Origins Of World War I Essay

1496 words - 6 pages

Many factors of causation lead up to the explosion of World War One. These causations are both preconditions and precipitants. The preconditions are factors that had built up over a long term; whereas the precipitants are catalysts or short term factors. The preconditions are as pointed toward war as the arms race and the treaties, such as the Entente Cordial and the Triple Alliance; or less war intentional such as Nationalism and Imperialism. The precipitants are events that include the assassination of Arch Duke Franz Ferdinand.
Rudyard Kipling’s poem “The White Man’s Burden” articulates the imperialism of the English empire into India, Cambodia, China, and Africa. The English ...view middle of the document...

I think that it is safe to conclude that the writer of this letter is biased and a British missionary. The boasting of British treatment to the natives is rather flattering however; Geo Williams writes of the trickery that the whites played on the natives of the Congo in order to obtain treaties. According to Williams several sleight of hand tricks were performed; such as using batteries to shock the natives knew they shook hands with a white, or using a glass held in the sunlight to light a cigar so it appeared that the whites had a direct relationship with the sun. All such tricks were to make the natives believe that the whites were gods. The accounts written in this letter were written by Geo. W. Williams who was an American uninvolved in the Congo mission is probably not biased like British missionaries; with that thought in mind it can be easily concluded as to why Germany was feed up Britain’s global influence.
Nationalism is a major precondition to the war. The Imperialism, which England is spreading, has a huge impact on Germany. Germany feels threatened by England’s power. Bernard Von Bülow expresses German nationalism in his Speech before the Reichstag. “We don’t want to step on the toes of any foreign power, but at the same time we don’t want our own feet tramped by any foreign power and we don’t intend to be shoved aside by any foreign power, not in political nor in economic terms.” Germany sees other countries, such as England, as a threat to their identity as a world leader. Germany looks at England who possess colonies, a powerful army and navy; and wonders that if Britain has them so should Germany. Emperor Wilhelm agrees in this idea of “Weltpolitik,” that it is Germany’s time to become a world power and spread its influence worldwide. Germany is tired of England getting to dictate other empires, such as the empire in Africa, and decides that it is time to step in and rise to world power. Germany’s nationalism creates a foreign policy as they advance in the search to gain power. According to Bishop Strossmayer in his letter to Mr. Gladstone, the Slavic nation is a prime example of nationalism. “You know that we Slavs wish the Greeks every happiness and every freedom. If it depended on us Greek aspirations would soon be fulfilled, within their just limtis…”
The race for advanced weapons was a key element in the causation of World War One. Germany was quickly collecting weapons to gain power and claim their rightful place as a world leader, “Nietzshe”. Germany like England must have protection for their commerce and manifold interests. This arms race in addition to the view of other countries as threats, leads to the formation of alliances. The two alliances during World War one were Entente Cordial and the triple alliance. The formation of the Entente made Germany feel alone and threatened, so in response Germany formed the Triple Alliance (national honor). “National honour is no party...

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