Long Term Causes of WWI


Long Term Causes of WWI


  • Militarism - the belief that a country should maintain a strong military capability and be prepared to use it to defend or promote national interests.
  • Alliance Systems - in WW1 there were two main alliances: The Triple Alliance (Germany, Italy, Austria-Hungary and Ottoman Empire) and The Triple Entente (Britain, France, Russia and Serbia)
  • Imperialism - there was a race between the countries to see how much empire each country had, because with empire, there is power, and all the countries want power.
  • Nationalism - an intense form of patriotism. Those with nationalist tendencies celebrated the culture and achievements of their own country and placed its interests above those of other nations.


  • The rivalry between the countries to see who could have the biggest army/navy not only began to increase the tension between one and other, but led to a belief that there was a war coming.
  • Any conflict between any two of these countries, by the alliance systems, would pull in the other countries, thus increasing the tension and making the war bigger than it should have been.
  • When Germany 'arrived' it wanted empire, so the Moroccan Crises were big because each country wanted power, so when Germany tried to get empire, the other countries stepped in to defend.
  • Aggravated by Vienna’s annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, young Serbs joined radical nationalist groups like the ‘Black Hand’. These groups hoped to drive Austria-Hungary from the Balkans and establish a ‘Greater Serbia’, a unified state for all Slavic people. It was this nationalism that inspired the assassination of Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo in June 1914, an event that led directly to the outbreak of World War I.

Overall summary

Many people thing that the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand was the reason behind the First World War, however it wasn't just this event that led to WWI, it was all of the above reasons (MAIN). Each factor contributed individually to trigger the Great War.


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