Causes of World War One

Identify and explain the four main long term causes of World War I. Choose one and explain how it could have been prevented. The four main long term causes of World War I were militarism, nationalism, imperialism and entangling alliances. * Militarism is the establishment of military forces. Many European nations took part in militarism before the beginning of World war I. Countries did not want other countries to surpass them in their level of weaponry and military advancements.

Some nations like Great Britain wanted to maintain armies that were stronger than two countries combined. Germany also became threatening as their military strength grew. The competiveness of these countries’ militaries made war something that could not be avoided. * Imperialism was also a long term cause of WWI. It was the expansion of a nation through their domination of the political, social and economic life of another country. These colonized nations provided raw materials for the home nation and an outlet for manufactured goods.

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Nations kept expanding and expanding their territory led to a growth in power and wealth. It became clear that colonization was profitable, and conflicts arose as territory became less and less available. Countries competed for control of this territory and this competition played a major part in causing the Great War. * Nationalism was another cause of World War I. This feeling of patriotism and loyalty to one’s country was brought about by a similar historical and cultural background.

This idea of nationalism led to the uniting of different ethnic groups, who broke away from larger nations to form smaller ones. In areas where ethnic groups are mixed, conflict arose; each group wanted independence. As these diverse groups continued to desire freedom from their countries, war became inevitable. * Entangling alliances was also a cause of WWI. Countries involved in alliances thought that were more powerful and stronger than other nations. Prince Bismarck of Germany formed an alliance with Austria Hungary and Russia.

England remained neutral and France became isolated. France and Russia formed a secret alliance in 1909. While Germany promised to support Austria Hungary, France sided with Russia. Also, some nations changed their allies like Italy. The nation initially sided with Germany then later allied with France. The formation of alliances caused widespread conflict and problems for some nations. I believe that the entangling alliances could have been prevented as a cause or World War I. Although the ependence of nations on their allies was a crucial part of the war, it could have been avoided if each nation fought and built strengthened their own nations individually. The allies may have benefitted these nations, but some did not remain faithful to their allies. This caused more and more conflict among the intertwining nations, conflict that could have easily been avoided. The nations did not have to form these alliances in order to settle their disputes but instead, with the formation of allies came the formation of new issues across the globe.

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