World War One was a global war in Europe fought from 1914 to 1918. It was a war between Great Britain, France, Russia and the United States and Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy and Serbia. Not only was it certain people or places that caused the war but also some events and situations. This included the allying of nations, the act of imperialism, the growth of militarism, and the Balkan crisis.
One of the underlying causes of world war one was the allying of nations. An alliance is an agreement made between two countries to give each other help if needed. Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy and the ottomans formed alliances. Russia, France, and England were worried that these nations were too powerful so they too formed a triple entente. Each place was blamed for the start of the war for different reasons. Austria was blamed for the war because they were the first to attack and Germany was blamed because of the blank check. Russia was blamed because they prepared the troops to help Serbia, France was blamed because they became an ally to Russia, and England was blamed because they had an obligation to protect Belgian neutrality. The ottomans then joined Germany for strategic reasons and Italy joined them too after nine months of neutrality. All military leaders are responsible for the war. The alliances that were formed split the continent into two sides. Because so many countries of Europe were involved in the alliances, when war took place almost all of Europe was involved. Germany and Britain’s tension grew when germany wanted to increase their navy. This worried Britain so as a result the naval race took place. Britain soon launched a new ship called the dreadnought. Germany responded by building an equivalent. This caused a lot of tension between the nations. The alliance system’s responsibility out circled the war. When world war one was ending Germany signed the treaty of Versailles. They accepted the fact that they caused world war one. All of the small causes divided Europe. Because of the division, it only needed one small incident to spark a disaster.
The Balkan incident was the last straw to start world war one. It was known as “the powder keg of Europe” for this reason. The Balkans were an area in southeast Europe. In 1908, Austria took over the former Turkish province of Bosnia. Serbia got angry at them because they felt the province belonged to them. When Serbia threatened Austria with war Russia allied with Serbia and Germany joined too. Tensions between Austria and Serbia were high. Austria accused Serbia of not preventing terrorism and getting Slavic nations against Austria. They now had two demands. One, to prohibit from making a propaganda, or an influence on others behaviors. Second, to allow officials to come into Serbia and punish the people. On June 28,1914 Franz Ferdinand, heir to Austria’s throne, and his wife were shot dead in Sarajevo (capital of Bosnia). They were assassinated by a nineteen year old, Gavrio Princip who was one of a group of six Serbian assassins. The reason for the assassination was to break Austria’s south provinces off so they can be combined into a greater Serbia. These murders lead to the outbreak of world war one, one month later.
Imperialism is the domination of one country on a weaker country. Militarism is the glorification of a strong army. The need for raw materials and new markets caused Europe to take over places such as Africa, china, India, and middle east. The fight for obtaining the most land results in European countries fighting over who gets what land. By the 1900’s, the British Empire extended over five continents and France had control of large areas of Africa. The amount of land owned by Britain and France increased tension with Germany. All countries within Europe were building large armies and navies. An arms race, or competition for the best weapons, began to take place. This shows the competition in the arms race. Imperialism and militarism sparked a feud between Britain and germany. The military planning also made countries fear that a war was getting started. The leader of the german delegation blamed imperialism for the cause of world war one.
As you can see, the main underlying causes included the alliances, Balkan crisis, imperialism and militarism as well as others. These causes built up as time elapsed. When the last string was pulled it resulted in a historical war, also known as world war one.