Explain the reasons of the First World War.


The First World War was the product of a series of complicated and far reaching event. The reasons for war were as follows:
1)       The imperialism of Western nations: -During 19th century, the industrial nations of Europe stated for markets in Asia and underdeveloped African continent. This provided market as well as raw materials to the European nations. As the European nations understood the financial importance of these regions, it started a race for colonization and economic imperialism.

2)       Aggressive Nationalism: -The feeling of extreme love for one's own country and resentment for others resulted in aggressive nationalism in Europe. Many great powers in Europe became expansionist under the guise of nationalism.  Germany, Russia and Austria all were trying to capture new territories which increased international rivalry.

3)       Militarism: -The belief that only military power can ensure important place in world politics led to a race to increase military among European nations. Large number of destructive arms and ammunitions were manufactured by the nations confidentially to outwit each other in the race of expansion. This made the situation in Europe explosive

4)       Diplomatic groupsim: -Diplomatic (political) groupsim which began in Europe during the region of Bismarck, led to the strained relationship among nations. Bismarck made friendship with Austria and kept France isolated. Later he included Italy in the group because of the religious and colonial conflicts between France and Italy. At the same time he ensured that France and England do not come together. This resulted in formation of triple Alliance comprising of Germany, Austria and Italy.

5)       Germany's increasing strength: -During the rule of Kaiser William II, Germany made great progress in industrial sector, trade and commerce. Development of a powerful navy, capture of several regions in Africa and Asia, creation of new naval base created an atmosphere of fear and anxiety (worry). Berlin Baghdad rail route were viewed as a threat to the English influence in Asia and intensified the conflict between England and Germany.

6)       Division of Europe into two rival groups: -Germany's expansionist policy brought England and France together forgetting about their traditional rivalry. Japan was also included in the group to ensure security of trade and colonies in Asia. Later on Russia's inclusion in the group created rival group of nations comprising of England, France and Russia as against Triple Alliance-Germany, Austria and Italy.

7)       Balkan Crisis: -The strategic importance of Balkan region and the imperialist desire of the rival nations like Austria and Russia created Balkan crisis. Following annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina by Austria, an atmosphere of unrest prevailed over Balkan regions.


8)       Murder of Archduke Ferdinand: -Assassination of Austria's crown prince Archduke Ferdinand by a Serbian nationalist at Sarajevo provided immediate cause that sparked off the First World War.