Causes of World War 1

World History Tutorial

Causes of World War 1

Intro

Before World War 1, and after the 40-year peace in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars, there were a lot of tensions brewing in Europe. The great powers had competed to be the most superior and the most powerful nation in the world. In the area called the Balkans, which were in the southeastern part of Europe was called the “powder keg” in Europe due to the declining Ottoman Empire and of great nationalism. The spark was the assassination of Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie by Gavrilo Princip, who was a Serbian nationalist, on June 28, 1914. Gavrilo was a member of the Black Hand, which was a Serbian nationalist group with its goal to unite the majority of the Southern Slav territories.

Sample Problem

What were the causes of World War 1?

Solution

-They are militarism, alliances, imperialism, and nationalism.
-They are known as MAIN.
Militarism:
-The build-up of the military to be more powerful and to outrival their enemies.
-The United Kingdom(Great Britain or England) and Germany had competed especially in naval power since the UK had the most powerful navy in the world at that time.
-Germany wanted to catch up to the UK to have a more superior naval supremacy in the world.

Alliances:
-In 1882, there was a secret agreement between Germany, Italy, and Austria-Hungary to form the Triple Alliance.
-In 1907, the United Kingdom, France, and the Russian Empire formed their agreement- the Triple Entente.
-They made these alliances to back each other up in case of an emergency, like for example, a war or an attack.

Imperialism:
-The Great Powers were colonizing in Africa and Asia for their own interests of getting raw materials to turn into finished goods to be traded to other countries.
-This was the White Man’s Burden, which was basically to civilize the non-whites and to
bring progress into a colonized land.

Nationalism:
-Extreme pride in a country
-Each country felt that they were the best country on Earth.
-Nationalism could unite or divide the country or empire depending on the atmosphere as a whole.
-For example, Germany was united by German Chancellor Otto Von Bismarck through wars and force.
-France was humiliated in the Franco-Prussian War due to losing Alsace-Lorraine and demanded revenge.



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