World War 1 was caused by a combination of several factors but above all, it was caused by the tensions between the European powers and crisis of the balance-of-power system that divided Europe into two camps: Triple Entente (Great Britain, France and Russia and Triple of alliance (German Empire, Austria-Hungary and Italy. The essay is divided into two parts: the events leading up to the World War 1 and factors responsible for the outbreak of the World War.
A young Serbian terrorist, who support pan Slavism, assassinated the prince of Austria on June 28, 1914. After gaining full support of its alliance Germany, Austria-Hungary declared war against Serbia on July 28, 1914, which marked the beginning of the World War 1. Germany declared war against Russia within a week as Russia started to mobilize its military force to fight against Austria. On August 3, Germany decided to declare war against France and invade Belgium. The decision was made to prevent the invasion by France, which is the alliance of Russia, from the west front. Germany had to implement the Schlieffen Plan. On August 23, Great Britain declared war against Germany to help France. Four great powers in Europe were all drawn into the war within two months.
Causes of the World War 1 would be analyzed in three levels: interstate level, domestic level and individual level.
At the interstate level, there were two key elements: the rise of Germany power and the increased rigidity in the alliance system. German heavy industry surpassed that of Great Britain in the 1890s, and the growth of German gross national product at the beginning of the century was twice that of Great Britain’s. German transformed some of its industrial strength into military capability, including a massive naval armaments program. In the “Tirpitz Plan”, Germany aimed to build the second largest navy in the world and elevate itself to the world power. The plan caused fear in Great Britain and...
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