Many people were eager to take any action to further their own nation and were even ready to start wars to promote their nations interests. Nationalism stimulated Bismark’s original war with France over the annexation of Alsace-Lorraine. This event had a terrible effect on the relationship between the two countries and French nationalists believed that they could not rest until their fellow Frenchmen were no longer under the rule of Germany. Many historians believe that if Germany had not been so aggressive in annexing French territory, relations between France and Germany would not have been affected so badly and thus making them sworn enemies, France spoke about a ‘war of revenge’ against Germany to regain these ‘lost’ provinces. Germany felt isolated and threatened by the Triple Entente in early twentieth century and fought back with a very aggressive nature towards all involved.
Some may say it was a “necessary evil”, because Imperialistic powers took control of their lands, which brought about many achievements, both industrial and economical, and modernized the areas they took control of. Imperialism also affected those who didn’t fall victim, by waking them up and making them realize a new age was forming, an age of progress and modernization. For some countries,
The primary motivation for European invasion was economic. The Europeans were seeking to create a profitable trading environment and make money. They were also looking to further industrialize their country. This desire for industrialization, which included the need for raw materials, markets, and convenient trading outlets, was a driving force in the imperialistic conquest and colonization of Africa. Africa contained a great number of natural rescources valuable to Europe such as: cotton, palm oil, rubber, ivory, gum, peanuts, bananas, coffee, cocoa, zinc, lead, coal, and copper.
Contrastingly, James Joll suggests that Germany’s defensive offensive war rooted from a fear of encirclement from the countries that it borders, and so presents the opinion most opposing to that of the question. L.F.C Turner’s opinion arises somewhere between the two other historians’ arguments, and states that Germany was aggressive during Europe’s last month of peace before war, but there were other factors that should be considered equally. On the one hand, it was German aggression that was responsible for the outbreak of a general European war in August 1914. One example of suggested German aggression can be seen in their long term foreign policy, ‘weltpolitik’ (world politics), which had been implemented in 1897. The aim of this foreign policy was to spread German influence throughout the world, the meaning of which is interpreted differently by different people.
The Paris peace settlement was a key in both of the leaders foreign policies, as they both were weakened in the treaty of Versailles. Both of the leaders put forward a very radical fascist ideology that idealized national expansion and military strengths as the proof of national strength and prestige of the country. Differences in the two fascist leaders policies start to show in their aims and the planning of them. As Hitler was trying to make Germany the absolute dominant power in Europe, Mussolini's aims were more on the prestige, as he wanted to make Italy "Respected and feared". But the similarities were also great as they both were great opportunists and aggressive expansionists, they wanted to expand their countries to become the dominant powers in Central Europe (Germany) and the Mediterranean (Italy).
Each country had different aims for entering the war. Germany wanted to unite all German people and unify Germany. England desired to keep the price and possession by occupying the Empire, so their aim was to make sure that there is no competition among other countries. France wanted to be even with Prussia because Germany embarrassed them in ‘Franco-Prussia war’ by forcing them to sign on treaty. Russia was keen to expand their territory and to get a warm water port.
Imperialism: The Scramble for Africa (1880-1900) was a period of rapid colonization of the African continent by European powers. But it wouldn't have happened except for the particular economic, social, and military evolution Europe was going through. In the end Britain and France had the most colonies and Germany lost out so it was also a major contributor to tension in Europe. Nationalism: Triple Entente, an informal alliance among Great Britain, France, and Russia in the period before World War I. It opposed the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy.
One major component leading up to this was the Industrial Revolution. “The Industrial Revolution, one of the most vital periods of change in Great Britain, occurred because of the stable economic, social, and political stance of the country, as well as brought lasting effects in Britain in each of these areas” (“The Industrial Revolution in Great Britain”).The Industrial Revolution made Britain the leading industrial power in the world. Also, it increased the creation technology and the changed the socioeconomic status of many of their citizens. It was also the Industrial Revolution that caused Britain to seek out a new source of raw material, leading them to extend their power to that of other countries. With their previous control in India and Africa, the British nation had the tools in needed to develop into the imperialist power it would.
This was also a great threat to the other countries. Russia joined the Dual Alliance creating the Triple Alliance in order for the German Empire to not be threatened from both sides, and there Russia in some way entered the war. The reason why Russia joined the alliance was because they saw Germany as a great threat, and another lost was too expensive. To join them would be a great excuse to hide. At this time Britain was extremely frustrated because the German Empire had taken control of the sea, the strength that for a long time belonged to Britain.
Imperialism, competition for trade and colonies, resulted in tense relationships between European nations. Britain and France formed alliances against Germany as a result of competition for colonies. Alliances were agreements among nations to aid each other if attacked. By 1907, Europe was divided. Great Britain, France, and Russia all formed the Allies while Germany, Austria- Hungary, and Italy formed the Central Powers.