Causes of World War I

Before World War I broke out in Europe, a number of things happened. The rich histories of the former European superpowers, such as Russia, Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Hungary, and Britain, were the foundation for many of these aspects. Politics, covert pacts, imperialism, and nationalistic egotism were among the real causes of World War I. However, the murder of Archduke Ferdinand of Austria set off a series of occasions that ultimately led to war.

Politics and Alliances

The nations of Europe were continually vying for dominance and forming alliances in the years preceding the conflict. In 1881, Germany formed an alliance with Italy and Austria-Hungary. All of these nations committed to defend one another in the event that France attacked them. But after that, Italy went and formed a covert alliance with France, declaring they would not support Germany.

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In 1892, France and Russia formed an alliance in response to Germany’s alliances. Britain and France signed a contract in 1904. France, Britain, and Russia established the Triple Entente in 1907. Germany believed that the strong alliance that surrounded them posed a serious danger to their existence and regional dominance.


Imperialism is the process through which a nation creates a vast empire out of its influence and power. France and Britain are two examples of European nations that built extensive global empires and amassed enormous wealth. Russia and Germany, two other European nations, both desired to establish their own great empires. This led to rivalry and conflict between numerous nations all over the world.

Europe Ready for War

1914 saw a difficult situation throughout Europe. Many of the European nations had grown to hate and dislike one another as a result of covert alliances, internal politics, and the ambition to expand empires. One major worldwide occurrence would be all it would take for war to break out in Europe.

Assassination of Archduke Ferdinand

The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, who was Austria-Hungary’s heir apparent, took place at Sarajevo on June 28, 1914. The assassination, according to the Austrian government, was planned by the Serbian authorities. Additionally, they regarded this as a chance to take back control of Serbia.

War is declared by Austria-Hungary

Serbia was subjected to a variety of strict demands by Austria-Hungary, who threatened to invade if Serbia did not comply. For a response, they offered them 48 hours. When Serbia didn’t meet the criteria, Austria-Hungary on July 28 declared war on Serbia.

Additional War Declarations

Austria-Hungary had thought that they could rapidly annex Serbia and that Russia, Serbia’s ally, would refrain from waging a protracted conflict in order to assist Serbia. They were misled, though. Russia promptly started to gather its forces and be ready for battle. In reaction, Austria-Hungary’s close ally Germany on August 1st declared war on Russia. A few days later, Germany invaded Belgium and declared war on France. Then, Britain declared war on Germany, sparking the start of World War I.

Who was at fault?

Over the years, historians have made an effort to determine who is really to blame for the war’s outbreak. Today, most historians concur that Germany desired to launch the war. The German commanders believed that war would inevitably break out since they were surrounded by adversaries (France and Russia). They believed that Germany would have a better chance of winning the war if it started earlier.

Facts about the World War I Causes that are Interesting

In an effort to defeat France in the west before facing the Russian army in the east, Germany launched an immediate attack on France.

The main European nations engaged in an arms race in the late 1800s and early 1900s by bolstering their armies and navies.

Both sides initially anticipated that the war would be concluded before the end of the year.

The largest empire, which the British had, covered most of Africa, Australia, Canada, and India.

At the outset of the conflict, the United States was neutral and hoped to stay out of it.