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The German government believed that the onset of war and its support of Austria-Hungary was a way to secure its place as a leading power, which was supported by public nationalism and further united it behind the monarchy.The success Germans saw in the opening battles of WWI provided a platform for the German government to position itself as able to accomplish more when unified and nationalistic.These conflicts over alliances — which forced nations to come to the defense of one another — led to the formation of the two sides of World War I, the Allied and Central Powers.
The First World War began in the summer of 1914, shortly after the assassination of Austria’s Archduke, Franz Ferdinand, and lasted more than four years, ending in 1918.
The Great War left more than 20 million soldiers dead and 21 million more wounded, which can be attributed to trench warfare and the number of countries involved in the war.
Then, once a nation had been conquered, it was governed by the imperial nation: many of these colonial nations were exploited by their mother countries, and dissatisfaction and resentment was commonplace.
As British and French expansionism continued, tensions rose between opposing empires, including Germany, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire, leading to the creation of the Allied Powers (Britain and France) and Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire) during World War I.
In the age of imperialism prior to World War I, countries throughout Europe had created alliances.
The alliances promised that each country would support the other if war ever broke out between an ally and another Great Power.In the 1900s, several European nations had empires across the globe, where they had control over vast swaths of lands.Prior to World War I, the British and French Empires were the world’s most powerful, colonizing regions like India, modern-day Vietnam and West and North Africa.However, this millenarianism was short-lived, as Germany was unprepared to fight the long war, which took a dramatic and demoralizing toll on its people and later set the stage for the rise of the Third Reich, less than two decades later.Following the events above, World War I moved into full force from 1914 through 1918, ending when peace was brokered between the German and Central Forces and the Allied Powers with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles.Nationalism was one of many political forces at play in the time leading up to World War I, with Serbian nationalism in particular, playing a key role.Serbian nationalism can be dated to the mid- and late-1800s, though two precipitating nationalism events are directly linked to the start of WWI.On the day of his assassination, the Archduke traveled to Sarajevo to inspect imperial armed forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina, former Ottoman territories acquired by Austria-Hungary in 1908.While Ferdinand was traveling in an open car in Sarajevo, Princip fired into the car, shooting Ferdinand and his wife Sophie.Germany felt that this alliance surrounding them was a threat to their power and existence.As tensions continued to rise over alliances, the preexisting alliances fed into other countries declaring war against one another in the face of conflict.