Was World War 1 Inevitable?

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s): 789
  • Published: December 20, 2008
Read full document
Text Preview
The First World War has established an unforgettable memoir in the history books. World War 1 was a massacre of human life and an important event that determined the present state of the modern world. Yes, World War 1 was inevitable. The foundation of the causes of World War 1 can be traced back to several factors that were building up international tension to the ultimate result of war. In the 1900s, the European countries were extremely competitive in extending their influence around the world. Their competitive nature was motivated by the encouragement of nationalism within countries, the entangled alliances between nations, the arms race and the battle to acquire colonies around the world contributed to the small disputes that exploded to the conclusion of World War 1 with the assassination of Austro-Hungarian heir, Franz Ferdinand.

Firstly, nationalism was a chief contributor to promoting competition between the European countries. In the 1900s, the European countries were experiencing a period of massive industrialization which created a surplus of goods and weapons. As a result, foreign markets had to be dominated to sell goods and to ensure the nation's prosperity. The leaders of Europe instilled patriotic feelings in their citizens and were spreading a belief that their country's superiority made them destined for greatness. The need to control foreign markets provoked a competition for territory which caused further patriotism among the nations in Europe that evolved into a fear and suspicion of other countries. This patriotic attitude was negatively impacting the relationships among the people living in Europe such as in the multinational Austria-Hungary where there were conflicts between different cultural groups due to the desire to be independent from Austro-Hungarian rule. Additionally, the Serbians living in Bosnia murdered Franz Ferdinand because they wanted to be free of Austro-Hungarian rule and return to previous Serbian rule as they felt their loyalty was to only Serbia. Austria-Hungary acted on its irrational nationalistic behaviour when it declared war on Serbia for its involvement in the assassination of their heir, even though there was no solid proof of Serbia's involvement in the crime. Furthermore, the independent nations in Europe were craving more power which put them in a constant battle to prove their superiority to the other countries. This issue was present in many ways in World War 1 such as when Germany was building up their army as a way of increasing their prestige, the French wanting to gain back their two lost provinces from Germany through military means and the Russians wanting another chance to redeem their national honour that had been lost through another war. The nations of Europe expressed their desires for peace but not at the expense of their national honour. With these attitudes, it was not long before the tension and disagreements led to war. The patriotic attitudes that formed in Europe were stressing relationships negatively and it caused a rise in international tensions. The build up of these disputes were making the outcome of war unavoidable. Though countries looked at each other in unfavourable light, they knew they were vulnerable if they were alone so they decided to form alliances.

Alliances were becoming a very common issue in Europe. Alliances made the European countries pick sides, therefore it divided Europe. The alliances were made in secret thus it produced much distrust and suspicion among European powers. There was the Triple Entente which consisted of France, Russia and Britain who feared the rise of Germany and in return, Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy established the Triple Alliance. The general suspicion involved in alliances prevented their diplomats from devising a suitable solution to many of the crises. As well, alliances were mostly created on a war-footing and so heightened the war tension and further contributed to the arms race among...
tracking img