CHAPTER SIX FREE RESPONSE ESSAY
FRQ: Analyze the long term and short term causes of WWI. Include some important people. WWI started in 1914 and took place in Europe. It is called a global military conflict and resulted in the death of nearly forty million people. There were many reasons for beginning the war, both long and short term. Long term for example was because of Otto von Bismarck, alliances, The Great Illusion and colonial race. Then there were also some short term causes, militarism, alliances, imperialism, nationalism and more significant leaders. Both short term and long term causes were significant in the beginning of the war and both had a lot of effect on the war.
There were many long term causes of the war. Otto von Bismarck was a major one. He wanted France isolated after the Franco-Prussian War. Also he was involved in the Triple Alliance, which included Austria, Russia and Germany. Bismarck’s alliance system began to go down hill rapidly. Many alliances were not maintained well. Bismarck was fired by Kaiser Wilhelm. The dual Entente was created by France and Russia as a result of the Reinsurance Treaty falling apart. Britain was also involved with France and Russia as part of the Triple Entente. The Great Illusion was about warfare no longer being necessary. Also, there was a international disarmament conference. They were hoping for no war and no killing, apparently that didn’t work out too well. Lastly, the colonial race is a long term effect. It included the Fashoda Crisis, Balkan Crisis and Balkan Nationalism. Also, part of that was attempts by Germany to help Morocco, which backfired. Those are most of the long term effects of the war.
The short term causes are much more noticeable and make more sense. For militarism, Germany was building battleships and competing with the UK. British was afraid of being attacked in their empire. Also, Russia, Germany, and France were both expanding their armies. Germany ended up with the largest, and France was right behind them. When it comes to alliances, most of the major powers were linked together in some way by an alliance. The alliances also made the war more likely to begin and after it begun more likely to spread. Imperialism played a major role in the beginning of the war. There were many territories that the powerful countries wanted. Germany was forced into Africa by the British. Russia was in the Balkans which scared Austria. Nationalism was basically that all of the nations wanted their power and independence to be known. And the Slavic’s wanted to be to be free of Austrian rule. Serbia and Russia helped them with that. Kaiser Wilhelm II was very aggressive with the foreign policy. He wanted Germany to be the top nation, and built up the army and navy to help make it come true. Count Berchtold was the prime minister of Austria. He gave Serbia an ultimatum during the July Crisis. There was also Bethmann Hollweg and he was the prime minister of Germany. He supported Austria a lot while the July Crisis was going on. Those were some very important short term causes of WWI.
In conclusion, WWI was begun for many reasons and had many things that lead up to it starting, both long and short term. The long term causes are important, but not as much as the short term causes. With the short term causes you can see a direct relationship with the war, especially with the alliances, imperialism and militarism. The long term you really have to understand the war and what the people were about to understand. There were many causes of the war both long and short term.