History Notes: Causes of World War – I

History of World War – I: Know about its causes

World War I, often called “the War to end all Wars” started in 1914 and lasted till 1918. This war was the first and one of the biggest wars of the world. The war killed over 17 million people that included 1,00,000 American troops. The war started with the assassination of Archduke
Franz Ferdinand.

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First World War nations

The Central Powers – Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire
The Allied Powers – Great Britain, France, Russia, Italy, Romania, Japan, and the United States.

Key Reasons behind World War – I

Well, it is difficult to cite all the reasons that were associated to World War I. But here are the key reasons behind World War I:

1. Mutual Defense Alliances

At this time, Countries throughout Europe made defense agreements on mutual grounds that put them all into a battlefield. The simple meaning of this treaty was that if one country is
attacked, all allied countries are bound to defend them.
The Chain of Wars
The following alliances existed before World War I :
1. Russia and Serbia
2. Germany and Austria-Hungary
3. France and Russia
4. Britain and France and Belgium
5. Japan and Britain Austria-Hungar

The alliance of Japan, Britain, and Austria – Hungary declared war on Serbia, Russia being allied to Serbia got involved to defend Serbia. Later, Germany seeing Russia mobilizing, declared war on Russia. Observing France drawn against Germany and Austria-Hungary, Germany attacked
France through Belgium pulling Britain into the war. Then Japan entered the war. Later, Italy and the United States entered on the side of the allies.

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2. Imperialism

In context of World War I when a country increases their power and wealth substantially by bringing additional territories under their control, it is called imperialism. Prior to the outbreak of World War I, Africa and parts of Asia became the point of contention among the European
Countries because of the raw material these areas could provide. The increasing competition increased the hunger for greater empires that further lead to an increase in confrontation making World War I happen.

3. Militarism

With the start of the 20th century, race with the arms became popular. Both the major powers, Germany and the Great Britain increased their navies and strengthen the armed forces. In Germany and Russia, the military establishment became influential for public policy. These incidents led to an increase in militarism, further putting these countries into war.

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4. Nationalism

The origin of the war was based on the desire of the Slavic peoples in Bosnia and Herzegovina to of not to remain a part of Austria Hungary but instead be part of Serbia. This nationalism led to war directly. In a more generalized way, we can say that the nationalism of the various countries throughout Europe contributed not only to the beginning but the extension of the war in Europe. Each country tried to prove their dominance and power.

5.Assassination of ArchdukeFranz Ferdinand

The immediate cause of World War I was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria– Hungary. In July 1914, Serbian – nationalist terrorist, Black Hand sent groups to assassinate Archduke. The first attempt for the same failed but in the next attempt, Serbian nationalist Gavrilo assassinated him and his wife while they were in Sarajevo, Bosnia in Austria – Hungary. This made in protest for Austria – Hungary which had the control of this region. On the other hand, Serbia wanted to take control of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The assassination of ArchdukeFranz led to Austria – Hungary declaring the war on Serbia. When Russia mobilized with Serbia, Germany declared war on Russia. Hence, the War broke in defense of each other’s allies.

Key Events of world war first

July 28 -Austria declared war on Serbia
August 1 –As Austria’s ally, Germany declares war on Russia, an ally of Serbia
August 3 –Germany declares war on France, an ally of Russia and immediately begins an invasion of neutral Belgium
August 4 –Great Britain, France’s allies declared war against Germany

The United States (President Wilson) declares that the United States will remain neutral
A lot of countries on both the ends were in the idea of defending their allies and hence ended up in the Warzone. This war is called “the war of that ends all wars” because it had brought the entire front that was in war in protection or defense of their allied countries. This war had high inclusion of weapons and high technology in the battle zone. The rate of causalities in the World War was extremely high, ranging from 15 million dead and 20 million injured.
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