my sixth grade report on WW1

The Cause of World War I:  Imperialism



      Imperialism was the main idea behind the conflict that was World War I. Imperialism in Europe was the mentality that most European powers held towards expansion. It consisted of holding colonies and spheres of influence in order to achieve economic and military dominance in the world. There was mounting tension in Europe because of the desperate scramble for land and dominance. The power in Europe was divided unequally between different countries, and everyone wanted something that someone else had; whether it be a large neighborÕs land or a small piece of land. This imperialist conquering led to stressful themes in the countries of Europe.


      Militarism was a direct result of imperialism. The equivalent of nationalism for ones country, militarism was the devotion to the military. The people believed that having a strong military was essential to being a strong country. The people wanted to expand their land, and because of this desire, they needed a strong military. Thus, if they wanted a strong country with land, they needed a glorified military power. The military power became great in the countries. They had many well trained soldiers that they mobilized to get ready if any of the other countries decided to attack. Because all of these countries had very strong armies that were all mobilized for war, there was a lot of tension on the lines of potential attack.


      Rival alliances were also a reaction to imperialism. When war and battles were a possibility over land disputes, many countries made alliances so that they would have support if war broke out. There were two main alliances: Italy, Germany and Austria, vs. France, Russia and Britain. Although Italy ended up fighting on the other side, these were still two very significant forces against each other. Because the group power of each individual country had increased, any small battle that broke out, would create a huge war involving many strong countries. Thus there was a lot of tension between the opposing sides.


      Considering there was so much tension between all of the countries in Europe , it was not a surprise that a major war broke out. The themes of imperialism, militarism and rival alliances were not new to the people of Europe, but the dynamic of militarism combined with the rival alliances of the countries, presented a combustible recipe for disaster. Because imperialism is an essential part to the success of a country, and it was that that caused militarism and rival alliances, World War I was not only inevitable, but was caused by a fundamental element of the countries themselves.


1 Comment

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