Causes of World War One
The First World War was one of the most immense conflicts of European History. As Woodrow Wilson said, World War 1 would be "the war to end all wars." "Between 1914 - 1918, over 100 countries from Africa, America, Asia, Australasia and Europe were part of the conflict." (Wilde) The reasons for the declaration of war were varied and related back to the uprising of different ideologies before 1914. Some historians, like Joachim Remak, say that WW1 was simply "the Third Balkan War that got out of hand". (Wuzumi, 2011) Remak was born in Berlin and thus sympathized with the German plight. The five prominent causes that brought about large-scale war in the early 20th century were militarism, imperialism, common defense alliances, nationalism, and the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.
The turn of the century marked the beginning of an arms race. Countries were battling to become the most superior military power. This rise in militarism was one of the long-term effects of WW1. "This (militarism) is not just an arms race, but also a government's attitude of mind, seeing war as a valid means of foreign policy." (Claire, 2004) In 1914 Germany had established the greatest military stronghold. Great Britain, in response, vastly increased the size and capability of its navy. "Further, in Germany and Russia particularly, the military establishment began to have a greater influence on public policy." (Kelly, 2007) Militarism controlled politics and social outlooks. The battle for supreme military power and the arms race drew the nations of Europe and around the world into conflict.
Imperialism was another important cause of the First World War. "Countries who believed that they were superior thought it was alright to conquer and rule others '" particularly if they were inhabited by races they thought were inferior. This is why countries like Britain, France, Belgium and Italy thought it was acceptable to colonize vast areas of Africa...
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