what extent was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand the cause of the
outbreak of World War One?Several
factors contributed to the outbreak of World War One, for example the
assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the alliance system and the naval
race. The alliance system and the naval race caused the outbreak of war, to a
certain extent; however they were not the most important factors as these
events created tension but did not start the war. The assassination of Archduke
Franz Ferdinand was the most important factor in the outbreak of World War one
as it provided the initial spark to start the war.
On 28th June 1914,
Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia.
He and his wife, Sophie were travelling through Sarajevo to the town hall,
however seven assassins were positioned on route. The initial assassination
attempt by Nedeljko Cabrinovic failed because the hand grenade that was thrown
bounced off the car and hit the car behind. However, later that day the driver
took a wrong turn and another assassin named Gavrilo Princip shot the Archduke
Franz Ferdinand and his wife. Gavrilo Princip was part of a secret Serbian
organisation, The Black Hand. The Austro Hungarian government believed that the
Serbians had helped the The Black Hand in the attack; therefore they sent a
list of harsh demands to Serbia called the ultimatum, which Serbians rejected.
This then led to war as Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia who was allied
to Russia. When Russia mobilised its war machine to defend Serbia, Germany
declared war on Russia. France was then drawn in as an ally of Russia. Germany
attacked France which in turn brought Britain into the war as an ally of
France. “”Serbia bore the greatest
responsibility for the outbreak of WW1,” Evans says, “and Serbian
backing for the Black Hand terrorists was extraordinarily irresponsible.”
(The week newspaper, April 7th 2017, Arion McNicoll)
evidence suggests the alliance system and the naval race were important factors
in the outbreak of the war but it can be argued that the assassination of the
Archduke Franz Ferdinand was the most important factor. The assassination in
Sarajevo provided a spark to start the war and also caused the alliance system
to come into play. However, the naval race was just a build up of events and
required a spark in order to start a war.
1914 Europe was divided into two armed camps, the triple Entente and the triple
alliance. The Triple alliance consisted of Italy, Germany and Austria-Hungary.
The Triple Entente consisted of Britain, Russia and France. The alliance system is when countries join forces to
achieve a certain goal, so when they are in need, the other country or countries
can help them out. These alliances were important because it made some
countries act in a more confident, aggressive manner as they knew that they
would have support in the event of a war. Alliances were genuinely formed
in secret and then later revealed to the public.
It is clear that the alliance system caused seven countries, Britain,
France, Belgium, Serbia, Austria, Germany and Russia, to go into conflict with
each other in a short space of time. It was the rivalry between the two camps,
the Triple alliance and the Triple entente, that caused the war. The alliance
system was an important factor in the outbreak of world war one as it created
tension between the two alliances.
However, it can be
argued that the alliance system was not the most important factor in the
outbreak of war as it was just a build up of events and there was no spark to
start a war unlike the assassination of Franz
naval race was the least important factor in the cause of the outbreak of World
War One. The naval race was a race between Britain and Germany over the
strength and size of their navy. The German emperor wanted to have an empire
the same as the British, by having a large and powerful navy. At this point
Britain had the most powerful navy. Therefore, he ordered several large,
powerful boats but the British got one up on him and in 1906 built a
dreadnought, a fast and dangerous boat, better than all other battleships. Not
long after Germany launched the Nassae, a similar battleship. The naval race
created tension and competition between the British and the Germans.
illustrates that the naval race was an important factor in the outbreak of the
war as it created tension and competition between Britain and Germany. On the
other hand, the naval race was not the most important factor in the outbreak of
the war as it didn’t actually start the war it only created tension. Therefore
the assassination of Franz Ferdinand was the most important factor in the
outbreak of World War One as it was the event the caused the war.
it is clear that, the alliance system and the naval race were not the most
important factors in the outbreak of world war one. The naval race only caused
tension between Germany and Britain therefore no other countries was involved.
The alliance system built tension over a long period of time, but was not the
most important factor in the outbreak of war. The assassination of Franz
Ferdinand was the most important factor as it was the event that caused the
initial spark to start the war.