The first world war began in August 1914. It was directly triggered by the assassination of the Austrian archduke, Franz Ferdinand and his wife, on 28th June 1914 by Bosnian revolutionary, Gavrilo Princip.
This event was, however, simply the trigger that set off declarations of war. The actual causes of the war are more complicated and are still debated by historians today.
There were many different causes to why the war broke out but it is not easy to decide which was the main cause the most logical explanation is that the war started because of all causes put together. The causes include:
• By 1850 Britain’s industry had made her rich and she was increasing her navy to protect the sea routes to her great empire.
• In 1871 Germany became a new nation after the massive army beat France in a bitter war.
• Since 1878 Russia had worked hard to gain allies and friends in Eastern Europe by helping nationalist groups there.
• Germany had a new emperor in 1888 and he wanted his country to build an empire.
• Serbia’s enemies included the alliance of the Central Powers: Germany and Austria-Hungary.
• Serbia had grown in 1912 and 1913 and it wanted to join all Serbs in one nation.
• Serbia was helped by the Triple Entente alliance. It tied together these three great powers: Britain, France and Russia.
• All the great powers were expanding their armies and navies between 1913 and 1914.
• Austria- Hungary was a powerful empire which feared it might fall apart if it gave in to nationalists in 1914.
• Europe’s complicated system of alliances dragged all the great powers into war by 4th August 1914.
• Germany spent a lot a money after 1900 to catch up with Britain’s navy.
• By 1911 Germany believed she was encircled by an enemy alliance.
The war also begun because of the alliances which had been formed, militarism, imperialism and nationalism. These are explained on the next page.
World War I also known as the First World War, the Great War and "The War to End...