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The Outbreak Of WWI A MAJOR ACCIDENT History Essay

The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand happened on 28th June 1914. It could be argued that the Archduke's assassination has led to the theory that the outbreak of World Warfare One (WWI) was a major accident, a meeting that resulted in the greatest war the world experienced ever seen at that time. However, no event can be exclusively responsible for creating such devastating outcomes. There have been other factors that led to the Great Warfare, tensions that had been building for some time, a result of issues produced mainly from days gone by ages imperialism and the rapid industrialisation that was changing the face of the world.

Alliances between countries have been leading to and causing friction between European countries for a significant time frame, namely between your years 1879 and 1914. These alliances were type in factoring for the outbreak of World Battle One. Furthermore, a complicated web of alliances across European countries was in place in 1914. The main alliances on either side were; The Triple Alliance (1882), which was an alliance between Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy, which stopped Italy from taking factors with Russia and The Triple Entente that, was made between Britain, Russia, and France to counter the increasing danger from Germany. At the point of the outbreak of battle, it was extremely clear who would be allied with each other. The building tensions between countries factored towards outbreak of WWI, whilst the alliances in place throughout Europe contributed into the size and range of the First World Battle.

Another main factor that contributed to the outbreak of WWI was militarism. Countries competed were competing with each other in terms of armed service prowess. The period preceding WWI has been called 'The Biceps and triceps Race'. In essence, the big four power of European countries; Britain, France. Germany and Italy were rivalling to build the most effective battleship. 'If Archduke Franz Ferdinand had been assassinated in 1904 or even in 1911, Herrmann speculates there might have been no warfare; it was the armaments race and the speculation about imminent or preventative wars which made his death in 1914 the cause for war'. Furthermore, the German naval build-up is seen by some historians as the principal cause of deteriorating Anglo-German relations.

The outbreak of the First World War occurred at the same time of empires and imperialism. Furthermore, many of the economic causes of WWI can be related to a growing material dependency of improving European countries on nationalism. France and Great Britain, for example preserved local economies and accumulated great prosperity in the past due 19th Century through trade, and their control of overseas resources, markets, territories and people. Furthermore, Germany being a late appearance on the entire world stage, had an extremely modest empire compared to that of Britain or France. It was also locked out of the most valuable colonial parts in Africa and the Far East. There was also an upset in the trade balance with the rapid exhaustion of natural resources in many Western countries. This exhaustion of natural resources made many nations eager to seek new territories abundant with such resources. Out of the resentment extreme rivalries developed between your emerging economic capabilities and the 'great' capabilities.

Nationalism was another profound rooted factor that added to the outbreak of WWI. In Germany for example, Foreign Minister Bernhard Von Bulow followed a policy called Weltpolitik in 1897. This insurance plan aimed to seek 'Germany's devote the sun' commensurate using its rising industrial strength, specifically by the creation of a colonial power to rival those of other powers. Furthermore, Germany's Weltpolitik coverage contributed for the arms competition, another key factor in the outbreak of the First World Battle. When Wilhelm II became the new Kaiser in 1888 he previously very different intentions for German diplomacy. Weltpolitik was essentially an idea that directed to make Germany a large, strong and unbeatable empire atlanta divorce attorneys possible way. The Agadir crisis was the international anxiety sparked by the deployment of a German gunboat to the Moroccan dock of Agadir on July 1, 1911. The Agadir crisis occurred because of this of both imperialism and nationalism. The Triple Entente arrived to play in this crisis with Britain at France's aid as it had been in the first Moroccan crisis. Furthermore, on 21st July David Lloyd George supplied the Mansion House conversation where he declared that national honour was more treasured than peace;

'If Britain is treated badly where her pursuits are vitally damaged, as if she is of no account in the case of nations, i quickly say emphatically that peacefulness at that price will be a humiliation intolerable for a great country like ours to endure'

The talk was interpreted by Germany as a caution that she could not impose an unreasonable pay out on France. In addition the Balkan wars are commonly seen as an important precursor to WWI, to the magnitude that 'Austria-Hungary took alarm at the great increase in Serbia's place and local status'. Germany also distributed this concern, which saw Serbia as a 'satellite tv of Russia'. These occurrences factored to the outbreak of the First World Conflict in the sense that Serbia's surge in power added to both central powers willingness to declare battle following assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

However, in terms of a counter-argument it can be argued that the outbreak of WWI was a major accident, as from surface value it appears to have been sparked by a comparatively small event in comparison to the devastation and turmoil that happened later. On 28th June 1914 Archduke Franz Ferdinand heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and his partner Sophie, were assassinated in Sarajevo, the administrative centre of Bosnia. The assassin's ultimate goal was the separation of Bosnia-Herzegovina and perhaps other provinces from Austria-Hungary and attachment to Serbia to create a greater Serbia or a Yugoslavia. This event essentially resulted in a chain response affected by the alliances between the key European power. The alliances made prior to the assassination of the Archduke designed that countries were appreciated to go to conflict. Thus, Austria-Hungary attacked Serbia in retaliation for the assassination; Russia intervened to help the Serbians. Germany signed up with forces with Austria-Hungary, and France and Britain were bought in as a result of The Triple Entente an alliance between Britain, France and Russia.

So in conclusion, I personally think that the outbreak of WWI had not been an accident to any scope. It was due to deep-rooted factors that were building tensions for quite a while, sparked off by a single event (the assassination of the Archduke) If other factors such as imperialism, nationalism, etc, did not come into play then World War One would most likely never have happened. The nature of the period itself, quite definitely a period about incredible electric power and wealth, due to speedy colonisation and industrialisation would have also been a respected factor towards outbreak of World Warfare One.


Eric Hobsbawm, Age Extremes

Bond, The First World Conflict and British Navy History

History online - The causes of WWI

Wikipedia - The roots of WWI

History online, The causes of World Conflict One

History on the net, The Causes of World Battle One

Relationship, The First World War and British Army History

History on the net, The Causes of World War One

Relationship, The First World Conflict and British Military History

Wikipedia, The origins of WWI

Wikpedia, The roots of WWI

History on the net, The causes of WWI

History online, The causes of WWI

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