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Causes Of World War I Essay

1334 words - 6 pages

World War I was a war that started in 1914 and ended in 1918. During this war, nearly 3,400,000 soldiers were killed. The main countries that were involved were Russia, France, Britain, and eventually the U.S.A. against Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy. Although many causes can be traced back to starting the war, political factors were the main cause of the war. Other factors that also contributed to the war were geographical, economic, and cultural.
Political factors became a major reason for starting the war, especially among the main countries who later fought in in. Great Britain was the first country to have an industrial revolution, which allowed it to bring in more money than before. The other countries (i.e. France, Germany, and Austria-Hungary) began to catch up with Great Britain. The countries wanted recognition as major world powers like Britain. While this was occurring, small conflicts here and there became a dividing line among the countries. A result of these small conflicts, alliances between different countries believing in most of the same ideas were formed. When Germany and Austria-Hungary formed an alliance in 1879, tensions rose between them and Great Britain, France, and Russia. By 1907, two main alliances were formed, the Triple Alliance and the Triple Entente. The Triple Alliance consisted of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy, while the Triple Entente was composed of Great Britain, France, and Russia. The many treaties and alliances between different countries, even though they were in an alliance themselves, made Germany feel as though it was being “encircled by hostile countries”(Ross 9). More political factors include Austria-Hungary’s enmity towards Serbia. Part of this was Austria-Hungary, who, according to Allan, was the weakest of the 5 powers (8), felt threatened when Serbia acquired more lands during the second Balkan war, which will be discussed in a later paragraph. Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s assassination was the spark Europe needed to begin a war amid the countries. On June 28, 1914, Franz Ferdinand, the archduke of Austria-Hungary, and his wife, Sophie Chotek von Chotkowa und Wogin, were visiting Sarajevo, Bosnia when a terrorist, later confirmed of being from the Black Hand terrorist group, drew close to the car and shot Franz Ferdinand in the neck and his wife in the abdomen. Both were dead right after 11 am the same day. Austria-Hungary blamed Serbia for his death, which was later confirmed, and because of this, sent Serbia an ultimatum that was to be accepted within 48 hours or face war (Ross 8;Clark 23). On July 28, 1914, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. Austria-Hungary had been waiting to declare war on Serbia for awhile and the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand gave them the excuse to do it (Ross 27). Though political factors were the main cause of World War I, another pronounced origin of the war were geographical factors.
Geographical factors were also a major cause of World...

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