What Was the Underlying Cause of World War One? 30 million solders sprinkled their blood all over the Europe land, we heard the crying, heard the yelling, we feel pity for those who lost their lives in the war—- World War One. This war was start in1914 with an assassination of the Archduke of Austria caused by a Serbian nationalist group called the Black Hand. This spark soon flamed out of control, Russia and Germany involved first to help, then whole Europe join the war. Four years long and 10 millions lives later, Europe was looking for answers, what was the underlying cause of the war?
Underlying, means be the cause or basis of something. So after we learned from all those documents we could get that the 3 underlying cause of the World War One were Alliances, Militarism and Imperialism, of these, Imperialism was the most significant one. First underlying cause was Alliances. During World War One, there are two main alliances were at war—-Triple Alliance (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy) (From Doc A) and Triple Entente (Russia, United Kingdom, France)(From Doc A), the blasting fuse of the war was the assassination in Austria-Hungary.
Russia helps Serbia, and Germany helps Austria-Hungary, later involved all the other countries (From Doc Background Essay). And at beginning, Germany, Russia, and Austria-Hungary was in a same alliance, until later Germany from another alliance with Italy and Austria-Hungary, Russia was free to seek new alliance with France, which was very resented about Germany, then Britain join them, two main power formed (From Textbook page 696).
From alliance, we can recognize the alliances system request each member country has responsibility to defend and help other member countries when they are in trouble, and that means one little thing will become a chain and draw all the countries in like France and Germany. Rival alliance system made government increasingly nervous. And different alliances will always blame each other first. Eventually, they choose to have a fight. Another underlying cause was militarism.
The late 1800s saw a race of militarism, which grew partly out of the Social Darwinism, echoing the idea of survival of the fittest (From Textbook page 695). The fiercest race was between Britain and Germany. Britain had a powerful navy in the late 19th century. It was possibly the strongest there was back then. When Germany began to colonies, it started to create a navy that could rival Britain. -Suspicious of this and wondered what Germany was up to, Britain increased its naval spending. (From Textbook Page 695) The large amount of army and navy will make people start to fear the war could happen soon.
So the government turned to the military leader for advices, those leaders enjoy the respects from people, so they paid more attention on build up their military. Eventually, military power increase will grow the tensions, and the country will sure use it, no matter it’s for defend or attack. The last and the most significant cause was imperialism. In the 1911, imperialism caused a competition for colonies. Germany wanted to keep France from imposing a protectorate on the Muslim kingdom of Morocco, and Germany itself gained some territory in the Africa.
As a result of the Morocco, France and Britain getting closer and fight against Germany. In the 1913, the total area of British colonies was 12,740,000 more than Germany colonies area 9(From Doc F). With the help of the colonial population, Britain developed fast. Germany also increased its military in order to get more resources or land. And then each country wished to get land and resources so that develop their own, they will do everything they need to and it may violated other country’s benefit then cause warfare.
For those who already got plenty of land, will draw too much attention on themselves, other country either feel scared being taken off or jealous about it, so they will take some action to defend themselves or fight for the resources. Beyond Alliances and Militarism, Imperialism’s effects were deeper and larger to the World War One, because Imperialism is a strong way to develop the country, it can help the country gain land and resources in a short time by using the war.
And the war helped develop the military, which shows the militarism was partly from the Imperialism. And the reason to form alliances was because countries could be easier to take off the land if they combine together, and there is no alliance could that stand forever, because imperialism requested invasion and resources, once a country got enough power, sure it will break the alliance, and attack the nearest country.