There were three main causes leading up to World War 1, but it wasn't until June 28, 1914 the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand triggered World War 1 which began on July 28, 1914.
The main causes leading to World War 1 were: The Rise of Nationalism, Build-up of Military might, and system of military alliances. Europe avoided major wars in the 100 years before world War 1 began. In the 1800s, nationalism swept across the continent that help bring about the Great War. Nationalism led to the creation of two new powers - Italy and Germany - through the uniting of several small states. On the other hand, nationalism weakened the eastern European empires of Austria-Hungary, Russia, and Ottoman Turkey. Those empires ruled many national groups that wanted independence. Tensions began that threatened to ignite a major war. Rivalry for control of the Balkans added to the tensions that erupted into World War 1.
A build-up of military might occurred among European countries before World War 1 broke out. Nationalism encouraged public support for military build-ups and for a countries use of force to achieve it's goals. By the end of the 1800s, technology enabled countries to fight longer and have greater losses than ever before. A system of military alliances gave European powers a sense of security before World War 1 broke out. They formed alliances with each other for protection and guarantee that other members of the alliance would come to the countries aid if attacked. Although alliances provided protection, the system also created some dangers. If war came, the alliance system meant that a number of nations would fight, not only the two involved in the argument. Alliances could cause a country to go to war against a country it had no argument with. In...
The Assassination of Franz Ferdinand Essay
888 Words4 Pages
While there is never just a single event that has led to the start of a world war, or any other serious war, there is often one thing that triggers long lived tensions and thus war ensues. Such was the case in WWI with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. There were many tensions that existed prior to his assassination, but it was his assassination which triggered the war, his assassination that served as an excuse, and perhaps the last straw, so to speak, which led to the First World War. The following paper examines the assassination of Franz Ferdinand and its relationship to the start of WWI.
Under the rule at the time of the assassination, the old Austrio-Hungarian Empire was built by conquest…show more content…
The European leaders and individuals were perhaps becoming very untrusting of one another, and the tensions were rising as no one would rely on the agreements made by anyone.
As a result of all this tension and distrust, in combination with the assassination of Ferdinand, many nations came together or attacked certain nations that were a threat. For example, the assassination led Austria to declare war on Serbia and Germany declared war on Russia, and then France and then Belgium (Cox). Great Britain then declared war on Germany and Japan on Germany (Cox). Clearly there were many tensions that were just waiting for the right moment, the breaking of the camel’s back, to push nations to truly act. And, since other nations were acting, each nation took that as a sign to go ahead with plans they had perhaps had for several years.
In relationship to these tensions were other forces as well. For example, much of the world was suffering from a depression and this led many to worry and blame others for their position. There were also those elements listed below:
Turmoil in the Ottoman empire,