What were the causes of WW1?

Essay by Aly_KHigh School, 11th gradeA+, May 2005

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Ioulia Samouilovskaia.


Even up to day different historians still argue about the question "what were the causes of world war one". Some historians, like Fischer for example blame Germany's policy of expansionist, others, like Howard, blame the race for mobilization. However we should also keep in mind that it wasn't just one factor that led to war, there were a lot of them, most of them divide in two groups, long-term causes and short-term causes. Long-term causes are those like imperialism, militarism, mobilization etc, while short-term causes are those like different crises and the assassination of Franz Ferdinand. And in order to come up with a conclusion we should look at all of them and then try to decide which one contributed the most to the start of this terrifying event. And this is what we are going to do in this essay. At the beginning I am going to discuss long-term causes and then short-term causes.

Between 1871 and 1914, the international stability was undermined by several factors. One of which was the rise of Germany. It was the primary factor that produced tension among the major European powers. The victory of Prussia over France in 1871 concluded the unification of Germany and created a new power at the heart of Europe. It produced anxiety and questions about how Germany will now behave as the most powerful and economic power in a reshaped Europe. This rise also caused a lot of fear and therefore affected the foreign policy decisions of Germany's major European rivals. Germany covered a large geographical area in the center of Europe and was heavily populated also. Its population rose from 49 million in 1890 to 66 million in 1914. The area was very rich in natural resources and therefore was highly industrialized, making...