Who caused WW1?

Essay by fizzlepopbangHigh School, 10th gradeA-, August 2014

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World War 1 Essay

The causes of World War One are many and varied. Debate on who was to blame for the initial dispute still goes on today, and there are many heated opinions regarding the matter. According to the treaty of the Versailles, Germany was held responsible for the offense because of its nationalistic aggression toward other countries. But was it justified, that Germany, and Germany alone, should be held completely responsible for the outbreak of War?

To uncover the truth, or an opinionated truth, first the situation at hand needs to be addressed. The immediate cause of World War One began with Gavrilo Princip, the Serb assassin of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro- Hungarian throne. Austria-Hungary retaliated by threatening Serbia to give up Princip, or else they would have to interfere by force. Serbia however, did not know who the assassin was, and could do nothing.

As an ally of Serbia, Russia warned Austro-Hungary not to invade, which in turn provoked the German Empire (who had a treaty with Austria-Hungary) into threatening Russia. Britain and France (allies of Russia) then tried to warn off Germany. Japan also aided Britain under the 1905 Anglo-Japanese treaty. So, the main alliances were: 'The triple Entente' consisting of France, Britain, Russia, and later to be joined Italy and the US, and the 'Central Powers' which were made up of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and later on the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria. Within a month, this series of alliances and war declarations created a state of open warfare across much of Europe. This is how World War One began.

Before 1914, many countries in Europe were competing for colonization in the Balkans. A country of interest was Africa, which caused a significant amount of friction between them. At the beginning of the twentieth...