Causes Of Imperialism Essay

880 Words 4 Pages
World War 1 occurred during 1914-1918 and was originally called The Great War before the Second World War in 1939. It had a devastating impact on all of the countries that were involved as the mortality rate was huge. There were several reasons The Great War started which included some long term causes such as Imperialism & Nationalism as well as a few short term triggers that included the assassination of Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie which in turn became known as the catalyst.
Two of the main long term causes for war included Imperialism & Nationalism. I will discuss these in more detail below.
Imperialism was a common theme with the powerful European nations in the lead-up to World War One.
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In the late 1800s, there was a rush to take control of Africa because it presented a wealth of land and raw materials. Colonies profited their ‘mother country’ by being a source of natural resources that could be mined. They also provided more industries which could be taxed as a source of income.
England was one of the key nations to have set-up colonies in the late 1800s and early 1900s in the lead-up to the Great War. They established colonies in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India, Burma, Hong Kong and South Africa to name a few.

There was a saying: “The sun never sets on Britain” because their colonies were spread out all across the world in different time-zones.
France was another nation which used imperialism for their benefit as a nation. They had established power in South-East Asia (Cambodia, Laos & Vietnam), in the Pacific Islands as well as in the North West of Africa.
Imperialism was a long term cause of The Great War as it was seen that the more colonies you had seized then the more power you had.
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Many Europeans felt their nation’s culture, military and economy was superior to others. Nationalism is when a country pushes their own nation’s agenda onto other countries. World War 1 was partly a result of European nations that wanted to prove their dominance as a country over each other through strength and power.
In order for politicians to make their nation believe that they were the superior country, they would demonise rival countries in their popular media and newspapers. One of the messages that came across at this time was that if their country went to war, they would naturally be victorious.
For example, England spread anti-German literature that was based on celebrating the fact they had beaten Germany in previous wars and would win again. And Germany spread the message that England wanted to take away their “place in the sun”. These countries nationalism depended on making the other nation seem inferior. They were in competition to have the best naxy.
Some other things to note about nationalism included past quarrels between nations who warred in the 1800s. The French were still bitter about being defeated by Germany in the Franco-Prussian War in 1870 – 1871.

Many French people never forgave Germany for their defeat in the Franco-Prussian War and the loss of the province of

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