In my essay I will attempt to explain the causes of First World War and to demonstrate how the hopes and fears of the European countries contributed to the war. Europe was very unstable by 1914. One countries hope was another countries fear. There were several moments in the first years of the 20th century when it seemed there might be a war in Europe, but until 1914 it had always been avoided. In that year the tensions and ambitions that had been building up for years finally did erupt into war.
(1)Large areas of southern Austria-Hungary were home to various nationalist groups, all of whom wanted succession. Austria-Hungary didn’t let them break away because it feared it might fall apart if it gave in to nationalists. Some of these nationalists resorted to violence.
(2)Because of this, on the morning of June 28, 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian-Hungarian throne, and his wife, Sophie, were shot to death in Sarajevo, by Gavrilo Princip, a strong nationalist, member of the Black Hand Gang.
(3)The event that took place in Sarajevo on the summer of 1914, unleashed a series of events that finally exploded into the First World War.
(4)For 20 years, the nations of Europe had been making alliances. It was thought that alliances would support peace. Each country would be protected by others in case of war. The danger of the alliances was that a quarrel between two countries could draw all the other nations into war.
(5)Immediately after the assassination Austria-Hungary demanded that the criminals who had attempted to kill the Arch-Duke, to be handed over, together with Gavrilo Princip. The Serbian Government refused, and on the 28th July 1914 Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia.
(6) The war spread from the Balkans to the rest of Europe because both countries allies became involved in the war. Russia was friends with Serbia and had no choice but to come to Serbia’s aid, therefore, on the 29th July 1914 Russia declared war on...