Cause & Course of World War I Essay
Archduke Ferdinand was assassinated on June 28, 1914 by Gavrilo Princip. This was seemingly the cause of World War I, but it was really just the spark that started the war in Europe. The four main causes of World War I were militarism, alliances, imperialism, and nationalism. They affected war in positive and negative ways.
Militarism is building up military as a display of power and keeping an army ready for war. Most European countries did this from 1890-1914. The use of armies was a way to get what countries wanted from other countries. Germany created the Schlieffen Plan which was to avoid fighting the allies on two fronts. First, they were to defeat France in the west, then turn around and fight Russia in the east. Unfortunately, the plan fails and Germany has to split its forces up and fight on two fronts.
Alliances are partnerships between countries. The alliance system (the Concert of Europe) was set up after Napoleonic wars causes problems. It created different sides of the WWI. Two alliances were formed before WWI. The Triple Alliance was made up of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy. The Triple Entente consisted of Great Britain, France, and Russia. During the war, the Triple Alliance became the Central Powers and the Triple Entente became the Allied Powers or Allies. This was formed in response to the growing military power of Germany.
Imperialism is stronger countries taking over weaker countries. All of the great powers were completing for territory/colonies and led to frequent disputes among them over the years. This causes arguments among European countries. Germany and France square off over Morocco. Britain and Russia want to control Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan because of the location and oil. The Spheres of Influence in China also caused nations to be in conflict.
Nationalism is pride in one’s own nation. People used propaganda and nationalism to show that war was...
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