World War 1 Causes Dbq Essays

Causes Of World War I 3

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There were many immediate and underlying or fundamental causes of World War I. The difference between an underlying and immediate cause is that an underlying cause develops over a long period of time and indirectly leads to a specific event, and an immediate cause is a specific short-term event that directly leads to another event or series of events. While the immediate cause of World War I was the assassination of Francis Ferdinand, the archduke of Austria, by a Serbian member of the Black Hand secret society, there were various basic causes of the war. Three of them were nationalism, alliances between European powers, and militarism.
     Nationalism is a devotion and loyalty to one’s own nation, with primary emphasis on furthering its interests as opposed to those of other countries. This feeling widely spread throughout Europe during the 19th and 10th centuries and caused many problems. The Slavic people of Bosnia and Herzegovina wanted to break away from Austria-Hungary and unify with other Slavic nations. Russia as a Slavic nation backed up the two countries in this matter, therefore causing tensions between Austria-Hungary and itself. Nationalism was also a source of anger between France and Germany as France resented its defeat in the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871).
     Alliances between European nations can also be considered an underlying cause of World War I. As a result of the Triple Alliance consisting of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy, the Triple Entente (understanding) was formed between France, Britain, and Russia. Although France and Britain were natural enemies, their fear of Germany united them together with Russia. These alliances set the final stage for the beginning of World War I. Each country in each alliance would help each other during warfare. For example, if Germany attacked France, Britain and Russia would help France, and Italy and Austria would help Germany, dragging Europe into a state of chaos and violence.
     Militarism was also an underlying cause of World War I. As the alliance system divided Europe into opposing groups, each nation began to increase spending on its military. This set a belligerent mood in Europe as each nation was prepared to fight a war. A German officer once said "in time of peace, prepare for war," and that is exactly what European nations did, eventually leading to the Great War.
     Without a doubt, the one underlying cause of the three described above that was most responsible for World War I was the system of alliances.

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The Triple Alliance and Triple Entente created extremely high tension in Europe which motivated countries to move into war for an inane incident such as the assassination of the archduke of Austria. Europe was divided into two opposing groups and each nation was ready to enter war due to militarism. The high tensions between European nations ultimately led to the declaration of war on Serbia by Austria on July 28, 1914, marking the beginning of World War I.



Tyler Newsom

World History

March 4, 2011

DBQ 19: Causes of WWI

Potential causes of WWI were: The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Germany attacked Belgium, militarism, alliances, imperialism, and nationalism played major roles in the conflict as well. World War I was one of the worst things to happen in history. The total number of casualties in World War I, both military and civilian, was about 37 million: 16 million deaths and 21 wounded.

One reason for the war starting could be the increase of money spent on weapons. France, Germany, and Russia were the 3 biggest spenders. They were also 3 very large contributors of the war. Great Britain already had the largest navy in the war so they didn't need to spend any money on weapons; they already had the best of the best. Russia on the other hand had the old-style weapons. They were very inaccurate, they weren't very powerful, and they took a long time to re-load. The increase of weapon spending was just bound to start a war. They countries weren't just going to spend all that money on them on not use them. (Document 1)

The Triple Alliance aka the enemies consisted of Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy (until 1915), Ottoman Empire, and Bulgaria. Italy switched over to the Triple Entene in 1915. The Triple Entente aka the Allies consisted of France, Great Britain, Russia, Japan, Serbia, Romania, and later the U.S. Each country had a reason for wanting in the war. For example: Great Britain had the biggest navy in the world so nobody would be able to stop them. Russia had twice as many people as everyone but they also had the worst weapons you could have. Germany was going to use the Schlieffen Plan which said that they would attack France first because they were weaker than them. It was used for a quick way to attack and win.

The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo June 28th, 1914 by a man by the name of Gavrillo Princip of Serbia, Austro-Hungary calling on Germany for war, Serbia calling on Germany who then called on the allies, Germany attacked Belgium which then pulled in Great Britain who had the largest navy in the world. All of these things were recipes for disaster in Europe. The big one was probably the assassination of Franz Ferdinand. All of the others were causes too but that was the major one.

According to the Versailles Treaty, Germany was responsible for the starting of WWI. The treaty states "... The allied and associate governments affirm and Germany accepts the responsibility of Germany and her allies for causing all the loss and damage...." (Document 4) The German delegation leader said "Such a confession from my lips would be a lie" meaning that if he said Germany started WWI he would be stating a lie. He believes that there were multiple causes

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