The Origins of the Great War

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The Origins of the Great War As the war of the worlds began to collide between 1914 and 1918, there were numerous causes as to why the "Great War" began. The war began as a local European war between Austria-Hungary and Serbia on July 28, 1914. Later on it transformed into a general European struggle by declaration of war against Russia on August 1, 1914 and eventually became a global war involving 32 nations. Twenty-eight of these nations were known as the Allies and the Associated Powers, including Great Britain, France, Russia, Italy, and the United States. They opposed the coalition known as the Central Powers, consisting of Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey, and Bulgaria. However, the immediate cause of the war between Austria-Hungary and Serbia was when the young Serb, Princip assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie on June 28, 1914. Immediately following this assassination the conflict between nations broke out not only because of the death of the Archduke but because of the intense nationalism that was permeating in Europe. The political and economic rivalry among the nations caused for the hostile military alliances that the world had yet to experience A month later, on July 28 Austria declared war against Serbia, either because they felt Russia would not actually fight for Serbia, or because they were prepared to risk a general European conflict in order to put an end to the Greater Serbian movement. Russia responded to this by partially mobilizing against Austria. Nevertheless, Germany warned Russia that if they continued mobilization then it would cause war between them. This threat made Austria agree to discuss with Russia a possible change in the ultimatum agains... ... middle of paper ... ...on felt, was going against the lasting peace in the region. On January 8, 1918, he delivered his now famous speech in the Congress on the 14-Point Plan. These points were laid down as: there was to be freedom of seas; open covenants to be openly arrived at; to remove economic barriers between nations; to reduce arms; to reach an impartial settlement attention to the principles of self determination; and the establishment of a general association with nations. At the Peace Conference at Versailles, the defeated nations were forced to sign a treaty with the most humiliating conditions. Germany was required to surrender Alsace and Lorraine to France, northern Schleswig to Denmark, and most of Posen and West Prussia to Poland. (Pg.966) With this surrender the Great War came to an end on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918.
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