Why Did the World Go to War in 1914?
Why did Europe go to war in 1914?
The ‘Great War’ of 1914-1918 became the first war anyone had ever seen of its kind, not only that, but it was the First World War. It did not, however, begin as a world war. It started in Europe for several reasons.
In the ten years running up to 1914 there were two rival powers in Europe. These were the Triple Entente, which was made up of France, Great Britain and Russia. There was also the Triple Alliance, consisting of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy. There was a long-standing rivalry between France and Germany, which had begun in 1871, when Germany defeated France, and took over Alsace-Lorraine from the French, and because of this Germany was expecting France to try and take back Alsace-Lorraine from them. Germany was also beginning to feel threatened, as members of the Triple Entente surrounded them. For these reasons in the years leaded up to the First World War there was a lot of under surface tension.
Germany was fastly becoming one of the greatest powers in Europe, and by 1918 was one of the greatest and one of the most powerful countries in Europe. The Kaiser Wilhelm II was in control of a navy which had many battleships (dreadnoughts), and the best trained and equipped army in the world. Even so, the Germans were still wary of fighting a battle on the west and east front. But as the British navy had always been the best navy ever since the battle of Trafalgar (1805) without any hassle, Germany decided to build up their navy in 1898 which made Britain very suspicious. Because they only had a small coastline and such a big navy made it obvious that they were going to try invade Britain to expand their empire. This led to Britain announcing Two Power Standard policy which was that they were to keep the British navy as big as two world navies. So this shows there was long term tension between the two countries as they were continuously trying to better each others...