WWI - Write about the progression of WWI

Essay by melv33naHigh School, 10th gradeA+, April 2004

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In the year or 1914, tragedy struck. Millions lost their lives in the ordeal and cost billions. What was this tragic event? It was World War I, which lasted approximately 4-5 years. Why is it called a World War? There were many countries involved, which caused devastating effects. There are many causes that may have lead to it, but there are several specific factors.

One factor that may have caused World War I was the Alliance System. First of all, there was the central-power which included Germany and Austria-Hungary and the Triple Entente which included France, Russia, and Great Britain. The system was designed as to keep away from war. It was believed that the countries would not want to go to war because that would mean fighting everyone else. If there had been no Alliance System, perhaps the size of this ordeal would not have been so devastating.

Another reason World War I arose was because of imperialism, the taking of another country by a stronger nation. It caused many controversies in reference to natural resources and borders. Europeans thought of imperialism as a sport, thus leading to nationalism. Getting as much land as possible made the people feel superior and have pride in their country because it portrayed how strong they were. Having said this, people would then want to gain more land. So how did they accomplish this? Well, they decided they would construct war materials and build large armies, referred to as militarism. It soon became a competition to see who would be able to build better weapons.

A third factor is the ethnic struggles and conflict in the Balkans. The Balkans was very ethnically diverse with Muslims and Slavs. What caused a major problem was the Serbians. They wanted their own country, however, Austria-Hungary could not grant this desire. Granting the Serbs their own country meant granting all the other ethnic groups their own as well. Eventually, the problem expanded and caused terrorism to arise.

Lastly, one event that may have pushed towards the war was the assassination of Franz Ferdinand on June 28, 1914, carried out by Gravilo Princip of "The Black Hand" terrorist organization. As a result to avoid an invasion or war, Austria-Hungary proposed a set of demands, which follow as: Suppressing the terrorist groups, allowing Austria-Hungary to investigate the assassination, and to prevent terrorism and anti-Austrian views. However, the Serbs felt that by letting Austria-Hungary investigate the assassination was dishonorable and insulting, thus not accepting the proposal. Germany saw this as a convenient way to gain territory and maybe even economic gains which caused them to convince Austria-Hungary to go to war with Serbia and advance on Russia. However, there was a response from the French crushing the German's idea that they would win the war in a short period of time.

In my opinion, the most important cause factor of the war was the Alliance System. It caused all the European countries to band together forming a world war, making it more devastating. If there was no Alliance System, would there be such a large war? There may have been a war, but the repercussions wouldn't have been as catastrophic. They never thought that there would be a war with this system, but they underestimated its destruction.

In conclusion, in the year of 1914, a war broke out. It was named World War I because of the many countries involved. The several major causes of it were imperialism, which led to militarism and nationalism, ethnic struggles in the Balkans, and the Alliance System. I believe that the major cause of it was the Alliance system because without it, there probably wouldn't have been so a large war. War is a very damaging calamity and should be avoided.