Main Causes Of World War 1 Essays

Causes of World War I Essay


There were many causes to World War I (1914 - 1918). The issue of which country was to blame of causing this great war is very controversial. No one country was to blame. The four main causes of World War I was militarism, alliances, imperialism, and nationalism.

Militarism is the glorification of the military. This was a romantic view of the war. Germany and Great Britain were in great competition. Both countries were increasing their naval spending. This arms race, or the build up of armies and navies, caused fear and suspicion. Germany had challenged Britain as the number one naval power. This led to a hostile relationship.

Alliances were agreements among nations to aid each other if attacked. By 1907, Europe was divided. Great Britain, France, and Russia all formed the Allies while Germany, Austria- Hungary, and Italy formed the Central Powers. As seen in Document 4, the position of Germany might have led to an early declaration of was because it was surrounded by the allied powers.


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Imperialism, competition for trade and colonies, resulted in tense relationships between European nations. Britain and France formed alliances against Germany as a result of competition for colonies. Germany wanted to expand and take over Europe, as seen in Document 1.

Nationalism was pride and devotion to one’s country. This led people to support their government even if it meant war. France, whose pride had been hurt after the Franco-Prussian war, wanted revenge against Germany and regain Alsace and Lorraine. This seen in Document 3. Ethnic minorities, such as the Slavic people, wanted unity and independence. Russia felt obligated to defend all Slavs because they all shared a common nationality. By 1914, ethnic tensions in the Balkans were increasing, making it the “powder keg” of Europe.

The immediate cause of World War I was the assassination of Archduke Frances Ferdinand of Austria Hungary in 1914. He was assassinated by Gavilo Princep, a member of the Black Hand (a Serbian nationalist group). This event is depicted in Document 7. Austria-Hungary wanted to punished Serbia. They issued an ultimatum, or a final set of demands. An excerpt of these Austrian demands can be seen in Document 8.

World War I had many causes to it. Militarism, alliances, imperialism, and nationalism were the four main causes. Most of the European countries were all in somewhere responsible for the outbreak of war. There was no one country to blame.

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World War I, also known as the First World War, was a global war centered in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918. From the time of its occurrence until the approach of World War II, it was called simply the World War or the Great War, and thereafter the First World War or World War I. In America, it was initially called the European War. More than 9 million combatants were killed; a casualty rate exacerbated by the belligerents' technological and industrial sophistication, and tactical stalemate. It was one of the deadliest conflicts in history, paving the way for major political changes, including revolutions in many of the nations involved.
The war drew in all the world's great economic powers, which were…show more content…

This was caused because of militarism, alliances, imperialism and nationalism. The four main causes that started the first world war. Militarism was one of the causes of the causes of the World War 1. Militarism is a belief that a strong military/defense is important for a country to be successful. One example is that Robert E. Lee, an American career military officer, one said, “ I and the army were born for one another”. The Origins of the First World War suggest that Emile Zola thought war is important for the country to be successful because the author wrote, “ War is life itself. Nothing exists in nature,is born, grows or multiplies except by combat”(Document 1). This primary source helps explain militarism was an underlying cause of the war because it states with war, you can gain success and prosperity. The Origins of the First World War suggest that james joll thought that without a strong army and navy, heir country will be powerless, because in the text it states, “We realize that without power, without a strong army and a strong navy, there can be no welfare for us”(Document 8). This primary source helps explain militarism was an underlying cause of the war because it is suggesting the reader that without a powerful defense, there would be no welfare.

Alliances were one of the other main causes of the World War 1. Alliances was a strong positive relationship between countries that provide

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