The First World War started in 1914 and lasted for four years to end in 1918 when Germany, Russia, Austria-Hungary and Ottoman empires were defeated (Havers 7). There have been a number of causes identified to have led to the war but most of them are not as straightforward as many would think. In essence, the root causes of the war are deeper than most abstract reasons many authors have identified in the past. However, this does not mean that there was no trail of events which directly led to the conflict because there were a series of open hostilities which eventually led to the break-out of the war (Kelly 1).
The war majorly broke out as a result of existing alliances among various world powers such as Russia, Serbia, Germany, Austria-Hungary, France, Russia, Britain, Japan, Italy and the United States (which existed then) (Kelly 2). In comprehending the causes of the conflict, it is important to understand that before the war, there was an existing trend of alliance-formation among existing European powers through alliances such as the triple alliances, dual alliance, league of the three emperors and the likes (Kelly 2). Later, there was increased mistrust among the European powers, but more importantly, the distrust was between Germany and Britain which competed to empower their naval forces (a trend which fast grew throughout Europe) (Strachan 54). Considering there was increased military power among most European nations, Austria-Hungary’s declaration of war on the Serbs dragged most European powers into the war and this event later precipitated the First World War. The background history of the conflict withstanding, this study establishes that the first world war was majorly precipitated by militarism, al...
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...the war practically spread throughout Europe and essentially throughout the entire world. In the absence of mutual alliances, the war could have remained between Austria-Hungary and Serbia and this would mean that the war would not have been a world war. Therefore, from this point of view, we can conclude that mutual defense alliances among European countries are the major cause of the First World War.
Havers, Robin. The Second World War: Europe, 1939-1943. New York:
Osprey Publishing, 2002. Print.
Kelly, Martin. Top 5 Causes Of World War 1. 2011. 21 March. 2011.
Magocsi, Paul. A History of Ukraine. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1996. Print.
Strachan, Hew. The First World War: To Arms. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.
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