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The Main Cause Of World War I: Imperialism Or Alliances?

1368 words - 5 pages

The first world war, also known as the Great War, was called great, because never has there been a war before with such scale that has caused so many lives and destruction from 1914 – 1918. The industrial revolution, the rise of the masses and sweeping changes in society added up for all the tension between European nations. On the summer of 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo, marking a start, but a single bullet must not only be the reason to begin a war. Countless historians still debate what the main cause is for World War 1. Was it imperialism, militarism, growing nationalism, or connected alliances? They may have all contributed to world war 1. However two main causes heavily influence the start of the war, and that is Imperialism, that has set upon jealousy amongst other nations, and the growing alliances between the allies, which were Russia, Britain and France, and the central powers of Germany, Austria – Hungary and Turkey. These two main causes greatly impacted the first world war, which people thought would have ended on Christmas of 1914, but has continued far long enough for years, that would change history.
With the turn of the 20th century, power and expansion went hand in hand in Europe, in the form of Imperialism. Imperialism meant controlling other countries and taking over by military, economic, and political forces (52). During 19th century, the industrial revolution changed all systems of European nations. Due to the industrial revolution, many European countries needed a lot of resources but their own resources were not enough. Therefore, they conquered other countries and brought numerous amount of raw materials from their colonies. The powerful European countries took over a lot of countries growing into their own big empires, establishing prestige. Many modern historians say that Imperialism is one of the important causes of the World War I, because Imperialism caused a lot of big conflicts among the European countries. Conflicts rose out of Imperialism because of various events.
At that time, Italy and Germany were the newest nations to have formed and united (Brendon 7), so they were trying to get more colonies at the hopes of establishing themselves but Britain and France had several colonies across Africa and Asia and they were keeping effort to maintain their power and keep their colonies. Therefore, the surmounting pressure in establishing themselves left them to no choice but to develop conflict. According to Fitzgerald, Pickard and Stewart, The Two Moroccan Crises is one of the essential events that show the connection between Imperialism and the Great War (18). Morocco was to be a colony of France but Germany desired to make Morocco independent from France. Germany had their own intentions to show their growing power by gaining Moroccan support, and of course, the French was not pleased with the Kaiser and his generals meddling into one of their politically and economically relevant...

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