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World War I
Caused by tension in Europe4 Main Causes
Cause #1: Militarism- development of armed forces (stronger land army, naval race…)
Cause # 2: Alliance System- treaties signed to assist and support
Cause # 3: Imperialism- Global competition led to conflict
Cause # 4: Nationalism- belief that national interests and unity should come first
Nationalism weakened eastern Europe (controlled by Austria-Hungary, Russia, and the Ottoman empire)
Nationalist groups wanted independence
Tension was especially high in the BalkansAs countries gained independence there was constant fighting over borders
Area became known as the “powder keg of Europe”
Austria-Hungary and Russia took advantage of tensions to increase their control in these areas
Austria added Bosnia to its empire, which angered Serbia because many Serbs lived there
The actual war began when a man linked to a Serbian terrorist group assassinated the archduke of Austria while he visited (today) Bosnia
The War: The war lasted for 4 years and was fought between two major alliances
Allies – U.S., Britain, France, Russia, Belgium, Serbia, Greece, Romania, Montenegro, Portugal, Italy, and Japan
Central Powers – Austria-Hungary, Germany, Bulgaria, and Turkey (Ottoman Empire)
The US joins in 1917 after the Germans announce they will resume using U-Boat warfare and the Zimmerman note is revealed.
War comes to an end when Germany asks for an armistice (peace agreement) in 1918
Causes of WW I Mutual Defense Alliances Imperialism Militarism
Key Terms – Causes of World War I
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