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The main causes of World war I

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The main causes of World war I

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  1. The main causes of World war I By Dale Vinski 1

  2. Alliances! 2 The two main alliances were the Triple Alliance, which initially included Italy, Germany, & Austria-Hungary, and the Triple Entente made up of Russia, Britain, & France. Alliances were a cause of World War I because when a couple of allied nations got involved in a regional conflict, all of the other allied nations were forced to get involved. Thus, what should have been a relatively small problem, turned into a huge conflict. Many of the most powerful countries in Europe were signing treaties promising to defend one another. “These alliances were intended to promote peace by creating powerful combinations that no one would dare attack. In the end, they had the opposite effect”(Ellis 352). 3

  3. militarism Militarism is the idea that a nation’s power was largely based on its ability to wage war. German army officer Alfred Vagts wrote that militarism was “a domination of the military man over the civilian, an undue preponderance of military demands [and] an emphasis on military considerations.” 4 Emile Zola, a French writer in 1891 wrote, “It is only warlike nations which have prospered; a nation dies as soon as it disarms.”5 Besides an arms race, militarism also led to an increased lack of trust between European powers. “The fiercest competition was the naval rivalry between Britain and Germany. As Germany…began to build up its own navy, suspicious of Germany’s motives, Britain in turn increased naval spending”(Ellis 354). Militarism: the huge stockpiles of weapons combined with the glorification of war inexorably led to, and therefore was a main cause of, World War I. 7 6

  4. The assassination 9 The event that is considered the “spark” that started World War I was the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary. Ferdinand was visiting Sarajevo the capital of Bosnia. Although Bosnia was controlled by Austria-Hungary, it was also the home of many Serbs and other Slavs, “many who viewed the Austrians as foreign oppressors”(Ellis 355). GavriloPrincip was one of the assassins who were part of a terrorist organization committed to the independence of the South Slavic peoples from Austria-Hungary.11 As the Archduke & his wife drove down a street in an open car, Princip fired 2 shots into the car killing Ferdinand & his wife. Nationalist fervor caused Germany to get involved which caused the major alliances to “kick in,” and the rest, as they say is history. 8 10

  5. Bibliography & Other Sources 1. James Joll, The Origins of the First World War, New York: Addison Wesley Longman, 1992, p. 153 (From the DBQ Project) 6.'DestroyThisMadBrute'-US-poster.jpg 7. car_on_the_way_to_the_fron_during_early_World_War_I._taken_in_1914._Taken_from_ _greatwar.nl_site.jpg8.