The causes of World War l

By: Ella Sutherland and Lauren Kottke

There were many causes to World War I that had both short term and long term effects on countries. The immediate cause of World War I was the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand. He was assassinated on June 28, 1914. He was killed by a Serbian terrorist group that wanted Bosnia to be free of Austria-Hungary. The group went by the name of the Black Hand. The society was formed in 1911 and led by Col. Dragutin Dimitrijević. The group was formed in Belgrade and they were known to fight for liberation through terrorist acts. In Serbia, they dominated the government by terrorizing officials. Over time, they became so big and powerful they challenged the government’s authority. Although this was the immediate cause, there were many other causes that pushed for World War I.

One other cause of World War I was nationalism. Nationalism is a country showing extreme pride for their country, and often putting their own country first in war. Nationalism fueled the war by pushing countries to want to win even more. All of the countries involved in World War I believed that they were the best and deserved to win. During the war to push nationalism on civilians, they used propaganda posters. They had sayings that would tell people it was their duty to fight for their country, and often they would target the fathers of a household because they were the ones expected to fight in the war.

Another cause of World War I was imperialism. Imperialism is expanding the region of land with the power of the military. The main goal of imperialism was getting land and also resources. Those resources included coal, wood, and cotton. Imperialism caused countries to fight over land. As the countries invaded other regions of the world, they also invaded native peoples’ land. Many times this was called colonization. When they would invade they would also hurt the native people. They would make them practice their religion and change their overall way of living. This changed many countries for the future.

The third cause of World War I was alliances. An alliance is an agreement to help a country if they, or yours, are in danger. Many countries set up alliances in case of a war. When Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated, it caused other countries to get involved. There were two alliance groups during World War I. The first was the central powers that included: Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and the Ottoman power. The allies included: France, Great Britain, Russia, Italy, Japan, and the United States. If it weren’t for the alliances, the war would have been much smaller. Many of the countries wouldn’t have a reason for getting involved in the war.

The last cause of the war was militarism. Militarism is upping supplies to compete with other countries. As the countries try to win more and more, they need to up their resources like weapons. It’s a chain effect because if one country ups their supplies, other countries will do the same. Countries spent great amounts of money for their military during the war. The allies spent $147 billion and the central powers spent $61 billion. Militarism also affected the economies at home because of the demand for supplies. Factories at home were at an all time demand and use. Because the men were off in war, it led to women entering the workforce.

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