Millions dead. New technology created for the sole purpose of killing, civilians in a constant state of anxiety and fear, this is World War One. Tensions had already begun between Europe’s nations for land and power but the spark that began the war was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian-Hungarian throne and his wife by a Serbian member of a group called The Black hand, this group sought to break free of Austrian influence. This propelled Austria to declare war on Serbia, thus the First World War is begun. In the following paragraphs, the underlying or long term causes of The Great War, Imperialism, Nationalism, Militarism and Alliances will explained more thoroughly. Nationalism, pride in one’s home homeland was the primary cause of the war. The Serbian assassin wouldn’t have killed the King and Queen of Austria if not for his nationalist feelings that his home country, Serbia should be free from Austria, his pride in his country and desire for it to be independent is an example of nationalism and this started the war.
In Document 5, the Russian national anthem from 1833-1917 by prince A.V. Lvov Nationalism Is shown in the following quote “God save the noble Tsar! Long may he live, in power and by the poem written by James Thomson called “Rule Britannia”. This poem tells of Britain’s power and how even heavens angels would sing in their honor. And Nationalism is portrayed in Document 6 which says how Serbia most must go to war to gain honor and that its the duty of their race to not become assimilated. Nationalism has clearly influenced these documents. The method in which a country expands its influence and power using force or diplomacy this is known as imperialism. Imperialism influenced European nations because they all wanted a piece of Africa,and this increased tensions between them. Document 2 that talks about how people were eager for a war to begin also demonstrates Imperialism, their desire for their country to gain power through the country’s victory. Likewise, Document 10 shows how imperialism has infected Britain, Document 10 show the extent of Britain influence and power in other continents, this is symbolized by octopus-like tentacles that represent their power, they’re shown all over the place, touching many continents.
And its also seen in the chart from document 11 showing the colonial possessions of different European countries, Britain having the most with 33,000,000 sq. km of land. Militarism, the belief that a country as to maintain a strong military, was another contributing factor that incited the start of the war. Kaiser Wilhelm, Germany’s ruler tried to build a navy to match Britain’s immensely powerful navy. Alarmed the British form an alliance with their opposing force, France, further pushing them into war, this is an example of how some countries abused their militarism beliefs for gain more power. It’s also reflected in Document 8 which was a fragment of a speech given on December 14, 1899 by Prince Bernhard von Bulow, a German chancellor saying welfare cant be obtained if people don’t have a strong government, this is exactly what a person who believes in Militarism would say. A cartoon showing a solider carrying a giant gun with the gun aiming at “peace and progression” and a cation at he bottom saying how Germany decided to increase their armament which already are tremendous even more by a expenditure of 50 million pounds is shown in Document 9 again showing militarism in Germany.
Document 1 shows how Militarism influenced people at the time because by what a french writer called Emile Zola wrote in 1891 saying how nothing exists and develops in nature except by combat and that only war-like nation s have prospered. And document 7 shows the growth of armaments from the 1890’s to 1914 showing that Germany surpassed every other countries by nearly 110 million armaments. The last cause of the Great War was the alliances European nation made between each other and the alliance in Europe. The black hand was the alliance that cause the Serbian to assassinate Ferdinand and the alliance that started the spark that started of the war. Because of Wilhelm’s attempt to create a navy as great as Britain’s, Britain joined France, the opposing side in retaliation and later was joined by Russia and Germany sided with Austria.
This caused the Triple alliance (Great Britain, France and Russia) and later was joined by Italy. And the Central Powers were created (Austria and Germany) later joined by the Ottoman empire and Bulgaria. Document 3 shows shows the Triple alliance and the Triple entente in 1914’s as well as the neutral nations. And Alliances are shown in Document 4 by how the cartoon depicts how the peace of Europe disintegrated by all the inner tensions for power, the nations blaming each other. In conclusion the main cause of World War One was because of Nationalism. People wouldn’t want a strong army and weapons (militarism) or to take over land and power(imperialism) if not for peoples pride in their country, their desire for it to be dominant above all others. The Black Hand and their Nationalistic principles influenced the Serbian to assassinate the heir to the throne of Austria starting the war. So Nationalism is the cause behind all the other causes of The Great War.