The Main Long Term Causes of World War One

Topics: World War I, World War II, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria Pages: 3 (1135 words) Published: November 27, 2010
The main Long term causes of World War ONE (1914-1918)
There was no single cause for the outbreak of the First World War. The causes are much more complex than those of the Second World War and include short, intermediate and long term factors that all culminated to cause the July Days in 1914. These factors include militarism, nationalism, imperialism, the alliance system, and industrialization as the long term causes. The intermediate causes included the crises in the Balkans and the short-term trigger for the war was the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand in the Sarajevo, the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary. Militarism in the 19th and early 20th centuries involving the great powers of Europe was definitely a key factor in the beginning of World War 1. Militarism is the ideology that a country’s power politically, socially and economically depends on their ability to use both for offence and defence when necessary. Among the great powers during this time, militarism was becoming more and more prevalent with the common belief that the nation with the biggest armies and navies would increase their country’s influence and prestige throughout the whole world. This build up and competition between the major powers developed into the arms race, which for many years built tension between Britain and Germany. Britain had the largest navy in the world in 1871; Germany wanted to show the rest of the world that it had a navy that would rival that of Britain’s. This rivalry among the nations was one of the many major causes of World War 1 and linked quit closely with the alliance system that had developed in this era. The alliance system was positively one of the long term causes of the First World War and this was mainly because of that fact that it divided Europe into two sides, both with highly developed military capacity. On one side, Germany, Austria-Hungary and...
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