There are a lot of reasons for the outbreak of the First World War. In this project I will be explaining the causes of the first world with such topics in the Long term section such as Germany’s defeat of France in the Franco - Prussian war, the development of the alliance system, naval rivalry, colonial rivalry and the rivalry of Russia and Austria in the Balkans. Also I will be explaining the short term causes which are The assaination at Sarajevo, Austria’s determination to punish Serbia, German support for Austria, how and why Germany declared war on France and Russia and the invasion of Belgium and Britain’s entry into the war.
The Short term causes
Germany’s ...view middle of the document...
Italys partial adherence to the German-Austrian Dual Alliance was triggered partly by anger at Frances May 1881 seizure of Tunisia, which many Italians had seen as a potential colony. When Germany and Austria-Hungary found themselves at war in August 1914 with the rival Triple Entente of Britain, France and the latters ally Russia, Italy declared neutrality, subsequently entering the conflict on the side of the Entente against Austria-Hungary in May 1915 and Germany in August 1916 and gaining most of the Austrian territories she had coveted at the peace settlement of 1919.
Britain and Germany were the chief rivals at sea. Under Admiral Tirpitz, State Secretary of the Imperial Naval Office from 1897, a long-term shipbuilding programme began. The German Navy Law of 1898 increased the German battleships from nine cruisers to twelve. In 1900 Germany passed a Navy Law which doubled the German battle fleet.
In the meantime, Britain produced her first Dreadnought (literally, the word means fear nothing). Dreadnoughts were large, fast and heavily armed battleships with 12inch guns. They set a new standard in naval armaments and rendered all previous battleships obsolete. The naval race became intense. Between 1909 and 1911 Germany built nine Dreadnoughts while Britain completed 18 Dreadnoughts. In 1913, Germany widened the Kiel Canal to allow the easy passage of her Dreadnoughts from the Baltic to the North Sea while Britain built new naval bases for the Dreadnoughts in northern Scotland.
After 1870, the European nations began to acquire colonies in Asia, Africa and the Pacific. Their imperialistic activities accelerated from 1880 onwards. Between 1895 and 1905 imperialistic expansion reached its climax.
Colonial rivalry was a cause of the First World War. In Africa, all the European powers except Austria and Russia had colonies there. Thus there were many clashes among France, Britain, Germany and Italy. For example, France rivalled with Italy over Tunis and with Germany over Morocco. Italy turned to Germany and Austria when she lost Tunis to France in 1881. Russia and Britain could patch up their differences and form an entente in 1907 as a result of their mutual fear of Germanys expansionist activities in the Balkans. Russia, Britain and France could become firm friends after 1907 partly because of aggressive attitude of Germany in both the first and the second Moroccan crises. Germany found that, without a navy, she could not send much military help to the Dutch. Shortly after the event, Admiral von Tirpitz, the German Minister of Marine, proclaimed the need of a strong navy. From 1898...