Who caused the Great War?

Essay by KeirHigh School, 11th grade March 2007

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World War I, otherwise known as the Great War, was the first war that a significant sector of the globe was involved in, however in its initial stages was concentrated in the European region. A series of events and reasons set the stage for the origin of this war, caused by the actions of various countries and their policies. However, if the blame for the start of the First World War could be attributed to one specific country, Germany would be the nation most responsible for the outbreak of the war, even if they were not quite fully to blame for the entirety of the war. Because of their strategic alliances, their desire to be in a war in the first place with their foreign policies, and their initiation of several crises leading up to the war, Germany can be appropriated the most blame in starting the war among those who were first involved, even though other nations also played a minor role in the instigation of the war.

The alliances Germany had formed, even decades prior to the outbreak of the war was one of the reasons why they were responsible for the outbreak of WWI. In 1882, Germany formed an alliance with Austria-Hungary and Italy, known as the Triple Alliance. This alliance would later act as a bond which propelled the actions of the beginning of the war to the proportions it escalated into. Austria-Hungary, as the nation who declared war on Serbia on 28th July after the assassination of their Archduke Franz Ferdinand a month prior, made the first move in the chessboard that was to become the maneuvers that made up the events leading up to the outbreak of war. However, being the mere pawn that was Austria-Hungary, the Austro-Hungarians had no means of truly checkmating...