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Why Did World War One Break Out?

2142 words - 9 pages

Why did World War One break out?
There are many reasons as to why war broke out in 1914, which included many intertwined factors, such as the conflicts and hostility of the four decades leading up to the war. Moreover, Militarism, Alliances, Imperialism, and Nationalism played major roles in the conflict. All of these factors where established in many of Europe's 'Great Powers' which consisted of; Great Britain, France, Germany, Austria-Hungary and Russia. Many of the reasons as to why war broke out were built up over years and even decades thus, were long term causes. However, a handful of events occurred over a few months and years prior to the event, consequently were short term causes. ...view middle of the document...

The assassination occurred during the Archduke's visit to Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia. The visit to Sarajevo was to take place on June 28 1914. The Serbians were outraged as June 28 was the date on which Serbia had been conquered by the Ottoman Empire in 1389. Also on that same date in 1912, Serbia had at last freed itself form Turkish rule. But Bosnia, home too many Serbians, was still ruled by Austria-Hungary which is why they were outraged. The Archduke was also targeted due to the general feeling amongst Serbians that, once appointed to the throne, Ferdinand would continue the persecution of Serbs living within the borders of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Just moments after the two had been shot; authorities arrested the culprit, Gavrilo Princip, a Serbian student, who was believed to have been linked to the Serbian terrorist organization, The Black Hand.
Militarism was one of the main reasons as to why the war broke out. The growing European split had led to an arms race between the main countries. The armies of both France and Germany had more than doubled between 1870 and 1914. This was because France had been defeated by Germany in 1870 and wanted her army to be strong enough to not be defeated again. Even though this was a L.T.C. of war this was not very significant to the outbreak of WW1. There was fierce competition between Britain and Germany for mastery of the seas. The worst competition was the naval rivalry between these two countries. The British had introduced the 'Dreadnought', an effective battleship, in 1906. This along with competition with Germany was to protect its vast overseas empire, as a result had built the world most respected navy. The Germans soon followed suit introducing their own battleships. This was an L.T.C. of war which was fairly significant in the grumble and attacks on each other’s country later to come.
From the mid-1890s on, the government of Kaiser Wilhelm II devoted significant economic resources to building up the Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial German Navy), established by Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz, in rivalry with the British Royal Navy for world naval supremacy. As a result, both nations strove to out-build each other in terms of capital ships. With the launch of HMS Dreadnought in 1906, the British Empire expanded on its significant advantage over its German rivals. The arms race between Britain and Germany eventually extended to the rest of Europe. Between 1908 and 1913, the military spending of the European powers increased by 50 percent.
The Alliance agreements that were formed prior to the start of WW1 were another reason why war broke out. By making associates with other countries they were guaranteed support if another country got violent towards them. When an alliance is signed, those countries become known as Allies. A number of alliances had been signed by countries between the years 1879 and 1914. Austria-Hungary made an alliance with Germany (Dual Alliance) agreed in 1879. Germany’s...

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