World War I or WW1 as some put it was a war that involved the entire world but centered in Europe. Spanning over a period of four years, the war began on 28 th July 1914 all through to the 11 th of November 1918. Several things led to the outbreak of the war. During and after the war, a lot transpired, but, there are certain specifics toВ take note of in order to have a better understanding of the war.
Causes of World War I
Various things led to World War I.В However, there are a few events that can be pointed out to have sparked off the war.
Most of the causes of the World War I are subjects of debate and discussion. Below is a list of some of those that have been cited by the majority.
Mutual defense alliances between countries. When Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, Russia came in to defend Serbia and this led to other countries following suit in defense of the respective countries they were aligned to.
Arms race: At the beginning of the 20 th century, a tendency of militarism had begun with countries building up their military powers. Germany had been able to gather the greatest military buildup by 1914. This helped to push many countries to war.
Nationalism: The Slavic population in Bosnia desired more to be part of Serbia instead of Austria Hungary. Since Austria-Hungary would not let go, every country was compelled to unleash its power and dominance.
Imperialism: The increased desire of various countries to conquer and exercise control over other states they deemed rich in resources they needed also led to confrontation.
Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand: This is the final act that brought all the above mentioned come to test. The leader of Austria-Hungary was assassinated together with his wife on June 1914 by a Serbian nationalist. The assassination was an act of protest by Serbians over the control of Sarajevo, Bosnia, that they termed as imperialism. The move immediately led to the declaration of war on Serbia by Austria-Hungary. Since Russia was aligned to Serbia, it began mobilizing itself to take on Austria-Hungary. Germany on the other hand declared war on Russia due to its alignment with Austria-Hungary. With these, the war began expanding to include all the nations that were involved in the mutual defense alliances.
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As the war came to a close, four main imperial powers had become non-existent. These included Austro-Hungarian, German, Ottoman and the Russian empires. There was a new map of Europe and various independent states were created and others restored. The League of Nations was formed to ensure that the war that claimed over 9 million lives of combatants would never occur again.
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