Europe at War in 1914

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Europe at War in 1914 Introduction The events that triggered the First World War began with an unlucky mistake. The First World War, which lasted from 1914 to 1918 known at the time as 'The Great War'. It involved more countries than any previous war. It introduced new technology into warfare, and caused destruction on an unequalled scale. It was 'total war', involving the mobilization, not just of vast armies, but of whole nations. The human cost of the war- in terms of damaged minds and bodies, and ruined lives- was beyond calculation. In some ways, mankind has never recovered from the horrors of the First World War. Countries which got involved were Britain, Germans, Russia, France, Italy and Austria-Hungary. Alliance System This was a form of military agreement made to protect fellow allies from any invasion. From the 1870s onwards, the powers formed alliances for greater security. This caused fear in some countries and hence two alliance systems were formed. Triple Alliance was made up of Germany, Italy and Austria-Hungary. While Triple Entente was made up of the Britain, France and Russia. The importance of this international web of military as thought by some European powers was that it made limited war very unlikely. When two great powers, went to war, the alliances had a domino effect, dragging others into the conflict. Hence this made the major war inevitable thus leading to a long term cause of the First World War. Arms Race It would be argued that another reason for the war starting was the Arms Race. The German emperor Wilhelm II had a dream of being an imperial ruler. He set his sights on havi... ... middle of paper ... ...tion attempt. This was the spark that caused war to be declared. Alliance System Kicked Into Action Conclusion Although Germany may have forced the hand of the European powers in the summer 1914, she didn't 'cause' the war. However during 1920s the Germans published all their official documents to prove that they weren't the ones who caused the war. After studying, some historians (revisionists) agreed that Germany did not start the war. One of the historians suggested that four other general factors had worked together to create a tense situation in Europe, in which war was bound to break out sooner or later. The causes he identified were: nationalism (the fanatical support of ones own nation); militarism (an arms race); imperialism (empire-building); and the system of alliances between the great powers.
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