The reasons of world War I have actually been debated because it ended. Officially, Germany shouldered much of the blame because that the conflict, yet a collection of determinants were involved, consisting of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

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The reasons of people War I, additionally known as the an excellent War, have actually been debated since it ended. Officially, Germany shouldered much of the blame because that the conflict, i m sorry caused four years of unmatched slaughter. Yet a collection of complicated factors led to the war, including a brutal assassination that thrust Europe right into the greatest problem the continent had ever known.

The killing of Archduke Franz Ferdinand overcome Austria-Hungary.In June 1914, Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and also his wife Sophie traveled to Bosnia—which had actually been annexed by Austria-Hungary—for a state visit.

On June 28, the couple went come the capital city of Sarajevo to check imperial troops stationed there. Together they headed toward their destination, they directly escaped death when Serbian terrorists threw a bomb at your open-topped car.


Franz Ferdinand, archduke of Austria, and his mam Sophie riding in an open carriage in ~ Sarajevo shortly prior to their assassination. (Credit: Henry Guttmann/Getty Images)

Their luck ran out later that day, however, once their driver inadvertently drive them past 19-year-old Serbian conference Gavrilo Princip that shot and also killed Franz Ferdinand and his mam at point-blank range. Austria-Hungary to be furious and, with Germany’s support, declared war ~ above Serbia on July 28.

Within days, Germany declared war on Russia—Serbia’s ally—and attacked France via Belgium, i m sorry then brought about Britain come declare war on Germany.

Limited commercial resources sustained imperialist expansion.A state’s desire to expand its realm was nothing new in european, yet by the early on 20th century the Industrial revolution was in full force.

New industrial and also manufacturing technologies produced the need to dominate new territories and their natural resources, including oil, rubber, coal, iron and other life materials.

With the British empire extending to five continents and France controlling many the afri colonies, Germany wanted a larger slice the the territorial pie. As nations vied for position, tensions rose, and also they formed alliances to place themselves for European dominance.

The rise of nationalism undermined diplomacy.During the 19th century, rising nationalism swept through Europe. As people took more pride in country and culture, their desire to rid themselves of imperial rule increased. In part cases, however, imperialism fed nationalism as some groups declared superiority end others.

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This extensive nationalism is assumed to be a general cause of human being War I. Because that instance, after ~ Germany dominated France in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-71, France lost money and land come Germany, i m sorry then sustained French nationalism and also a desire because that revenge.

Nationalism played a specific function in world War I once Archduke Ferdinand and his mam were assassinated by Princip, a member of a Serbian conference terrorist group fighting against Austria-Hungary’s dominance over Bosnia.


Kings wilhelm I, Franz Josef and also Umberto I, on the occasion of the signing that the Triple Alliance, Treaty between the German Empire, Austria-Hungary and the Kingdom of Italy, 1882. (Credit: DeAgostini/Getty Images)

Entangled partnerships created two completing groups.In 1879, Germany and Austria-Hungary allied versus Russia. In 1882, Italy joined your alliance (The Triple Alliance) and Russia responded in 1894 by allying v France.

In 1907, great Britain, Russia and France formed the Triple Entente to safeguard themselves against Germany’s growing threat. Soon, Europe was separated into two groups: The main Powers of Germany, Austria-Hungary and also Italy; and the Allies, which had Russia, France and also Britain.

As war was declared, the allied nations emboldened each various other to get in the fray and defend their treaties, although not every coalition was collection in stone—Italy later adjusted sides. By the end of august 1914, the so-called “entangled alliances” had actually caused what should have been a regional conflict to expand to every one of Europe’s powerful states.

Militarism sparked an eight race.In the beforehand 1900s, numerous European countries increased their armed forces might and also were ready and also willing placed it to use. Many of the europe powers had actually a army draft system and also were in an arms race, methodically raising their battle chests and also fine-tuning your defense strategies.

Between 1910 and 1914, France, Russia, Britain and also Germany significantly increased their defense budgets. Yet Germany was by far the most militaristic nation in Europe at the time. By July 1914, it had actually increased that is military spending plan by a substantial 79 percent.

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Germany was additionally in an unofficialize war through Britain because that naval superiority. Castle doubled your naval battle fleet as Britain’s royal Navy developed the very first Dreadnought battleship which might outgun and also outrun any type of other battleship in existence. Not to it is in outdone, Germany developed its own fleet the Dreadnoughts.