Reasons For The Outbreak Of World War I In 1914

723 words - 3 pages

The First World War was the result of many age-old conflicts within Europe. Rising nationalism, imperialism, and a lack of knowledge and fear of war influenced this antagonistic conflict. There were many other more direct causes however, such as the blows to national pride, the alliance systems, the arms race, conflict in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the Schlieffen Plan.Before world war broke out, many European nations had suffered sever blows to their national pride through serious defeats by ‘lesser’ nations. France had lost the provinces of Alsace-Lorraine in 1871 to Prussian states, creating Germany, and they were thirsty for ‘Revanche’. Russia had suffered crushing naval defeats by Japan, an adversary seen as substantially weaker. Britain had also been humiliated by the troubles of the Boer War, with Germany supporting the Boers. These disgraceful defeats made nations ready to prove their power, increased desire for revenge, and acted as influences in the shaping of the alliance systems.By 1882, the Triple Alliance had formed between Germany, Austro-Hungary, and Italy. France became worried, as they were enemies of both Germany, due to conflict over Alsace-Lorraine, and Italy, due to French prevention of Italian expansion in Africa. This influenced the creation of the Franco-Russian Alliance in 1892. Although France had found an ally, Russia was too slow and weak, despite sheer military numbers. France allied with their traditional enemy, Britain, through the Entente Cordial in 1904. France encouraged British-Russia relations, and the three made an agreement in 1907, forming the Triple Entente. In the event of conflict, all parties would be obligated to become involved. The imperialistic nature of the Great Powers, a war in Europe automatically became an international conflict through the Empires’ various colonies. These alliances had effectively split Europe into two massive entities, causing increased fear of foreign invasion, hate of foreigners and a nervous apprehension of coming war.This fear and resentment helped fuel the arms race, which was also influenced by growing militarism in Europe. Nations considered the creation of arms to be a God-given-right and a fundamental in imperialistic expansion, which was directly based on nationalistic ideals. As nations built upon their military might, other nations became worried, and...

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