Underlying Causes Of WWI World War I, also known as “The Great War” was an extremely bloody war that immersed Europe with huge losses of life and little ground lost or won. There may have seemed like there was a chain of events that led to the fighting, but the underlying causes of WW1 were Nationalism, Alliances, Militarism, imperialism and the assignation of Arch Duke Ferdinand. America tried there hardest to remain neutral and stay out of the war, but they were dragged in by force. Several incidents built up tension between nations before the outbreak of the First World War. Nationalism was one of the underlying causes of WW1.
Its empire was the largest with the richest industries and strongest navy. The envious Germany soon built up its empire to challenge Britain’s position. Germany struggled and fought to gain more and more power. This fight to preserve their balance of power scared many other countries which helped led into the war. A major cause of WWII was the fact that both Germany and Japan felt that they did not have the amount of power that they deserved.
Germany had to either get involved in the war and be on the front foot against France and Russia, or they could wait until they were attacked and be unprepared. They showed this fear in the German Imperial War Council of 1912. As well as this, they had pledged to defend Austro Hungary, and had a burden of responsibility after their show of support in November 1912. The Austro Hungarian Empire also had reasons for war, they had a large empire and wanted to protect their land from the rebelling Serbs. There was also the widely accepted claim that the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand was the event that tipped the scales of war.
Was Germany to blame for the start of world war one? Germany was to blame for the First World War, but only to a certain extent. Germany was not solely to blame, but did contribute greatly to the sequence of events that led to war. Germany were a major contributor to the Arms Race, caused tension between many European countries, made alliances, were extremely nationalistic and encouraged Austria – Hungary to declare war on Serbia. In 1904, Germans were encouraged to become nationalists.
There was also a significant number of Slave living inside the borders of Austria-Hungary who’s wish for a Great Serbia could not be ignored and so they needed to be shown their limits. The nationalistic Slavs were a serious threat to Austria-Hungary and it was clear that this nationalism would result in a war. The alliances on the other hand, should not be left unspoken of due to the fact that they delocalized the war and caused distrust between countries. The Triple Entente which included France, Russia and Britain on one side and the Triple Alliance Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy on the other made it impossible for Austria-Hungary’s conflict with Serbia to stay local. An especially important aspect of the Triple Alliance was that it only lasted from 1882 until 1914, because at the start of World
If one of the allying countries declared war the others had no choice but to declare war as well. By 1907, before the outbreak of war there were two major alliances ‘The Triple Entente’ which included France, Britain and Russia. ‘The Triple Alliance’ which consisted of Germany, Austria-Hungry and Italy (Guest, et al, 1990, p30). Germany was very strong, its allies however were not. The added hostility that Germany had with France, dating back to the ‘Franco-Prussian War’ caused Germany to constantly be suspicious that France was going to launch an attack (Wrenn, 1997, p4).
The outbreak of war in 1914 was according to many a key turning point as it could be argued that Russia was not well trained or equipped and it caused more harm than good. A key turning point here “denotes a significant change of direction as a result of a particular event or combination of events”. Optimistic historians would argue that World War I was a key turning point. The war was initially popular however not everyone agreed with the Tsar's decision to join the war. The minister of the Interior P.N.
As a result of this Hitler very strongly disagreed with this idea that Rohm had come up with, so therefore argued that time is what he needed also that if the revolution moved to fast something could go wrong, such as the German population could start to panic about who was in power also what they were using it for and possibly revolt loosing votes and the support that they desperately need ruining the whole campaign and possibly party. Due to the circumstances Rohm felt that he deserved more power and so therefore desperately wanted the leadership of the army by joining the army and the SA together. A Reason as to why Rohm wanted more power was because he thought that he was a very successful leader of the SA. However Hitler did not want this to happen at all as the SA were a very socialist and were used by hitler as more of a terrorist group as a way of gaining support and so if the army was to join with the SA and Rohm to take control there was a high possibility that Rohm would have a significantly higher amount of power
Propaganda posters contained patriotic images, such as the country’s flag (this created a sense of nationalism). Newspapers were controlled by the Government to sway public opinion towards supporting the war. The one thing these methods did not state was the truth. Propaganda is always biased towards a view or idea. It is used to manipulate information to influence public opinion, through emotional appeals and demise of the enemy, to create hatred between countries.
These tensions started to disrupt their dual alliance with Austria-Hungary, even with a ‘Blank Cheque’ being given to them. With the Kaiser believing that foreign policy and civil war was increasingly the same, it can be assumed that aggressive foreign policy may have been set to distract the German public away from things at home and more onto how to become a strong world power. A factor that both strengthens and weakens the argument of aggressive foreign policy being the reason for the outbreak of war in 1914 is that of encirclement. Source V mentions ‘They felt encircled not merely by the Triple Entente, but also by the forces of change.’ First of all, Germany became sceptical about the alliance between Britain, France and Russia, the Triple Entente, they thought it was not going to work and did not fear it until they tried to cause problems between France and Britain with the ownership of the Balkan islands, which was unsuccessful. When Germany realised that the entente was a