The First World War began as a regional European disagreement between Austria-Hungary and Serbia
on July 28, 1914. It took the shape of a universal European war when Germany declared war against Russia on 1st August 1914.Such mixed arguments in due course turned into a worldwide war involving sixty sovereign states, caused the downfall of four empires – German empire, Hapsburg Empire, Turkish Empire and Russian Empire and gave birth to seven new nations, took ten million lives (another 30 million were wounded), therefore the most bloody battle in history, and involved a huge expenditure. The war involved the great powers of the world brought together in two opposite alliances: the Allies (centred on the Triple Entente) and the Central Powers .The wars were also known as the Great War and The War to End All Wars.
The are innumerable causes behind the outbreak of the war but the immediate cause which set of the war is the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the next to ascend the throne of Austria, by a Serbian nationalist. The war was the zenith of the activities and antagonisms between different European nations. Many of the leaders of different nations involved had personal conflicts amongst each other which culminated in this war and cost so many lives as well as money. America was almost uninvolved from the beginning but German’s standpoint of unrestricted submarine warfare in 1917 led to America’s involvement.
The international affair in the 20th century was marked by imperialism, militarism, globalization and nationalism. The great powers like Great Britain, France, Russia and Germany were controlling world affairs. All these countries were involved in a mesh of conflicts in order to grab new markets in the world economy and materially flourish. Several conflicts came into being when Germany got entangled in conflict with Belgium and France. Austria and Hungary also openly came into conflict with Serbia. The Russian army attacked the Austro-Hungarian forces in the east but they were confronted by the German army. Countries throughout Europe made joint defence agreement, thus if one country was attacked allied countries would come forward to defend them. The alliance that existed amongst the countries before the war was: Russia and Serbia; Germany and Austria – Hungary; Britain and France and Belgium and Japan and Britain.
At the beginning of the 20th century militarism became very much conspicuous among the European nations. Germany enriched her military navy and arsenal forces. Militarism is interconnected with imperialism. Britain launched her war ship called Dreadnought and in response to it Germany launched her war ship called Panther. Further in Germany and Russia particularly the military establishment had a great influence on public policy. This increase in militarism drove the countries towards war.
Before the World War I, Africa and some countries in Asia like India were points of disagreement amongst the European countries. These parts of Africa and Asia would provide raw materials as well as act as dumping grounds for the imperialist powers. Therefore competition and desire for greater empires gave boost to the World War I.