Hidden Reasons That Started World War I

774 words - 3 pages

The American people thought they had captured the idea of “the shot heard around the world” when the first shot was fired in the American Revolution. The idea was then redefined when Gavrilo Princip shot and killed the Archduke, Franz Ferdinand, and his wife. This one shot of violence began a “war to end all wars.” However, what were the hidden reasons that started World War I. How could two small countries petty affairs start a war so large that in the end countries from every civilized continent would take part? Through the different alliances, acts of imperialism, -- the policy of extending the rule or authority of an empire or nation over foreign countries, or of acquiring and holding colonies and dependencies (Dictionary.com), militarism, -- the principle or policy of maintaining a large military establishment (Dictionary.com), and nationalism, -- the policy or doctrine of asserting the interests of one's own nation, viewed as separate from the interests of other nations or the common interests of all nations (Dictionary.com), these many countries had set a stage for a cataclysmic end.
Alliances formed by the countries helped lead to this world war. If Germany didn’t defend Austria-Hungary, Russia defend Serbia, and France and the United Kingdom aid Russia, this war wouldn’t have been so large. However due to the alliances formed by these countries, they were bound to aid one another. This also leads to members of opposing alliances blaming one another. (doc 4) This naturally left German blaming Russia for aiding Serbia, Austria blaming Serbia for the assassination, and England and France to blame Germany. Later Belgium and the United States would join the entente (to be later called allies) also blaming Germany. Furthermore, the Russia, France, and the United Kingdom, as of 1914 appeared to have the Triple Alliance surrounded as of 1914 (doc 3). Finally Germany forced the U.S. to become involved when it sent the letter to Mexico asking the Mexican government to join the triple alliance. Obviously, alliances played a vital role in this war.
Through various acts of imperialism, many countries, -- such as Britain, were out to gain or defend conquered lands which helped lead to the war. Britain had attained colonies equivalent to 33,000,000 sq. km. and a population in excess of 400,000,000...

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