Cause of WWI By: Victoria Boiston, Tavon Williams, Trinity Thompson, and Alyssa Nutter

Alliances- Victoria

Competition and Nationalism- Alyssa

Franz Ferdinand’s Assassination and the Conflict Between Austria and Serbia- Victoria


Militarism is the glorification of the military. Powers across Europe were rapidly expanding their armies, which built a sense of distrust among the nations. This became known as "the arms race," during this time, Britain built up a navy that was twice as strong as France and Germany's combined. In response to Germany, Russia and France developed systems with millions of reservists. Germany attempted to expand its navy to compete, mobilization systems were developed to call men to war quickly. In a militaristic country, people think that the military is superior to the civilians and that it should be respected and glorified. They believed that military power was essential for a nation's strength and they should keep it strong and use it aggressively to promote its own interests. This contributed to WWI by giving the military more control over the policies of a country which makes that country think that military powers was what made them superior.

How Russia, France, and Great Britain Enter the War- Tavon

The Schlieffen Plan

The Schlieffen Plan was the German army’s plan for war against France and Russia . It was created by the German Chief of Staff Alfred von Schlieffen in 1903 the request of Kaiser Wilhelm II.

Schlieffen’s idea was perfected in the winter of 1905 when, as a result of the Russo-Japanese war, Russia was eliminated as a serious threat to the European status quo for the foreseeable future. It would first of all have to recover from a lost war and from revolution. For those in Germany and Austria-Hungary who feared Russia and its ally France as potential future enemies, this was a perfect time to consider ‘preventive war’.

The ‘preventive war’ aimed to unleash a war while Russia was still weak. In the not too distant future, Germany’s military planners predicted, Russia would become invincible. This was a fear shared by other governments, but in Britain and France it had led to the decision to seek friendlier relations with Russia.

Reaction to War

Before the war even happened, plenty of people were troubled by domestic problems. For example, Russia fought with problems caused by the Revolution of 1905. Britain struggled with labor unrest as well as the issue of home rule in Ireland. Although, with the outbreak of the war, it brought a moment of relief from these interior divisions.

A renewed perception of patriotism united countries. Governments on both sides stressed that their countries were fighting for justice and for a better world. Every young man rushed to enlist, aiming to become a war hero for their country while cheered on by women and their elders. Although, British diplomat Edward Grey was more pessimistic towards this outcome. As he saw the armies begin to move, he predicted, “The lamps are going out all over Europe. We shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.”


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