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There were many underlying cause and one immediate cause of World War 1. Wars are large and complicated affairs. The First World War was the product of many, many things. Although the war officially began around 1914, it had been building up for a while. Nationalism, the love and support of one’s country, has always existed. At this time, however, it was so celebrated, it helped cause the First World War. The systems or process cause that allow for the proximate cause of an event to occur. Underlying causes may involve special-cause variation, common-cause variation, or both. That is the definition of underlying cause.

Immediate cause can be defined as follows the final act in a series of provocations leading to a particular result or event, directly producing such result without the intervention of any further provocation. There were many underlying cause of World War 1. For example, mutual defense alliances over time, countries throughout Europe made mutual defense agreements that would pull them into battle. So, if one country was attacked, allied countries were bound to defend them. Another reason is imperialism. Imperialism is when a country increases their power and wealth by bringing additional territories under their control.

Before World War 1, Africa and parts of Asia were points of contention amongst the European countries. This was especially true because of the raw materials these areas could provide. The increasing competition and desire for greater empires led to an increase in confrontation that helped push the world into World War I. Lastly, militarism, as the world entered the 20th century, an arms race had begun. By 1914, Germany had the greatest increase in military buildup. Great Britain and Germany both greatly increased their navies in this time period.

Further, in Germany and Russia particularly, the military establishment began to have a greater influence on public policy. This increase in militarism helped push the countries involved to war. The immediate cause was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. His assassin, Gavrillo Prinzip, a young Serbian student, shot him to death as he rode through Sarajevo. Prinzip’s motive is still unknown even until now. But from this incident stemmed a train of events that had the whole world embroiled in war within a few short weeks. The Austro-Hungarian government made demands upon the government of Serbia.

The Great Powers—Russia, France, Germany, Great Britain—found themselves unable or unwilling to act for prevention of a general European war. Instead, all the latent forces that had been gathering for decades and even centuries seemed to have found an outlet. The result, war! The First World War was a holocaust that “burned” and “seared” most of the nations of the world. The war had caused the deaths of millions and the destruction of numerous cities and farms. The European economy was in ruins. It would take years to recover. Germany experienced political turmoil after the war.