What caused First World War?

Essay by KeirHigh School, 10th gradeA, September 2006

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From 1870 to 1871, France had lost her war with a coalition of Germany states which was led by Prussia in Franco-Prussian War, hence, a newly unified German nation was established and started gain its power afterwards. From 1871 to 1890, Chancellor Otto von Bismarck who formed a series of diplomatic agreements, which lightened tension of Germany aims to other countries in Europe in period 1871 to 1914. The most significant one was formation of the Triple Alliance with Austria-Hungary and Italy. However, after his fall from power, Germany's diplomatic policy began to be changed by his successors and brought a great tension in European affairs .In 1897, Kaiser Wilhelm announced that Germany was in possession of Europe's largest army and he started to follow a "world policy "(Weltpolitik). In 1907, Britain signed Anglo-French entente and Anglo-Russian entente with France and Russia. Therefore, Europe was divided by two major super powers, the Triple Alliance and the Triple entente.

On June 28, 1914, the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife by Serbian student, Gavrilo Princip became the spark of WW1, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbian. During this war, 38 countries joined gradually, Asia, Europe, Africa three continents and Pacific Ocean, Atlantic, Mediterranean Sea became main battle fields. The two major causes of WW1 were the Colonial Rivalries and the arms race in my opinion.

First of all, Colonial Rivalries was the most significant cause for WW1, because I think wars are usually caused by rivalry of resources. That's a very good point. Since 1870, Europeans countries started to demand colonies for expanding their nation and imperialistic activities were motivated in other continents, such as Asia, Africa. Between 1895 AND 1905, imperialistic expansion reached its culmination. However, except some old imperialist countries such as France, Britain, Russia, which occupied...