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Causes of the First World War

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A situation in which almost all the countries of the world are directly or indirectly involved in armed fighting against their rivals block is called world war. One blocks countries may give arms, money, send military forces to the battle front for fighting against the military of the rival block. In 1914, the world was affected by a serious war which is known as First World War.


Causes of the First World War

1. Groupism:

One of the important and most responsible factor that caused the fierce and most destructive First World War was Groupism. The groupism was started by German chancellor Otto Von Bismarck. He sowed the seeds of the first world war. During that period, Germany, Italy and Austria made triple alliances and England and Japan had hostility between them so, the whole Europe was divided into two blocks: because of that division the doubt and enmity arose among the countries of Europe which finally caused the enormous and destructive World War from European countries.

2. Militarism:

The other important factors that caused the world war was militarism. Both the hostile blocks were in a fear filled with suspicion and hatred against each other. They started to increase the number of armies and developed dangerous weapons as they felt unsecured which also came to be known as the cause of the war.

3. Economic Imperialism:

The countries in Europe were in search of a good market to supply their productions after the industrial revolution in Europe. The European countries also wanted to raise their economic status and size of the army and produce harmful weapons. The competition of imperialism and colonialism began in Europe that made the cold relationship among the countries which led the in path of destructive wars because of these reasons.

4. Character of William-II:

William II-(The Emperor of Germany) wanted to make Germany a powerful country in the world. His principle was World power of downfall. He wanted to be more powerful than U.K. So, the relationship between Germany and U.K was cold which enriched them to involve in the first world war.

5. Issue of Bosnia and Herzegovina:

Bosnia and Herzegovina (the two Balkan countries) were kept in Austria by the Berlin Convention of 1878 A.D. But, most of the people in Bosnia and Herzegovina were of the Serbian race. Due to these reasons, there was frequent rebellions and revolt against Austria.

6. Problem of Balkan:

Serbia, Greece and Bulgaria were under turkey which was called the Ottoman Emperor. These states wanted independence because of the despotic rule of Turkey due to the right of nationalism. Islams made the Christians their victims. So, there was a frequent war to the Balkan region. So, to initiate the first world war, Balkan countries were also responsible.

7. Stern Nationalism and Newspaper:

Extreme nationalism was developed by Germany. They had the arrogance that they were the superior race and born to rule the world. Germany and U.K had hatred and France and Germany had enmity. The countries used to publish the false news to provoke the people's spirit against the enemy countries.

8.The Immediate Cause:

Archduke Franz Ferdinand (the prince of Austria-Hungary) along with his wife Sophie Chotek were visiting Sarajevo, the capital city of Bosnia. 19 years old student, a member of the black-hand group named Gavrilo Prince killed the couple by shooting the couple from behind during their visit. The incident was named as the immediate cause of the war. After a month of the murder of the couple, the emperor of Austria-Hungary, Franz Joseph, with the support of Germany, sent a telegram to Serbian king, Peter Blaming on 25th July 1914, that his government was responsible for the murder of a couple of Austria Princess. The telegram contained the following:

Serbia should give permission to Austro-Hungarian authorities to monitor the suppression of the black hand society and investigate the criminal activities. Serbia must suppress the Black Hand Society and Serbia must respond to the terms of ultimatum within 48 hours. On 27th July 1914, King Peter of Serbia replied stating that the members of black hand could be suppressed, but the authorities of Austria-Hungary would not be allowed in Serbia to monitor the investigate. So, formally the Austrian government declared war against Serbia on 28th July 1914 and initiated the destructive and enormous the First World War.


S. No.




28th July 1914

King Francis Joshep of Austria-Hungary ordered military strike against Serbian capital Belgrade.


29th July 1914

Russia ordered its military to protect Serbia and entered the war.


30th July 1914

Germany put pressure on Russia to retract its military from Serbia.


1st August 1914

Germany announced war against Russia; France ordered its army to support Russia.


3rd August 1914

Germany announced war against France; German army entered Belgium to attack France; Britain warned Germany to retract army from Belgium.


4th August 1914

Britain announced war against Germany after it didn’t return army from Belgium.


12th August 1914

Britain and France announce war against Austria-Hungary.


20th October 1914

First Ypres war began; Armies killed in huge numbers in Ypres City in Belgium.


24th May 1915

Italy announced war against Austria-Hungary


15th October 1915

Britain announced war against Bulgaria.


27th August 1916

Romania announced war against Austria-Hungary.


28th August 1916

Italy announced war against Germany.


6th April 1917

USA announced war against Germany.


7th August 1918

German army nearing defeat; Black day in German history.


9th November 1918

German Emperor Kaiser Williams II takes refuse in Holland.


28th June 1919

Paris Peace Convention; Versailles Treaty; End of War.


  • In 1914, the world was affected by a serious war which is known as First World War.
  • Causes of First World War: Groupism, Militarism, Economic Imperialism, The Character of William-II, Issue of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Problem of Balkan, Stern Nationalism and Newspaper and The Immediate Cause.

Questions and Answers

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The prince of Austria –Hungary Archduke Ferdinand and his wife Sophie Chotek were shooting dead while visiting Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia. A 19 year old student also a member of 'Black Hand' numbingly Gavrilo Principe was shot them dead. After a month of the murder of the couple, Austria –Hungary blamed Serbia for the murder. There was a telegram with some threatening messages.
From the event related to First World War, we can have a lesson that enmity exists in tiny things if not handled carefully. It was the immediate cause to break out the First World War. The political parties of Nepal go through different conflicting situation time and again. They exaggerate the issue and draw it as their favor. As a result, general people are suffering from various difficulties in times. In order to save our country from such possible conflict, I would like to suggest political parties of Nepal in the following ways:

  • Threatening each other does not have any meaning for settling down the problems. So, creating mutual consensus is very important.
  • Formation of unnatural groups for the sake of their own selfishness results misunderstanding and conflicts. This should be avoided strictly for better outlet.
  • Political consensus is vital for political parties keeping nation's prosperity at first.
  • Transparency should be maintained in the activities of political parties and maintain responsible attitude among the co-existing parties.

The world wars were the destructive acts in the history of the world. There was big loser of human lives and properties.
The differences on the basis of their consequences between the First and Second World War are as follows:

  • The dictatorship was founded after First World War but democratic changes were flourished at the end of Second World War.
  • Women started working openly in Europe due to the engagement of men in war during First World War but Second World War brought up technological development with industrial growth.
  • League of development was formed at the end of First World War but Second World War founded the Nations organization.

The similarities between the consequences of the first and Second World War are:
  • They were begun from the European countries
  • Two giant's hostiles were formed separating them as capitalist and communist.
  • Almost all the countries in the world were participated in the war.

The revenge is the cause of the war. We can feel it even in our daily life. The first and second wars proved it. The Serbian took the revenge murdering the prince and prince of Austria Hungary. In its return, Austria Hungary declares war on Serbia. All the powers of the world sided the either one. The allied countries blamed and loaded only to Germany for the First World War was as the revenge which couldn't be forgotten by German. As it got its favorable situation, it declared war on the allies. So, we can say the seed of the First World War brought the starting of the Second World War due to the revenge.

Date Chief Events
28 July 1914 Murder of Arch Duke Franz Ferdinand, Austrian Emperor Francis Joseph launches a war on Serbia
29 July 1914 Russia mobilized her army to defend Serbia
30 July 1914 Germany's ultimatum to Russia to withdraw her army
1 Aug 1914 Germany declared war on Russia
4 Aug 1914 England declared war on Germany
10 Aug 1914 Austria- Hungary invaded Russia
12 Aug 1914 Japan joined Triple Entente
20 Aug 1914 First Battle of "Ypres"
23 Aug 1914 Italy joined Triple Entente and declared war on Austria
15 Oct 1915 England attacked Bulgaria
22 Feb 1916 Germany opened the battle of Verdun.

The terms of ultimatum sent by Austro-Hungarian Empire to Serbian king Peter were that Serbia must:

  • Suppress the Black Hand society.
  • Allow the Austrian authorities to investigate the criminal activities in Bosnia
  • That Serbia must respond to the terms of ultimatum within 48 hours.

The list of allied power, axis or central power and national countries involved in the First World War are as follows:
Allied power- Britain, France, Russia, Portugal, Italy Romania and Serbia,
Axis or central power- Germany, Austria, and Ottoman Empire.
National countries- Spain, Switzerland, Albania, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Iran

1914 AD: This was the year when the First World War broken out. It started in Europe but had its influence all over the world. The worldwide politics was affected including Nepal. The war continued till 1918 and Germany was accused of the war and had to make reparation to the winning countries.

(The First World War was held between 1914-1918 with the main involvement of the powerful European countries and indirect involvement of other smaller countries. It was fought in various parts in the world. It is presented below in the form of dialogue.)
Student- Excuse me sir, the first world war completed after five years of fierce power test. Whoever suffered in whatever way but what were the social, political and economic results in the world? Would you explain them?
Teacher- Of course it brought such results in the world. It brought social results adversely. Many people were left out as orphans, women as widows. Children were parentless and homeless. Those who were alive, they had no support to live normal life. Living dependently was a great torture and a pain. Chemicals and other uses bought diseases which were incurable. When people moved to other places for safety, there was migration too.
Students- What kinds of economic results were observed thereafter?
Teacher- Well, there were seen many economic hazards. The expenses of the countries were worthless, untouchable. Physical infrastructures like hospitals, college, buildings, and personal houses were massively destroyed. Huge use of expensive Weapons brought no more than losses and wastages. Germany and Austria were compelled to pay huge compensation over the victorious countries. The industries were closed, destroyed. People were forced to either work on cheap wages and exploitation. Countries had to bear huge economic problems for their reconstruction and the development.
Student- Sir, what kind of political results did it bring?
Teacher- Listen, the war ended with the badly affected loss of Germany, Austria and the countries supporting them. The Pans Peace Settlement led to the Versailles Treaty which was a huge domination and suppression over Germany. It brought no more pacifying results but sense of revenge and aggression against the victorious countries. The place captured by Germany earlier was again seized like: Alsace and Lorraine, Eupan and Mamady, Scheloweig, Silesia and so many colonies. The defeated countries had later rose up in a new political scenario with the rise of dictations there. Hitler in Germany, Mussolini in Italy, General Franco in Spain. They played such a role later which became the base for the rise of the Second World War.

The UNO was established in 1945. And the reasons for the establishment of UNO are as follows:

  • The war was going more destructive and it was sure to pain the existence and properties, so there was felt an emergency of such an organization that could solve the potentials of war fare activities.
  • It was aimed at developing the tolerance and lives together in peace and harmony as good neighbors.
  • It was established to stop war and the rights of people to live peacefully.
  • It was established to employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all the people.

  • The first world war was started on

    1937 AD
    1916 AD
    1914 AD
    1919 AD
  • Formally the Austria government declared war against Serbia on

    28th July 1914
    18th May 1916
    28th June 1914
    18th July 1914
  •  World power of down fall was the principle of

    Alfred Nobel
    Sophie Chotek
  • Bosnia and Hergovina were kept in Austria by the Berlin Convention of?

    1878 AD
    1998 AD
    1868 AD
    1887 AD
  • Peter Blaming was a

    Prince of Serbia
    King of Germany
    King of Serbia
    Prince of Austria-Hungary
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