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The Causes of the First World War

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 03:20 AM
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There are a lot of reasons for the outbreak of the First World War. In this project I will be explaining the causes of the first world with such topics in the Long term section such as Germany’s defeat of France in the Franco - Prussian war, the development of the alliance system, naval rivalry, colonial rivalry and the rivalry of Russia and Austria in the Balkans. Also I will be explaining the short term causes which are The assaination at Sarajevo, Austria’s determination to punish Serbia, German support for Austria, how and why Germany declared war on France and Russia and the invasion of Belgium and Britain’s entry into the war.

The Short term causes

Germany’s defeat of France in the Franco - Prussian War and France’s desire for revenge

In July 1870, France declared war on Prussia in part over a disagreement about a Prussian prince accepting the crown of Spain. By September 1870, a French army had been defeated, Emperor Napoleon III captured at Sedan, France declared a republic, and Paris under siege. In January 1871, Wilhelm I of Prussia was crowned Kaiser Wilhelm I of a unified Germany at Versailles, Paris fell, and France surrendered, losing Alsace and Lorraine and forced to pay huge compensation. Otto von Bismarck, Chancellor of Prussia since 1862, and now Germany,   wanted to keep France isolated to prevent the recovery of Alsace and Lorraine.

The Development of the alliance system

The Triple Alliance was the treaty by which Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy pledged (May 20, 1882) to support each other militarily in the event of an attack against any of them by two or more great powers. Germany and Italy additionally agreed to support one another in the event of attack by France. In a extra statement, however, Italy specified that her undertakings could not be regarded as being directed against the United Kingdom. Shortly after renewing the Alliance in...


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