|← The Long Range and Immediate Causes of World War I||History and Society-London →|
The World War I brought with it a lot of destruction, injuries, death and hatred among nations. It was caused by a combination of factors; both long term and immediate. The immediate cause of the war is figured out as only one major issue while there are several long term causes.
The immediate cause of this war dates back in 28th June 1914 where the heir of Habsburg, Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife are assassinated by the Serbian black terrorist in Sarajevo (Henig). In response to the assassination, the Austrians send an ultimatum to Serbia and clamed that it was not accepted entirely. With this regard, the Austrians denied Serbian’s the coastline in an attempt to clip their wings and eventually declared war on them.
There are several long term causes of the World War I. the major one is the arms race that occurred in Europe. This was triggered by a statement by Kaiser, the German Emperor. Every European nation understood what he had in mind and thus worked towards increasing their army and putting in place better military machinery than their rivals. Military spending in the main European nations increased tremendously between 1870 and 1914 and all men above the age of 18 were forced to serve in their nation’s armed service for a minimum period (Albertini).
Another major long time cause of the World War I is the formation of rivalry alliances in Europe. Kaiser’s ambition of making Germany a larger empire France and Britain afraid and in the process made them figure out a way of curbing such an action by joining efforts. They thus formed the Triple Entente, whose members were Britain, France, and Russia. Kaiser also realized that if he had to succeed in taking over other European countries colonies, he hand to form an alliance (Albertini). This led to the rise of the Triple Alliance which was comprised of Germany, Austro-Hungary and Italy.
Nationalism is another major long term cause of the World War I. the governments of the European nations were in great support of nationalism as well as national unity in order to maintain proper domestic support. Labor for industrial development expanded a great deal, manpower was freed to join the military and armaments were produced in large quantities by devoted citizens who were very much prepared for the perceived war.
There were also various provocations and disputes that contributed to the World War I. these include the Moroccan crisis, the Balkan crisis where Bosnia Herzegovina was annexed in 1908 (Henig). Diplomacy of the German gunboat meddled and caused conflicts in alliances and the completion for power and imperialism among European nations also stirred up rivalry among the nations.
It is thus appropriate to conclude that World War I was not triggered by a single cause but rather a combination of both long term and short term cause.