Causes of WW1

Causes of WW1
Nationalism Imperialism
Militarism Alliances
For many years Europe had been heading towards
war. France and Germany were preparing to renew
their old struggle. In trying to gain an advantage
each had drawn other major powers into opposing
sides. By 1914 there were two allies in Europe:
1)Triple Alliance: Germany, Italy and AustriaHungary
2)Triple Entene: England, France and Russia
The Initial Spark • On June 28 1914, the
Austrian Archduke Franz
Ferdinand was assissinated
In Europe from the Baltic
Sea to the Mediterranean
in Sarajevo (Serbia).
Sea political tempers were
rising. Three empires, the
Russia and Turkish
(Ottoman) had ruled this
area for years. Each
empire included many
different nationalities
among which there was a
desire to be independent
and form a separate
nation of their own.
Austrian Franz Ferdinand and his wife
were both murdered.
Austria and Hungary
responded by making
demands that equaled the
take over of Serbia.
As a result, Russia
prepared an army to
support Serbia.
Germany supported
Austria-Hungary and
attacked France through
Belgium (The Schlieffen
World War One began
when Germany attacked
Germany had been planning an attack on
France since 1892.
The plan was designed to avoid a two front
war (France in the west and Russia in the east).
 However, the plan failed because the
Belgium rested.
Nationalism means being a strong supporter of the
rights and interests of one's country. Having
great/national pride in ones country!
Large areas of both Austria-Hungary and Serbia were home to differing
nationalist groups, all of whom wanted freedom from the states in which
they lived.
Imperialism is the policy of extending the rule or authority
of an empire or nation over foreign countries, or of
acquiring and holding colonies and dependencies.
Great Britain, Germany and
France needed foreign markets after
the increase in manufacturing
caused by the Industrial Revolution.
These countries competed for
economic expansion in Africa.
Economic and imperial
competition and fear of war ignited
military alliances and an arms race.
The Arms Race: meant to make
each country too powerful to be
As the world entered the 20th century, an
arms race had begun. By 1914, Germany had
the greatest increase in military buildup. Great
Britain and Germany both greatly increased
their navies in this time period. Further, in
Germany and Russia particularly, the military
establishment began to have a greater
influence on public policy. This increase in
militarism helped push the countries involved
to war.
The arms race provided countries with
unrealistic vision of their strength.