Causes of World War One

Essay by Lindsay24High School, 10th gradeA+, March 2004

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Unlike World War II, the causes of World War I are not as obvious. Although they aren't as obvious, there are still many causes leading to the war. Historians say the war had been building up for some time prior to 1914. Economic and imperial competition and fear of war prompted military alliances and a weapons dispute, which further escalated the pressure contributing to the outbreak of war.

Some of the causes can be explained, more in political terms. "From the end of the Franco-Prussian War, a system of undisclosed alliances developed in Europe." This ultimately tore the continent into two unfriendly sides. Because so many different powers were caught up in mutual defense agreements, when the war did occur, it involved virtually every country of Europe. Due to the alliances, some powers were forced to support policies followed by their partners, which they didn't really forgive.

Kaiser William, a German Leader, made a speech called the Tangiers speech, which supported the independence of Morocco and demanded an international conference to discuss Morocco's future.

"A challenge was flung at France in the form of the Kaiser's sensational appearance at Tangier on March 31" and this clearly this was provocative to the French. Also, the Algeçiras conference, which was to discuss Morocco's future met in 1906. At the conference Britain fully supported France - to the disappointment of Germany. The independence of Morocco was decided, although France won the right to be responsible for Morocco's internal order. These two events were major crisis's that led to the war.

The competition for colonies was another source of international hostility. The great powers sectioned off Africa among them, established areas of influence in China and wanted protectorates somewhere else. Sooner or later this rush to appropriate new territories was bound to spark disagreements...