Causes of WW1
World War I, fought in the years 1914-1919, had several causes. One main event leading up to the war, was the assassination of Franz Ferdinand on June 28, 1914. While some major events led to the war, these events go much deeper. The four causes are: nationalism, imperialism, militarism, and alliances. All of these causes contributed to the start of the war equal-handedly.
The first cause that led to the outbreak of war was nationalism. Nationalism defines as the belief that one’s greatest loyalty should be to a nation of people who share a common culture and history. This characteristic can serve as a unifying force within one country, but when several countries come in to play, it can lead to problems with them wanting to overpower each other. For example, Great Britain had been Europe’s leader of industry, finance, and shipping until 1850. After 1850, was when other nations (like Germany) began to compete with Britain for the upper hand. Not only was nationalism a contributing factor to World War I, but imperialism was as well. Imperialism - the takeover of a country or territory by a stronger nation with the intent of dominating the political, economic, and social life of people of that nation – made European nations’ rivalry and mistrust in each other grow. This mission of taking over other countries pushed nations in Europe to the edge of war. For example, in 1905 and 1911, Germany and France nearly fought over who would control Morocco in Northern Africa. But, with most of Europe supporting France, Germany eventually gave up. Another cause of World War I was militarism, or the belief that a country should maintain a strong military. European nations believed that to be truly great, their military needed to be powerful. Large, strong armies made the people within one country feel patriotic. The characteristics of a good military were the ability to mobilize quickly, organize, and move troops. One such country who had...
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