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What Were The Main Causes Leading Up To World War 1?

1064 words - 5 pages

World War I was the result of leaders' aggression towards other countries, which was supported by the rising nationalism of the European nations. Economic and imperial competition, fear of war prompted military alliances and an arms race as well as the assassination of the archduke Francis Ferdinand, which further escalated the tension in the Balkans contributing to the outbreak of war.World war 1 started on the 28th of June 1914 when Austria-Hungary declared war on Russia and ended on November 11th 1918. World war 1 was fought in Europe but did involve around 50 countries and 31 million men where over 7 million of them died with 2.6 million missing in action.The menace of the hostile ...view middle of the document...

As Britain increased their output of battleships, Germany correspondingly stepped up their naval production, including the Dreadnought. Although efforts for worldwide disarmament were made at the Hague Conferences of 1899 and 1907, international rivalry caused the arms race to continue to feed on itself.At the settlement of the Congress of Vienna in 1815, the principle of nationalism was ignored in favour of preserving the peace. Germany and Italy were left as divided states, but strong nationalist movements and revolutions led to the unification of Italy in 1861 and that of Germany in 1871. Another result of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71 was that France was left seething over the loss of Alsace-Lorraine to Germany, and Revenge was a major goal of the French. Nationalism posed a problem for Austria-Hungary and the Balkans, areas comprised of many conflicting national groups. The ardent Pan Slavism of Serbia and Russia's willingness to support its Slavic brother conflicted with Austria-Hungary's Pan-Germanise.Another factor that contributed to the increase in rivalry in Europe was imperialism. Great Britain, Germany and France needed foreign markets after the increase in manufacturing caused by the Industrial Revolution. These countries competed for economic expansion in Africa. Although Britain and France resolved their differences in Africa, several crises foreshadowing the war involved the clash of Germany against Britain and France in North Africa. In the Middle East, the crumbling Ottoman Empire was alluring to Austria-Hungary, the Balkans and Russia.Another conflict was incited by the Austria-Hungarian annexation of the former Turkish province of Bosnia in 1908. The Greater Serbian movement had as an object the acquisition of Slavic Bosnia, so Serbia threatened war on Austria-Hungary. Russia had pledged their support to Serbia, so they began to mobilize, which caused Germany, allied with Austria-Hungary, to threaten war on Russia. The beginning of World War I was postponed when Russia backed down, but...

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