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The Cause and Effects of World War I

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Essay title: The Cause and Effects of World War I

the Cause and Effects of WWI

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The Causes and Effects of World War I What were the causes and effects of World War I? The answer to this seemingly simple question is not easy. There was more to the onset of the war then the event of an Austrian prince being murdered in Serbia, as is what most people consider to be the cause of World War I. Furthermore, the effects of the war were not just concentrated to a post-war era lasting for a generation of Westerners. No, the effects of the war were widespread throughout the world and can be traced to generations after the war. It is not a rare occasion that when a person is asked what the causes of World War I were, that they answer with the simple comment of an Austrian Prince being shot in Serbia. However the assignation of the Archduke Francis Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie , in Sarajevo was not the main cause of the Great War. Rather, it was the breaking point for Austria in its dealings with Serbia. The truth of the matter is that several factors played a role in the outbreak of the catastrophic war the engulfed the nations of Europe for over four years. World War I truly was the result of building aggressions among the countries of Europe which was backed by the rise of nationalism. To add to the disastrous pot, there was also imperial competition along with the fear of war prompting military alliances and an arms race. All of these increased the escalating tensions that lead to the outbreak of a world war. (Mckay, pg. 904) Two opposing alliances developed by the Bismarckian diplomacy after the Franco- Prussian War was one of the major causes of the war. In order to diplomatically isolate France, Bismarck formed the Three Emperor's League in 1872, which was an alliance between Germany, Russia, and Austria-Hungary. Then in 1882 , Bismarck took advantage of Italian resentment toward France and formed the Triple Alliance between Germany, Italy and Austria-Hungry. In 1890 Bismarck was dismissed from his office and France took the opportunity to gain an ally, therefore , in 1891 the Franco- Russian Entente was formed. Then in 1904 Britain and France put aside their conflicts and formed the Entente Cordiale. As a result , the Triple Entente , a coalition between Great Britain, France , and Russia, countered the Triple Alliance. Now Europe was divided up into two armed camps.(World Book Encyclopedia, WXYZ, pg. 367) Nationalism also played a major role in developing tensions in Europe; for it had been causing dissatisfaction since the Congress of Vienna in 1815. In that settlement the preservment of peace was chosen over nationalism, therefore, Germany and Italy were left as divided states, though they did unify in the future. The Franco- Prussian War in 1871 resulted in the France's loss of the province of Alasce- Lorraine to Germany, and the French looked forward to regaining their lands. Then there was Austria- Hungary which controlled many lands that their neighbors felt belonged to them. Serbia wanted Bosnia and Hercegovina, Italy wanted the Trentino and Trieste regions, and the Czechs and Solvaks wanted independence from Austria- Hungrey. There was also Russia which had problems within it's own boundaries; for Russia contained many different nationalities and many were also seeking independence in the name of nationalism. ( World Book Encyclopedia, WXYZ, pg. 366) Another major conflict that caused the outbreak of the Great War was what is known as the arms race. With the hostile divisions of the nations of Europe there came the expansion of armies and navies. Furthermore, the great powers came to copy Germany's military organization and efficiency, which called for universal registration for military duty, large reserves and detailed planning. Efforts were made for universal disarmament, but the " international rivalry caused the arms race to continue to feed on itself. " (Karpilovsky, World Wide Web) Imperial competition also played a major rule in the act of increasing the ever growing tensions among the divided countries of Europe. In Africa there were two crises in Morocco. The first time, in 1905, Germany full heartedly supported Morocco's call for independence from France, and with the British defending the French war was only avoided because of an international conference which made Morocco a French protectorate. The second crisis occurred in 1911, and it was in protest to French supremacy in Morocco. The Germans finally gave the French a free hand in Morocco, but with a price. They demanded in exchange a portion if of the French Congo. Around this same era there was also a Bosnian crisis, which began with Austria- Hungary's takeover of the province of Bosnia in 1908. For this Serbia threatened war on Austria- Hungary with the pledged

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