Causes of the First World War Essay

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The Causes of the First World War, 1914-18 The First World War lasted from August 4th 1914 until November 11th 1918. It was literally the most aggressive war in history. It killed around 8.5 million and left approximately 21 million wounded. The whole of Europe had changed because of this war. The reasons for the War were the short term and long term causes: the rivalry between Britain and Germany, the pressure between Austria-Hungary and the Franco Prussian Empire, the assassination at Sarajevo of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Countess Sophie, heir to Austria-Hungarian Throne by a Bosnian Serb. In this essay, I will be focussing on the four main causes: nationalism, imperialism, militarism and alliance. One may think that the war was caused when the Germans used their first gas attack. Nationalism was a long-term cause to the Great War as nationalistic feelings, pride in one’s country, loyalty and ideas of superiority led to exaggerated hatred of other countries. It also led to the belief that war was the only possible solution to international disagreements when a country was insulted. The following are examples of how nationalism led to feelings of coldness and distrust amongst country so that many countries only waited for a good enough excuse to go to war. Firstly in 1870-1871, Germany united to become a nation. France had tried to stop this by declaring war but were beaten and embarrassed when Germany had annexed their rich fertile provinces, Alsace and Lorraine. This made the French determined and desperate to get revenge. San Stefano was a peace treaty between Russia and the Ottoman Empire. This led to the independence of Serbia, Romania and Montenegro. It helped lead to war as the Serbs were very nationalistic and wanted the all of the Serbs to unite into one country. In 1908, Kaiser Wilhelm gave the Daily Telegraph an interview, and said that
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