Causes Of Imperialism In 1914

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Until the breakout of World War 1 in 1914, Europe had maintained an uneasy peace since 1871. Following its unification in 1871, Germany formed the Triple Alliance with Italy and Austria-Hungary in 1882 under the leadership of chancellor Otto von Bismarck. In 1894, William II dropped the Reinsurance Treaty with Russia, prompting a Franco-Russian alliance. British-German relations also turned bitter because of William’s rash foreign policy. In 1907, Britain joined France and Russia, forming the alliance known as the Triple Entente. The continent was prepared for a conflict with all the major powers divided into two hostile camps. While the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914 by the Serbian terrorist organization Black Hand seemed to be the immediate event that sparked the war, several long term underlying causes; namely, imperialism, nationalism, and militarism were responsible for the war. …show more content…
By 1914, the British empire was the largest European empire with a population of 400,000, spanning the regions of India, Australia, and South Africa. Their empire was nearly 10 times the size of the German empire, which only included possessions in eastern Africa and some islands in the Pacific. (Doc 11) The Germans were clearly threatened by British imperialism, as that was the one area where they could not compete with the British. Germany overtook Britain in industrial output and heavy industry following 1871 but it could not rival the share of markets, which the British possessed. Britain’s reign over the waters of the world caused Germany to greatly resent them. German propaganda during the war reflected this justification, depicting British imperialism as a force that needed to be halted. (Doc 10) A war against Britain to limit its imperialism and possibly seize some of its colonies would definitely serve in the best interests of

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