Long-Term Causes of WWI

The long-term build up causes of World War I.

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  • Created on: 03-06-11 10:46
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The main cause for WW1 was the tension between the leading powers in Europe.
There were about 8 main countries involved in and in the build up to the war
By 1914, a fifth of the entire planet was controlled.
It had fought against France, Spain, Holland and Russia in the past but was at peace
with European powers by the start of the 20th century.
The AustriaHungarian Empire was huge, and it was the remainder of the old Holy
Roman Empire.
Russia had a population of about 174 million, the largest of the superpowers, yet a
much smaller industrial output.
Expansions from 18711914 were huge ­ steel +1200%, coal +500%,
manufactures +400%, exports +300% etc.
By 1914, Germany was an industrial powerhouse.
Germany defeated the French in the FrancoPrussian War (from July 1870May
1871) and demanded territory from the French AlsaceLorraine ­ which caused ill
feelings between them.
Germany picked AustriaHungary as an ally because otherwise AustriaHungary's
problems would soon become Germany's. They created the `Dual Alliance'.
Germany had already been planning an invasion of Europe.
France had been overtaken by all the other superpowers by 1914.
France had lost the FrancoPrussian War in 1871.
Turkey was another of Germany's allies.
Bosnia wanted independence from AustriaHungary, like Serbia.
All of the other superpowers made alliances with each other to attempt to protect against
German aggression.
France joined with Russia in 1892.
Britain joined France in 1905 and Russia in 1907. Britain and France's alliance was
the Dual Entente Cordiale but when they joined with Russia they formed the Triple

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By now there were two main alliances:
1) Germany and AustriaHungary: Dual Alliance (+Germany and Turkey)
2) Britain and France and Russia: Triple Entente (+Bosnia and Russia)
Along with all the `alliance tension', there was militarism and imperialism.
Militarism was basically the arms race ­ everyone was trying to build up a stronger navy/air
force/army etc.
Imperialism was like a scramble for colonies, especially in Africa. This put the countries in
conflict.…read more


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