World War 1 Causes

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Many historians agree that the assassination was a significant event however; the writer would argue it was not the major cause of World War 1. The writer would suggest that the major powers had been ready to go to war long before the assassination of Arch Duke Franz Ferdinand. This was the spark that ignited the war. The writer would argue the major causes of World War I were nationalism, militarism, leadership, imperialism, colonialism and alliances.
Nationalism is extreme patriotic feelings and beliefs over one’s own nation that shows a feeling of superiority over other nations, nationalism in Europe goes as far back as 1789 with the French Revolution but was spread further from The Napoleonic Wars in the early nineteenth century. This is
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Britain is the smallest of the major powers but was extremely powerful, at the time of the war Britain’s leader was King George V, he was a quiet man who had little power as he could not make his own laws. Although Britain was the wealthiest and held the most power they had a number of internal issues with large numbers of unemployment, trade unions experiencing an increase in membership and a rise in socialist parties’ meant riots and demonstrations were common place in Britain before the war. Another problem Britain faced was that many Irish people wanted to break away from Britain and have a Home Rule however the north of Ireland wanted to stay British; in 1914 it was looking as though there could be a civil war. In Germany they had a ‘Kaiser’, a German title meaning emperor, Wilhelm II. Wilhelm was the cousin of King George V however characteristically was the complete opposite, he was energetic and outgoing and was well liked by his subjects, and while his cousin spent time in the royal navy he was more interested in the military. Much like Britain, Germany too faced internal issues around the work force, wages were low, conditions were poor and food was expensive causing many strikes in the hope of improving their conditions however Wilhelm did minimal to help and by the war a third of the German population …show more content…
These alliances were mostly kept secret however the whispers about these alliances was enough to scare the other nations which caused much tension and suspicion which may have fuelled the lead up to war. These alliances meant that they had to support their allies even when they made poor decisions it also may have encouraged some nations into go to war as they knew they had their allies to support them, this meant if one nation went to war they all went to war as their allies had to defend them “…there existed a complicated set of ties, obligations and interests between states which so involved them with one another that it was unlikely that a conflict could be limited to two, or even a few of them” (Roberts 1984, Page

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