There are various factors that amplified the tensions in Europe from 1900 to 1914. A few of the major factors were International rivalry, the arms race, colonialism and the Crisis’s of Morocco and Bosnia. These factors, alongside numerous others contributed to fuelling the First World War.
International rivalry was, debatably, the biggest factor that caused the First World War. As the European powers such as Britain, France and Russia had been competing with each other in might, prominence and colonial expansion. Furthermore, Britain and France had been rivals for an incredibly lengthy period of time and had a bitter relationship with each other. Europe was already unstable, with the hostility between Britain and France and with Austria-Hungary at the brink of war with the Serbs and the Slavs; the appearance of Germany and Italy in 1871 posed a serious threat of shifting the balance of power in Europe.
The two alliances that separated Europe into two camps also played a major role in causing tensions between European powers. The alliances were formed following a series of agreements that were made by the majority of European powers that committed them to fight if their ally were to ever be threatened. An example of one of these agreements was the Entente Cordialle. Shortly after these treaties were signed, it was clear that Europe had been divided into two sides; namely, the Triple Entente and the Triple Alliance. Moreover, smaller, newly formed countries such as Serbia would ask for the support of their allies if they were ever threatened, this meant that what would have been a little dispute between two countries would turn out to be a full blown war between all the major powers of Europe.
Another very important source of the tensions in Europe was the race for military power. There was competition over both the army and the navy. The arms race involved most of the countries in Europe, it meant that all the major powers were building up their military...