The 1914 marked the beginning of World War I. It popularly began to be known as the Great War or the First World War. It originated in Europe but was fought globally till 1918. The main reason behind the provoking of this war was the killing of Franz Ferdinand and his mistress by Gavrilo Princip, the Bosnian revolutionary. However, this event was just a mere reason for the war to be instigated. There are several other reasons which are debated by great historians and are believed to be the causes behind the war.
An agreement known as an alliance is signed between two countries or more which states that they will help one another at the time of need. The participating countries of this alliance are known to be the allies. From 1879 to 1914, several alliances had been made between various countries. A war declared by any one of the allies would automatically lead to the declaration of war by its allies. It was an inter dependent and inter related cycle which would keep repeating. Some of the major alliances are highlighted below. In 1879, there was the formation of a dual alliance between Austria-Hungary and Germany which was to safe guard themselves from Russia. On the other hand, in 1881 Austria-Hungary made another alliance with Serbia to prevent Russia from taking control over it. There were formation of triple alliances too which was between Austria-Hungary and Germany. This was to prevent Italy from collaborating with Russia. Even though several alliances had been formed against Russia, it was not alone. It formed its own alliance with France in 1894 to secure herself against the dual alliance of Austria-Hungary and Germany. An agreement known as Entente Cordiale was formed in 1904 between Britain and France, this was not an alliance. In 1907, another agreement and not an alliance was formed between Russia and Britain. Similar to the triple alliance there was a formation of Triple Entente between France, Britain and Russia to chip the danger from Germany. In 1914, Russia, France and Britain united not to agree for peace individually.
Imperialism was adopted by countries which is the practice of a country taking over new countries or lands and making them follow their rules. The British Empire expanded over the continents while France captured larger areas of Africa. By 1900, there was a need for new markets to grow due to the rise in industrialism. Due to the large areas being owned by France and Britain, there was a rise in competitiveness with Germany who had decided to conquer colonies and had owned small parts of Africa.
Militarism was provided by the administration which was a high outline given to the military forces and the army. There was an arms race which developed among the main countries due to the European divide. The military of Germany and France had doubled during 1870 and 1914. There existed a tough competition for dominion of seas between Germany and Britain. The “Dreadnought” was introduced by the British in 1906 which was a successful battleship. Similar trends of introducing battleships was followed by the Germans. Von Schlieffen, the German developed a plan of operation for ambushing France via Belgium incase Germany was attacked by Russia.
Nationalism was followed by the countries which meant being a firm believer of the rights and interests of a country. The exile of Napolean to Elba was focused on solving complications in Europe. Members of the winning allies which included Prussia, Britain, Russia and Austria decided to form a new Europe which would leave Italy and Germany, both as states which were divided. There was a reunion of Germany in 1871 and Italy in 1861 due to the presence of firm nationalists. The mislaying of Alsace-Lorraine to Germany left France very angry and developed a longing to reclaim the territories they lost on the end of war between Prussia and France. Serbia and Austria-Hungary were a roof over the head’s of various nationalist troops who were seeking freedom from the states they resided in.
Morocco was liable to France by Britain in 1904. This led to the desire of Moroccans to be independent. Therefore, Germany decided to lend them a helping hand in 1905. France was allowed to regain Moroccowithout a war being declared through a conference. The Germans once again retaliated against the possession by France of Morocco in 1911. France was supported by Britain and Germany was asked to surrender for the French Congo part.
The earlier Turkish territory of Bosnia was taken over by Austria-Hungary in the year 1908. The Serbians were angered due to this and decided to claim the territory as their own. Russia allied with Serbia and combined its resources on the declaration of the threat by Serbia on the Austria-Hungary war. On the other hand, Austria-Hungary and Germany collaborated their allies to collaborate their resources and prepare for the war in order to threat Russia. Russia’s yield led to the avoidance of war. In 1911 and 1912, there was a declaration of war in the Balkans which resulted in Turkey being driven out from the area. There was a fight between the states over the area which should be owned by whom. Serbia was forced to surrender some of its territories after the intervention by Austria-Hungary. There was a high tension created between Austria-Hungary and Serbia.
World War I witnessed destruction and carnage due to the setup of horrors for warfare and set up of new military technology. There was a massive death of more than 15 million people, civilians and soldiers by the time the war ended. It was known as the most fatal battle fought in the history of wars. The above causes resulted in the decline of the four exceptional monarchical ancestries which were Austria-Hungary, Germany, Turkey and Russia. This led to the rise of the Bolshevik Revolution, Russia. The disruption of the society of Europe was the base for World War II.
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