Introduction: The Causes and Disastrous Effects of World War I
There have been two world wars and the causes behind each one of them have intricate socio economic storylines of their own. While we can definitely say that the consequences of first world war had manifested themselves not just in the past as the causes of second world war, but also affected various military decisions and peace keeping solutions of the modern day.
Before we, however, discuss world war 1 causes, it is very important to keep in mind that the political scenario, especially after the formation of the Vienna congress of 1815, was fragile, to say the least.
To get a better look at world war 1 history, let us move onto the next segment where we talk about Europe it’s superpowers who were the instigators of this war.
The Causes of First World War
Because there are several nuances to cover and the economic and social state of Europe was quite diverse in the time leading up to world war 1, we have several world war 1 causes world war 1 causes which we have detailed in the following paragraphs.
(1) The Growth of the Triple Allies and Triple Entente
The rising military strength of Germany and Italy put all the other major European powers into panic mode and they started to form an alliance in between themselves in case a war broke out. Thus the Triple Entente comprising of Russia, England, and France was formed.
In response, Germany formed the Triple Alliance which consisted of Germany, Italy, and Austria. And thus the seeds of a wartime environment had been sown.
Related : Relationship between Poverty and Crime
(2) The Economic Condition of European Nations and Colonies
In the 19th Century, as the Industrial Revolution gained momentum in the European countries, most of them began to look to expand their colonies in a bid to have new markets where they can sell their finished products as well as import raw materials from.
This put countries like Germany in a head on collision path with France and England who had already established colonies in various regions of Asia and Africa. In fact, this economic tension is one of the most under appreciated yet potent world war 1 causes.
(3) The Tipping Point: Serejavo Murder
In a situation like this where war was already brewing in the background, the crown prince of Austria was brutally murdered in an act of Slav terrorism in Serajabo, a district in Bosnia, the capital of Austria. This enraged Austria who declared war on Serbia and thus the Serejavo Murder set about the first world war.
The Consequences of First World War
The horrific and widespread consequences of first world war are too vast to be summarized into one essay but we will touch upon the most important aftermaths that have shaped up post world war 1 history.
(1) The Sea Change In European Empires and Politics
The state lines of Europe were changed as we see that the empires of old especially the German, Russian, Turkish and Austrian empires had met their demise. From the ashes of these giant empires rose new states and we see the rise of new countries as well as new political viewpoints based on independence and democracy.
(2) The Creation of League of Nations
In the wake of this great tragedy and blood bath, many countries came together to pledge their alliance and unity which led to the creation of League of Nations. While a direct consequences of first world war, it failed miserably in reducing millitrary tensions as the second world war soon followed.
While all of the world fought in the first world war, much of the countries participating were unwilling particiapants especially under tyrannical rulers or as colonies of European nations. In fact, one of the most positive consequences of first world war was the fact that African and various Eastern Nations started to rebel against their European empires as a sense of nationalism and democracy was infused across the world.
And probably what is the most chilling bits of world war 1 history is how it led to the rise of Nazism and Fascism in Germany and Italy respectively.
Summing it up in the words of the American political author Virginia Postrel,
European nations began World War I with a glamorous vision of war, only to be psychologically shattered by the realities of the trenches. The experience changed the way people referred to the glamour of battle; they treated it no longer as a positive quality but as a dangerous illusion.