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The Causes of WW1

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Evan Patramanis

on 16 September 2012

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Transcript of The Causes of WW1

By Evan Patramanis The Causes of WW1 WW1 all started because of the conflict between Serbia and Austro-Hungary. Austro-Hungary conquered Bosnia (where many Serbians lived); which displeased many Serbian nationalists. Serbia were furious that Austro-Hungary conquered Bosnia before Serbia could. So the Serbians decided to assassinate the Archduke Franz Ferdinand; the heir to the Austro-Hungary throne. His assassination caused a major uproar in Austro-Hungary, who declared war on Serbia. World War 1 had started. The Spark... Franz Ferdinand and his wife were touring recently acquired land in Bosnia on the 28th of June, 1914 in a no-roofed car. A group of Serbian Nationalists known as 'The Black Hand' had decided to assassinate Franz and his wife. 7 members of 'The Black Hand' were positioned on the route that Franz Ferdinand was going to take. Those members tried to murder Franz, but all attempts failed. One threw a grenade at the car that Franz Ferdinand was in, but missed. Another didn't have the guts to shoot Franz and the other assassins had no chance to try and assassinate him because his car was driving too fast. Franz Ferdinand was killed when his driver took a wrong turn and stopped to reverse. The driver had turned into the street that Gavrilo Princip (a member of 'The Black Hand') was standing in. Gavrilo pulled out his gun and shot the conveniently located heir to Austro-Hungary and his wife, who was pregnant at the time. This was the spark that started WW1. The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Autro-Hungary throne, started WW1. During WW1, all of Europe was divided into 3 main parts: The Triple Entente; The Triple Alliance and; countries that were neutral throughout the war.
Alliances When Austro-Hungary declared war on Serbia, Russia had to defend Serbia due to their alliance. Germany defended Austro-Hunagry due to their alliance. This meant that Austro-Hungary, Serbia, Russia and Germany were all involved in the war. Russia then called for France to help fight due to their alliance. Germany then declared war on France. 5 major countries and empires were involved in the war now and it had not even been going on for a month. Germany invaded Belgium, which was a country that was not part of the war. To do that was a war crime, and so Great Britain entered the war, fighting Germany. On the 23rd of May, 1915; Italy joined the war on Great Britain's side. This was a shock decision because Italy had been part of the Austro-Hungary/Germany alliance before the war. However Italy and Great Britain made a deal. Italy would attack Germany and in turn, Great Britain would give Italy land and sea territory. The offer was too good for Italy to refuse. The Triple Entente was the alliance that included Great Britain, France and Russia. The Triple Alliance included Germany, Austro-Hungary and Italy, before Italy made it's shock decision to join the Triple Entente. Other minor countries that were part of the war due to alliances were Australia, New Zealand and the USA who fought for the Triple Entente, and Japan who fought for the Triple Alliance. Alsace-Lorraine In 1870, the Franco-German War took place. It was a battle that didn't really affect WW1; except for one piece of land. Alsace and a part of Lorraine (known collectively as Alsace-Lorraine) was French territory that had been conquered by the Germans. France believed that Alsace-Lorraine was stolen from them and they wanted to take it back. France wanted to take back Alsace-Lorraine from Germany, which was a major factor in why France joined the war. Alsace-Lorraine was taken back by France after WW1. How Europe was divided for the majority of WW1. Alsace-Lorraine Militarism The powerhouse countries of Europe in 1914 (Great Britain, Germany, Russia and France) all built up their armies so that they could have the biggest army. It was an 'arms race' to see who could build the biggest army before somebody attacked. This created tension and rivalry between the countries. It was just a matter of time before one shot was fired and all the big guns were pulled out... Literally! Countries in 1914 raced to build the biggest army. Imperialism Much like militarism; imperialism created tension and rivalry between countries. The British Empire spanned out over 5 continents in 1914 and France had control over most of Africa. Germany had started to build their Empire much later than the giant British and French Empires. This was another reason that Germany wanted to go to war with Great Britain and France - Germany wanted the largest Empire in the world. The only way to do that was to fight for the land! Great Britain was worried that Germany would build an unstoppable army, so they had to go to war with them while they were still vulnerable to defeat. The British Empire was the largest in the world in 1914. (The red countries were the ones Britain controlled) Nationalism What is a war without Nationalism? A key reason as to why all wars start and continue for a great number of years is because of nationalism. The amount of soldiers that fought and died for their country is astounding. So many men fought and died to help their country. There were over 37 million casualties during WW1 because of the nationalism that all those men felt. This brings us back to how the war started. Serbain Nationalists tried to help their country by assassinating Archduke Franz Ferdinand. This act of nationalism started The Great War. R.I.P Brave Heroes
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