The Great War Essay

Submitted By emilygeee
Words: 1416
Pages: 6

The First World War, also known as the Great War, began in 1914 between Austria-Hungary and Serbia. There were multiple factors that led to the war. Militarism, which is the glorification of military power and readiness for war, was a leading factor, specifically in Germany. The German Power caused Britain, France, and Russia to form the Triple Entente as protection against Germany. This also led to Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy forming the Triple Alliance. These alliances were another factor leading to the war due to them turning small disputes into large scale ones. Imperialism was the third factor due to the fact that it caused Europe to compete for colonies which caused tension. Colonies would provide a large amount of soldiers for the nations. The fourth and final factor that led to the war is nationalism, which is devotion to one’s nation. This caused more competition between Europe’s nations. Besides the factors previously mentioned, there were several events causing the Great War. The annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina would be the event that got the ball rolling. Serbia wanted to create and independent Slavic nation but Austria-Hungary annexed the area. This created animosity between Austria-Hungary and Serbia. The following event was the assassination of the archduke Franz Ferdinand, who was the next to succeed the throne of Austria. While visiting the annexed land, he and his wife were killed by a Serbian nationalist named Gavrilo Princip. Serbia was then given an ultimatum, which was a list of ten demands they were to follow. Two of the demands were purposely created to start war. Serbia declined these demands and Austria now had an excuse to declare war. Russia, being in an alliance with Serbia, sent soldiers to the border for back up. The mobilization of Russian soldiers led Germany to believe it was a declaration of war. This became the final event leading to the war.
As the Great War began, in order to avoid a two front war, Germany created the Schlieffen Plan. The plan was to defeat France on the west and rush eastward to defeat Russia. Instead this only caused Germany to declare war on both France and Germany, creating the Western and Eastern fronts. On the Western front, Germany planned to outflank French armies and decided to go through Belgium, which was a neutral nation. The invasion of Belgium angered Britain, who then joined the war against Germany. The nations of Britain, France, Russia, and now Italy became known as the Allies. The opposing forces such as Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire became the Central Powers. War on the Western front was stagnant. The immobile trench warfare made it difficult to advance on the enemy and was also the cause of war in a small area. This type of warfare was not only unproductive but also caused disease and misery for the soldiers. The Eastern front on the other hand was far more mobile. There were attacks and counter attacks going back and forth between the eastern armies. Russia was only kept in the war because of the provisional government. After the Bolsheviks won popularity Russia pulled out of the war, which allowed Germany to focus on the west and Austria-Hungary focused on Serbia. If I were to choose a front to fight in I would choose the Eastern front. It was not slow-moving like the Western front nor did it last as long. As the war continued supplies ran scarce and the nations involved needed all the resources they can muster, this type of war is known as total warfare. The governments of the nations began a rationing system, in which they limited the amount of goods people could buy. The lack of supplies in Russia caused the Allies to come up with the Gallipoli Campaign. This was a plan to send supplies to Russia but was unsuccessful. On the western front Germany advanced to seize Paris was met by American soldiers.
As the war grew on, it also spread to nations outside of Europe. Australia and New Zealand both joined the war and