4.5c Military Training
Compulsory military training was introduced in most of the European countries. There was a rat race among all the European countries for Naval and land supremacy. They were also occupied in building warships. Advanced countries were spending as much as 85 - 89% of their total revenue for the purpose of defense.
4.5d Spirit of Nationalism
Every nation considered herself to be superior to the other and to prove this as a fact became absolutely necessary for them. The self-contendedness of the nations and their concern for being the best was an important reason for the war. To gain their selfish motives, these nations were busy expanding their colonies.
Germany had crushed France and annexed Lorraine and Alsace. Now France was looking for her turn to avenge the humiliation.
4.5e Absence of Inter nation Sovereignty
Horrible signs of chaos were seen all over Europe. Every country was free to do whatever it desired to do. The respect for international law was absent. No definite rules, regulations or policies were set. No respect or loyalty towards the pacts or treaties existed. Every nation looked towards the other with suspicion. Any nation could violate the international law. The opinion of people was not considered important.
In European nations, the rulers and administrators started to violate the opinions of the general public. The diplomatic policies were kept confidential even from the legislatures of the nations. The ministry of foreign matters became a center of fraudulence. Bribery and corruption were deeply rooted in the system.
4.5f Part of Media Press
The media was also responsible for preparing people mentally for the war. They instigated the feeling of hatred for the other countries and boosted its (warís) importance. Every journal and newspaper of a nation dwelt upon the smallest incident. This adversely effected the public opinion.
4.5g Importance of Kaiser William II
Kaiser William II was of the opinion that his country,
Germany, should rise to become a leading world power. If this did
not happen, Germany would plumb to abysmal depths. With this object
in his mind, he deepened the Keil Canal and made warships like torpedo
boats. He strongly believed that he who succeeds is never wrong,
and that a good war follows every cause. He followed the Austrian
policy with regard to the Balkan Peninsula. Kaiser William II also
secured a permit for the construction of the Baghdad-Berlin Railway
through which he made pacts with Turkey.
4.5h Policy of Austria
The policy of Austria was much talked about as far as the Balkan issue was concerned. In the Balkan Wars, Austria prevented Serbia from advancing towards the Aegean Sea. Besides this, Austria had captured Bosnia and Herzegovina (1908).
4.5i The Immediate Cause
The situation was ready for the war. It just required a spark and this was provided by the murder of the Austrian Prince, Archduke Ferdinand and his wife. They were assassinated in the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo. The relations of Austria-Hungary and Serbia were already strained. On 28th July, 1914, Austria declared war on Serbia.
This Great War was a result of escalating animosities prevailing among the European powers, especially the hostility between France and Germany, between Germany and Russia. England was against Germany as it was becoming powerful and Russia was pitted against Austria. Therefore, the responsibility of the war can be attributed to Austria, Germany, England, Italy and France. They made this into a World War.