous disputes. In the case of France it saw retribution in war after its humiliation in 1871. With revenge in mind, French imperialism constituted rapid colonisation into Africa which further demeaned their financial stance as Francesco Crispi of Italy began employing anti-French economic policies over his outrage at French protectorate of Tunisia. Over the next two decades, little improvement occurred for the French and French entered the Triple Alliance. This greatly contrasted French occupation of Germany during the Napoleonic Era adding more turmoil in the relations of the two. Meanwhile, Russia was beginning grinding teeth with Austria- Hungary over Bosnia as it had its own nationalistic reasons.
There were three major crises that contributed to the ‘Great War’. The First Balkan Crisis of 1908 began with Austria-Hungary's annexation of Bosnia as Bosnia was trying to expand their territory into the Balkans. Thereby involving Serbia who wanted Bosnia to become part of a 'Greater Serbia' and Russia who too considered itself the protector of Slavic people. However both had to back down when Germany backed up Austria-Hungary, in accordance to the Triple Alliance of 1882 as Germany's army was far superior. Russia began modernisation of her armed forces as well as increased the speed of its mobilisation in the prospect of never backing down again. The Second Balkan Crisis consisted of the First and Second Balkan Wars (1912 - 1913). In 1912 the Balkan countries were controlled by the Ottoman Empire (Turkey). After the first Balkan crisis, the nations occupying the Balkans formed the Balkan League subsequently driving out the Ottoman Empire for their right of independence, as well as conquering Turkeys land in Europe. However in 1913, the Balkan countries fought amongst each other for power which only strengthened Serbia who then proclaimed that Austria-Hungary was its next target. This greatly worried Austria-Hungary as their opponent was growing in strength and could now challenge their empire.
The two other major crises were the First and Second Moroccan Crisis. The first crisis was due to the German Kaiser coming to Morocco and treating the sultan as a sovereign. Due to the fact that neither Britain nor France had included Germany in the talks about French colonies. The Kaiser also wanted to weaken France by causing Morocco to attempt to gain independence, a conference was held by the major powers on the status of Morocco as a nation yet almost every power voted against it. The second crisis began once France sent troops to occupy the city of Fez this caused distress as France did not have the authority to do so due to an earlier treaty. Once again Germany was given a pretext to complain over France’s occupation of Morocco. German response of sending over a Gunboat to the city of Agadir lead to renewal of British fear (over Germany's expansion) hence choosing to support France causing the breakdown of German-British relations. The crises concluded in 1905 yet the immediate main cause of the First World War was the assassination of the most beloved man in Austria-Hungary.
June 28 of 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand the heir to the Austro - Hungarian throne was murdered by Serbian nationalist group ‘The Black Hand’. In grief at the lost of his favourite Franz Josef accuses the Serbian government of being involved with the terrorists, presenting them with an ultimatum more demanding than history has seen before. Unable to comply to the staggering demands, Serbia is declared war upon by Austria-Hungary, a month after the assassination. Peace consequently fails as ‘domino effect’ begins with Russia - being bound by a treaty to protect Serbia it declares war on Austria-Hungary, Germany allied to Austria-Hungary intervenes, France bound to
Russia declares war, The Schlieffen plan is put into play as Germany invades Belgium, England intervenes as to protect Belgium’s neutrality, Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand and the Union of South Africa are involved as its colonies, United States although neutral until 1917 intermediates after Germany's policy of unrestricted submarine warfare, Japan follows honouring a military agreement with Britain and Italy although allied to both Germany and Austria - Hungary evades war until 1915 claiming that the war against Germany is not ‘defensive’ meaning it cant intervene but eventually joins the conflict siding with the enemies of her two former allies.
By the time the First World War ended in 1918, eight million people had died in what had been perhaps the most apocalyptic episode the world had known. The main causes often summarised by the acronym MANIAC - Militarism, Alliances, Nationalism, Imperialism, Assassination, Crises demonstrate how the actions of each power contributed to the war. From Germany’s rapid growth that frightened the balance to French bitterness to Russian and Serbian nationalism to crises and the one that triggered it all the assignation of Franz Ferdinand as well as the alliances that condemned militaristic response. Whilst opinions vary on the most important causes it is clear that the events that occurred in 1914 had been so intertwined that each cause contributed to another.
Mr. Barnett in Particular prefers introductions to be three lines long without any flowery language
Some teachers dont require this (Mr.Barnett)
Dont use acronyms
Again use of acronym
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