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Causes of World War 1 - Dbq 19

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Tyler Newsom

World History

March 4, 2011

DBQ 19: Causes of WWI

Potential causes of WWI were: The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Germany attacked Belgium, militarism, alliances, imperialism, and nationalism played major roles in the conflict as well. World War I was one of the worst things to happen in history. The total number of casualties in World War I, both military and civilian, was about 37 million: 16 million deaths and 21 wounded.

One reason for the war starting could be the increase of money spent on weapons. France, Germany, and Russia were the 3 biggest spenders. They were also 3 very large contributors of the war. Great Britain already had the largest navy in the war so they didn't need to spend any money on weapons; they already had the best of the best. Russia on the other hand had the old-style weapons. They were very inaccurate, they weren't very powerful, and they took a long time to re-load. The increase of weapon spending was just bound to start a war. They countries weren't just going to spend all that money on them on not use them. (Document 1)

The Triple Alliance aka the enemies consisted of Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy (until 1915), Ottoman Empire, and Bulgaria. Italy switched over to the Triple Entene in 1915. The Triple Entente aka the Allies consisted of France, Great Britain, Russia, Japan, Serbia, Romania, and later the U.S. Each country had a reason for wanting in the war. For example: Great Britain had the biggest navy in the world so nobody would be able to stop them. Russia had twice as many people as everyone but they also had the worst weapons you could have. Germany was going to use the Schlieffen Plan which said that they would attack France first because they were weaker than them. It was used for a quick way to attack and win.

The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo June 28th, 1914 by a man by the name of Gavrillo Princip of Serbia, Austro-Hungary calling on Germany for war, Serbia calling on Germany who then called on the allies, Germany attacked Belgium which then pulled in Great Britain who had the largest navy in the world. All of these things were recipes for disaster in Europe. The big one was probably the assassination of Franz Ferdinand. All of the others were causes too but that was the major one.

According to the Versailles Treaty, Germany was responsible for the starting of WWI. The treaty states "... The allied and associate governments affirm and Germany accepts the responsibility of Germany and her allies for causing all the loss and damage...." (Document 4) The German delegation leader said "Such a confession from my lips would be a lie" meaning that if he said Germany started WWI he would be stating a lie. He believes that there were multiple causes



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