This was only the spark that started war in Europe; there were long term causes that contributed to the war and were the origins. This answer will explain the causes focusing on how they contributed to World War One and what the important links are between them. The Alliances not only contributed to war breaking out; it made the war last longer and become on a much larger scale; major political disputes would inevitably cause a large conflict. The alliances caused suspicion, fear, and tension among nations. The two camps were the Triple Entente (Britain, France and Russia) and the Triple Alliance (Germany, Italy and Austria-Hungary).
As a secondary aspiration came the alienation of France from the major powers of Europe. In order to certify that the establishment of any European equilibrium setting was in favor of Germany, Otto Von Bismarck allied with two of the great powers of Europe(www.ibhistory.com). Through a series of treaties, diplomatic arrangements and manipulative techniques, Bismarck unknowingly set up the fundamental provisions for the upsurge of war. Ultimately the alliances meant that conflict between any two nations in Europe would require the involvement of many more. The alliance system essentially fabricated tension and generated fear amongst the great powers of Europe.
There are four factors which could be held accountable for World War I; militarism, alliances, imperialism and nationalism. Militarism is the expansion of armies and navies, alliances refer to the webs of pacts and agreements that countries made with each other, imperialism is the taking over of other countries, and nationalism is the promoting of one’s own country and propaganda against either other countries or countries which were opposition of your allies. All of these four factors were partially responsible for causing the war. Militarism could be blamed for causing the war, because the growing competition between the European powers meant that countries were desperate to show their dominance, and this was best done through military investing. Furthermore, increasing military spending meant that countries wanted to use their armies, and this idea is backed up by the ”use it or lose it” mindset.
Nationalism causes other nations to become suspicious, and it also leads to a war that could easily be resolved other ways. The system of alliances was another underlying cause, as it made the war a world war by bringing all of Europe into it. WW1 began because of militarism, nationalism, and the system of alliances. The presence of militarism, an ideology that claims that the military is the most important aspect of a society, before and during the war led to jealousy and hard feelings, thus escalating the war far before it needed to be. Although this was not the primary cause, it was still an extremely important factor in the playing out of WW1.
It is hard to reach the final answer on the question which relates to the extent of the importance of Balkan nationalism in the outbreak of the war because there are many different perspectives in understanding this question. For example Ruth Henig’s opinion is that Balkan nationalism was extremely important for the war and sees the guilt of Austria-Hungary for its outbreak. On the other hand John Leslie says that the responsible is Germany :“Austria-Hungary can be held responsible for planning a local Austro-Serb conflict, which was linked to its fears about Balkan nationalism, but Germany, which was not interested in this quarrel, quite deliberately used it as an opportunity to launch the European war which Austria-... ... middle of paper ... ...s it liable and unique. It is descriptive and provides a lot of information but in the same time it is also analytical because it presents different aspects and primary sources of the Serb’s history. The parts of the book which relate to the origins of the First World War and the Balkan crisis are focused on the conflict between Serbia and Austria-Hungary, so it does not analyze all origins of the War, but it does analyze in depth the influence of Balkan nationalism for the outbreak and provides a large number of evidences for his arguments.
Germany did, at times have an overbearing influence, and with many factors, the underlying fault lies with Germany. However, influence of other nations, states and individuals were also significant in pulling Europe into World War One. In 1871, following a series of Prussian wars, a new nation of Germany was created which significantly altered the politics of Europe. The new Kaiser, Wilhelm II, determined the direction that this nation took, and it was his attitude that created so much fear of the new state. At times, understandably, they felt threatened and vulnerable.
Nationalism was also a source of anger between France and Germany as France resented its defeat in the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871). Alliances between European nations can also be considered an underlying cause of World War I. As a result of the Triple Alliance consisting of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy, the Triple Entente (understanding) was formed between France, Britain, and Russia. Although France and Britain were natural enemies, their fear of Germany united them together with Russia. These alliances set the final stage for the beginning of World War I.
This fostered Nationalism and thus helping to promote war. The real reason for World War One would be the combination of imperialism, the alliances, and militarism. All of these causes just stacked the tension between the European countries, making it so a war was bound to break out between them regardless. The blame for World War One itself cannot be put onto one country individually, due to all of them being participants in the war and all of them participating in the factors leading up to the war, intentionally or unintentionally. This war was inevitable because, after all, history repeats itself.
These countries included Britain, France, Germany, Russia and Austria-Hungary. Whilst all these countries fought to be the best they didn’t realise what it would lead to, that was a World War. This war formed from years of tensions and little battles. Whilst many say “The blame must firmly lie with Germany” other countries such as Austria-Hungary, Russia, France and Britain all had some involvement in a dispute before World War 1. Since the late 19th century and early 20th century, there has been major tension within Europe.
The conflict resulting from the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinard should have been local and confined but due to a series of factors, militarism, the alliance system, nationalism, this one incident led to the greatest war Europe had ever seen. As a result of underlying hostilities the assassination led to a chain of events that ensured war on a wide scale. The alliance system developed by Bismarck for defensive purposes was one of the major causes of the war. These alliances however took a more aggressive tone in the hands of Bismarck’s successors. Also Bismarck’s alliance system was too intricate for anybody other than himself to maintain.