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Why Did World War I Break Out In The Summer Of 1914?

1581 words - 6 pages

The First World War began almost by accident as "the catastrophic result of defective decissions."2 Moreover, "it ended just as strangely and in between it was more destructive than an every war has ever been."10 More British, French and Italian soldiers died in the First World War than died in the second. Finally, "it was the first genuinely global conflict that still shapes out world today in terms of the democracy, nationalism, the international law, and the rights of nations." 10 The origins of this conflict are complex; so are the causes. What then, initiated that "a fate greater than human power hung over Europe"14? How did the greatest conflict in the world begin and what influenced that in 1914, "the nations […] slithered over the brink into the boiling cauldron of war"13? At last, why did the War break out in the summer of 1914?There are different theories that state the causes of the First World War. The liberal interpretation utters that the First World War is largely caused by the actions of Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, who endeavours to make Germany a major imperial power with the best navy and army, while the Risk Theory says that a part of a naval race that was caused by Germany's will to be powerful enough to threat Britain and to make it stay in the port, rather than risk being badly damaged in case of battle with the German fleet. There is also the Cup of Coffee Theory, where history is the result of things, events or coincidences like the assassination of the Austro-Hungarian heir to the throne that was a trigger for the war to break out.What is more, Archduke Franz Ferdinand's assassination by Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo on the 28th June 1914 represents Serbian declaration of the war on the Austria-Hungary. Since the war with Serbia was unavoidable, Austria Hungary asked the German Keiser II for help sending the telegram to Vienna that offered to Austria-Hungary "a 'blank checqe' in terms of German support for whatever action Austria-Hungary chose to take in punishing Serbia for the assassination."8 Since then, Austria was the greatest Serbian enemy while Russia the greatest allies. As the response to the Austria-Hungary 'request', Germany considered being a faithful allies and a friend, but in fact, it was an excuse for Germany to launch the war, especially that at the time the country was "at the height of its military power and wanted to exploit the situation."6 Moreover, Kaiser knew that Serbia would never risk a war, while Russia was convinced that the Germany was 'war hungry.'Further, there was also the Dual Alliance between Germany and Austria-Hungary signed in 1879, which "stated that if either found itself at war with Russia the other would enter the fray to provide assistance."8 Speaking about the alliances prior to 1914, an alliance system had evolved throughout the Europe that led to increase tension between the Great European powers. The French and Russian alliance had for instance, forced Germany to...

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