‘the First World War Started More by Accident Than by Design'. Discuss.

2502 Words Jan 6th, 2008 11 Pages
‘The First World War started more by accident than by design'. Discuss.
To some extent it is correct to state that the First World War started more by accident than by design. However, it can be argued that many nations within Europe had planned for war and some even pushed for war. Despite this, those nations never wished for a full scale ‘World War'. They were hoping for a war on a much smaller scale, for example, the earlier Balkan wars of 1912 and 1913. In this essay I will discuss both sides of the argument; an accidental war and the planned war. I will then conclude the essay with which side of the argument I believe holds the strongest position.
There are many different angles to be looked at on the origins of the First World
…show more content…
Italy became united in 1866. These two new nations utterly transformed the balance of power in Europe and would lead to greater conflict in the years to come. It was also in 1867 that the governmental structure of the Austrian Empire changed as it became the dual monarchy that was Austria-Hungary.
Imperialism is one cause for the war. France and Britain already had overseas colonies and controlled vast natural resources. Germany wished to obtain colonies but was blocked from entering Africa and Asia by Britain. Therefore rivalries began to develop within Europe for control of overseas territory. Germany interfered in Morocco in March 1905 which was intended to divide France and Britain, but this led to closer ties between them and eventually led to an alliance between Britain and Russia in 1907. Germany interfered again in 1911 when they sent a gunboat to Morocco. This ultimately led to a naval agreement between Britain and France in 1912. It was agreed that Britain would defend the Channel and the French Atlantic coast, while France would move into the Mediterranean.
There were many alliances that tied together European nations. The earliest was between Britain and Belgium; the Treaty of London in 1839 and this was regarding Belgium's neutrality. However, it was after the Franco-Prussian war in 1871 that many treaties were set up. In 1879 Germany and Austria

Related Documents