Why did World War I Break Out in 1914?

Essay by janewongcyElementary School, 3rd grade May 2006

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In this essay I am going to be explaining the causes of WWI. There are four main causes of WWI. They are Nationalism, Imperialism, Militarism an Alliances. The assignation of Archduke Ferdinand was only the 'spark' which set off the 'barrel of gunpowder'. The four causes had created so much tension in Europe that it only needed one event to trigger war. I will break down the four causes in to long-term, medium-term and short-term. The first long term cause is Nationalism.

Nationalism is the belief that every nation thinks it is the best and this had caused hatred and rivalry between countries, or in other words patriotism. This was also the reason for lots of competition. During 1859 to 1878, there were increased opportunities for friction between countries. This process has become worse by the intense economic rivalry and therefore this had caused major crisis and lots of tension between the European countries.

The reason why Nationalism had been a long-term cause is because by 1815, the European nations had already had some four hundred years of continuous imperialism.

The second Long term cause of the war was Imperialism. Imperialism is the belief that nations thought that they had a right to rule over other countries because of Nationalism. European countries had the desire to conquer other lands and to build an empire to prove that they were the strongest. The European countries had conquered most of the rest of the world. The countries that the nations owned were called colonies. This had caused conflict between the nations of Europe as some European countries wanted the same country. The reason why Imperialism is a long-term cause of the war is because there had already been a disagreement over colonies and trade were a constant threat to peace between...