Causes of the Great War

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Causes of the Great War The Great War is also known as the First World War, which takes place in 1914 and was because of many different reasons. Some are just between certain countries, others are more worldwide reasons. The main reasons for World War 1 were: militarism, alliances, nationalism, imperialism, and assassination. Most of these reasons were things happening in the whole country of Europe throughout a long period of time; they just led up to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and the start of this war. Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian throne, and his wife were murdered in Sarajevo by Gavrilo Princip who was a member of the “Black Hand”, which is a Serbian nationalist group. This assassination was not taken lightly but the Austrian leader did not want to declare war, but the government decided that if Serbia wouldn’t agree to some terms they would have no choice but to fight. So when Austria declared war on Serbia (July 28, 1914) a list of alliances was called into effect when they had to assist other countries that they were in alliance with. This was the spark that ultimately started the First World War. It is also thought that the alliance system caused more problems than it helped with, because without this system this war would have just stayed between Serbia and Austria. The other reasons still played a main part in the start of the Great War, such as the tension between Britain and Germany. They were both trying to grow their naval forces into the most powerful navy in the world, which caused tension in Europe and caused them to be unfriendly toward one another. Also most of the countries were not very happy with each other because of the fact that when they were all trying to colonize in Africa, they fought over land and distribution rights. Nationalism was a large part of the war as well. Every country in Europe thought very highly of their own country and thought that if they had to go to war, that their country would


Cited: Brown, Brandon. Connexions, "Causes of WWI (The Great War)." Last modified 2009. Accessed February 16, 2013. http://cnx.org/content/m22368/latest/.

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