The beginning of WW1, also known as The Great War, was sparked by the assassination of the Austrian Archduke Francis Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie. On June 28th, 1914, Gavrilo Princip, a member of a Serbian terrorist group called The Black Hand, killed the Archduke. Alliances drew lines by creating new groups and by coming together to help and reinforce other countries, they’re known as the Triple Alliance and the Triple Entente. Rivalries and nationalism increased tension throughout many different types of European powers.
After the assassination, the alliances coming together and becoming united, and having the European tensions rising, we really can see a clear path of how and why the war is starting. For an underlying cause of the war, the context and information was a huge part in determining what people really thought and what their opinion about the war was. When developing context, it was about the perspective of the people and how they saw the problem. In the late 19th century, European leaders believed that by creating a balance of power, they could possibly prevent a large-scale war. The idea was that if the major powers of Europe – places like England, France, Russia, and Germany – were balanced in strength, no one country would dominate the rest. “War is life itself”.
Meaning that whether or not the people like it, war will come and it will be the life that they know and live in. Some people that lived in the countries of war, were delighted at the prospect of it and the people were ‘okay’ with it coming directly at them. All in all, the context of the war was instituted and developed by the people and how they believed things should be. Nationalism was one of many underlying causes of the war because people thought war was necessary to fix minor problems. Nationalism is a strong feeling of pride in and devotion to one’s country.
“This war is determined by our obligation to our traditions and the world of culture,”said by Colonel Dragutin Dimitrevic. Stating that people thought they knew what they were fighting for but in reality they were upholding traditions and obligations that were no longer followed by the government or officials. Britain was envied for how they were dominant and powerful compared to so many other nations and countries, but shortly after, when all the high tails went down, Britain was full of dread, they were pushed to a point here they didn’t know what would come next. Being a society/government that depended on others, which proved them to be strong; others trusted them, showing that they must stand together to stop horrible things from happening within the country that there people call ‘home.’ As a result, nationalism being known as a strong feeling of pride in and devotion to one’s country, has showed the people and the government going through hardships and achievements through the effects of the Great War. Imperialism is the domination by one country of the political, economic, or cultural life of another country or region and it connects by being apart of the underlying cause for the start of this massive war.
Everybody wanted freedom but nobody wanted the pain or the consequences of what you had to do to gain it. “England is the Bloodsucker of the World.” This sparking an image of England being the most vast land for having such a large amount of people coming in and out of the area. Taking what is and isn’t there’s, showed all the other countries how England wanted to play, and it sure wasn’t fair, but it kept them in the lead; it soon backfired, resulting in war. Colonial Possessions, Spring, 1914 (Eastern Hemisphere), showed that the world was dominated by different countries and places from all around the hemisphere.
The size of colonial empires in 1913, was a major realization that Britain was becoming very big and popular. This shows Britain, Area (sq. km.): 33,000,000 and the Population of Colonies: 400,000,000 while France’s Area (is): 11,590,000 and the Population of Colonies (being):56,000,000. This showed the majority of how things were placed and how everything played it’s part in becoming the nation it is known to be during this time period.
To sum up, by connecting all the different pieces together you can determine that imperialism was one of the underlying causes to spark to the Great War. Militarism is 1 out of the 5 underlying causes of the Great War (WW1) because growth of weapons; the arsenal they have, power being gained, and their militaries determination. By 1914, the Triple Entente powers could field 2.23 million men, while Germany and Austria-Hungary could only field about 1.2 million men. “The means of fighting the battle for existence in this world without strong armaments on land and water, for a nation soon to count sixty millions, living in the centre of Europe and at the same time stretching out its economic feelers in all directions, have not yet been found.
In the coming century, the German nation will either be the hammer of the anvil.” This quote explains itself because it’s talking about and showing that fighting is what is going to happen, but to have a good and fair fight, both sides need to be at the same standard. Without having a powerful force being behind a country; that’s working for it, there can be no welfare for the disputing countries, without a strong army and a strong navy, there will be nothing. Lastly, the start; the beginning of the war was coming because of the deals and arguments made when dealing with weapons, and how to make power more accessible to the other countries with military determination. The final underlying cause of the war was the alliances made during the troublesome times, alliances were a huge part in determining whose side a country was on and which countries you would support if they needed help. The Triple Alliance, The Triple Entente, and the neutral nations; which weren’t apart of any alliance, the Triple Alliance and the Triple Entente would go back and forth fighting and fighting for what they thought was right.
The Triple Alliance and the Triple Entente were the main European alliances in 1914. The Triple Alliance was composed of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy but soon after realizing what was happening, Italy seceded from the Triple Alliance. The Triple Entente was composed of the United Kingdom, France, and Russia. The neutral nations were countries like Spain, Portugal, Norway, Sweden, Bulgaria, and more around the Bulgarian area. A lot of the countries banded together against Germany, saying that Germany was the prime reason that the war started and became as big of a problem as it did; changing all of history and how we think about the past. Eventually, having and being with the correct alliance proved where your loyalty was at and what underlying problem you caused or had to face.
To conclude, the five major underlying causes of the Great War were context, nationalism, imperialism, militarism, and alliances. The context was involved by how people reacted and felt about the war, whether they would write about it or tell others. Nationalism is a strong feeling of pride in and devotion to one’s country, and it’s showed by what they do and how they take action. Imperialism is the domination by one country of the political, economic, or cultural life of another country or region and it connects by being apart of how the government would make decisions. Militarism which is associating the country (nation) with military advancements and with how the army of each place controls the arsenal of weapons. The alliances the countries made to better themselves and have friends to help them defend what the own.
The event that originally sparked the start of this war coming about the assassination of the Austrian Archduke Francis Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie. On June 28th, 1914, Gavrilo Princip, a member of a Serbian terrorist group called The Black Hand, killed the Archduke. To conclude, the start of the war could be blamed on so many different things but the bigger and more explainable one are the ones like context, nationalism, imperialism, militarism, and alliances; all of them contributed to the starting of the Great War.