There were many causes and events that contributed to the outbreak of the First World War, the five main ones being: Nationalism, Imperialism, Militarism, Alliances and the assassination of Duke Franz Ferdinand.
Britain had an empire stretching from Canada to India and Australia; all these people would support Britain if it went to war. France also had colonies in Africa and both Austria-Hungary and Russia had colonised other countries, while Germany searched for land to extend its power. Because of colonialism, when the war started not only were the colonial powers involved in the fighting, but also their empires which resulted in an extension of the fighting and an increased number of deaths. The countries that had established empires fought to protect and extend them, while Germany wanted to expand its influence and conquer its own colonies. This meant that each country not only ...view middle of the document...
Before the assassination of Franz Ferdinand Britain and Germany increased their army, their navy and spent millions of pounds on weaponry as they prepared to extend their power by force. This meant that when Franz Ferdinand was killed both countries were ready for war and had now been provided with a perfect excuse to use their extended navy and military. As Germany had drawn up the “Schlieffen Plan” in 1911, three years before the war actually broke out it is obvious that Kaiser Wilhelm had intended to go to war and had long been waiting for an excuse to do so.
In 1879 Austria-Hungary formed an alliance with Germany. Together they formed an alliance with Italy in 1882, which was known as the tipple alliance. There was also an alliance called the Triple Entente which included France, Russia and Britain. Both of these were formed a long time before the war broke out, which seems to indicate, that war was expected by those countries, as otherwise they wouldn’t feel the need to protect their interests through alliances. Due to the treaties that bound those countries into mutual support the assassination of Franz Ferdinand quickly turned into a world war as many countries were implicated due to their alliances. If it had not been for those alliances the war could have been contained and resolved more locally.
I think the assassination of Duke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary was merely used as an excuse to go to war. I come to this conclusion because of the existence of Alliances, which were formed many years before the start of the war, which proofs that the war wasn’t just about the assassination. Since forming alliances show that the countries were preparing for war, as otherwise they wouldn’t have signed these treaties.
Therefore I come to the conclusion that all of these factors played a part in causing the First World War: the conflict between Imperialism and Nationalism (assassination), as well as the increase of navy and military and the creation of alliances to protect and strengthen ones empire meant that the assassination of Franz Ferdinand resulted in the First World War.