Causes of First World War Essay

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Introduction The First World War started in 1914 and lasted for four years to end in 1918 when Germany, Russia, Austria-Hungary and Ottoman empires were defeated (Havers 7). There have been a number of causes identified to have led to the war but most of them are not as straightforward as many would think. In essence, the root causes of the war are deeper than most abstract reasons many authors have identified in the past. However, this does not mean that there was no trail of events which directly led to the conflict because there were a series of open hostilities which eventually led to the break-out of the war (Kelly 1). The war majorly broke out as a result of existing alliances among various world powers such as Russia, Serbia, …show more content…
Declared and Real Causes For the War Imperialism was one of the major causes of the First World War and it was majorly characterized by a trend among European powers to have colonies across the globe (to cement their power in world politics). This view is especially supported by the fact that many European powers had bitterly contested a number of Asian and African territories as part of their colonies. The scramble for colonies and increased imperialism among European countries was especially exacerbated by the increased industrialization trend across Europe which consequently led to the need for raw materials to power Europe’s industries (Kelly 3). The raw materials were found in the colonies. The scramble for colonies therefore increased the level of animosity among existing European powers, thereby fueling the First World War. Militarism is also another known cause for the Second World War because in the early years of the 20th century, there was an ongoing arms race among various European power houses (Strachan 54). Noticeably, Germany had tremendously increased its military buildup while in Russia; military spending had become a matter of public policy (Kelly 4). The countries involved in the arms race were therefore prepared for war and therefore, the provocation of war between Austria-Hungary and Serbia easily broke the tension and triggered the conflict. Nationalism also easily surfaces as one of the reasons that led to the First