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World War I 1914 - 1918. The events and forces that resulted in The Great War . Europe Was Ready for War. A century ago the countries of Europe were in conflict with each other because: They were in a struggle with each other over who would be the most powerful and wealthy.

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World war i 1914 1918

World War I1914 - 1918

The events and forces that resulted in The Great War


Europe was ready for war
Europe Was Ready for War

A century ago the countries of Europe were in conflict with each other because:

  • They were in a struggle with each other over who would be the most powerful and wealthy.

  • There were a number of border disputes.

  • Many of the European countries had colonies in other parts of the world from which they gained power, wealth and resources. Often there were disputes over control of these colonies.


Cause 1 militarism
Cause 1: Militarism

With the many disputes resulting from nationalism and imperialism, European countries did two (2) dangerous things:

  • Kept armies ready for war. Countries and armies in a high alert for war, often want war.

  • European countries were constantly trying to outdo each other for the best military and equipment. This made countries even more suspicious of each other.


Cause 2 alliance systems
Cause 2: Alliance Systems

  • Countries of Europe eventually divided themselves into two (2) powerful groups or alliances. Countries in each group promised to help each other in case one was attacked.

  • An attack on one country could draw most of the world into war considering the many colonies European countries possessed.

  • England could bring into war Canada, Newfoundland, Australia, New Zealand, etc.


Cause 3 imperialism
Cause 3: Imperialism

Imperialism is a policy of establishing colonies away from the homeland and building an empire.

  • European countries saw their greatness in how much of the world they could control.

  • Imperialism gave European countries control of wealth and resources.

  • These countries eventually mistrusted each other in their attempt to control the world.


Cause 4 nationalism
Cause 4: Nationalism

Nationalism – feeling great pride in one’s own country.

How could nationalism contribute to war?

  • Nationalism sets up a “we / they attitude”.

  • People feel ready to defend their country if it is threatened.

  • Considering the conflicts in Europe it was easy to feel threatened.

  • Nationalism created an expectation among people that war was going to happen.


European alliances 1914
European Alliances 1914

Triple Entente

  • England

  • France

  • Russia

    Triple Alliance

  • Germany

  • Austria-Hungary

  • Italy


The spark that started the war
The Spark that Started the War

In 1914 Europe was ready for war, almost wanting war. All that was needed was an excuse.

Europe got that excuse on June 28, 1914 when the future king and queen of Austria-Hungary, Archduke Ferdinand and his wife were killed by a terrorist.

Austria-Hungary blamed Serbia and attacked. Other countries joined their alliance partners drawing any countries into war within 6 weeks.


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