Unlike World War II, the causes of World War I are not as clear cut.
Historians say the war had been building up for some time prior to
1914. The "Great War" was not caused by megalomaniacs hungry for power
as in the case of Mussolini and Hitler during World War II. The
origins are more complex.
First one is the alliance Systems The causes can be explained,
more in political terms than human terms.
From the end of the Franco-Prussian War, a system of
secret alliances developed in Europe. This eventually split the
continent into two hostile sides. Because so many different powers
were involved in mutual defense agreements, when the war did happen,
it involved nearly every country of Europe. Due to the alliances, some
powers were forced to support policies followed by their partners,
which they didn't really condone. Lastly, the secret alliances led to
suspicion and the belief that far more secret agreements existed, then
was in fact, the case.
Secondly competition The competition for colonies was another
source of international antagonism.
The great powers sectioned off Africa among them,
established spheres of influence in China and sought protectorates
elsewhere. Sooner or later this rush to appropriate new territories
was bound to spark disagreements over boundaries of control.
Thirdly, militarism All the countries within the hostile camps were
building large armies and navies during the pre-war years.
As a by-product, a class of professional and powerful military
officers developed and tended to dominate the civil authorities.
In addition, before the conflict happened,
the militaries of each country had drawn up complete plans
for mobilization. These plans only awaited the go-ahead signal.
The existence of secret battle plans stimulated espionage,
which in turn aroused greater hatred and fear.
Thirdly the... [continues]
Cite This Essay
(2005, 04). Cause of World War. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 04, 2005, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Cause-World-War-52919.html
"Cause of World War" StudyMode.com. 04 2005. 04 2005 <http://www.studymode.com/essays/Cause-World-War-52919.html>.
"Cause of World War." StudyMode.com. 04, 2005. Accessed 04, 2005. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Cause-World-War-52919.html.