Europe at War in 1914 Essay

Europe at War in 1914 Essay

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Europe at War in 1914


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

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


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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