Causes of the First World War

  • Writings and preaching of patriotism created hatred against other nations.
  • Growth of militant nationalism produced people with war-like mentality.
  • Insurgent nationalism was the main cause of First World War.
  • It resulted in the formation of Pan-Germanism, Pan-Slavism.
  • Insurgent nationalism of the Balkans threatened peace in Europe.
  • Other rivalries were – Austro-Serbian, Serbo-Bulgarian and Austro-Russian.
  • Germany and the Triple Alliance supported Austria.
  • Similarly, the Triple Entente and Russia stood behind Serbia.
  • The loss of Alsace and Lorraine had hit French sentiments.
  • Marxist historians attribute the main cause of WW I to economic rivalry among capitalists.
  • Economic historian Hobson attributes the main cause to the result of “Glut of Capital”.
  • Scholars like David Thompson argue economic rivalry and Neo-imperialism were the main cause.
  • Colonial rivalry between Germany and Britain was another factor.
  • Kaiser William II practiced an aggressive anti-British policy.
  • He sent forces to liberate Tangier and recognised independence of Morocco and the Sultan.
  • The Agadir incident had consolidated friendship between France and Britain.
  • Armament race between England, France and Germany threatened entire Europe.
  • Germany’s military and naval power grew significantly.
  • Kiel Canal was dug to move battleships.
  • Torpedo was invented and then new agency to discharge missile, and thus torpedo boats were developed.
  • Torpedo-boat destroyer was invented.
  • Germany built its army under Admiral Tirpitz.
  • France renewed its conscription law.

To Access the full content, Please Purchase