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World War One Origins. Essay

1018 words - 4 pages

Grade 11The Causes of World War 1 and their ConsequencesThe First World War was a unique war unlike any previous, conflicts. It had completely revolutionized the way modern warfare was fought. Many new weapons, vehicles, and tactics were used. It had introduced a new course of fighting called trench warfare. This war had produced 19 million casualties and civilian population had been greatly effected as never before. But the questions still exists, "Why did this Great War happen?" and "Where were the horrific circumstances that had caused 'the war to end all wars' to take place?" Although there are several indirect answers to this question, such as nationalism, the arms race, imperialism and the alliance system, and Bismarckian politics, there are also numerous direct answers too, such as the Moroccon Crisis, the Balkan Wars, the Fashoda Crisis, and the Russo-Japanese War. In this essay I will examine those situations.First, let us examine the unlucky incident that is said to be the "main spark" that triggered the war. It all began in the summer of 1914, when Archduke Francis Ferdinand, the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, and his wife, Sophie, made a provocative state visit to the troubled region of Bosnia. Bosnia had been part of the Ottoman Turkish Empire. When the Ottoman Empire fell apart, new states such as Greece (1878), Serbia (1878) came into being. Bosnia had also broken free of Turkish rule. But rather than gaining independence, it was taken over by Austria-Hungary. This angered Bosnian nationalists, who wanted an independent Bosnia. One such nationalist was Gavrilo Princip, who was residing in Serbia. On June 28th, several nationalists tried to attack Archduke Ferdinand in protest of Bosnian independence, but it was Princip, who finally succeeded in shooting both the Archduke and his wife to death.When the politicians in Vienna heard of the attack, they saw the assassination as more than just a Bosnian lunatic murdering the Archduke and his wife. They saw it as a political matter between Serbia and Austria-Hungary. Austria-Hungary loathed Serbia for its gradually increasing power. Just recently, Serbia had annexed lands during the Balkan war of 1912-1913, and Austria-Hungary was becoming to feel threatened by its increasing size. Further, Austria-Hungary was incensed by Serbia's support for Bosnian nationalists, and its close political and social ties with Russia. Russia and Austria-Hungary were the rival authorities of Europe, and any ally of Russia consequently found itself under suspicion from Austria-Hungary. Hence Vienna blamed Serbia for the assassination, probably as an excuse to go to war with Serbia. It then gave Serbia an ultimatum-either Serbia would punish the assassins or else Austria-Hungary would attack Serbia. Serbia, naturally felt that it being ordered around by Austria-Hungary was harmful its sovereignty, so then it declined the ultimatum. What resulted was a collapse of the Alliance System.The major colonial...

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