Who caused World War I?

the alliances (the triple Entente, the triple Alliance)

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In the years before the First World War,the most powerful countries in Europe were divided into two alliances. The Triple Alliance (or the Central Powers) consisting of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy which was formed in 1882 and the triple Entente composed of Britain, France and Russia formed by 1907. All of these countries were seriously armed and each one of them had its reasons for suspecting the other countries.

Especially Germany -which had been united in 1870 into a strong, new, powerful empire- had its concerns. The German Kaiser desired overseas colonies since all the other great powers -such as France, Britain (& Belgium)- had them. However they were already too late and could only establish two colonies in Africa, Germany wanted more. Russia was at that time investing in there army which could form a potential risk for Germany and therefor Germany was building an army and navy. The naval rivalry would lead to one of the most significant causes of tensions.Britain had always ruled overseas, as it is surrounded by sea, it had always had the most powerful navy and if it were not for Germany that wouldn't change. Britain felt -according to me, with reason- threatened by Germanys intention to build a strong navy. Why would Germany need it ? They did not had as many overseas colonies... As might be expected, Germany didn't see it the same way and felt that Britain was overreacting and that they needed a stronger navy to watch over there fast-growing trade.

German leaders were also very worried about the friendship between Russia en France, they feared that this 'encirclement' could be dangerous as Russia and France could attack Germany from the East and North. At the meanwhile, the other important European powers were also building on their army.

As James Joll -a respected British historian and expert on this subject- in 1992 said ;

"The arms race in which all major powers were involved contributed to the sense that war was bound to come and soon. Financing it caused serious financial difficulties for all the governments involved in the race; and yet they were convinced there was no way of stopping it. Although publicly the arms race was justified to prevent war, no government had in fact ben deterred from arming by the programmers of their rivals, but rather increased the pace of their own armament production." Many countries saw war as is if it was inevitable, which leaded to the forming of an even bigger army, going around and around in circles, only becoming worse.

Because Germany feared encirclement it came up with a plan, the so-called Schlieffen Plan. Under the Schlieffen Plan, Germany would quickly attack and defeat France, then turn to the East and deal with Russia. Russia wouldn't have time to get ready for war and Germany would be victorious, they had not the smallest awareness that this would be a nastier task and would eventually after four devastating years fail.

Of course they did not had the benefit of hindsight but didn't they realize that their plan was idealistic?

Despite that Germany did realize that it wouldn't be able to do it all by themselves. They needed a companion, Austria-Hungary. Germany knew that Austria-Hungary needed help to hold back Russia and gave Austria-Hungary a 'blank cheque'. They were now ensured that Austria-Hungary would be 'forced' to help them with their Schlieffen Plan.

It is clear that Germany was over ambitious and lured Austria-Hungary with a blank cheque. Blame Great Britain for helping Belgium due to their treaty, just doesn't make sense, If Germany would have never invaded Belgium, or -even better- would have never attacked France, there wouldn't have been a war (at that moment in time).

I conclude that Germany should be blamed for starting the World War One.
Militarism

Alliances

Imperialism

Nationalism

An acronym to remember the causes of WWI by (MAIN).