Causes of the First World War
Europe in 1914 was a dangerous place. The five Great Powers were divided into two strong and powerful alliances. They were about to fight each other in the most awful war the world has ever known. To understand how this happened, we must go back to 1879. In 1879 Germany quarrelled with Russia. Germany was worried that Russia would attack, and so agreed with Austria that the two countries would help each other if either were attacked. Three years later, Italy joined them, and the Triple Alliance was formed. The alliance upset France and Russia. In 1892, they agreed to help each other if either was attacked. Great Britain was worried about the situation in Europe and began to look for an ally. In 1904 Britain signed, an agreement with France called the ‘Entente’. Three years later Britain made similar agreement with Russia. The alliance between Britain, France and Russia was known as the Triple Entente. France hated Germany because of a war they had fought in 1870 – Germany took control of Alsace and Lorraine. By 1907 Europe was divided into two sets of alliances, the Triple Alliance and the Triple Entente. The countries in both alliances were well armed and powerful. It only needed one flashpoint for the war to break out. This flashpoint happened in Sarajevo. The causes of WW1 can be divided into two sets. Long term causes and Short term causes. Short term causes:
The flashpoint or the trigger of WW1, was the Murder in Sarajevo. 28 June 1914 was a warm and sunny day. It was the national Day of the Serbian people; it was also the wedding anniversary of Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary. They were hot by Serbian revolutionaries – the black hand÷ gang. Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie were dead. Six weeks later Europe erupted into war. This was a short-term cause because it happened and that was it. It hadn’t been something that had been going on for ages. Long term causes:
Austria-Hungary was afraid...
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