The catalyst for Great War was the assignation of Archduke Francis but was not the sole reason, there were much deeper reasons for the war. The cause of Great War, which is also known as World War I, was many things but the main cause was intense nationalism and a struggle for power in not only the continent of Europe but also the whole wide world. Due to the nationalist fervor spreading throughout, it resulted in the idea of self-determination, which is defined as the idea of peoples with the same ethnic origins, language, and political ideals had the right to form sovereign states, which led to create nationalism movement that led to the birth of nations such as Italy, Germany, and Belgium. Nationalism was still stirring in other parts of Europe namely Eastern Europe and the Balkans. The aspirations of certain subject minorities threaten to rupture the vast empires of both the Ottoman and Habsburg dynasties. The stage was set when Russia supported Serbia and the ideals of Slavic cultural unite, in contrast the country of Germany supported Austria-Hungary, which was fuel to an already burning fire.
These were intense national rivalries which led to aggressive nationalism which was the economical competition and conflicts in the colonies which pitted the big players of the European nations. All the industrialized countries in Europe competed among one another for foreign markets and engaged in tariff wars. The biggest and fierce rivalry was with Great Britain and Germany, due to Germany’s rise of industrialization was a threat to Great Britain’s long tenure of economic predominance. There was a naval race in which Germany tried to compete and with Great Britain’s naval superiority. Led by desire for security, rising national rivalries, and nationalist aspirations created a regime of alliances. The outlined the circumstance in which countries would fight along in a war to support each other. This resulted into the hostile sides of the Triple Alliance and the Triple Entente.
The outbreak of war in inevitable because the military leaders of each nation placed military plans and timetable for the preparation of war. When the announcement of the war happened, there was dancing and celebration on the streets. This was the first time that belligerent nations engaged in total war. The declarations of war is when the Austrians gave the Serbian Government an ultimatum, but then the Serbians ultimate rejected on its terms which resulted Austria-Hungary declaring war on Serbia. The sequence of events can be understood by specifically two factors which was complex mobilization plans and the grinding logic of the alliance system. The Russian government readied their troops and had them move to protect its ally Serbia. Due to the Schlieffen plan (which was to eliminate France immediately before Russia is able to mobilize its troops in time; this was all to avoid war on two fonts), Germany right away invaded Belgium in order to get a get position against France. When Great Britain demanded the Germans to respect Belgium’s net neutrality, the Germans refused which transformed a local conflict into a general war.
In order to keep the nationalism pride on a high level on the home front, Government used many type of propaganda which ranged from restricting civil liberties, censorship of bad news, and making the enemies looking like villains. Those who criticized the war effort were labeled as traitors, and sentenced to death. The government portrayed victory as the only means to survival, and continued to dehumanize the enemy. National self-determination was another weakness that came to end the war. This was uneven way for the key ideas of the peacemaking process. They tried applying the principle of self-determination to various groups of people, and for strategic and security reasons, peoples were define the right to form one nation. The Great War had such a devastating effect, which humungous tolls of human causalities, and greatly weakened economics, led to the disintegration of political and cultural traditions.