What caused the First World War?
Historians have many theories about how the First World War started, although most believe that there were three fuses and one spark! The first world war broke out in 1914 and involved mainly Austria-Hungary, Germany, Russia, France and Britain. Most of the causes were long-term, such as the rivalry of the European countries, however there was one short term cause which triggered the start of the chaos that was the First World War. The first fuse was that of empires. Britain was adding to its mighty empire day by day, but Germany was jealous. They were desperate to catch up with Britain. Having a large empire in those days was a very important part of life. Not only does having a big empire open the market for trade, but it gives the country power, as that is how the status of that country was decided. France and Britain had big empires. Building an empire increases the tension in Europe because the countries were prepared to actually fight for the African areas. Germany was the most prepared to fight. There was also rivalry between Austria-Hungary and Russia over the Balkans as they both wanted contol over it. An Arms Race was the second fuse. Britain, by 1900, had the largest navy in the world. Despite this fact, they were worried about the size of Germany’s navy and how fast it was growing. A race soon began to build new battleships between the countries. Then Britain released a ship called the Dreadnought. This new battleship was faster, stronger and more efficient than all of the others, and Germany was quick to copy them. The conflict between the two countries with their navies caused great tension in the build up to the start of the war. The final fuse was about alliances. In Europe, before the war, the main countries formed two alliances. The participants had promised to help each other out if they got into a war. The first alliance was called ‘The Triple Entente’. France and Russia had decided to form an alliance in case...
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