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.
They consisted of Britain, Russia and France against Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy (who later switched sides). I believe that alliances were the most important cause of WW1, because instead of making allies to prevent war, the alliance system actually had an opposite effect. Alliances are a long-term cause to WW1 because they take a considerably long time to make. It led to distrust for each country and secrecy with some countries resulting in an increase in tension. The main leaders of ‘World War 1’ in the ‘Triple Entente’ were George V (British Empire), Raymond Poincaré (France) and Nicholas II (Russia).
Why did Germany go to war in 1914? There are many reasons as to why Germany went to war in 1914 such as fear of encirclement, various alliances formed, internal policies and domestic and military factors. I personally think the most important reason was due to their internal politics. Germany was formed as a country in 1871 and so felt like they had to prove themselves as a nation to the rest of Europe. They did this through aggressive policies, which they hoped would achieve their aim and build up their empire.
The long-term factors that would have built tension and rivalries throughout Europe are the alliance systems and the arms race, whereas the short term factors would be the mismanaged crisis, the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, which was ultimately the trigger of total war. The Balkan crisis 1908 -12 both increased the likelihood of war. As there had been tensions growing since 1912 between the Serbians and the Austro- Hungarians after their attempt to secure control. These tensions were inevitably going to cause a war; as in the words of Otto Von Bisamrck, quoted at the time, a war was going to brake out due to “some damn fool in the Balkans.” The first Balkan crisis of 1912 didn’t break out into war, however it left tensions high. As Serbia’s confidence was now at its peak, as there sized had doubled, and the army had increased to 400,000, so if the were now confronted by the Austro- Hungarians they were now willing to fight.
‘The outbreak of war in Europe was due to an aggressive German foreign policy which had been waged since c.1900’. How far do you agree? It has been a matter of fervent controversy that Germany went to war with aggressive or defensive intentions. Source V suggests that Germany went to war solely for defensive reasons due to the extensive array of alliances that encircled her as well as diplomatic tension. Overall, Source W challenges source V, as it indicates that Germany’s aggressive actions since the turn of the century resulted in war.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Older ships were destroyed and replaced with newer faster ships. Countries such as Russia also began building up its army, which made Germany build up its army to an even larger size. Alliances –Countries formed alliances with one another, this was another factor that lead to World War 1. Dual Alliance was seen as both a reflection of insecurity, and a contribution towards war. This is shown when, in the late nineteenth century, nations had negotiated military alliances with each other that called for mutual protection, as some countries had too many enemies, or feared of being attacked by other countries and their allies.