The Website about the First Great War.



World War I Brief Information :

  • Begin: 28.07.1914 Austria-Hungary / Serbia

  • 01.08.1914 Germany / Russia

  • Armistice Agreement 11.11.1918

  • End: De Versailles Agreements 28.06.1919




Causes of WW1

Comprehensive description about causes of WW1: Possible World War 1 causes can be classified into different categories. To assume that the assassination in Sarajevo was the immediate cause of WW1 is surely going past the political significance of this regionally-limited attack. It is useful to divide WW1 causes into the following categories:

  • The causes of WW1: Foreign policy

  • The causes of WW1: Domestic policy

  • The causes of WW1: Political economy

  • The causes of WW1: Socio-political


Causes of WW1



Following is a description of the possible causes for each of these categories.

The causes of WW1: Foreign policy

Even before WW1 began, years of tension had built up a rivalry between the great powers of Europe, triggered by alliances, power plays, weapons races and security. Furthermore, the Balkans was a power-vacuum, formally under the control of a fast-deteriorating Ottoman Empire (WW1 timeline).



Causes of WWI



Imperialist expansionism on the part of Austria-Hungary and the German Reich was also giving rise to tensions. The increased efforts of Germany to have a colonial empire in Africa was another factor that led to WW1. During the 19th century, Britain, France and Germany had been in competition with each other, trying to build colonies in the Americas, Africa and Asia. Russia, Japan and the United States were doing the same in the Asian theatre.


The resulting tensions and rivalries between the major European powers culminated in a dynamic arms race that was coming to a head by 1914.

One of the other possible reasons for WW1 is German foreign policy from the turn of the century onwards. It led to a growing isolation of Germany within Europe, giving rise to feelings of “encirclement” amongst Germans. This led to a rejection of a national leadership agreement on spheres of influence and arms limitation.

The so-called 'politics of the free hand” is also considered one of the causes for WW1. This policy limited foreign policy, rather than helping to expand the action.

The causes of WW1: Domestic policy

In Germany, nationalist power-politics were promoted heavily. There were strong advocates for imperialism who also pushed for advancing Germany's weapon's technology and strong army. This is considered one of the causes of WW1.

The internal problems of Russia and Austria-Hungary (in part caused by long-overdue reforms) can also be regarded as a cause of WW1. All these countries had a distinct streak of thinking only in terms of the nation-state.

The causes of WW1: Political economy

From an economic standpoint, the desire to create and maintain lucrative markets abroad can be seen as one of the major causes of WW1, since an industrial capitalist society and economy require a flow of cheap goods.

The dynamic arms race also favored this trade. For Australia and the United States, arms exports proved to be a lucrative business.

The causes of WW1: Socio-political

In Germany as well as other countries, there was a widespread belief that WW1 would be a fast war with a quick victory. Therefore, this can be regarded as a possible cause for WW1. There was a vestige of cultural pessimism, coupled with a younger generation characterized by their hunger.

Another cause of WW1 was the ideology of social Darwinism (survival of the fittest), which promoted the idea of the 'best' winning.


Worl War 1 Causes


Finally, it should be noted that the sources listed for WW1 are not complete and will only provide an overview. From a historic and scientific point of view, some of these reasons are controversial.

However, it is undisputed that ultimately, it was people acting and thinking independently of each other that led to WW1. Among all the causes, this is probably the most important factor. Read “What caused World War 1?” for more.




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What caused World War 1

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