|The Last Straw World War 1
Author: Maddy46 PM
"The assassination of Franz Ferdinand was 'the straw that broke the camel's back'". An essay that proves this statement to be true.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Words: 1,011 - Published: 03-27-12 - Status: Complete - id: 3008377
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"The assassination of Franz Ferdinand was 'the straw that broke the camel's back'".
I agree with this statement. Although the war probably would've happened anyway, without the assassination, the trigger of World War 1 was Franz Ferdinand's assassination.
First of all, historical events created tension and anger between the European countries. Secondly, countries' greed meant rivalries were formed. Thirdly, patriotism played a major part in the tension that was building up between countries. Also, jealousy was accountable for some of the bitterness between the nations. Lastly, fear had a key part in the build up to the First World War.
First of all, historical events created tension and anger between European countries. For instance, Austria-Hungary took over Bosnia. This angered Serbia, who felt that Bosnia should be their land. The Bosnian Crises nearly turned into war, when Serbia threatened war on Austria-Hungary. Russia, allied to Serbia, mobilised its forces, and Germany, being allied to Austria-Hungary, also mobilised its forces and prepared to threaten Russia with war. Russia backed down, and war was narrowly avoided.
Another example of a historical event that caused tension was the arrangement made at the end of the Franco-Prussian war that gave the French provinces Alsace and Lorraine to Germany. France was angry that Germany had a part of what had been their land, and therefore resented Germany.
A third example of a historical event was the Moroccan Crises. In 1904, Morocco was given to France by Britain, however, the Moroccan people wanted to be independent, and were supported by the Germans. The German Emperor knew that France wouldn't like this, and thought that France's ally, Britain, wouldn't agree with France and the two countries would terminate their alliance. The Emperor was wrong, however, as Britain agreed with France and the two countries continued with their alliance. The Crises didn't turn into war, but 7 years later, the Germans were protesting about the French possession of Morocco. Britain supported France, and they persuaded Germany to back down, for a part of French Congo.
Secondly, countries' greed meant rivalries were formed. Germany and Britain had a fierce competition, as both wanted to have control over the seas. Britain introduced, in 1906, the "Dreadnought", a fierce and effective battleship. Germany responded to this by introducing their own Dreadnoughts.
Russia wanted control of the Balkans, so that they would have access to the Mediterranean Sea. Austria-Hungary also wanted to control the area, for the same reason- it was close to the Mediterranean Sea. The Balkan area was also the only place outside of Russia with a good oil supply.
Thirdly, patriotism played a major part in the tension that was building up between countries. For instance, France, unhappy that Germany had taken Alsace-Lorraine, wanted it back. This was a major part of the increasing rivalry between France and Germany.
As well as the rising tension between Germany and France, Bosnia, who had been taken over by Austria-Hungary, wanted to be independent and rule themselves, instead of being subjected to Austria-Hungary's leadership.
Also, jealousy was accountable for some of the bitterness between the nations. A major example of jealousy shown in the lead-up to World War 1 is Germany's jealousy of Britain and France's empires. They (Germany) had started too late in the rush for colonies, and only managed to acquire small parts of Africa.
Another example of jealousy, also shown by Germany, was the envy of Britain's Navy. Germany wanted control of the seas, instead of Britain, and a competition went on for mastery. Britain had a habit of controlling the seas, and Germany knew that they wouldn't have a chance at eating them if it came to a naval battle. For this reason, they tried to avoid battle with them at sea. Both countries spent a significant amount of time building up their Navy's. In 1906, Britain revealed the "Dreadnought", and effective battleship. Germany introduced their own Dreadnoughts in response.
Lastly, fear had a key part in the build up to the First World War. Austria-Hungary feared Russia's power in the Balkans. Russia, the largest Slav state, believed itself to be the Balkan leader, and supported the idea of "pan-slavism", a movement to unite all of the people with Slavic ancestry. It would mean the union of several Balkan states and part of Austria-Hungary. For this reason, pan-slavism wasn't supported by Austria-Hungary. Austria-Hungary feared the power Russia possessed in the Balkans, and, as they were opposed to pan-slavism, while Russia were not, they took over Bosnia, so as to anger Serbia, Russia's Balkan ally.
Germany became very economically and industrially successful very quickly, and, when they started to improve their Navy, Britain began to worry. They felt Germany would be a threat against their large empire, and feared that Germany would use its Navy against them. The race for mastery of the seas also led to distrust between the two countries. Both were developing their Navy's out of fear that the other would be able to defeat them if it came to a battle, and neither of them wanted to let the other have control of the sea.
These five factors caused a build up of tension, rivalries and resentment between the countries of Europe. The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, carried out by Gavrilo Princip, a Serbian Secret Society member, was simply the one action that was just too much to handle with everything else, and caused World War 1 to start. Although the war probably would've happened anyway, with all of the historical events, greed, patriotism, jealousy and fear, causing tension, the assassination just set the war into motion a little earlier than it might have been.