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Nick Richardson

Period 6 World History Honors

WWI Debate: Closing Statement
The Great War was caused by a plethora of mistakes made by the various countries including
but not limited to: Political incompetency, code of conduct violations, unnecessary involvement in the
war, and military strategy faults. Nationalism, militarism, and imperialism were the underlying causes of
the war, but once it had started, the complex alliance systems and unnecessary entering into the war is
what caused the globalization. Specifically, the nation of Germany was reckless and acted foolishly,
vastly underestimating its adversaries, specifically the nations of France, and Great Britain. The Germans
messing around in west Africa, as well as executing the von Schleiffen plan were just two of the
mistakes that would later cost them nearly half of their country, and almost 450 billion dollars. The
Schleiffen plan was their biggest mistake. While the Germans were potentially facing a two front war,
that in no way justifies the act of invading a neutral country, and executing of 6,500 civilians in The
Rape of Belgium. The Germans vastly underestimated the resolve of Great Britain; despite the fact the
Great Britain explicitly warned them that they would not tolerate any military action in Belgium. On the
East front of the war, unnecessary involvement in the war is a huge factor. At the beginning of the war,
contrary to popular belief, the Serbians had no official allies, least of all Russia. The Russians were solely
interested in trade influence in the Balkan Region, not helping Serbia. Russia entered the war keeping
only political and economic gains in mind, not the safety or independence of Serbia. Entering the war at
all was unnecessary and only served to drag France into the war, who was only honoring its alliance. In
fact, both the nations of Britain and France entered the war because of legitimate reasons, a claim that
no other country in the war can make. France entered the war entirely in self defense, to put it simply,
Germany attacked France, and France defended itself. Britain entered the war to defend the neutral
Belgium, who was under attack by the Germans. Regarding Austria-Hungary and Serbia, both were at
fault, but not so much so as the germans and Russians. As far as military code of conduct and typical
ethics are concerned, there is nothing wrong between a localized conflict between two countries. In
Nick Richardson
Period 6 World History Honors
other words, WWI could have been called the Austrian-Hungarian-Serbian War had the vast
globalization of the war not occurred. As explained early, the globalization was caused by faults by the
nation of Germany, and partly so of Russia. At the turn of the century, tensions were skyrocketing all
over Europe, and war was inevitable. Nevertheless, this does not justify any country for lighting the
match. The Serbian nationalist Princip and his group, known as Young Serbia were supplied with
weapons by Serbian officials, and trained by the terrorist, anti-Austria-Hungarian group Black hand. The
Serbian government clearly knew the assassination was going to happen, and did nothing. In fact, they
even aided the assassin. On the other hand, Austria-Hungarys preposterous ultimatum was obviously
just an attempt to start a war. In conclusion, the main countries at fault for starting the war were
Austria-Hungary and Serbia, but the country to be held most responsible for the globalization, and mass
devastation of the war is a clear choice, Germany.