Why Did Russia Go to War in 1914? Essay

589 WordsJan 8, 20133 Pages
Why Did Russia Go To War In 1914? The most significant cause relates to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and Austria-Hungary’s declaration of war on Serbia. Russia felt that she had a duty to protect the people of Serbia because many of them were Slavic – the same ethnic group as Russians. Other causes of Russia’s entry into World War One include; her defeat in the Russo-Japanese war; her fear of the German empire expanding; and her interest in the Dardanelles. Russia went to war in 1914 because of the assassination of Franz Ferdinand – the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne – by a Serbian terrorist group which forced Austria-Hungary to declare war on Serbia. This was the most significant reason for Russia’s entry into WW1. Sazonov, the Tsar’s Foreign Secretary in 1914, described Russia’s commitment to defend Slav nationalism. He said that their sole aim was to ensure that the Slavic people “should not fall under the influence of powers hostile to her”. This highlights the perception of Russia as a protector of the Slav people. This was the most significant reason for Russia going to war in 1914, and since Russia had vowed to protect Serbia, when she was threatened, Russia was required to become involved. This therefore shows that the assassination of Franz Ferdinand was the most important cause of Russia’s involvement in the war. Another important reason for Russia’s entry into the First World War was the mobilisation plans. This was important because the signing of them meant that Germany and Austria-Hungary felt threatened, and joined together in attacking Serbia. This meant that Russia was forced to involve herself in order to protect the Slavic people in Serbia. Russia signed the full mobilisation plans with the hope that they would force the Austrians to withdraw, and anticipated that it would act as a deterrent. This is an important
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