What were the causes of World War One?

Essay by gingaHigh School, 11th gradeA, August 2003

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There were a number of varying causes, which led to the outbreak of World War I, which was the most devastating war prior to 1914. These included nationalism in the Balkans and among the great powers, the alliances between the great powers and competitions amongst Germany and Britain over the quantity of their armaments, and also there was economic tension between France, Germany and Britain. There was increasing unrest especially in Europe, as even the common people could sense they were on the brink of a major and crippling war. The assassination of Austrian Archduke, Franz Ferdinand on June the 28th was the catalyst of the First World War.

There was increasing nationalistic attitudes in the world, most of all in the Balkans. Greece became free of the Ottoman Empire in 1929, which demonstrated that the Greeks wanted to be their own people, not identified with a region of countries.

Austria and Hungary joined together to become Austria-Hungary in 1867, as Hungary had previously been ruled by Austria. This still did not solve the problem, as there was many different nationalities making up to sixty percent of the population interspersed within the countries that wanted to make their own independent nations. The Ottoman Empire was conquered in 1878 as a consequence of the Russo-Turkish War, and Romania and Serbia became autonomous and Bosnia was under Austria-Hungary's control, but not annexed until 1908. The Second Balkan War erupted in 1913, because of disagreements over how to split Macedonia between Greece, Bulgaria and Serbia when Macedonia was taken from the Turks. The Third Balkan War came about soon after when Austria interceded and Serbia ended up losing Albania, which made Serbia despise Austria immensely. This was mostly the reason why there was a rift between Serbia and Austria, which ended in...