What Were the Causes of World War I Essay

On November 11th, will take place the Remembrance Day to remember soldiers who have fallen on battlefield. This date also mark the end of World war One, one of the bloodiest war of XX th century. Numerous causes have trained country to this horrifying war as the competition between European powers, the alliances and the rise of nationalism. Before WW1, the competition between the main European powers increased with the militarism’s and imperialism’s factors. The imperialism trained countries into competition to the conquest of new territories, market and raw materials.

This rivalry would also conduct to the incensement of militarism through an arms race by building of the biggest navies, armies and air force. All those factors helped to pushed countries into war. Before 1914, several alliances were created between countries to force signatories to mutual assistance in case of threat. Two main alliances had been signed between 1879 and 1914. The «triple alliance» which included Germany and Austria-Hungary was signed in 1882. In 1907, the «triple entente» between France, Russia and Britain was unsaturated to isolate Germany and counter her threat.

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However, the immediate cause of World War 1 was the rise of nationalism in several European countries. Indeed, the lost of Alsace-Lorraine of France by the hands of Germany during the 1871 conflict lead to a tension between the two powers and France was ready to engage to regain her territory. Furthermore, in 1908, Bosnia-Herzegovina was annexed to Austria-Hungary. Serbia wanted to appropriate Bosnia, mainly populated of Serbians, which lead to differing nationalism movement. In June 1914, the Archduke of Austria-Hungary and heir of the throne, Franz Ferdinand, was assassinated by a nationalism Serbian student.

After this event, Austria-Hungary declared war to Serbia. There is ensued a domino effect created by the respect of alliances which lead to the expansion of war who quickly become worldwide. The causes of WW1 are not quite different of the majority of the wars that tore our world. Arrogance and the desire of revenge of some men left devastated countries, dead men and ineffaceable marks into history of mankind. However, conflicts motivated by those types of power still visible today as in Irak or in Afghanistan.