Category: History Essay

It can be easily assumed that causes of World War I were born in the 19th century when the strong splash of civilizations took place. Such new powers as Germany and Italy once wished to establish themselves in the same row with old countries – Russia, France, and Britain, thus adjusting to new social ideological norms. The matter related to the causes of World War I remains one of the most heated debates in the world’s historiography since August 1914. Due to this reason, historians prefer using different approaches to the investigation of this problem. An institutional explanation of the causes of World War I may bring societies to the understanding of why it had actually occurred as a mystery to ordinary people and whether it was planned on purpose to establish a new balance of power and circle of influence. Presumably, World War I was neither sudden nor impossible to contemplate as the previous centuries brought an increase in intercultural misunderstandings and a social crisis in response to the formation of entirely new worldviews and social systems.

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Generally, representatives of historical institutionalism tend to identify the institutional impact, following different political actors: the interests of the organization, ideological or social values peculiar to certain institutions – rather than to define them as the aggregation of individual interests and preferences. Conversely, the individual interests and preferences are not determined independently from the institutions, and political behavior is not linked directly to the individual intentions. Generalizations are built not by deductive reasoning with respect to the patterns of behavior, but based on a comparison of institutions, a comparative analysis of the political process or historical cases. Therefore, an institutional explanation of the causes of World War I would shed light on all the traces of the formation of an evident cult related to the concept of hostility prevalent at the end of the 19th and at the beginning of the 20th centuries. Doyle proves that the theory of institutionalism can be applied in the context of World War as any other modern theories intended for explaining the overall causes of different phenomena.

The search of the causes of World War I leads to 1871 when the hegemony of Prussia was enshrined in the German Empire. To deprive France of an opportunity to avenge the defeat in the Franco-Prussian War, Bismarck attempted to link Russia and Austria-Hungary and Germany in a secret agreement in 1873. However, Russia put forward its claims in support of France and the Union of three emperors broke up. In 1882, Bismarck strengthened Germany’s position, creating the Triple Alliance that united Austria-Hungary, Italy, and Germany. By 1890, Germany came to the forefront of European diplomacy. However, it is incorrect to state that the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand by a Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip is one of the causes of the conflict that had grave consequences for the whole world. David Fromkin suggested that the assassination was just a mere occasion that accelerated the tendency. The historian demonstrates that the relationship between Franz Ferdinand and Wilhelm was far more complex than it appeared on the surface. He also states that the world of the 1890s and 1900s had been, not unlike our own age, a time