World War I without the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand
Chap 13.1 – World War I without the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand - History Homework 5/1/2006 Plaz
I believe that World War I would have started even without the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary. Europe was on the brink of war. If you look at the “MAIN” reasons you gave us in class, the assassination was only the sparking point. It seems as if a conflict could not be avoided. I believe that even without the assassination, in another three years or less, another even would have happened to start the war. I do not know what that event might be, because history changes with every decision. It is impossible to know what would have started the war.
However, it is easy to know causes of the war. The first one of the “MAIN” reasons was militarism. Countries were setting up their armies to prepare for battle. They made detailed plans for war and were constantly ready. The generals, arguably, wanted to put those plans to use. Also, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany wanted to put those plans in action.
This also leads into nationalism. Countries were very proud of their culture and prior military victories. They wanted this to continue and see their country grow even stronger. They wanted control of the map. Also, the Ottoman Empire was declining in the Balkan region. The Slavic nations, mainly Serbia, wanted to join together all of the Slavic people. Austria-Hungary, did not want to lose land. This lead to the instability that started the WWI. In general, European nations wanted to expand their land boundaries outward. Countries were eyeing pieces of land nearby, and were willing to fight for it.
They also were expanding their nations control in Africa and around the world through imperialism. However, other nations were doing the same thing. They often clashed about who would get what land. However, these conflicts were never too serious, but they stirred up trouble.
Rapid industrialization and new technologies gave countries advantages in war. However, these advantages were quickly countered by the other side. This lead to long stalemates once the war started. Also, Germany wanted to, and was becoming, a major world power and trader in industrialization. Germany strived to be like Great Britain.
The many countries in Europe also created many alliances and treaties among themselves. Otto von Bismark started this round of treaties by trying to surround France. The other nations then joined in a separate alliance. However, Wilhelm II did not preserve his treaty with Russia, leading to war. Also, these treaties insured that a fight between two nations was a fight throughout all of Europe.
All of these reasons point to the fact that war in Europe was inevitable.