Nationalism, militarism, imperialism, and the system of alliances were fourmain factors that pressed the great powers towards this explosive war.”(Clock Magazine, 1915 Aug. 17). Although Francis Ferdinand wasassassinated and sparked the beginning of the war, this however was not themain cause. The four major roles that played in the cause of World War Iwere Nationalism, Militarism, Imperialism, and the Alliance System.Nationalism: a philosophy that is purely focused on patriotism,loyalty to one’s nation and seeing its nation as the superior nation.
Inexample of a nationalistic cause in the war, Austria-Hungary was gettingapprehensive when the Slavs in northern part of their empire wanted tounite with Serbia. Of course, having a strong nationalism in Austria-Hungary, Austria-Hungary started being concerned. They did not want tolose their land and power to Serbia, and sooner or later, this lead toAustria preparing themselves for a conflict/battle in case it ever brokeout.
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Militarism: a philosophy that bases one’s organization purely on thestrict ideas of strong military, control over aggression, and massproduction of weaponry and any other military supplies. The first conflictstarted when Germany became jealous of Great Britain’s Navy and theirincreased naval production. At the time, Britain had the best all-aroundNavy in Europe, including the dreadnoughts; a ship designed to be superiorto any other ever constructed. Threatened by this, Germany started a huge,mass production of weaponry, ships, and any other military means that meantconflict. Doing so, Germany wished to go in competition against Britainand their Navy, and hopefully scare them into submission.Imperialism: a philosophy stating that, to create or reform a countryinto a powerful country, it must take over all means of political,economical and military status of another country through aggression.
Europe at this time was very focused on imperialism. The entire strugglefor power, wealth and superiority can be pinpointed by this concept.Countries in Europe had colonies almost in every continent during this time(mostly Africa and Southeast Asia). The numbers of colonies grew massivelyin a very short amount of time. Sooner or later, conflicts andcompetitions started rising when colonies were fighting over the areas theycolonized over. Some fought because another colony invaded them, somefought to take over a colony, and some fought just because their countrieswere involved in conflict due to militarism and other issues.The Alliance System played a major role in the World War.
Perhaps wecan label the alliance system as the conflict itself. That is becausethere were 2 alliance systems during the World War and those two allieswere the two sides that fought each other in World War I. First was theTriple Entente, which consisted of Great Britain, France and Russia. Theother was called the Triple Alliance, which consisted of Austria-Hungary,Germany and Italy.
Initially, Germany formed the Triple Alliance withAustria and Italy. France immediately felt threatened and formed analliance with Great Britain and Russia. The two alliances swore to eachother that when one of the members of the alliance was threatened orattacked, the alliance would come and aid them. Such idea like this playedin the part of the “chain reaction” leading to World War One.