What Caused World War I?

Kyveeon Young, Hour 7


Nationalism- devotion to one's nation

  1. This started international and domestic tension.
  2. Europeans rejected the earlier idea of a nation and they believed that a nation should express the nationalism that heightened international rivalries
  3. it also threatened minority groups within nation-states
  4. Social Darwinism only made situations worst
  • "survival of the fittest"; caused nations to be in competition with each other to come on top
5. It destabilized old multinational empires; more true for Balkan, region of southeastern Europe

  • In 1878, Serbia became an independent nation and challenged the nearby empire of Austria-Hungary
  • It tried to gain territory controlled by the empire, and it offered them diverse people.
6. Industrial output, trade, and possession of an overseas empire were competed for

7. Germany, Italy, Belgium, Japan, and United States joined the imperial race and together they carved colonies out of Africa, claimed islands in the Pacific, and started to head there ways toward China.

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Militarism- glorification of the military

  1. European leaders knew that there would be a war but they just didn't know when so they started preparing.
  2. Leaders increased the size of their armies and stockpiles of weapons.
  3. Germany had a huge standing army and largest, deadliest collection of guns in the world by 1914
  • Built its navy enough to rival Britain's (the strongest at the time)
4. Britain increased the size of its navy also

5. Contest between Germany and Britain at sea

6. And between Germany, France, and Russia on land

  • It meant that the next major war would involve more troops and more technology advanced weapons

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  1. Europeans formed alliances
  2. Two major ones emerged
  • Triple Alliance- Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy (they never fought)
  • Triple Entente- France, Russia, and Great Britain
3. This made leaders act recklessly because they knew if they declared war, then the powerful allies would have to fight with them

Assassination Pushes the War

  1. Archduke Francis Ferdinand and his wife Sophia were heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary
  2. Bosnians, which are ethnic Serbs, believed that Bosnia belonged to Serbia
  3. The archduke's driver made a wrong turn and Gavrilo Princip noticed and shot twice and killed them
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