Essay - causes of WW1
WW1 began in Aug 1914. There were many causes in the lead up to the war but it was the assassination of the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand on 28th June 1914 that is seen as the main trigger that set off the declarations of war. The causes of WW1 are complicated and involve the various Alliances between countries, as well as the forces of Imperialism, Nationalism, Militarism and many crises that occurred around that time.
There were various alliances, (agreements of help) between countries, who then were known as Allies. In 1879 the Dual Alliance was formed by Germany and Austria to protect each other from Russia. The Austro – Serbian Alliance was formed to stop Russia controlling Serbia. The Triple Alliance of 1882 between Germany and Austria – Hungary and Italy so Italy wouldn’t side with Russia. In 1894 Russia and France allied to protect each other from Germany and Austria – Hungry. Britain, Russia and France formed the Triple Entente in 1907 to counter the threat growing in Germany, and then again in 1914 agreed not to sign for peace separately.
By the 1900’s the British Empire reached over 5 continents and France controlled areas of Africa. With rising industrialism there was a need to conquer new lands and colonies, for markets and there became rivalry with countries like Germany for these new lands and trade routes. With these rivalries growing over Europe, an arms race developed between Britain, France, Germany and Russia. Armies, battleships and military forces were given high profiles by the various governments and grew in strength and size due to advances in technology heightening military preparation for war.
Growing nationalism within countries developed, with populations supporting their own rights and interests and putting their political and economic goals first. Relations were tested in 1900’s by the Moroccan Crisis, Morocco was given to France by Britain, but wanted independence, which Germany supported – war was...