On the 28th July 1914, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia with the Assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and one day later, the Russians got ready to help in the war. On the 1st August, Germany declared war on Russia, while the French soldiers were put on a war alert on the following day. On the 3rd, Germany declared war on France and invaded through the neutral Belgium, which caused Britain to declare war on Germany on the 4th.
Finally, Austria declared war on Russia on the 6th, completing the outset of World War One, the bloodiest war fought yet in history due to the huge advances in weapons and technology. Many countries were involved, Germany being one of them, but to what extent were the Germans responsible for the outbreak of war? 28th June 1919, Germany was forced to take all the blame and responsibility for World War One at the Treaty of Versailles, which wasn’t entirely just, because even though German’s aggression might have made the war happen sooner, sooner or later a war was inevitable.
A combination of causes that contributed to the outbreak of the First World War, as well as many factors that fortified the contribution of each separate cause. The major causes of World War One were; the Alliance System, Nationalism, Militarism and the Arms Race; Imperialism, the Assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and the German Kaiser Wilhelm II. The sum of all this causes combined produced tension and dreadful sensations through Europe, especially among the countries most concerned.
Some historians believe that Germany was exclusively the only responsible for the outbreak of the First World War; others think that all the countries involved influenced the outbreak. There are many opinions and beliefs, but what is the truth? Militarism, Arms Race & Naval Rivalry Until 1914, there had been 40 years of peace in Europe, however it had been an armed peace. Each country sought better security by having bigger armies and better armaments than its rivals. The threat of war was what maintained peace.
Militarism isn’t just an arms race, but also a government’s attitude of mind, seeing war as valid and having the belief or desire of a government or people that a country should maintain a strong military capability in order to be prepared to use it aggressively to defend or promote national interests in case of being necessary. This is how nationalism and militarism were strongly bond together. All nations of Europe were militaristic, but especially the governments of Germany and Austria-Hungary, with 2,2000. 000 and 810,000 soldiers respectively.
Therefore, all the countries in Europe built up their armies and navies in order to protect themselves and intimidate others. Consequently, if one country increased its armies, all the other countries felt obliged to increment their armies as well in order to maintain the ‘balance of power’. The Arms Race and Naval Rivalry between countries in Europe was one of the most significant causes of the threat and tension. Britain had always had a very strong and intimidating army, and had accumulated many colonies all across the globe. The seas belonging to the British Empire.