World War 1 Underlying Causes Essay

966 Words4 Pages

Nick Edenfield
The Underlying Cause The root of the First World War is widely argued among historians, but nationalism seems to be the most prevalent, as it was the origin cause of the other factors. From 1914 to 1918, millions of people died during a conflict on a global scale. The catalyst for this war was unarguably the assassination of Austrian-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand, setting off a domino effect. This event was directly fueled by Slavic nationalism from the Serbian people, initiating global conflict. The amalgamation of factors at the beginning of the war included militarism, imperialism, alliances, and nationalism. Although all of these factors contributed to the start of World War I, nationalism was the most dominant, due …show more content…

Seen most in Germany, the new country became extremely aggressive due to its late arrival in European powers. As Bernhard Von Bulow stated in Document D, “in the coming century, the German people will be a hammer or an anvil,” and they were going to be the hammer in Europe. Direct evidence of all European powers putting a higher emphasis on their armies is then shown in Document C. From the years 1890-1914, the European powers spent millions of pounds, with Germany spending nearly three times their budget in 1914 than in 1890. Germany, now the most powerful military in Europe and next to no competition, had the option to take on anyone. With all these countries beginning to build their armies, the increase in tension builds, and when combined with the fear caused by a looming German army, once the spark happens in Austria-Hungary, war breaks out. However, this increase in military strength, not just from Germany but all of Europe, came from the main cause of nationalism. As stated again in Document D, Bulow states “[The Germans] We don't ever again want to become… the ‘slaves of humanity.’” German people no longer wanted to be taken advantage of and now have a newfound sense of patriotism for their new country and want to do their best to improve their power. Once Germany begins attacking Europe, the fear of invasion is taking hold, …show more content…

As stated before, nationalism is the mindset of wanting to improve one’s country better than anything else. Alliances in their simplest form are those of countries declaring their friendships for mutual benefit, whether it be goods, currency, or military. Nationalism directly caused countries to ally due to the possibility of their respective country’s growth in power or wealth. Eventually, almost every European country had alliances with each other, as seen in Document A, where the major European powers joined either the Allied or the Central Powers. Although most would think that this would be beneficial for its growth potential, it ended up shifting the regional battle into a global war. The consequence of Franz Ferdinand's assassination was a relatively small war between the two countries, but due to alliances, one country was fighting three, and vice versa. In Document B, the European countries in alliances are all shown pointing fingers at one another, signifying the domino effect that alliances had on the war. Because countries acquire benefits from leaguing with other countries, they side with them during a moment of need. Nationalism was what caused countries to ally for personal gain, thereby changing the war from a regional war to a global

Show More

More about World War 1 Underlying Causes Essay

Open Document