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The Cause of WWI Essay

WWI started in 1914 and ended in 1918. WWI was known as the Great war before WW2 happened as it was supposed to be the war to end all wars. Also the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand has been blamed as the catalyst for WWI (Spielvogel Book). The major players in WWI were the Triple Entente- Britain, France, Russia and the Triple Alliance- Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy. The reason for the assassination was because of Nationalism, Militarism and the Alliance that played the biggest part.

Learning about WWI helps us understand todays conflicts because for example the geographic lines that were drawn after WWI in the middle east is a huge driver of modern conflicts with the fall of the Ottoman empire and Persia, plus there is a lot of more facts that would help us understand more. Nationalism is a force that can be positive, together a nation’s people, or negative, from national pride resulting in negative conflicts (Norman 571). Sadly in this case, nationalism was a negative act that played a part in ass the assassination.

National tensions had risen so high that even the slightest wrong doing of a nation’s rights by another might be considered a cause for war. Serbians wanted to expand the size of their country to include places outside Serbia that had ethnic Serbian populations living in them, what they want is a bigger country they will call ‘Greater Serbia’ this will include places like Croatia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Montenegro, and would mean taking chunks out of other neighboring countries like Romania.

They want all the Serbian people to live together in one country, but they don’t want these people to move to the current Serbia they want Serbia to take over the countries that these people live in. Now the way nationalism played a role in the assassination is because if the Serb terrorists had not killed Arch Duke Franz Ferdinand, Austria would have never declared war on Serbia. The reason why the Serb terrorists killed Franz Ferdinand was because they did not like an Austrian ruler ruling a Serb country thus making an act of nationalism.

So that gives you a better understanding of why nationalism played a huge role in the assassination. One other major factor that played a major role in the assassination was Militarism. Militarism is the belief in having a strong army force and navy (Joll 575). This belief led to an arms race in Europe, which was when the countries were making more deadlier weapons than their rival nations. 65 million men were mobilized during WW1, and 8. 5 million were killed, 21 million were wounded, and 7. 7 million were POWs.

So just over 1 in 7 soldiers were killed a further 1 in 3 were wounded and 1 in 9 were captured. So over half of all soldiers that took part were killed, wounded or captured. Britain was an island nation and thus wanted to rule the waves. militarism leads to suspicion and thus it was one of the causes. Also Eight to Ten million soldiers swallowed each other up and when they did they eat up all Europe more bare than any swarm (Engels 153). So now as you can see how militarism had a big affect on everyone in the assassination.

The last factor that took place in the cause of the assassination was the alliance. The Alliance was probably the second biggest factor in the assassination because militarism was directly because of industrial revolution, and everyone had nationalism but alliances made it a world war (McCutcheon 566). Alliances drew everyone into a big fight when it should have been a internal issue. Europe’s major powers had been divided into the Triple Alliance (Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy) and the Triple Entente (Britain, France, and Russia).

The alliance system did cause WWI to the extent of the size of the war by bringing and pulling countries in to the war. The triple alliance promised each country to provide military support in the case of war. When the Triple Entente was created, it did not ask for reciprocal arrangements for support, though it did allow a large variety of arrangements and negotiations to occur. One negotiation was the support in war though. Alliances pulled countries into the war because if they weren’t followed, a consequence of retaliation would be expected.

The alliance system was a major cause of the assassination because it had produced preventable tensions, but was incapable to resolve long-term issues, and created unrealistic expectations among the countries involved. Nationalism, Militarism and Alliance were the major causes in the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand. Today’s and WWI conflicts are similar in a way because back then there was a major revolution in military technology, but no change in tactics, and today we have adapted our tactics to our technology.

Another way todays Conflicts and WWI have similarities is there was a lot of new Technology never seen before in world war 1 like tanks, machine guns and airplanes. Today there is new technology in the war against terrors. A difference between WWI and todays conflict is that back then we were fighting nations and alliances, today we are fighting for fanatic terrorists who take no regard towards any code of honor, Its all out kill. A nation will die when all the weapons are taken away (Zola 559). Learning about WWI does help us understand about todays conflicts in many ways.

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