When studying the causes of World War I at a glance it is easy to see how one can come to the conclusion that World War I was inevitable. This is due primarily to Germany’s role in situation. Their growing nation was blossoming in both industrialism and extreme nationalism, making it one of the world’s most influential empires at the time of war break out. Along with this, they wanted a war, they had the forces to bring higher status to their name, so why not. In 1914 fate seemed to have offered Germany the opportunity to turn dreams into imperial reality. Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s shock death was the spark that set off the bomb, and the first world war began.
However this conclusion is a far too general statement to make, the years involved in the shaping the war’s evolution was vast and filled with changing Empires. Any event could have changed a leader’s view on their own situation as a part of Europe, most countries constantly striving to find themselves at the greatest advantage. By around 1902 all nations had formed their alliances, the Triple Entente and the Triple Alliance. Creating these alliances revealed a fear, fear of a war and the need for allies.
Keeping these alliances from war was several European leaders. Over the next 12 years many small events, such as treaties and smaller wars, kept each country on edge, but with leaders such as Disraeli and Bismark who were strong negotiators, primarily keeping their own countries well-being as their top priorities. This leads to a second and more significant point that the most important aspect in influencing a nation's decision to go to war is of course the leader himself. In the end, it is up to the leader to decide whether he should go to war or not. All other factors simply influence the leader's decision but in the end, it is the leader who says go.
Under Kaiser Wilhelm II, Germany moved from a policy of maintaining the status quo, a position brought about by...