The European powers then used armies from their empires to fight in the World War 1 and this resulted in the high number of casualties that were recorded at the time. Many historians agree that the cause of World War 1 was the desire for expansion by the European nations. The trigger was the assassination of the Archduke of Austria, Franz Ferdinand. The British and the French can be said to have contributed the most to the advent of World War 1. The rush for concurring and occupation of lands to colonize and control was one of the most notable cause of the world war. This is because, the competition between allies, central powers and the ottoman powers was causing a rift in Europe. The nations wanted to be more superior and the British were more aggressive in their acquisition of the properties. In the long run, the war was inevitable due to many reason and the casualties were many. The growing competition in 1914 between European nations over desired land to expand their empires by conquering and controlling land that was previously inhabited by non-European citizens led to an increased hostility which facilitated the outbreak known as the Great War.
The Great War was caused by four main aspects, the expansion desires and goals of the European nations, the military powers of the involved nations, the advancement of nationalism and the end of the Ottoman Empire which left a gap of power in world politics. Which were all results of competition for the individual gain of the countries that participated in the Great War. The European nations were keen on conquering the world and being in total control until they faced opposition in where a section of European powers were opposed to the approach as they were losing out while others were progressing. The best example in this case was the differences between France and Germany in the case where Germany won a war and established their territory while France was on a decline. The French were displaced by the Germans during during the 1870 war and this was to play a role in the eventual alignment of the nations in the World War 1. The war over land was a complicated one because the alliance and the entente clashed over certain territories and this led to further need for war by the countries allied to each faction.
The expansion desires by the European nations created internal conflict which led to the arms race by several countries in an effort to maintain more control over land. Germany’s support for war against Serbia made it impossible to stop the war once it began. The war began as a result of territorial wars that were spiked by the desire for bigger parcels of land for growing their industries. There was need for territories to be marked and the process created friction among the interested parties. The British almost went to war with the French over territories in their quest for superiority. The build up to the Great War was largely inspired by territory conflicts and competition for control over larger and more productive areas.
The power struggle in the military strengthening by the countries were eventually going to lead up to the great war over land due to the competition. The events leading up to the war from the German front were misguided ideas that the war would result in Germany emerging a winner and hence being powerful in the world politics. Preparation for the war was done to keep the borders and territories of the various countries safe from invasion by other countries with interests in the same land. This was a policy by which the countries prepared themselves in readiness for war. The arms race created tension among countries and especially where there was a pre-existing rivalry, the suspicion was sky high. Germany and France both engaged in the arms race in a bid to match up to the size and strength of the British army. In this case, Britain can be said to have contributed to the adverse effects of the World War 1 to the citizens of the countries that participated. The countries like France and Germany had to impose heavy taxes on their citizens because expanding an army needed plenty of money and resources. In the years leading up to the World War 1, all the participating countries had increased the sizes of their armies except the United States and the Great Britain. This goes to show why the other countries had to have worked on their military prowess earlier. The strength exhibited by both the United Sates and the Great Britain means that if the other countries had gone to war without being adequately prepared, they would have lost miserably making Britain and the United States the ultimate powers.
The alliances that were being made before the war were supposed to act as contingency plans that would prevent the war from occurring. However, in the long run, the alliances caused the war. This is because the alliances being formed were being centred on the common interests of the allies in each faction. The alliances in this case caused the World War 1 when two countries each belonging to one side of the faction had cause to go to war and their supporters joined in. the war escalated from what would have been a war between two countries to a war between two groups of countries.
Once again, the European ambition to rule the world became a reason for war when other countries wanted to expand their territories into colonies as well. This weighed down on the relations of the countries that had great empires to an extent that a war broke out over territories. This further shows how the British imperialism encouraged the countries to try and compete leading to the occurrence of the world war. The nations acquiring colonies had a lot to fight over as the countries which had begun acquiring colonies first did not appreciate the threat that was being brought about by the other upcoming colonial powers. France and the Great Britain are the biggest culprits in this instance. They were well advanced in acquisition of the colonies and ended up fighting over other additional colonies.
There cropped a problem of nationalism where countries started desiring sovereignty and total control over their land. There was a leadership competition as well among nations that wanted to prove their superiority over other smaller countries. There was an increased feeling by citizens in each country were superior to the rest of the world. This led to countries resenting each other and despising other countries. It also led to the development of armies to fight for independence and self-rule in countries like Serbia. In the long run it reduced the Ottoman Empire into individual countries. The collapse of the Ottoman Empire created a gap in the world powers. The individual countries did not have the expertise and power to rule and protect themselves from other more powerful countries like the Great Britain and France. As a result, the spirit of nationalism pitted countries against each other. The global war to acquire colonies also caused a rift between Britain, France and the United States. Therefore, in the years leading up to the Great War, there were pent up rivalries among the countries.
To conclude, the Great War was caused by supremacy battles, scarcity of land and the arms race. This has been explained in the actions by the nations to expand their territories at the expense of good relations. The alliances formed in the years preceding the world war were also part of the causes of the Great War. This is because the countries that took part in the Great War were always striving to expand their territories and causing conflict among themselves in the long run. This was seen in the event where the Great Britain and France almost fought over territories. There were problems that came about as people embraced extreme patriotism and nationalism. This led countries to despise each other and fight over land with the countries being colonised striving to get back their independence and the colonial powers striving to maintain the control. There were many more reasons for the war but the arms race, imperialism and nationalism contributed the most to the eventual occurrence of the World War 1. Germany has carried the blame for a long time but a critical analysis shows that the Great Britain initiated the race for war. The size of the British army caused other nations to want to keep up with the competition for being armed. It is for this reason that when the countries finally went to war, it could not be stopped fast enough because the countries had weapons and armies to fight.
Conlin, Jonathan. 2018`. A Crude History of the Great War. History Today.
JR., John H Morrow. 2004. The Great War: An Imeprial History. New York: Routledge. Accessed July 1, 2018. https://doi,org/10.1111/j.1468-0289.2005.00335.x.
Los Angeles Times. 1918. “The Causes of the War: Reached Back to the information of Two Great.” How the Great War was Fought; the Hundred Greatest Events of Four Years of Battles. November 11. Accessed July 7, 2018.
Pearson, Drew. 1961. “The Washington Merry-Go-Round: Traditional War Season is at Hand World War I World War II.” The Washington Post. Times Herald, September 7.
Raico, Ralph. 2005. “The Great War Retold.” The Independent Review (audiobook) 433-437.
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