Top 10 Must Read Topics for IAS Mains GS Paper 1 | Primary Causes of World War 1 & 2: From the Year 2013, the Union Public Service Commission introduced a few changes in the exam pattern and syllabus of the Civil Services Mains Examination. As per this updated pattern, 4 General Studies (GS) Papers along with One Essay and Optional Paper each are introduced.
All the UPSC IAS aspirants are now preparing for IAS Mains 2017. The problem is that no matter how good & knowledgeable we think we are or how good we feel we have prepared for the exam there is always a certain level of uncertainty. To overcome this fear, we will be sharing Top 10 Must Read Topics for IAS Mains GS Paper 1.
Top 10 Must Read Topics for IAS Mains GS Paper 1 | Primary Causes of World War 1& 2
Today we will discuss the next Topic. Below mentioned is the explanation of the said topic.
World War 1
World War I occurred between July 1914 and November 11, 1918. By the end of the war, over 17 million people had been killed, including over 100,000 American troops. While the causes of the war are infinitely more complicated than a simple timeline of events, and are still debated and discussed to this day, the list below provides an overview of the most frequently-cited events that led to war.
Causes of World War 1
The immediate cause of World War I that made the aforementioned items come into play (alliances, imperialism, militarism, nationalism) was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary. In June 1914, a Serbian-nationalist terrorist group called the Black Hand sent groups to assassinate the Archduke.
Mutual Defence Alliance
Over time, countries throughout Europe made mutual defense agreements that would pull them into battle. These treaties meant that if one country was attacked, allied countries were bound to defend them. Before World War 1, the following alliances existed:
- Russia and Serbia
- Germany and Austria-Hungary
- France and Russia
- Britain and France and Belgium
- Japan and Britain
Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, Russia got involved to defend Serbia. Germany seeing Russia mobilizing, declared war on Russia. France was then drawn in against Germany and Austria-Hungary. Germany attacked France through Belgium pulling Britain into war. Then Japan entered the war. Later, Italy and the United States would enter on the side of the allies.
Imperialism is when a country takes over new lands or countries and makes them subject to their rule. By 1900 the British Empire extended over five continents and France had control of large areas of Africa. With the rise of industrialism countries needed new markets. The amount of lands ‘owned’ by Britain and France increased the rivalry with Germany who had entered the scramble to acquire colonies late and only had small areas of Africa.
World War II
World War 2 was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945, although related conflicts began earlier. It involved the vast majority of the world’s countries—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. It was the most widespread war in history, and directly involved more than 100 million people from over 30 countries.
Causes of World War 2
A lot of events throughout the world led to the beginning of World War 2. In many ways, World War 2 was a direct result of the turmoil left behind by World War 1. Below are some of the main causes of World War 2.
Treaty of Versailles
The Treaty of Versailles ended World War I between Germany and the Allied Powers. Because Germany had lost the war, the treaty was very harsh against Germany. Germany was forced to “accept the responsibility” of the war damages suffered by the Allies. The treaty required that Germany pay a huge sum of money called reparations. The problem with the treaty is that it left the German economy in ruins. People were starving and the government was in chaos.
The main terms of the Treaty of Versailles were:
- War Guilt Clause – Germany should accept the blame for starting World War One
- Reparations – Germany had to pay 6,600 million pounds for the damage caused by the war
- Disarmament – Germany was only allowed to have a small army and six naval ships. No tanks, no airforce and no submarines were allowed. The Rhineland area was to be de-militarised.
- Territorial Clauses – Land was taken away from Germany and given to other countries. Anschluss (union with Austria) was forbidden.
The period before World War II was a time of great economic suffering throughout the world called the Great Depression. Many people were out of work and struggling to survive. This created unstable governments and worldwide turmoil that helped lead to World War II.
Interesting Facts about the Causes of World War 2
- Because of the Great Depression, many countries were experiencing strong fascist and communist movements including France and Great Britain prior to the war.
- Prior to World War 2, the United States attempted to stay out of world issues with a policy of isolationism. They were not members of the League of Nations.
- As part of their appeasement policy, Britain and France agreed to let Hitler have part of Czechoslovakia in the Munich Agreement.
- Czechoslovakia had no say in the deal. The Czechoslovakians called the agreement the “Munich Betrayal.” Japan had taken over Korea, Manchuria, and a significant part of China before World War 2 began.