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World War I: The West In Despair

1186 words - 5 pages

"The Great War" as it came to be known was supposed to be the war to end all wars. World War I left an unforgettable mark in history as it shook the elitist governments of Europe and Asia to the core, scarred the face of Europe, saw the appearance of the greatest nation, the United States, and set the stage for a global economic crisis and the next world war. I will be discussing and explaining the main factors that led to the war. The cause of the war was a result of leaders' aggression towards other countries, which was supported by the rising nationalism of the European nations. Economic and imperial competition and fear of war provoked military alliance, which further raised the tension contributing to the outbreak of war. These factors had contributed to the war but not one sole factor was the cause of World War I.There were many causes of World War I. Germany's Bismarck had isolated France after the Franco-Prussian War by Germany forming the "Triple Entente" with Italy and Austria-Hungary. To protect it, France joined an alliance with Great Britain and Russia called the "Triple Alliance". This forced the six nations into an arms build-up of both land and sea forces to protect the nations as well as their allies. Nationalism was another reason for the war. "The feverish nationalistic attitudes swept through Europe starting at the end of the French Revolution." Peoples with like ideologies and cultures not only wanted to live together, but they wanted their own sovereign state. The Slavic peoples of Austria-Hungary desperately wanted to separate and join the nation of Serbia. Imperialism could also be considered as another cause of the war. The IndustrialRevolution had created many new industries and products. In order for these new businesses to grow and expand even more, new foreign markets were sought after. GreatBritain, France, and Germany, the three European economic powers, were in constant competition for new markets. On a few occasions late in the 19th century and early in the 20th century, the three powers came close to war over disputed markets. Militarism was another cause of hostilities. Due to extreme nationalistic attitudes of neighboring states and to protect economic interests nations kept large armies that were in constant willingness to go to war. In order to keep from being in an isolated position in case war did erupt, nations formed alliances with one another for protection of their respective countries and ideologies.In June of 1914, the heir to the Austria-Hungarian throne, Archduke FrancisFerdinand, was assassinated by Gavrilo Princip, along with his wife inSarajevo. Gavrilo was part of a team of Bosnian terrorists and they had "hoped to brind tensions in the Hapsburg Empire to a boiling point and to prepare the way for revolution." This was one of the events that triggered the war. The Austrians were outraged and sent a list of demands to the Serbs for reparations. The Serbs refused and with Germany's support,...

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