Human beings spent as many as 6 years trying their best to kill each other, annihilation, catastrophe, are just some words that strike a chord when the World War is talked about. 1914 to 1918 saw the world segregate and the repercussions of the same were dreadful. The First World War went on for four long years causing unprecedented destruction; it was the cause of a series of events and those events will be expansively presented in this paper. This paper will also throw light upon the annihilation caused by the First World War. “NOW, AS ALWAYS, states fight wars. As one of the most destructive forms of human behavior, war and its study lie at the heart of the discipline of international relations. It is not surprising; therefore, that much theoretical work has been done to explain the causes of war initiation.” (Blainey, Geoffrey)
The allies that existed before the First World War eventually got involved in the war; this is arguably the biggest reason for the First World War, Austria and Hungary were the first countries to declare war on Serbia and Russia and Serbia had formed allies much before the First World War even began, this resulted in the direct involvement of Russia in order to defend Serbia. Austria and Hungry joined hands and decided to completely destroy Serbia in as early as 1912; this was much before the beginning of the First World War. The lack of German support and the reaction of the Russian army, refrained them from engaging in a war with Serbia. There were other allies that inevitably gotten involved once the allied country was attacked. Considering the same, it is very fair to say that the First World War’s root cause was the mutual defense alliances.
Imperialism is another factor that led to the First World War; imperialism is when a country increases its power and wealth in the territory of another country. Africa and certain parts of Asia were points of contention amongst the elite European countries; they targeted these areas because of the high availability of raw material, the desire to dominate these areas is also another integral factor that led to the First World War.
Arms race is another important factor that led to the First World War, almost every powerful nation got involved in arms race by the beginning of the 20th century, atom bombs; weapons of mass destruction, guns, ammunition were in great demand by the beginning of the 20th century. By the year 1914, Germany had a very powerful army and their army had almost all the lasts arms and ammunition. Germany and Great Britain also increased their military power but their military power wasn’t of the standard of the German military power. The rapid and unprecedented increase in the militarism pushed the countries into the First World War. The assassination of Franz Ferdinand made matters worse, in the year 1914 he was assassinated along with his wife by a Serbian; they were assassinated in Bosnia which was a part of Austria-Hungary back then. “Serbia wanted to take over Bosnia and Herzegovina. This assassination led to Austria-Hungary declaring war on Serbia. When Russia began to mobilize due to its alliance with Serbia, Germany declared war on Russia. Thus began the expansion of the war to include all those involved in the mutual defense alliances.” (Immediate Cause, 13 November 2009)
The great powers of that time were countries like Germany, Great Britain, Russia and the Unites states of America. There countries dominated the war and caused the maximum destruction. There countries made an effort to bolster their military power and this is why they were able to compete successfully in the First World War. Germany had an army which had no match in the world; the other countries had weapons capable of causing unprecedented damage. These were the most powerful countries back then and they suppressed all the other countries because of the resources available with them.
There were several reasons that kicked off the war, territorial expansion, independence desired by the people, arms race are just a few reasons that led to the First World War. “The assassination of Franz Ferdinand was the root cause of the First World War, it made matters worse and finally ended up pushing a lot of countries into declaring war against each other.” (Belfield, Richard) This is one very significant moment which shaped up the history, besides other reasons this still remains to be a key reason that led to the war. Australia and Hungary declared war on Serbia because of his assassination and inevitably Russia also gotten involved in the war. After the involvement of Russia, several other countries also gotten involved, hence it is fair to say that Franz Ferdinand’s assassination was the root cause of the First World War.
State of International Relations:
Throwing light upon the situation back then, how the allies were formed and how they inevitably became involved in the war.
Countries with a lot of military hold and those who possessed superior arms are mentioned in this section.
Reason for War:
From the assassination of Franz Ferdinand to the involvement of Russia, this section will cover all the important reasons that led to the war.
Throwing light upon the hunger of various countries to acquire as many arms as possible and to acquire superior arms than other countries in order to inflict as damage as possible.
Taking into account all the factors and concluding by stating the most important reason that led to the war. Taking into account all the major factors and then deciding the most crucial and pivotal factor that inevitable caused the First World War.