Assess the causes of the First World War

Essay by BYLuoHigh School, 11th gradeA+, June 2008

download word file, 5 pages 2.2 3 reviews

Downloaded 55 times

This essay will assess the causes of the First World War. The outbreak of the First World War (1871-1914) was a culmination of the short term crisis such as the Balkan crisis, Germany’s world policy and German aims and the July crisis, the more important issues remain to be long-term factors such as Industrialism, Militarism, Alliances, Nationalism and economical disputes.

The First World War was the culmination of a long-term problem within the European system which had unfolded as a result of the short term crisis.

Dugdale believes that the foreign policy of the new Germany, dominated by Otto von Bismark, the first chancellor of Germany from 1871 to 1890, was designed to reassure Europe that Germany was a ‘satisfied’ power, with no intentions of disrupting the delicate European balance of power. George further explains that in 1872, the ‘League of the Three Emperors’ consisting of Germany, Russia and Austria-Hungary, was formed.

This was followed by the ‘Dual Alliance’ in 1879 between Germany and Austria-Hungary which promised assistance against Russia. Bismark believed that the agreement would help restrain the aims of the Austria-Hungary in the Balkans, but it had an opposite effect, and encouraged Austria-Hungary to take a bolder stand against Balkan nationalism, this point being considered by Brandenburg. The Bulgarian crisis had revealed the complexity of the Balkan problem, which evolved around nationalist’s demands for self-determination, the gradual decline of the Ottoman rule and the designs of Russia and Austria-Hungary. It showed how easily problems in the Balkans could create a delicate international situation. More importantly, the Bulgarian Crisis had put an end to the League of the Three Emperors; severely weakening Germany’s role as the so-called ‘honest broker’ in the Balkans; and killed the Re-insurance Treaty.

Brandenburg explains the attempt to balance the irreconcilable differences between Austria-Hungary...