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Principal Causes of the First World War Research Paper

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Updated: Sep 22nd, 2020

The First World War has become one of the most tragic and bloody events in the history of mankind. The consequences of this War had a powerful impact on the course of history. Its beginning had a series of determinants, each of which needs to be critically evaluated in order to acquire a clear vision of the entire phenomenon. The paper at hand is aimed at examining the key factors that are considered to be the principal causes of the war, breaking out: militarism, alliance, nationalism, imperialism, and assassination.

First and foremost, it should be noted that at the relevant historic point, two powerful European countries were aimed at enhancing their military forces. In other words, at the beginning of the twentieth century, Great Britain and Germany started an overall arms race in order to establish a leading position in the region. As a result, new military technologies developed rapidly, and the climate grew tenser. The most numerous armies of the time were German, French, and Russian, with 5, 4, and 1.2 millions of soldiers relatively.

Secondly, it is essential to point out that at the stated historic point, all the relationships were determined by the alliances terms. Thus, the entire European continent was divided into two major unions: triple entente and triple alliance. The former comprised such countries Great Britain, France, and Russia, whereas the latter included Germany Austria-Hungary and Italy. Each member of the alliance was obliged to provide the essential military support to its allies.

Moreover, one of the key characteristics of the beginning of the twentieth century is the appearance of the nationalistic implications in the social environment. Along with the national pride and the feeling of self-identity, the willingness to receive the overall recognition increased. Hence, for example, Slavic groups publicly announced their determination to acquire independence, and were actively supported by the Russians. It should be, likewise, noted that the nationalism of the relevant period possessed aggressive and radical connotations – in their intention to gain independence, nations were ready to employ any resources available to them.

Furthermore, at the end of the nineteenth centuries, European countries would engage in extending their influence through colonies. Germany’s imperial ambitions contradicted the reality, as the country had a few number of colonies in the New World. As a result, it was eager to reorganize the existed world order. The rivalry in the colonial race had a negative impact on the general tone of the diplomatic relationships.

As it has been mentioned above, Germany was the most interested party in breaking out the war. In the meantime, it could not carry out this plan without the relevant formal reason. As a result, the formal reason was found. It was the assignation of the Archduke of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire which was organized and executed by the representatives of the Serbian terrorist organisation “Black Hand”, namely Gavrilo Princip.

Thence, the European community reached the point of no return, and it was Austria who first declared the war on Serbia. Then, Germany would also join in, begging one of the most crucial wars that history would have ever known. Meanwhile, it is essential to note that the causes mentioned above are just the complex groups of prerequisites – in fact, there might be hundreds of accidental coincidences that led to the tragic events.

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