On August 1914 after many years of increased tension and hostilities between European powers, who were divided into two powerful blocs, a war begun that would start as a local conflict and spread to engulf the whole of Europe. It was a war that had been unwitnessed in the history of mankind and resulted in the deaths of millions and the subsequent downfall of the old world order. On what exactly caused the Great War or World War 1 as it is also called, has been debated by historians of the past and present. Two major causes of the war could be argued. One of which is due to the growing opposition of nationalists to imperial control. This could particularly be seen in the Balkan region the friction between Austria-Hungarian Empire and the Slavic nationalists supported by the Russians. Another reason could be the great economic and imperial competition between major powers, especially between Britain, France and Germany and the other European nations. However it could also be argued that the cause for war was much more complicated then that. Militarism could be argued to have been spurned from the tensions caused by rebellious nationalists as well as growing national pride and also to protect imperial and economic interests from competitors. Also it could be claimed the factor that made the war different from past European wars and not a local war was the complex alliance system that was drawn all over Europe. .
Historians view on what caused the war has been ever changing. Directly after the war the popular belief was that Germany had forced the war on the allies, warranting the tough conditions of the treaty of Versailles. During the 1930s a more sympathetic outlook was taken by historians towards the Germans. It was unfair and too simple to just blame Germany, it was the fault of all of Europe. Finally towards the 1980s the viewed changed again when past government papers were revealed, that yes it was mainly Germany's fault.