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In this essay, I aim to find the most important cause of the First World War. There were four main causes. They were nationalism, imperialism, militarism and the alliance system.

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  • Essay length: 1069 words
  • Submitted: 19/02/2008
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GCSE International relations 1900-1939

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In this essay, I aim to find the most important cause of the First World War.

There were four main causes. They were nationalism, imperialism, militarism and the alliance system.

Nationalism is the desire to achieve political independence, especially by a country under foreign control or by a people with a separate identity and culture but no state of their own. The people who lived in the Balkans, countries of Eastern Europe which had been ruled by the Turks, wanted to be independent.

Imperialism is the conquering of other countries and the building and expanding of empires. In 1870, France was forced to hand over two of her provinces, Alsace and Lorraine to Germany in the peace treaty after the Franco-Prussian war and most Frenchmen wanted it back. Germany started late in the race to build colonies but was trying hard to catch up.

Militarism is arms races. It is the strengthening of armed forces. Britain and Germany had a naval race. They both spent vast amounts of money creating new battleships called Dreadnoughts. The naval race was part of a general arms race between all of the big powers. The generals and admirals

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