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Causes of World War 1


Nicholas Bedward

on 2 March 2017

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Transcript of Causes of World War 1

Causes of World War 1
The Alliance System
There are series of different events that led to the first World War. The War began in 1914 and lasted until 1918.
In 1914, Austria’s Archduke Francis
Ferdinand was assassinated by Slav
nationalists. Austrians believed that
Serb officials had helped the assassins,
and decided to invade Serbia.
The assassination of Austria’s Archduke
Francis Ferdinand set off a chain reaction
that soon involved all of Europe’s
major powers. What began as a local
crisis escalated into a world war.
While the assassination of the Archduke
was the spark that ignited the war, there
were many underlying causes of the
war. Nationalism, ethnic rivalries,
imperialism, alliances, and militarism
created a powder keg waiting to explode.
Nationalism encouraged rivalries among
Britain, France, Germany, Austria-Hungary,
and Russia. Nationalism also led to the
creation of new independent nations in
the Balkans: Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria,
and Albania.
however, still
consisted of many
ethnic groups, most
of which wanted their
own national states.
These demands
threatened to break
the empire apart.
Serbs wanted to
liberate Serbs
still under Austrian
rule, found in the
southwest of
By annexing these
regions, land-locked
Serbia could also
gain access to the
Adriatic Sea.
The European powers
had competing
economic and
political interests.
German industrialization
seemed to challenge
British economic
supremacy. Competition
for colonies created
further tensions.
By 1914, Europe came to be divided into
two large alliances. On one side stood
Germany and Austria-Hungary. On the
other side was Russia, France, and Great
Any dispute involving a country from
one alliance threatened to bring in
other countries.

The late 1800s saw a rise in militarism or
the glorification of the military. Military
planning and arms races played key roles
in the outbreak of World War I.
Military leaders
thought it would
be better to attack
first rather than
to wait until being
attacked. Whenever
a crisis occurred,
military leaders
were prepared to
The system of nation-states that emerged in Europe in the last half of the nineteenth century led not to cooperation but rather competition.
Not all ethnic groups had become nations in Europe. Slavic minorities in The Balkans & the Austro-Hungarian Empire still dreamed of their own national states. The Irish in the British Empire & the Poles in the Russian Empire had similar dreams.
The imperalist expansion of the last nineteenth century played a role in the coming war. The competition from the lands abroad, especially in Africa, led to conflict & heightened existing rivalries among European states.
Industrialization offered new methods of shipbuilding & the use of iron, steel, & chemicals for new weapons. This new kind of war will be highly destructive.
Fearful of the growing strengths of each other power Europe divided itself into two loose political powers. Germany, Austria-Hungray, & Italy formed the Triple Alliance. France, Great Britian, & Russia created the Triple Entente.
What is Nationalism?
What is Imperialism?
What is a alliance?
What is militarism?
Full transcript