World War I: Causes and Events
United States History
World War I was one of the most brutal wars of all time. Much of the fighting was done in the trenches where two armies were so close they could yell at each other. There were several new weapons introduced including machine guns, but none more violent than deadly chemical agents introduced by the Germans. Men were dying by the thousands from chlorine and mustard gas. The war produced over 16 million deaths and 21 million casualties.
What caused World War I? Many would have you believe that the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand was the reason, but if we look deeper into history we can find out the events that actually led up to this brutal war.
There were several factors that led to World War, but most of it was the rising tensions between European powers and eventually the division of it. The two European factions that were divided were between Britain, France and Russia while the opposition was the German Empire, Austria-Hungary and Italy.
The first event was the Franco-Prussian war in 1870 to 1871. The war was between France and the future German empire Prussia. France suffered a humiliating defeat and was forced to pay a huge indemnity to Prussia. The loss was huge because it led to a military and industrial uprising of the German Empire to further disrupt the balance of power in Europe. It also led to a deep resentment by the French and thoughts of revenge.
The second event was Wilhelm the II to the German throne in 1888. The new leader refused to renew the Reinsurance Treaty with Russia and created a whirlwind of turmoil. This display of imperialism by the German leader helped form an alliance between France and Russia.
Next was the Russo-Japanese war in 1904 and 1905. The war ended in a defeat for the Russians and led to a serious political crisis the led to a Russian Revolution in...