Causes of World War I
World war I was the result of leaders aggression toward other countries, which was supported by the rising nationalism of the European nation. Economics and imperial competition and fear of war prompted military alliances and army race, which further escalated the tension contributing to the outbreak of war. The First World War was the irst war to use poison gas as a military weapon. Germans also had the first submarines and used them to blockade Britain sinking British ship. The sinking of the Lusitanian is a famous example of the submarine walfare during the world war I/ Nationalism and imperialism played a major roll in World War I.
At the settlement of congress of Vienna in 1815, the principles of nationalism were ignored in favor of preserving the peace. Germany and Italy were left divided states, but strong nationalist movements and revolutions led to the unification of Italy in 1861 and that of Germany in 1871.
Another result of the France Prussian War of 1870-1871 was that France was left seething over the loss of Alsace- Lorraine to Germany, and Revanche was a major goal of the French. Nationalism posed a problem for Austria and the Balkans, areas comprised of many conflicting national groups. The ardent Pan Slavism Serbia and Russia's willingness to support its Slavic brother conflict with Austria Pangermanism.
Another factor, which contributed to the increase in rivalry in Europe, was imperialism. Great Britain, Germany and France needed foreign markets after the increase in manufacturing caused by the Industrial Revolution. These countries completed for economic expansion in Africa. Although Britain and France resolved their differences in Africa; several crises foreshadowing the war involved the clash of Germany against Britain and France in North Africa. In the Middle East, the crumbling Ottoman Empire was alluring to Austria- Hungary the Balkan and Russia. On October 1915 Ottoman Empire enters war on German side. Turkish army began invasion of Russia and was very successful until Great Britain attacked Turkey. British, French, Australian and New Zealand were unsuccessful in invading Turkey. The same year, Italy had withdrawn gtom yhr Triple Alliences when war started, and on the Eastern Front Russians wewe loosing their lands and over 750,00 soldiers were taken as prisoners, By the end of the 1915 the whole society of Europe mobilized for war. This was to be the world's first Total War. Womenin on jobs, and most male population was sent to war. The total war started when Germans used their first gas attacks.
Gassing was the start of the total war, because it broke all limits, the socoal taboos, the gentleman's etiquette of the other wars. Sometimes the shot would miss the mark and kill innocent civilians. Before the introducing of gas bombing, soilders found it easier to overlook the fact that they were fighting on opposite sides oh the field, because they had no personal motivation to fight.
World War was caused in parts by the two opposing alliances developed by Bismarkian diplomacy after the Franco-Prussian War. In order to diplomatically isolated France, Bismarck formed the Three Emperor's League in 1872, an alliance between Germany, Russia and Austria-Hungary. When the French occupied Tunisia, Bismark took advantage of Italian resentment towards France and created the Triple Alliance between Germany Italy and Austria in 1882. In exchange for Italy's agreement to stay neutral if war broke out between Austria and Russia, Germany and Austria would protect Italy from France. Russia and Austria grew suspicious of each other over conflicts in the Balkans in 1887, but Bismarck repaired the damage to his alliances with Reinsurance Treaty with Russia, allowing both powers to stay neutral if the other was at war.