archduke franz Ferdinand The Most Important Cause of WWI was the Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Do you Agree? World war 1 was a controversial war, which was also said to be the war to stop all wars. Germany, a powerful empire in the early years of the twentieth century, fought the First World War (1914-1918) alongside the Austrian empire and against the Allies (England, France and Russia.). The murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand was just a prominent cause for the outbreak of the war; yet, there were other causes as well.
This treaty united Germany and Austria-Hungary. The treaty’s terms declared that each should come to the others aid if attacked by Russia, however to stay neutral if either was attacked by another power (i.e., France). However if France joined with Russia, both Germany and Austria would act together against France. This was a treaty founded after the break down of Russo-German alliances. This break-down of relations resulted from Russia’s suffering of what it regarded ‘humiliation’, after the Congress of Berlin in 1878.
France thought the war would not only help by stopping Germany’s increase in power. It would also help Napoleon III to regain his popularity after some of his failures after the commencement of his dictatorship, such as the Mexican adventure of 1867. I will now go onto the short term reasons. Firstly, Spain needed a king and Bismarck saw his chance to send Prince Leopold to become king there. France protested because they thought that having German influence on both sides would be too much if conflict would have occured.
They clashed with the main powers of Europe over territory like morocco, which ultimately strengthened Franco-Anglo relationships. Weltpolitik was a huge political risk and in the end the risks outweighed the positive factors, which resulted in the failure of the plan and ultimately was a great cause of WW1 In 1893 the Franco-Russian alliance was formed which meant that it allowed the possibility of encirclement of Germany, which made them paranoid. The Kaiser at the time was Wilhelm II and he surrounded himself with military figures so had a very militaristic point of view. So his response to the possible encirclement was to come up with a new plan called the Schliffen Plan. This stated that if a possibility of a two front war with France and Russia was ever to arise they would mobilise their troops quickly and beat the French within six weeks and then march back in time to meet the Russian army.
Austria declared war on Serbia, which provoked Russia to help the Serbians, which led to Germany declaring war on Russia and France, which triggered England to declare war on Germany. Hostilities promulgated to the European colonies in Africa, Asia and the Middle East as many other nations joined in the conflict. Another factor contributing to World War I was the economic competition and conflicts erupting from power struggles over the colonial empires that had been building up through the last decade. Britain and Germany were in a power struggle after the Industrial Revolution to ensure raw materials were utilized and produced for their particular needs. Many people in the region surmised it was only a matter of time before the two major powers had expanding confrontations regarding these raw materials and workers themselves.
The Austrians blamed the Serbs for the deaths and issued them with a set of irrational demands and threatened to invade if they were ignored. Serbia’s ally Russia didn’t want the Austrians expanding, Serbia and Russia spoke a similar language and religion, so Russia supported them and if Austria-Hungary attacked Serbia, Russia would attack Austria-Hungary. In 1870s Austria-Hungary made alliance with Germany and in 1882 Italy joined (this was the Triple Alliance) Germany supported Austria- Hungary no matter what would happen. In 1894 the dual entente between France and Russia was made (France made allies with Russia) and if Germany attacked Russia, France would charge straight through Germany to Champagne (that was the French army’s plan called plan 17) they never went through with the plan though. The German army had a plan on how they would defeat France before the Russian army were ready to fight, (this was called the Schlieffen Plan), instead of entering France the most predicted way, through the French borderline, they would go through Belgium a neutral country (and taking it), then they would defeat France in 6 weeks, then they would deal with Russia.
In Europe in 1014 it seemed very tense, this happened to spark off a war, this was then a result of millions killed. The war was fought between rival alliances of European powers: In 1878, Germany and Austria - Hungary formed an alliance9 the dual alliance) that gave them great strength in the centre of Europe. In 1892, the French and the Russians formed their own strong alliance (the dual entente) that meant Germany had an unfriendly power on each side. Soon afterwards, Germany’s most powerful soldier, general stiffen, drew up a plan that would allow Germany to beat France very quickly in any future war. This would then free most German troops to fight Russia in the east.
The war was caused by grudges countries had held against each other from previous wars. Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy were the Triple Alliance. Britain, France and Russia were the Triple Entente (friendly agreement). These agreements meant that if ever war broke out you would help the country you are in agreements with. Germany was 30-40 years old and wanted to have a bigger empire and navy than Britain, which had the biggest empire and biggest navy out of all of the countries.
Furthermore, for many centuries, European nations had been building empires, slowly extending their economic and political control over various peoples of the world and practicing imperialism. Colonies supplied the European imperial powers with raw materials and provided markets for manufactured goods. As Germany industrialized, it competed with France and Britain in the contest for colonies. In continuation, because each nation wanted stronger armed forces than those of any potential enemy, the imperial powers followed a policy of militarism—the development of armed forces and their use as a tool of diplomacy. Empires were expensive to build and to defend, and the growth of nationalism and imperialism led to increased military spending.
As you can see there were also many other reasons for the war besides the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. After Serbia declined the ultimatum, the Austro-Hungarian Empire waged war on Serbia on 28th July 1914. Since Russia was allied to Serbia, they announced mobilization of troops in defense for Serbia on August 1st 1914. Germany was allied to the Austro-Hungarians and took the Russian mobilization as a threat and declared war on Russia on August 1st 1914. Since Russia and France were allies and France didn’t like Germany due to the lost war against them in 1870, they declared war on Germany on August 3rd 1914.