By Shannai Sloan
The real cause of world war one was the existence of two major military alliances. An alliance is a union or association formed for mutual benefit, especially between countries or organisations. As all the major European countries were apart of one of the two alliances, any conflict between countries could cause an outbreak in war between them all.
Firstly, with Europe being split in half with the two alliances it caused suspicion and fear between the nations of Europe. Germany, Italy and Austria-Hungary had formed the Triple Alliance by 1914 and Britain, France and Russia had made the Triple Entente by that time also. If you were apart of one of the alliances you had signed a legal agreement to protect and assist each other if event of war or argument. This meant if any small argument between two countries from different alliances could become a larger conflict with all the countries of Europe.
As alliances were being formed imperialism was becoming a pretty big thing. Imperialism is when a country increases their power and wealth by bringing additional territories under their control. Countries within an alliance thought that they were better than the countries that aren’t in an alliance. So countries started invading and taking over countries such as Luxembourg and Romania, two of the many countries that got invaded. This caused a lot of problems especially when two countries from different alliances wanted to invade the same country.
World War 1 was the result of leaders’ aggression towards other countries, which was supported by the rising nationalism of the European nations. Economic and imperial competition and fear of war prompted military alliances and an arms race, which further escalated the tension contributing to the outbreak of war. Much of the origin of the war was based on the desire of the Slavic peoples in Bosnia and Herzegovina to no longer be part of Austria Hungary but instead be part of Serbia. In this way, nationalism led directly to the War. But in a more general way, the nationalism of the various countries throughout Europe contributed not only to the beginning but the extension of the war in Europe. Each country tried to prove their dominance and power.
Militarism is when countries want a bigger and better army and navy. This was a big cause of world war one because all the countries felt threatened by the other countries so they kept trying to improve there armies and navies to be the best. This was giving off the impression that a war was going to happen.
When Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and Sophie Duchess, the future king and queen were assassinated on the 28th of July 1914 World War I started. They were shot in Sarajevo by Gavrilo Princip, one of a group of six Bosnian Serb assassins coordinated by Danilo Illic. The objective of the assassination was remove Bosnia and Herzegovina from Austria-Hungary and for them to instead be apart of Serbia. .Later on it was found out that the Serbian military officers stood behind the attack. So Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, Russia got involved to defend Serbia. Germany seeing Russia mobilizing, declared war on Russia. France was then drawn in against Germany and Austria-Hungary. Germany attacked France through Belgium pulling Britain into war. Then Japan entered the war. Later, Italy and the United States would enter on the side of the allies. So what started a problem between Serbia and Austria-Hungary started WW1.
In conclusion the real cause of World War I was Mutual Defence Alliances, Imperialism, Militarism and nationalism caused by the two major military alliances. All of these were all small steps towards the war and the final step was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife.