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 Austrian-Hungarian, 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 Plan). World War One began when Germany attacked Belgium. 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 attacked. 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.