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Why, and with What Results, Was the First World War Not Confined to Europe?

By msandrews Feb 14, 2012 594 Words
Why, and with what results, was the First World War not confined to Europe?
There is not one apparent reason for the cause of the First World War. However, the First World War was initially started within Europe and surrounding areas around it. One can say that the war was not totally within it the boundaries. There were countries outside of Europe like Africa, Asia, Japan and the United States of America that made a major contribution to it as well. The countries outside of Europe were having battles within their country’s and allies. Causes include but were not limited to one individual factor, ideals like nationalism, imperialism and militarism. In addition, the major alliance structures of Great Britain, France, Germany, Austria-Hungary and Russia immensely affected the start of the war.

During the 19th century each country wanted to affirm their country as the greatest. This idea spread all across Europe with the belief of taking care of your country own first. Each country carried their country on a pedestal and became obsessive nationalist that set out to have their country be the richest and greatest. The wave of pride surpassed all expectations and in turns caused a major problem for Austria-Hungary and Serbia.

With Europe’s self made power, they attempted to force their country’s beliefs on other countries. This form of Imperialism caused resistance and rivalry. Some of the first known clashes of the war involved British, French and German colonial forces in Africa. As a matter of fact, On August 7th, French and British troops invaded the territory of German’s Togoland. Then, On August 10th, the German forces in South-West Africa sporadically attacked South Africa with fierce fighting that continued throughout the rest of the war. The German colonial force in German East Africa was led by Colonel Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck. They fought a guerrilla warfare campaign during World War I. This part of the war proves that the war was not only identified within Europe’s boundary.

To mention a few, The Central Powers consisted of the triple alliance of Germany and Austria-Hungary. This began in 1879 because Bismarck made friends with the Austro-Hungarian Empire. They both agreed to help one another in times of need and especially the Russian attack. This would ensure that they would always have protection and allied nations.

On September 11, the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force landed on the island of Neu Pommern and formed part of German New Guinea. Japan apprehended Germany's Micronesian colonies. Within a few months, the Allied forces had seized all the German territories in the Pacific, isolating the commerce raiders and a few holdouts in New Guinea.

The United States pursued a non intervention policy attempting to avoiding conflict and keep peace. In 1915, the German U-boat sank with 128 Americans aboard. The United States President Woodrow Wilson vowed that America is too proud to fight. This demanded an end to attacks on passenger ships in which Germany acted accordingly. The United States was never became a member of the Allies. However, they became a self-styled "Associated Power".

Throughout, Europe was sought to be the main appearance in the First World War, however it was not so limited to the fact. There were many countries besides the ones in Europe that were present and active in World War I. If it wasn’t from the actual battles being present there, it was the alliance system that Europe desired to have through the other continents.

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