“The actual decision to go to war over a relatively minor international crisis like the Sarajevo murder, however, resulted from a fatal mixture of political misjudgement, fear of loss of prestige and stubborn commitments on all sides of a very complicated system of military and political alliances of European states.” Alliances are a long term issue and Gerhard Hirschfeld, a professor of modern and contemporary history at the University of Stuttgart, would argued that WW1 was caused by the alliances made by Austria-Hungary, Germany, Russia, France, Britain and Serbia (Hirschfeld, 2015) before WW1 and after the Franco-Prusso War. Austria-Hungary was essentially given a blank-cheque, meaning Austria-Hungary could use whatever action necessary to deal with Serbia and Germ...
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...a yet, strengthened the Dual-Alliance (Germany and Austria-Hungary). The long-term issue, the alliance system, shows that it could have led to WW1 because due to all the alliances made, it drags all the major powers into war and created tension between nations and brought Britain into the war. Another long-term reason that could have led to WW1 is militarism. Because having a big army and navy was seen as a sign of power, it created an arms and Naval Race, especially between Britain and Germany to see who could have the greater outer of the two. The short-term issue, the Schlieffen Plan is argued by historians to be the reason WW1 started as it included a battle on two fronts. However, the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie is another short-term issue that is argued by historians to have started WW1 and caused the Schlieffen Plan to be used.
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