Show More"War is the unfolding of miscalculations." - Barbara Tuchman
The causes of World War I included a cultivating sense of nationalism leading to an arms race between Europe's paramount powers, all trying to establish superiority above others; militarism inaugurated to predominate across the globe. As the new kids on the block, Germany pursued the same imperialism as nations like France and Britain, with colonies stretching so far and wide that England was dubbed "the Empire on which the sun never sets." The war led to 8.5 million fatalities and the economic effects would be felt for years to come. In the year 1914, World War 1 had erupted and several countries were tangled in the mess, however not all entered at a uniform time. Central…show more content…
The desire of several countries was to have élite armies and navies with the superlative weapons. Britain and Germany’s naval rivalry was amongst the worst completion. Britain had developed the world’s most respected navy in order to protect its cosmic overseas empire. When Germany started obtaining colonies, they began to build a stout navy also. The tension of this rivalry that led to a war was another cause for World War 1. Imperialism was another cause for World War 1. Imperialism, as defined by Dictionary.com, is "the policy of extending the rule or authority of an empire or nation over foreign countries, or of acquiring and holding colonies and dependencies.” A major cause of World War 1 was its economic rivalries. Germany's fast economic progression threatened The British. By 1900, Britain’s old factories were out produced by Germany's new, modern factories. This gave Britain a strong economic reason for opposing Germany in any discrepancy. The allocation of European nations was caused by imperialism. The competition for colonies brought France and Germany to the brink of war in the year of 1905 and repeated itself again in 1911. This was also another trigger for the outbreak of World War 1. The assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary was the incentive that started World War 1. The publication of Ferdinand visiting Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia, it’s neighboring country, was the reason that
World War I was a direct result of a tangled system of secret alliances. Beginning after the unification of Germany in 1871, many European nations began secretly allying themselves with each other. Starting with the Dual Alliance between Austria-Hungry and Germany in 1879, the nations of Europe allied themselves in mutual protection pacts in such a way that if any one nation became the target of aggression, all of Europe would be pulled into war. That act of aggression occurred in Bosnia in 1914 when a young serb, Gavrilo Princip, assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne. Austria-Hungry declared war on the nation of Serbia soon after. Within a year, Austria-Hungry, Germany and Italy had allied themselves against France, Britain, Russia and the Ottoman Empire.
The after-effects of the war are numerous. Four empire disappeared; Austria-Hungry, the Ottomans, Germany and Russia. Four age-old royal lines were shattered; the Hapsburgs, Romanov’s, Hohenzollerens and the Ottman turks. Of the 60 million soldiers mobilized during the war, 8 million were dead, 7 million were disabled in some way and 15 million were seriously injured. 15% of German’s men aged 18-40 were gone, as were 17% of Austria-Hungry. A global famine also came after the war, killing 100,000 people in Lebannon and 10 million in Russia! One of the most important effects was that Germany was saddled with a huge war debt that bankrupted the nation and provided fertile ground for the rise of Hitler and the Nazi's, so one could argue World War I caused World War II
There were some positive effects as well. There were vast improvements in the way armies cared for wounded soldiers and veterens. Mental health care for soliders with PTS syndrome was beginning to be introduced and the League of Nations was formed. While the League itself proved to be ineffective, it was the precursor to the United Nations, a much more effective international organization.