World war one is one of the most important events in world history. It took place in Europe in 1914-1918. The whole world participated this war. So everyone had some responsibility. There are more than one reasons for the outbreak of this war. Mainly, it was the expansion form of nationalism & the alliances system. Other issues played a major part too, such as imperialism, the industrial revolution, naval race and domestic factors. One of the main long term causes as I said before is Nationalism. Nationalism is the patriotic feeling when people believe passionately for their countries.
The extreme feeling of nationalism is called ethnocentrism and it leads to fascism. Nationalism also, promoted the war because nationalists wanted to reestablish their nation’s power. Th e majority of people before and during the world war one, wanted to have a larger territory. Flags are created to represent a country. The three countries that formed the Triple Alliance was formed by different ethnic groups. Above all, Austria’s – Hungary’s ethnic groups wanted their independence. These groups were, Slovaks, Serbs & Czechs.
They wanted to rule themselves and have their own state. Particularly, many Serbs in different territories wanted to join the neighboring state of Serbia. Italy was also formed from a collection of smaller states, aiming at having its government established. The trigger cause of world war one was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinard & his wife also by a Serbian nationalist. This happened in June 1914 while they were in Sarajevo, Bosnia which was a part of Austria – Hungary. This assassination was in protest to Austria – Hungary having control of the region.
This was the extreme form of nationalism as I said above, that killed the prince of Austria and world war one began. Another cause which cause the war is imperialism. In other words, the competition among powerful countries to extend their power. All the countries were looking for ways to conquer oversea colonies. There was a competitive feeling about it. They also needed more resources. Naval bases for Germany & Britain were also of paramount important. For example, France & Russia prepared to face any German invasion. Germany took from France an important industrial area of Alsace – Lorraine.
In 1890 Germany has a New Kaiser who was very active. Germany seized control of Chinese ports & wanted more oversea colonies as Britain & France had. Italy also wanted more oversea colonies and that’s a reason it joined the Triple Alliance. Furthermore, there is another cause, the alliances. Alliances existed to support “friends” and threaten enemies. The promoted their own culture. Alliance’s movements are like gangs. They used violence and technology weapons. Alliances active role before the war was to understand the progress of the war & country’s movements.
So before world war one Russia defended Serbia. Serbia’s territories were controlled by the state of Austria – Hungary. Serbia started the war against Austria – Hungary and Russia got involved. France & Russia had a close friendship. A response to get back its land Germany attacked France through Belgium. In 1884 the Triple Alliance we formed with Germany, Italy and Austria – Hungary to support each other militarily in case of an attack. The Triple Entente that formed in 1904 with Britain, France and Russia. The last cause of the war was the industrial revolution, in other words militarism.
Militarism is associated with technology weapons. Such as cars, bombs, machine guns, submarines, bullets, dynamites etc. Industrial development was very important in order to be powerful. In this new war armies used cars and not horses. Another point is the radio, was used for propaganda. Everything was moving very fast. Military includes submarines, airplanes and machine guns. France & Russia worried a lot for Germany’s development. Loans from France helped Russia to develop industries. Germany’s navy plan named “Navy Code” was increasing their navy.
This plan worked as a threaten to Britain. Germany’s development of their navy was apparent. It become one of the world’s most powerful navy in 1980 with Britain first. In 1914 German industries was second in the world only to that of the USA. Serbia was also becoming a powerful force in Balkans. France also built up their industries & army. Russia was the largest of all six powers however it was the most backward and least developed. As a result of this war there was devastation across Europe. Eight millions of people died & twenty – nine millions injured.
The use of the word destruction includes issues we are not able to see. It’s not only the destruction of buildings, the lack of education and the economic decline. It’s also the lack of ideas, family issues, the psychology of the crowd, propaganda and much more. Even after the world war one for decades the leaders changing politics, changes & public opinions. In my opinion preserving the peace was neither Triple Alliance’s or Triple entente’s priority. What if the countries did not show off or compete for power? I believe that nationalism was the most important cause for causing the war.
Consequently all the countries were reacting in extremely nationalistic ways and unreasonably. I also think world war one was a result of leader’s antagonism towards other countries which was sustained by the increasing nationalism of European nations. The assassination of Archduke worked as the immediate cause that triggered a domino effect of reactions among all these countries. If this wouldn’t happen, they would have find another cause to start the war. I suppose everything’s happened because of the selfishness leader’s had. They didn’t inspire the crowd & this prove that there was the failure of diplomacy.
Courtney from Study Moose
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