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The main cause of World War I was the many alliances within Europe. Both Germany and France created competing alliance systems (Triple Alliance vs. Triple Entente), which ultimately led to the escalation of a war between Austria-Hungary and Serbia into a world war.

Serbia was a new country in the Balkans who wanted to achieve a large, united Slavic kingdom as they were going through high levels of nationalism (as were all European countries). Austria-Hungary constantly thwarted Serbia's ideas of a large kingdom because they feared it would ultimately cripple their empire as they had a large Slavic population. Austria's Archduke, Franz-Ferdinand, was assassinated by a Serbian terrorist group, the Black Hand. Austria-Hungary decided that they must destroy Serbia, and declared war on the nation but not before having the backup of their good ally, Germany. They did this because they knew Serbia's ally, Russia, would support Serbia. Germany then created the Schlieffen Plan, which called for a deployment through neutral Belgium and an attack on France, bringing both these countries in (which also brought in the UK as they defended Belgium's neutrality). These countries were then at a stalemate, so they looked for new countries to join for aid, which led to the Ottoman Empire, Bulgaria, Japan, and the US to join. The European countries also called on their colonial people for aid. This is how a simple war between Austria-Hungary and Serbia turned into a world war involving dozens of nations.

World War I ended with the Treaty of Versailles, which was completely unrealistic and unfair, not only to the Central Powers but other countries as well. So even though this peace treaty was signed, Europe was never truly in peace. Germany was forced to accept guilt for causing WWI and in return, had to pay for all the damage caused by the war. This was impossible as Germany was in extreme debt due to their involvement in WWI, and because this number was immensely huge. This led to unrest in Germany and a vengeful attitude. Italy was Another Country who was upset about the treaty, as they lost most of the land they were promised by the Allies. The only reason Italy joined WWI was to acquire these lands, and they were given not even half of what they were promised. The social unrest and vengeance in Italy and Germany led to the rise of fascist leaders, such as Hitler and Mussolini. These leaders gained popularity by promising revenge for World War I. To add to the problems, Hitler was responsible for multiple genocides, most notably against Jews.

So truly, World War II was just an even deadlier extension of World War I.

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โˆ™ 2012-10-24 04:27:16
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Q: What were the causes of World War 1 and World War 2?
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Related questions

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