Before all the fuss, the great powers of the world were Austria-Hungary, Britain, France, Germany, Ottoman Empire and Russia. So these empires were always like competing with each other for colonies. France and Britain, the two countries who’ve been competing since the 19th century got little bits of colonies each in Asia and Africa. They say that Germany had the most in military power which is Arms and naval race which most of the other great powers tried to stay in the same military pace. Even before the war started these world power were already preparing. Before 1914, the great powers started making alliances:
I. Central Powers (A.K.A Triple Alliance)
- Austria-Hungary, Germany, Italy
- Centre of Europe
- In 1882
II. Allied Powers (A.K.A Triple Entente)
- Britain, France, Russia
These allies had their backs for each other kind of like this cartoon (well, exactly like this cartoon):
It all started by a murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand:
(I got this step by step reasons which led to war from the book Crisis and conflict)
- 28 June 1914 Archduke France Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, was shot in Sarajevo, Bosnia
- 23 July 1914 Austria-Hungary’s confidence about going to war was boosted by German offers to back it against Serbia, so it demanded that Serbia hand over the leaders of the ‘Black hand’ by 25 July
- 26 July 1914 Russia promised to support Serbia if Austria-Hungary attacked it
- 28 July 1914 Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia as the leaders of the ‘Black Hand’ had not been handed over
- 31 July 1914 Russia mobilised its army in support of Serbia, leading to German fears of an imminent Russian invasion
- 1 August 1914 Germany declared war on Russia; France mobilised its troops to support Russia
- 3 August 1914 To avoid a war with Russia and its ally, France, Germany declared war against France and set in motion the Schlieffen Plan by entering neutral Belgium
- 3 August 1914 Britain sent an ultimatum to Germany, demanding it withdraw from Belgium, as Belgium was under British protection
- 4 August 1914 Britain declared war on Germany as Germany trophzd not withdrawn
- *BAM* World War I Begun
Switching of Sides
Through there was switching of sides and gaining a bit more allies. Somewhere through the war, Italy left Germany disagreeing with the Triple Alliance treaty that they signed, arguing that it was a defensive alliance. Italy then left to the Alliances side hoping to get land.
USA also joined in the war after Germany attacked a ship with their submarine which had American soldiers.
After USA joined the war on the triple Alliances side, Russia left asking Germany for a peace treaty called Treaty of Brest Litovsk.
Germany ordered their troops that was attacking Russia to leave.
After USA sent a large fresh group of troops this boosted the Allied forces and finally made the Germans retreat. Kaiser, the king of German, was forced to leave his throne and he ran off to Holland making Germany a republic.
An estimate of 8 million soldiers died and a lot of young men were wounded, disabled, traumatised and shocked. The countries that fought in the war had large damages everywhere which forced a lot of people out of their homes and to become refugees.
Due to the bad living conditions a sickness called influenza pandemic spread around the world and killed more than 20 to 40 million people.
World resources were depleted from the powerful countries – Germany, France, Britain and Russia. France had a heavy debt to the USA which they knew would take years to repay.
Since more men died from the war, more women were given more responsibility, their roles changed and they were expected to do more things. Finally, women were given the chance to work and vote.
Other Peoples Views on how the war started
There are a lot of OPVs (other peoples views) from different coutries and different historians which told about their idea of how WWI (World War I) reall started. Till today, historians still argue and ebate the trigger of WWI. Some historian views on the war:
- An Austrian historian It was the death of the Archduke Ferdinand which triggered the war. If the ‘Black Hand’ didn’t ask the young 19-year-old boy to assassinated Archduke and his wife this war wouldn’t have happened. ///
- A German historian Germany didn’t start the war, all it was doing was defending itself. It’s because of the competition for colonies, armies and navies the war begun. Germany had to defend its ally of course so it wasn’t fighting on anger and aggression but more on self-defence. ///
- A French historian One word. Germany. This whole thing, this war that lasted four years and killed nearly 8 million is Germany to blame. We all know they’ve been preparing for war before 1914 and they just used the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand as an excuse to finally bring up the war. It’s Germanys fault. ///
So these are just a few of the historians who showed their perspective. I was thinking maybe it was really just the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand which started this all. But, you can really see the hatred and anger the French had for the Germans back then. Even till now some people hate the Germans they won’t buy any product 0r become friends with a German. Comment down below your OPV on why the war triggered!
– Yours Truly, L.O.A.S.H