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The Origins of World War I The origins of the World War I can be directly traced to the shifting balance of power in Europe and the rational responses of the major powers in regards to their respective security dilemmas The end of the 19th century introduced Europe to a power struggle defined by multi-polarity With the absence of a clear hegemony or dominant political economic and military power Europe was left highly unstable This instability threatened the security of every European nation and the popular solution was the establishment of mutual defense agreements These alliances included Germany siding with ailing Austria-Hungary while France found an unlikely ally in the rapidly improving Russia The major powers had now begun a destructive arms race with a future destined for crisis This pressure of multi-polarity eventually became too great and the states succumbed to the strain of their security dilemmas with mobilization the result This essay will first fuse a theoretical and historical account of the Great War and explain that it was the result of Germanys preventative motivation to halt the Russian Empires invariable rise and bid for hegemony Germany looked to obtain the hegemonic status before it was too late and they would be the victims of Russias equivalent game plan for supremacy Second it will reveal that it was Germanys push for a quick and decisive battle that led to the rapid mobilization throughout Europe which could not be reversed Germany did not want war but they had to take the rational risk of attrition with a decisive victory on two fronts Lastly the essay will outline the certain structural factors that guaranteed war in 1914 by illustrating how inflexible mobilization in an anarchic Europe created the most destructive crisis the world had ever seen When the German speaking people united in 1871 it effectively threatened every other power in Europe as Germany had now gained significant industrial strength This
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