World War One History: Conflict Causes

The Great War involved was the first shock for the humanity in the twentieth century. More than ten countries from all parts of the Globe (including England, France, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Russia, America, Japan) took part in this conflict which led to the fall of great empires in Austria-Hungary, Germany, Russia and Turkey, “destabilization of European society” and “Laid the groundwork for World War II” (Guisepi par. 2). A number of treaties that made them involved in the war tied leading European countries. However, there were other reasons why countries entered the conflict that became one of the deadliest and most destructive wars in the history of humanity.

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In the first place, it is necessary to note that Austria-Hungary started the Great War by declaring the war on Serbia where Austria-Hungarian prince Francis Ferdinand was shot dead (Guisepi par. 9). In fact, the assassination of the heir of the throne was only a pretext to spread the influence of Austria-Hungary in the Balkans in general and Serbia, in particular, where national movements were occurring (“The Causes of World War One” par. 4). Austria was tied with Germany by the treaty that ensured alliance in the time of war.

Therefore, Germany was bound to enter the war declared by Austria-Hungary as the two countries signed a treaty in the 1870s. Since Serbia (which had a treaty with Russia) addressed her ally and Russian emperor started mobilization, Germany declared war on Russia on August 1, 1914 (“The Causes of World War One” par. 12). However, apart from the signed treaties which forced the country to enter possible military conflicts, Germany eagerly entered the war as it had been preparing for it since the second part of the nineteenth century by signing and negotiating a variety of treaties and looking for allies across Europe.

As for Russian participation in the war, as has been mentioned above, the country was tied by a treaty with Serbia and had to enter the war to provide military support to its ally. At the same time, while Germany was looking for numerous allies, Russia signed a treaty with France and, according to Franco-Russian Military Convention of 1892, the two powers were to provide military assistance to each other in case a country of the Triple Alliance should attack either of them (“The Causes of World War One” par. 55).

Thus, France was also bound to enter the Great War as she was tied by the treaty with Russia. At the same time, this country also had certain interest as France wanted to win back Alsace and Lorraine which they lost in the 1870s. Besides, France also had a treaty with Belgium which was attacked by Germany in their attempt to reach France in the “shortest possible route” (“The Causes of World War One” par. 13).

Notably, France had another ally, Britain. However, the treaty included such terms as “moral obligation” as Britain tried to remain neutral to continental affairs (“The Causes of World War One” par. 14). At the same time, Britain was tied with Belgium by 75-year old treaty and had to enter the war on 4 August when Germany invaded Belgium.

Finally, United States was another country which tried to keep neutrality. At the same time, the country sold a variety of products to the Allies (Britain and France). As a result, the country had to enter the war in 1917 as Germany attacked commercial shipping.

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On balance, it is possible to note that the Great War became a world conflict as the countries were tied by numerous treaties. The conflict in one part of the war was bound to have a reaction from countries in the other part of the world.

Works Cited

Guisepi, Robert. World War One. 2001. Web.

The Causes of World War One. 2009. Web.

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