World War 1 - Essay Example

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World War 1 is a war that was fought between the year 1914 and 1918 (Watson 25). Apparently, it has been difficult to determine and exhaust the reasons as to why this war took place as the topic remains contentious due to different ideologies among the scholars, who continue to debate from different point of views and perspectives…
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Download file to see previous pages However, there are outright reasons, which have been acknowledged across the board as the major contributing factors. These are for example the existence of alliances among like minded nations. Before the start of the war, it had emerged that nations across Europe were organizing them selves into formidable groupings, which were primarily for the purpose of protecting each other in case one of them was attacked by an enemy. Such defense agreements existed between countries such as Russia and Serbia, Britain and Japan, France and Russia, Germany and Austria Hungary as well as between Britain, France and Belgium (Gilbert 41). This means for example that if Germany attacked Russia, then this would have forced Serbia and France to come in and assist Russia, forcing Austria Hungary to join forces with Russia thereby triggering a major conflict. These countries had also joined hands with other countries to form the triple alliance and the triple entente. The triple alliance consisted of Germany, Italy and Austria Hungary while the triple entente had Britain, France, and Russia who were the major participants though Japan, Spain and the US later joined the entente. However, these forces applied diplomacy in most of the conflicts arising before 1914 but in the real sense, there was the lack of trust and a lot of suspicion such that there only required a triggering force for a war to explode (Gilbert 63). This is to imply that if these defensive groups had not been established before 1914, probably the First World War would never have occurred. Nevertheless, it is important to note that apart from the alliances, these countries had been scrambling for territories in Africa and Asia, in search of raw materials for their industries as well as procurement of slaves to provide labor to these industries. As such, the diplomatic relation among the European countries had been soured owing to the fact that some, such as Britain and France, had already encroached vast territories in these areas and Germany and other European powers wanted a share of the economic advantages. On the other hand, Britain and France had to maintain their territories and if possible, expand them even if it meant invading the few territories that Germany had (Gilbert 101). However, these provocations did not warrant a world war but in the long run, they created a circumstance whereby each and every country was searching for a reason to go into war with each other. In addition, the arms race had been going on for a long time with the superpowers trying to outdo each other either on the land or at sea. This increased military activity in Europe and as a result, it enhanced the level of threat by facilitating motivation to build weapons and equipment capable of sustaining heavy fighting. In deed, the arms race helped much to deteriorate the level of trust between the would be super powers as each felt threatened by the existence of a rival with a much more military power and technology capable of suppressing opposition and gaining uncontrollable influence in the region. Britain for example invested heavily on the navy as the country is well surrounded by water and as a result, Germany went ahead to spend a lot of money to procure the Dreadnought war ships for fear of being overpowered in case Britain decided to attack from the ocean (Hough 36). Despite these factors, the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria Hungary by a Serbian nationalist i.e. Gavrilo Princip, acted as the major direct triggering factor towards the WW1. Apparently, it has been observed that the murder was supposed to act as a sign to show Germany and Austria Hungary that the Slavic people were willing to go to any extent ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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