1067 What are the underlying causes of World War I?
Christian Hernandez 1st period World History Honors 2-25-12
On July 24, 1914, World War I began causing a huge uproar in countries around the world, mostly Europe. With the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the “heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne,” (pink document) this caused the spark for the war. Once Russia declared war on Austria-Hungary, Germany declared war on Russia, this lead to a massive chain reaction in the countries of Europe. This was not the underlying cause of World War I though. There are five underlying causes of World War I, militarism, alliances, imperialism, nationalism, and failure of diplomacy. Each one of these causes listed affected the war in some way.
Militarism is the belief or desire for a government or the people to maintain a strong military and be prepared to use it. Most countries at the time believed in militarism. They wanted a strong military for when they do need it they wouldn’t be defeated so easily. In 1891 a French writer by the name of, Emile Zola, stated that “War is life itself… we must eat and be eaten so that the world may live.” (Source 1) Zola is basically saying that life revolves around war. His message is that if your country has a strong military, then you will be powerful. In August 5, 1914, the Chicago Tribune published a cartoon created by John T. McCutcheon. His cartoon showed solders from each European country involved in the world war. A total of 8 solders from England, Belgium, Russia, Germany, Austria, France, Serbia, and Italy. Each solder, except the one from Italy, had a sword drawn pointing at another solder (country), and their finger pointing to another. The title of the cartoon is, “The Crime of the Ages, Who Did It?” (Source 4) and the cartoon’s message is that each of these countries military’s are fighting one central enemy, Germany and Austria. Every country except Italy is pointing to these two countries. This could...