The causes of civilization War I have actually been debated due to the fact that it ended. Officially, Germany shouldered lot of the blame because that the conflict, however a collection of components were involved, including the assassination that Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

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The reasons of human being War I, also known as the great War, have actually been debated since it ended. Officially, Germany shouldered much of the blame for the conflict, which caused four years of unmatched slaughter. However a series of complicated factors led to the war, including a brutal assassination that driven Europe into the greatest dispute the continent had ever before known.

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

On June 28, the couple went to the resources city the Sarajevo to inspect 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 the Austria, and also his mam Sophie speak in an open carriage in ~ Sarajevo shortly prior to their assassination. (Credit: Henry Guttmann/Getty Images)

Their happy ran out later on that day, however, as soon as their driver inadvertently journey them past 19-year-old Serbian conference Gavrilo Princip that shot and killed Franz Ferdinand and his wife at point-blank range. Austria-Hungary to be furious and, v Germany’s support, claimed war ~ above Serbia top top July 28.

Within days, Germany declared war ~ above Russia—Serbia’s ally—and attacked France via Belgium, i beg your pardon then brought about Britain come declare battle on Germany.

Limited commercial resources fueled imperialist expansion.A state’s desire to broaden its realm was nothing brand-new in european, but by the beforehand 20th century the Industrial transformation was in full force.

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

With the British realm extending to 5 continents and France managing many the afri colonies, Germany want a larger slice that the ar pie. As nations vied for position, stress rose, and also they formed partnerships to position themselves because that European dominance.

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

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

Entangled alliances created two competing groups.In 1879, Germany and also Austria-Hungary allied versus Russia. In 1882, Italy joined their alliance (The Triple Alliance) and Russia responded in 1894 through allying with France.

In 1907, good Britain, Russia and France formed the Triple Entente to protect themselves versus Germany’s cultivation threat. Soon, Europe was separated into two groups: The main Powers the Germany, Austria-Hungary and also Italy; and the Allies, which included Russia, France and Britain.

As battle was declared, the allied countries emboldened each various other to enter the fray and also defend your treaties, although not every coalition was collection in stone—Italy later readjusted sides. Through the finish of respectable 1914, the so-called “entangled alliances” had caused what should have actually been a regional conflict to expand to every one of Europe’s an effective states.

Militarism sparked an arms race.In the beforehand 1900s, many European countries increased their armed forces might and also were ready and willing put it come use. Most of the europe powers had a army draft system and also were in an eight race, methodically boosting their war chests and fine-tuning your defense strategies.

Between 1910 and 1914, France, Russia, Britain and Germany significantly increased their defense budgets. But Germany was by much the many militaristic nation in Europe in ~ the time. Through July 1914, it had actually increased that military budget plan by a massive 79 percent.

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Germany was likewise in an unofficial war v Britain for naval superiority. Castle doubled your naval fight fleet together Britain’s royal Navy developed the first Dreadnought battleship which can outgun and also outrun any other battleship in existence. No to be outdone, Germany developed its own fleet that Dreadnoughts.