The Causes of World War I – History Essay

Bang! Bang! Blood poured out of Sophie’s abdomen as she laid down on her husband’s lap. A bullet hole in his neck, piercing his jugular, Franz Ferdinand ignored his pain and hunched over his wife. “Sophie! Sophie!” he cried out, “Don’t die! Live for our children!”. They were sent immediately to receive medical attention. Shortly after the shooting, however, both husband and wife died in Saravejo, Austria-Hungary before they could be tended to.

The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife happened on June 28th, 1914. The murders were carried out by 19 year old Gavrilla Pricip, a Serbian who fought for his country’s independence from the ever-growing Austria-Hungarian Empire. Princip attempted suicide but was caught before he could and went on trial shorty thereafter.

Due to political tensions years before this assassination, the whole of Europe was tense already. As it turns out, Prussia was the most powerful of all of the German states, by winning the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, and remained in power since then. Austria was no longer the most powerful state anymore.

Obviously ticked off at Serbia for the deaths of Franz and Sophie, but also for expansion reasons, Austria-Hungary subsequently declared war on Serbia. Russia reacted to this declaration of war by moving her troops to defend Serbia. Austria-Hungary demanded that Russia’s troops butt out, but Russia refused. Austria-Hungary then declared war on Russia. Shortly later, France moved in to aid her ally, Russia. Once sworn enemies, they put aside their differences in 1894 to protect each other from the threat of Prussia’s quickly growing power.

In the several years before the deaths of Franz and Sophie Ferdinand, the now in power Prussia snatched up Great Britain’s colonies one by one and terrorized her others. Britain desperately wanted to fight back. She entered into alliance with the two countries most likely to fight against Prussia: Russia and France. This alliance became known as the “Triple Entente”, and they defended each other against Prussia.

As it turns out, Germany joined in the alliance against Prussia. Tensions rose across Europe ever since the year 1866, with the war that ended with Prussia rising victorious over Austria.

World War I was nicknamed “The War to End All Wars” as people had hoped that there would never be a war as huge as this war ever again. That single incident on June 28th, 1914 did not spark the “War to End All Wars”. Rather, it was just simply a trigger. A release valve, if you will. The war had been coming. It had been coming for years. Unfortunately, it grew so large that almost the entirety of Europe got dragged into the war, along with countries in Asia and North America, too. Shifting loyalties, betrayals, disagreements, and tension all mounted on top of one another ever since the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 that caused this cascade of events. In the wake of her victory, Prussia would gain allies for protection. Allies that eventually back-stab her for fear that she would turn on them instead.

That, my friend, was the root of the War to End All Wars: World War I.

~ Brianna

Bang! Bang! Blood poured out of Sophie’s abdomen as she laid down on her husband’s lap. A bullet hole in his neck, piercing his jugular, Franz Ferdinand ignored his pain and hunched over his wife. “Sophie! Sophie!” he cried out, “Don’t die! Live for our children!”. They were sent immediately to receive medical attention. Shortly after the shooting, however, both husband and wife died in Saravejo, Austria-Hungary before they could be tended to.

The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife happened on June 28th, 1914. The murders were carried out by 19 year old Gavrilla Pricip, a Serbian who fought for his country’s independence from the ever-growing Austria-Hungarian Empire. Princip attempted suicide but was caught before he could and went on trial shorty thereafter.

Due to political tensions years before this assassination, the whole of Europe was tense already. As it turns out, Prussia was the most powerful of all of the German states, by winning the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, and remained in power since then. Austria was no longer the most powerful state anymore.

Obviously ticked off at Serbia for the deaths of Franz and Sophie, but also for expansion reasons, Austria-Hungary subsequently declared war on Serbia. Russia reacted to this declaration of war by moving her troops to defend Serbia. Austria-Hungary demanded that Russia’s troops butt out, but Russia refused. Austria-Hungary then declared war on Russia. Shortly later, France moved in to aid her ally, Russia. Once sworn enemies, they put aside their differences in 1894 to protect each other from the threat of Prussia’s quickly growing power.

In the several years before the deaths of Franz and Sophie Ferdinand, the now in power Prussia snatched up Great Britain’s colonies one by one and terrorized her others. Britain desperately wanted to fight back. She entered into alliance with the two countries most likely to fight against Prussia: Russia and France. This alliance became known as the “Triple Entente”, and they defended each other against Prussia.

As it turns out, Germany joined in the alliance against Prussia. Tensions rose across Europe ever since the year 1866, with the war that ended with Prussia rising victorious over Austria.

World War I was nicknamed “The War to End All Wars” as people had hoped that there would never be a war as huge as this war ever again. That single incident on June 28th, 1914 did not spark the “War to End All Wars”. Rather, it was just simply a trigger. A release valve, if you will. The war had been coming. It had been coming for years. Unfortunately, it grew so large that almost the entirety of Europe got dragged into the war, along with countries in Asia and North America, too. Shifting loyalties, betrayals, disagreements, and tension all mounted on top of one another ever since the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 that caused this cascade of events. In the wake of her victory, Prussia would gain allies for protection. Allies that eventually back-stab her for fear that she would turn on them instead.

That, my friend, was the root of the War to End All Wars: World War I.

~ Brianna

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