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Essay on Hidden Reasons That Started World War I

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The American people thought they had captured the idea of “the shot heard around the world” when the first shot was fired in the American Revolution. The idea was then redefined when Gavrilo Princip shot and killed the Archduke, Franz Ferdinand, and his wife. This one shot of violence began a “war to end all wars.” However, what were the hidden reasons that started World War I. How could two small countries petty affairs start a war so large that in the end countries from every civilized continent would take part? Through the different alliances, acts of imperialism, -- the policy of extending the rule or authority of an empire or nation over foreign countries, or of acquiring and holding colonies and dependencies (Dictionary.com), militarism, -- the principle or policy of maintaining a large military establishment (Dictionary.com), and nationalism, -- the policy or doctrine of asserting the interests of one's own nation, viewed as separate from the interests of other nations or the common interests of all nations (Dictionary.com), these many countries had set a stage for a cataclysmic end.
Alliances formed by the countries helped lead to this world war. If Germany didn’t defend Austria-Hungary, Russia defend Serbia, and France and the United Kingdom aid Russia, this war wouldn’t have been so large. However due to the alliances formed by these countries, they were bound to aid one another. This also leads to members of opposing alliances blaming one another. (doc 4) This naturally left German blaming Russia for aiding Serbia, Austria blaming Serbia for the assassination, and England and France to blame Germany. Later Belgium and the United States would join the entente (to be later called allies) also blaming Germany. Furthermo...


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...e. The different national anthems all expressed individual countries views as to how they were better then all the others. (Doc 5) In the United Kingdom it was reported that people were meeting in neighborhood squares cheering for the coming of a war. They were “delighted at the prospect of war” (Doc 2) If one feels they are better then the rest, naturally they have an incentive to demonstrate how. This led to countries taking up arms against one another, and thus leading to WW1.
All-in-all, I feel we must look at deeper then the surface of this war. There isn’t necessarily one exact reason as to why this war occurred. Though, Gavrilo Princip’s “shot heard around the world” ignited the enormous powder keg, it didn’t place the keg in the proper place. It was the cumulative effect of alliances, imperialism, militarism, and nationalism that brought about this war.



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