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While there was a chain of events that directly led to the fighting, the actual root causes are much deeper and part of continued debate and discussion. This list is an overview of the most popular reasons that are cited as the root causes of World War 1. Mutual Defense Alliances: Mutual Defense Alliances Over time, countries throughout Europe made mutual defense agreements that would pull them into battle. Thus, if one country was attacked, allied countries were bound to defend them. Before World War 1, the following alliances existed : Russia and Serbia Germany and Austria-Hungary France and Russia Britain and France and Belgium Japan and Britain Imperialism : Imperialism Imperialism is when a country increases their power and wealth by bringing additional territories under their control. Before World War 1, Africa and parts of Asia were points of contention amongst the European countries. This was especially true because of the raw materials these areas could provide. The increasing competition and desire for greater empires led to an increase in confrontation that helped push the world into World War I. Militarism: Militarism As the world entered the 20th century, an arms race had begun. By 1914, Germany had the greatest increase in military buildup. Great Britain and Germany both greatly increased their navies in this time period. Further, in Germany and Russia particularly, the military establishment began to have a greater influence on public policy. This increase in militarism helped push the countries involved to war.Nationalism: Nationalism Much of the origin of the war was based on the desire of the Slavic peoples in Bosnia and Herzegovina to no longer be part of Austria Hungary but instead be part of Serbia. In this way, nationalism led directly to the War. But in a more general way, the nationalism of the various countries throughout Europe contributed not only to the beginning but the extension of the war in Europe. Each country tried to prove their dominance and power.Immediate Cause: Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand : Immediate Cause: Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand The immediate cause of World War I that made all the aforementioned items come into play (alliances, imperialism, militarism, nationalism) was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary. In June 1914, a Serbian nationalist assassinated him and his wife while they were in Sarajevo, Bosnia which was part of Austria-Hungary. This was in protest to Austria-Hungary having control of this region. Serbia wanted to take over Bosnia and Herzegovina. This assassination led to Austria-Hungary declaring war on Serbia. When Russia began to mobilize due to its alliance with Serbia, Germany declared war on Russia. Thus began the expansion of the war to include all those involved in the mutual defense alliances.German domestic politics: German domestic politics Left wing parties, especially the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) made large gains in the 1912 German election. German government at the time was still dominated by the Prussian Junkers who feared the rise of these left wing parties. Fritz Fischer famously argued that they deliberately sought an external war to distract the population and whip up patriotic support for the government . Russia was in the midst of a large scale military build-up and reform which was to be completed in 1916-17. Other authors argue that German conservatives were ambivalent about a war, worrying that losing a war would have disastrous consequences, and even a successful war might alienate the population if it were lengthy or difficult. [French domestic politics: French domestic politics The situation in France was quite different from that in Germany but yielded the same results. More than a century after the French Revolution, there was still a fierce struggle between the left-wing French government and its right-wing opponents, including monarchists and "Bonapartists." A "good old war" was seen by both sides (with the exception of Jean Jaurès) as a way to solve this crisis thanks to a nationalistic reflex. For example, on July 29, after he had returned from the summit in St. Petersburg, President Poincaré was asked if war could be avoided. He is reported to have replied: "It would be a great pity. We should never again find conditions better." The left-wing government thought it would be an opportunity to implement social reforms (income tax was implemented in July 1914) and the right-wing politicians hoped that their connections with the army's leaders could give them the opportunity to regain power. Russian bribery under Poincaré's careful direction of the French press from July 1912 to 1914 played a role in creating the proper French political environment for the war. Prime Minister and then President Poincaré was a strong hawk. In 1913 Poincaré predicted war for 1914. In 1920 at the University of Paris, thinking back to his own student days, Poincaré remarked "I have not been able to see any reason for my generation living, except the hope of recovering our lost provinces (Alsace-Lorraine; Poincaré was born in Lorraine)." Changes in Austria : Changes in Austria In 1867, the Austrian Empire fundamentally changed its governmental structure, becoming the Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary. For hundreds of years, the empire had been run in an essentially feudal manner with a German-speaking aristocracy at its head. However, with the threat represented by an emergence of nationalism within the empire's many component ethnicities, some elements, including Emperor Franz Joseph, decided that a compromise would have to be made in order to preserve the power of the German aristocracy. In 1867, the Ausgleich was agreed upon which made the Magyar elite in Hungary almost equal partners in the government of Austria-Hungary.Arms Race: Arms Race As David Stevenson has put it, "A self-reinforcing cycle of heightened military preparedness…was an essential element in the conjuncture that led to disaster…The armaments race…was a necessary precondition for the outbreak of hostilities". David Herrmann goes further, arguing that the fear that "windows of opportunity for victorious wars" were closing, "the arms race did precipitate the First World War". If Archduke Franz Ferdinand had been assassinated in 1904 or even in 1911, Herrmann speculates, there might have been no war; it was "the armaments race…and the speculation about imminent or preventive wars" which made his death in 1914 the trigger for war.PowerPoint Presentation: Some historians see the German naval build-up as the principal cause of deteriorating Anglo-German relations. The overwhelming British response, however, proved to Germany that its efforts were unlikely to equal the Royal Navy. In 1900, the British had a 3.7:1 tonnage advantage over Germany; in 1910 the ratio was 2.3:1 and in 1914, 2.1:1. Ferguson argues that "so decisive was the British victory in the naval arms race that it is hard to regard it as in any meaningful sense a cause of the First World War". This ignores the fact that the Kaiserliche Marine had narrowed the gap by nearly half, and that the Royal Navy had long intended to be stronger than any two potential opponents; the United States Navy was in a period of growth, making the German gains very ominous. Technological changes, with oil- rather than coal-fuelled ships, decreasing refuelling time while increasing speed and range, and with superior armour and artillery also would favour the growing and newer German fleetAnglo German naval race: Anglo German naval race Motivated by Wilhelm II’s enthusiasm for an expanded German navy, Grand Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz championed four Fleet Acts from 1898 to 1912 and from 1903[dubious – discuss] to 1910, the Royal Navy embarked on its own massive expansion to keep ahead of the Germans. This competition came to focus on the revolutionary new ships based on the Dreadnought, which was launched in 1906. In 1913, there was intense internal debate about new ships due to the growing influence of John Fisher's ideas and increasing financial constraints. It is now generally accepted by historians that in early-mid 1914 the British adopted a policy of building submarines instead[dubious – discuss] of new dreadnoughts and destroyers, effectively abandoning the two power standard, but kept this new policy secret so that other powers would be delayed in following suiOver by Christmas: Over by Christmas This account is less plausible on a review of the available military theory at the time, especially the work of Ivan Bloch, an early candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize. Bloch's predictions of industrial warfare leading to bloody stalemate, attrition, and even revolution, were widely known in both military and pacifist circles. Some authors such as Niall Ferguson argue that the belief in a swift war has been greatly exaggerated since the war.He argues that the military planners, especially in Germany, were aware of the potential for a long war, as shown by the famous Willy-Nicky telegraphic correspondence between the emperors of Russia and Germany. He also argues that most informed people considered a swift war unlikely. However, it was in the belligerent governments' interests to convince their populaces that the war would be brief through skillful use of propaganda, since such a message encouraged men to join the offensive, made the war seem less serious and promoted general high spiritsPrimacy of the offensive and war by timetable: Primacy of the offensive and war by timetable Military theorists of the time generally held that seizing the offensive was extremely important. This theory encouraged all belligerents to strike first in order to gain the advantage. The window for diplomacy was shortened by this attitude. Most planners wanted to begin mobilization as quickly as possible to avoid being caught on the defensiveBritish security issues: British security issues In explaining why neutral Britain went to war with Germany, Kennedy (1980) recognized it was critical for war that Germany become economically more powerful than Britain, but he downplays the disputes over economic trade imperialism, the Baghdad Railway , confrontations in Eastern Europe, high-charged political rhetoric and domestic pressure-groups. Germany's reliance time and again on sheer power, while Britain increasingly appealed to moral sensibilities, played a role, especially in seeing the invasion of Belgium as a necessary military tactic or a profound moral crime. The German invasion of Belgium was not important because the British decision had already been made and the British were more concerned with the fate of France(pp 457-62). Kennedy argues that by far the main reason was London's fear that a repeat of 1870--when Prussia and the German states smashed France--would mean Germany, with a powerful army and navy, would control the English Channel, and northwest France. British policy makers insisted that would be a catastrophe for British security.Franco–Prussian War (1870–1871): Franco–Prussian War (1870–1871 ) Many of the direct origins of World War I can be seen in the results and consequences of the Franco-Prussian War. This conflict brought the establishment of a powerful and dynamic Germany, causing what was seen as a displacement or unbalancing of power: this new and prosperous nation had the industrial and military potential to threaten Europe, and particularly the already established European powers. Germany’s nationalism, its natural resources, its economic strengths and its ambitions sparked colonial and military rivalries with other nations, particularly the Anglo-German naval arms race.Historiography: Historiography During the period immediately following the end of hostilities, Anglo-American historians argued that Germany was solely responsible for the start of the war. However, academic work in the English-speaking world in the later 1920s and 1930s blamed participants more equally. Since 1960, the tendency has been to reassert the guilt of Germany, i.e., “The Berlin War Party,” although some historians have argued for shared guilt or pointed to the EntenteEffects Of World War 1: Effects Of World War 1 Even after the official end of World War I, its far-reaching effects resounded in the world for decades in the forms of changing politics, economics and public opinion. Many countries began to adopt more liberal forms of government, and a hostile Germany was forced to pay for a large deal of war reparations, which ultimately led to the start of World War II. As Europe fell in debt from war costs, inflation plagued the continent. Additionally, the optimism of previous decades was abandoned and a bleak, pessimistic outlook on life was adopted after people had experienced the brutality of warfareGovernmental Changes: Governmental Changes As a result of World War I, socialistic ideas experienced a boom as they spread not only in Germany and the Austrian empire but also made advances in Britain (1923) and France (1924). However, the most popular type of government to gain influence after World War I was the republic. Before the war, Europe contained 19 monarchies and 3 republics, yet only a few years afterward, had 13 monarchies, 14 republics and 2 regencies. Evidently, revolution was in the air and people began to more ardently express their desires for a better way of life.Effects of a harsh Peace: Effects of a harsh Peace A second political effect of World War I centers solely on the treatment of Germany in the Treaty of Versailles of 1919. The Germans were forced to sign a humiliating treaty accepting responsibility for causing the war, as well as dole out large sums of money in order to compensate for war costs. In addition, the size of the German state was reduced, while that of Italy and France was enlarged. The Weimar government set up in Germany in 1918 was ill-liked by most of the citizens and maintained little power in controlling the German state. Rising hostilities toward the rest of Europe grew, and many German soldiers refused to give up fighting, even though Germany's military was ordered to be drastically reduced. Given such orders, numerous German ex-soldiers joined the Freikorps, an establishment of mercenaries available for street-fighting. The open hostility and simmering feelings of revenge exhibited by Germany foreshadowed the start of World War II.Economic Change: Economic Change Technology experienced a great boost after the war, as the production of automobiles, airplanes, radios and even certain chemicals, skyrocketed. The advantages of mass production and the use of machinery to perform former human labor tasks, along with the implementation of the eight hour work day, proved to stimulate the economy, the United States' in particular. However, much of Europe suffered devastating losses of physical property and landscape as well as finances. By 1914, Europe had won the respect of the world as a reliable money-lender, yet just four years later was greatly in debt to her allies for their generous financial contributions toward the war effort, owing them as much as $10 billion. In an effort to pay back their allies, the governments of many European countries began to rapidly print more and more money, only to subject their countries to a period of inflation.Disillusionment: Disillusionment Psychologically, World War I had effects similar to those of a revolution. A growing sense of distrust of political leaders and government officials pervaded the minds of people who had witnessed the horror and destruction that the war brought about. Many citizens were angered that peacemakers had not expressed their ideals fervently enough, and people began to wonder why the war was fought at all. A feeling of disillusionment spread across the world as people bitterly decided that their governments in no way knew how to serve the best interests of the peopleSummary: Summary World War I did not completely end with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, for its political, economic and psychological effects influenced the lives of people long after the last shot was fired. Two main political changes rocked the world after the war: a greater number of countries began to adopt more liberal forms of government, and an angered Germany tried to cope with the punitions doled out to them by the victors, as its hostilities rose to the point where it provoked the second world war two decades later. Despite the advantages brought forth by developing technologies, the war mainly had a damaging effect on the economies of European countries. People's hopes and spirits also floundered, as they grew distrustful of the government and tried to cope with the enormous death toll of the war. The turbulent period after World War I called for a major readjustment of politics, economic policies, and views on the world.: Submitted By :- Digvijay Sindhu Class:- IX School :- Pinegrove School You do not have the permission to view this presentation. In order to view it, please contact the author of the presentation.