Causes Of World War 1
This essay is talking about the causes of the First World War or as it’s now said World War 1. This war was fought in two different places first and was the main place is Europe and the second place was Africa. Ten countries fought in this war such as Greece, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Britain, France, Serbia, Belgium, Russia, and Romania. Many causes led to the First World War. I’ll start from the beginning which is the war between Prussia and France, also the unifications of countries. In the eighteenth century, the two unifications that happened were the: German and Italian unification, the last topic is the arms race.
Third cause of the war began in the nineteenth century, which was the beginning of the Italian unification. In that time the Austrians controlled the states which are now Italy. The Italians made many revolutions to get out Austria, but it all failed. So the ruler of each state went to the Italian state Piedmont to try and work on unifying the states. They chose one leader to lead the states which was King Emmanuel the second. In 1852, King Emmanuel the Second appointed his new prime minister which was Camillo di Cavour. The new Prime Minister Cavour started expanding the army so they can force the Austrians out of their country. Although, Cavour raised the army he knew that the piedmont army won’t get the Austrians out, so he made an alliance with France to force the Austrians out of their country. When the Austrians were forced to get out, the generals of each state met together and took a decision that they will unify the states to be a country called Italy. This union was important as it solidified Italy’s and Germany’s status in war. This decision intimidated the Triple Entente due to the strength of the resultant military force of the two countries.
The Second cause of World War I was Germany trying to achieve unification. Many assemblies were made to achieve the German unification, and the last one that also failed was the Frankfurt assembly. In that time the Germans wanted to unify the states, because they wanted to have a great empire like Russia, France and Britain. The first state that the Germans looked at was Prussia and there were many reasons that made the Germans think about it. Prussia in that time was a strong and powerful state. Firstly, it was the only state that had an authorized government, meaning that the king had an absolute control on the military and the government. Secondly, this was the most important thing that it had a very powerful army.
Many things happened during Germany’s attempt at unification. Starting in 1860, the king of Prussia William 1 started looking for a new prime minister, so he chose Otto Von Bismarck. In that time Bismarck was the only one who believed in the term “realpolitik”, which are politics that people learn throughout the practical matters of life. Many people opposed Bismarck, because he did whatever he wanted. During 1862 until 1866, Bismarck collected taxes and raised the army, and he also governed Prussia. In the late 1800’s, both France and Prussia wanted to take over Spain. So Bismarck took the opportunity and made a conflict between France and Prussia, so they can declare war on each other. Another cause that led to the First World War was the Franco-Prussian War. It started in July 1870, when the chief minister of Prussia Otto Von Bismarck, irritated Napoleon the Third which was the French king to declare a war on Prussia. The forces of France were defeated easily and also quickly. Although, the French army was the most powerful army in that time, but because Prussia was Militarism State which means depending on the military, France lost the war. In September 1870, the French surrendered and its capital Paris was under siege. In this time all of the German states wanted to bond together with the glorious state Prussia. This led to the unification of Germany and King William the first became an emperor of the unified states or Germany. In ten days Paris surrendered, and the Treaty of Frankfurt was made, and stated that France had to pay one billion dollars to the Germans and give them two provinces on the borders which were Alsace and Lorraine.
The last cause, which I think is the main cause that started the First World War was the arms race. It was developed when all of the countries tried to have the best army and navy. One country which was Germany made two arm races with two different countries. The first country was Britain, Germany made a race with the Britain’s because they wanted to have a larger navy. In 1914, the Britain’s had thirty four battle ships, but the Germans had only twenty battle ships. Another race that the Germans had was against the Russians. In 1908, the Russians started increasing its military. In 1912, the Germans had a larger military, which was greater by 170,000 soldiers. When Russia knew that the Germans a larger army, it increased its military by 500,000 men. At this point, France made its own policy for extending the army and it’s by getting young men to the army or navy for two to three years.
The union of Italy and Germany reflected significantly upon the neighboring countries. It caused a general state of well-deserved fear and anticipation of that strength which eventually ended with the occurrence of World War I. Both Italy and Germany wanted to be the strongest in Europe. They either had to fight against each other or unify together. They decided on the latter which intimidated their neighbors once again. The rest of Europe thus were waiting and expecting the worst but with anticipation of the slightest chance possible to take over the two unified countries. This concept of power resultant from union lives until today and still cause fear .This can easily be the case of China and India which are two of the most rapidly growing economies that may threaten countries like United States.
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