What Led to World War 1 Essay

Submitted By Madisyn-Stapleton
Words: 958
Pages: 4

What Led to World War I

World War I was led by four topics; militarism, systems of alliances, imperialism, and nationalism. World War I was a global war centred in Europe that began on July 28, 1914 and lasted until November 11, 1918. From the time of its occurrence until the approach of World War II, it was called the World War or the Great War, then it was finally called World War I. More than 9 million combatants were killed, it was one of the deadliest conflicts in history. That is where the four topics come in, because militarism, systems of alliances, imperialism, and nationalism are what caused/led the war.

The first topic was militarism, the belief or desire of a government or people that a country should maintain a strong military capability and be prepared to use it aggressively to defend or promote national interests. Militarism was used by Great Britain and Germany, as they both stocked up their military, preparing for war. Great Britain and Germany built up their navy and military for war as well.
Militarism was contributing factors to the outbreak of World War I. Increased military and naval rivalry led not only to the belief that war was coming and increase in military control of the civilian government also increased cooperation among the military staff of the countries of the same camp. For example, all the three Entente powers held secret military talks. The British and the French naval authorities agreed that the French navy should be concentrated in the Mediterranean and the British in the North Sea. Germany and Austria also had military agreements. When the First World War was fought, it was to be fought by all powers because they had made the military plan cooperatively. So militarism played a big part in World War I.

The second topic was system of alliances, a group of nations or people that worked together to achieve a certain goal. In World War I. system of alliances was a group of nations or people that worked together to attack an enemy nation. Russia and France had a defensive alliance. So again if either were attacked,the other was bound to join in the war on their side. Same as the last example, if either France or Russia started a war themselves by attacking another country, the other one wouldn't join in the new war. Britain guaranteed Belgian neutrality. This meant that if another country invaded Belgium,Britain was bound to declare war on that country to protect Belgium. Germany's alliance with Austria-Hungary was responsible for bringing it into the war, and for turning the war into a global crisis rather than a local one. Germany pledged to support Austria unconditionally in Austria's punishment of Serbia for the assassination of Franz Ferdinand. I feel that this example is quite different and more complicated than the other few examples that I found.

The third topic was imperialism, a policy of extending a country's power and influence through military force. The British Empire extended over five continents and France had control of large areas of Africa. With the rise of imperialism, 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. Britain’s empire was largely based on trade, particularly the importation of raw materials and the commercial sale of manufactured goods. A colony might also offer military advantages, such as a strategic location for naval bases or troops. By 1914 imperial conquest had almost run its course: there were relatively few parts of the world still available for colonization. The ‘scramble for Africa’ in the late 1800s saw European powers Britain, France, Germany and Belgium