Using Perry’s discussion as your source, make a list of possible “causes” of World War I. Given these factors, was the war inevitable? How might it have been avoided.
The First World War was brought about by a number of factors including the build up of military might by the forces of the Central powers. The assassination of the Serbian Archduke was simply a pretext to go to war with Germany looking to make large territorial gains in France especially the Saarland region and other territories which were deemed to be German.
The British and French had no real stomach for a fight so it is debatable why they actually went into the war themselves. Perhaps they felt they had obligations on the international stage and the French could have come to a negotiated settlement with the Germans on various issues such as land claims. However due to the aggressive nature of the German Kaiser, war seemed inevitable on this front.
The Russians also went into the war very ill prepared without much capacity to make a difference. The huge losses which they suffered precipitated the Tsar’s downfall. The differences between the nation states and their monarchies also perhaps were an intrinsic factor of the war as this precipitated political movement and more liberal ideas. In a sense the war was also inevitable as it sounded the death knell for the monarchy with several countries moving to a more pluralistic democracy. However if a political solution was on the table, the war could perhaps have been avoided but eventually this was highly unlikely.
Perry M; Western Civilisation Vol 2; New York, Houghton Mifflin Company, 2007, Print