Causes for World War 1

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Causes for World War I

Secret Groups

Triple alliance20 May 1882 – 1915

This alliance was started in 1879 with an understanding between Germany and Austria – Hungary. Reason for this alliance was Bismark;s fear that France would occupy Alsace and Lorraine from Germany. As Italy prophesied threat from France, it also joined the alliance on 20 May 1882. Later Romania also joined the alliance.


Triple Entente

France and Russia joined hands initially. Later, in 1882 Britain also joined with them. This group is famous as Triple Entente.

These three states came to an understanding.

  1. They accepted Britain’s over lordship on Nile valley.
  2. France’s over lordship over Morocco.
  3. Prussia would be shared between Russia and England.


Problems rose mainly due to an understanding among the powerful states. Irrespective of good or bad, every nation thought of the benefit of the nations in their respective group. This led to hostile situation in the world.


Extreme Militarism

Production was increased by leaps and bounds due to colonies and Industrialization. Every country tried to increase it army and naval power. England and Germany competed with each other in increasing their naval power. Various countries made alliances for clear trade routes and ports. Sometimes to achieve this they fought with other countries. By 1913 all the countries accumulated as much weapons as they could. Due to this all the nations started living in insecurity.


Greed for money

Industrialization facilitated speedy production. Industrialized countries started searching for the colonies which could supply them with raw material and also buy their products. First Christian missionaries entered into new lands and convert the local people into Christianity. When they establish good relations with the new lands, business firms used to enter into those countries to implement their plans.


Fight for colonies

Every country of Europe tried to have some colonies. They considered the exploitation of the colonies as service to their mother country. The competition between England and France for colonies led to battles between various countries.

France and Germany fought for control over Morocco.

When England came to help France, Germany had to fight with England also.

Russian tried to capture Constantinople.

Imperialism led to wars between various countries.


Balkan wars

Serbia emerged as a country in Balkan. Serbia wanted capture Bosnia and Herzegovina. To achieve this it had to fight with Austria-Hungary.

Russia helped Serbia.

Austria occupied Bosnia and Herzegovina.


Social Causes

Darwin propounded that only strong species survive on the earth. Armies implied this Darwinian theory to themselves. All the countries tried to become strong by increasing their army and invaded on other countries. They thought that war is a part in survival attempts. Some nations believed that their race is the strongest one and only their race is eligible to rule the world. This extreme thinking also led to wars between various countries.


No international institution to establish peace

There was no strong organisation like UNO during those days to prevent wars to establish peace.  Some organizations like Vienna Congress were there, their biased attitude created more problem. 1889, and 1907 Hague meetings could not give a suitable solutions to the problems. They could not prevent wars like, Morocco war and Balkan wars. Instead of peace every country concentrated on material benefit.


Immediate Reason – Murder of Ach Duke Ferdinand

When the Austrian Prince Arch Duke Ferdinand was on tour in Sarajevo along with his wife Sofia, on 28 June 1914, he was assassinated by a Serbian youth. Austria considered it as a pre planned assassination by Serbia and proclaimed war on Serbia.

Reasons for 1st World War

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