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




What started World War 1

Comprehensive information about "What started World War 1": To get an initial overview of possible triggers for World War 1, you must make a distinction according to each trigger's importance. The attack in Sarajevo are presented merely as a spark in the mixture of pent-up anxieties and fears.



What started World War 1 One



It proves advantageous to divide the causes of World War 1 into the following possible causes, as follows:

  • Domestic causes

  • Socio-political causes

  • Foreign policy causes

  • Political economy causes

In the following sections, you can find further information on any of these aspects to answer the question:

What started World War 1? - Domestic causes -

In the German state, there was mass promotion of a nationalistic policy which was also in motion. This is in contrast to the atmosphere of 1848, where Germany had more of an international understanding and solidarity.



What started World War 1



This outspoken nationalist and imperialist ideology of the German nation state, coupled with the desire to upgrade the nation's forces to meet that ideology, is one of the triggers of World War 1. The expansion on land was accompanied in the maritime field with the expansion of the German navy.

This triggered Great Britain, who saw this as a threat to their naval superiority, and expanded in line with the Germans. In particular, this led to ever more powerful developments of battleships, particularly of the Dreadnought class.

Meanwhile, Austria-Hungary and Russia had other problems to contend with. Pending reforms and poor quality of life domestically meant that the populations of the two countries were growing more and more dissatisfied. Coupled with the nascent nationalist sentiment growing in the two nations, this can also be viewed as an answer to the question "What started World War 1".

What started World War 1? - Socio-political causes -

An additional trigger for World War 1 may be the “cult of the offensive”, a predominant view rooted in society which demanded aggressive policies linked to imperialist interest groups, which encouraged World War 1.

The forthcoming arms race was sponsored by the prevailing belief that Germany would win the war with a swift victory, another trigger for World War 1

This may seem incomprehensible in a modern-day setting, but 100 years ago, Germans were used to cultural pessimism. For many, World War 1 gave promises of excitement, chasing away boredom and satiating hunger for experiences. It is difficult to understand in light of what we now know, but it should not be dismissed out of hand in a historical context.

Finally, there was an element of social Darwinism – a show of 'survival of the fittest' – seen as a politically correct idea at the time, another trigger for World War 1.

What started World War 1? - Foreign policy causes -

Before World War 1 began, there were already rivalries and tensions between the superpowers. Alliance systems had been implemented through agreements outside the political aspirations of imperial benefit  (see World War 1 Summary).

The German Reich maintained a policy of 'free hand' in world affairs in order to expand its scope. The results of this policy, however, were opposite of what was intended. German foreign policy became increasingly inhibited with smaller room for maneuver (WW1 timeline). A secondary consequence of this action was the increasing isolation of Germany, a certain cause of Wold War 1.

What started WW1

Furthermore, one of the biggest triggers for World War 1 was the aspirations of the Balkan countries, whether they were Serb, Romanian, Bulgarian, Greek, Albanian or Montenegrin. These nations wanted to build their own nation-states and expand. This proved explosive, as at the time there was a power-vacuum in the Balkans, making it a contributory cause to World War 1. This can also be viewed as a possible answer to the main question "What started World War 1"

An imperialist policy on the behalf of Austria-Hungary and Germany provided additional triggers, since both Empires were looking to expand in the Balkans.

There was also the 'Scramble for Africa', in which Germany attempted to grab land and become rivals to the French and British. This was not welcomed by those two nations, who did not want another competitor for raw materials and markets – another possible trigger for World War 1?

What started World War 1? Political economy causes -

From an economic point of view, the quest for raw materials and the search for lucrative markets in Africa can be seen as one of the causes of World War 1.

The dynamic arms race benefited the economy, with lucrative arms exports and goods proving to be advantageous for the industrial capitalist economies.

It only remains to note that these listed triggers and causes for World War 1 are not complete. Rather, this is only a first listing with examples. From a scientific point of view, many of these causes are controversial. The goal here is to give an initial overview. (see also what caused World War 1 and other pages with similar content)




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What caused World War 1

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