Causes of the First World War Essay

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Causes of the First World War World War I was often referred to as “The Great War”. It began in 1914 and ended in 1918. America witnessed much devastation in this time period. In these four years alone nearly 9 million people died and millions more were maimed, crippled, grief stricken, or psychologically scarred (Coetzee, 11). World War I is considered by some, the first man-made catastrophe of the twentieth century. Many scholars still debate the underlying causes of World War I. There are many things that contributed to the war. The causes and effects of the war changed the lives of many people. Many of the effects of the war are still evident in today. World War I began as a European conflict, only gradually did it develop into a world war (Ross, 6). The growing tensions between the European countries were caused by militarism, alliances, imperialism, and nationalism. The first cause, militarism, is known as the trend toward developing military resources, both for national defense and for the protection of colonial interests. Militarism denoted a rise in military expenditure and it increased in military and naval forces. It put more influence of the military men upon the policies of the civilian government. Militarism had a preference for force as a solution to problems. This was one of the main causes of the First World War. The second cause was there were too many alliances which often conflicted with one another. Every country was pledging to protect others, creating entangling mutual protection schemes. Alliances were made in secret and they produced a lot of distrust and suspicion among the European powers. Their general suspicion prevented their diplomats to devise a suitable solution to many of the crises preceding the war. The third cause was imperialism. As fewer areas of the world were left to colonize, countries were competing for existing colonies,
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