Causes of World War I
The aggressive preparation for war
heightened the already existing
tensions in Europe.
European armies double in size
between 1890 – 1914.
Armies Involved:
•Russia (the largest with 1.3 million)
•Germany (900,000)
•Great Britain, Italy, Austro-Hungary (250,000 – 500,000)
European States were in competition with each other
over the amount of land they controlled and this led
to rivalries between the major European Powers.
These nations saw their military forces (Army and
Navy) as a way to both protect their territory and
intimidate their enemies. (Power = National Honor)
The military also served to suppress ethnic uprisings
and internal public dissent within their borders.
Systems of Alliances
Europe’s major powers ally
themselves to build their power
and protect their interests:
• Triple Alliance (1882) –
Germany, Austria-Hungary, & Italy
•Triple Entente (1907) – France,
Great Britain, & Russia
Not Exactly…
The major trouble spot
was the Balkan States
between 1908-1914.
Nationalist struggles in the Balkans
The Balkan states were made up of three
ethnic groups (The Catholic Croatians, the
Muslim Bosnians, and the Orthodox Serbians)
who each wished to be recognized as separate
 These groups were Slavic minorities in the
Habsburg Empire of Austria-Hungary.
Serbia was an Independent State wanted to
unite all Slavic peoples in Eastern Europe.
International Interests in the Balkans
Austria-Hungary saw the increase of Serbian
power as a threat to their Empire.
Russia saw the rise of Serbia as a way to get
access to warm water ports for international
Austria Hungary annexed the kingdom of
Bosnia to stop Serbian Expansion.
Russia backed the Serbian protest of this
Austro-Hungarian aggression.
Internal Dissent
The Major Powers also had to contend
with protest groups within their society.
Socialist Workers Movements protested
to get more rights for the working class.
Anarchists protested government control
over the individual.
These groups provided a motive for
governments to go to war since this
would make their protests illegal.
The Assassination
June 28, 1914 - Nineteen year old Bosnian Serb,
Gavrillo Princip, member of the Serbian terrorist
group, Black Hand, shoots and kills the heir to the
Austro-Hungarian Empire, Archduke Francis
Ferdinand and his wife, Sophia.
This causes Austria-Hungary to threaten Serbia.
Serbia turns to Russia for Support.
 Russia mobilizes troops at the Hungarian border.
Austria-Hungary declares war on Russia.
Germany declares war on both Russia and France.
England declares war on Germany.
Good question! Here’s an
easy way to remember!
M is for Militarism
A is for Alliances
N is for Nationalism
I is for Internal Dissent.
A is for Assassination
Factual Questions
(One Sentence Responses)
What is Militarism?
Which Country had the largest Army in
Europe before World War I?
What are the Balkans?
Whose Assassination in 1914 started the
conflict which became World War I?
What was the Black Hand?
Reflection Questions
Paragraph Answers
Why was militarism popular among the
European Powers before World War I?
Why was Serbia and Austria-Hungary in
conflict over the Balkans?
How did the Assassination of Franz
Ferdinand lead to World War I?
How did internal dissent offer European
Governments an incentive towards War?
Answer the questions and
turn them in with your notes!