• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To what extent did militarism contribute to the origins of the First World War (19141918)?

Extracts from this document...


Noemie Derhy To what extent did militarism contribute to the origins of the First World War (1914?1918)? Militarism is at the core of the origins of World War I. The concept of militarism is to emphasize on the military aspect of a nation. Although militarism can have advantages and is sometimes a very ?typical? trait of a country, it did not prosper during the World War I, as it reinforced the tensions and didn?t leave room for options other than war. The French army along with the German army had doubled between 1870 and 1914, and there was a huge competition between Britain and Germany for the monopolization of the sea. In fact, from 1910 to 1914, Germany had increased military expenditure by 73%, clearly preparing for war. France for example, had a growing pre-war militarism. Victor Hugo proclaimed that ?France will have but one thought, to reconstitute her forces, gather her energy, nourish her sacred anger, raise her young generation to form an army of the whole people, to work without cease, to study the methods and skills of our enemies, to become again a great France, the France of 1792, the France of an idea with a sword. Then one day she will be irresistible. Then she will take back Alsace-Lorraine.? Since 1890, Germany had led an aggressive foreign policy with the aim of expanding Germany?s borders. ...read more.


It was definitely one of the biggest causes of World War I, David Stevenson states that it was "a self-reinforcing cycle of heightened military preparedness [...] was an essential element in the conjuncture that led to disaster [...] the armaments race [...] was a necessary precondition for the outbreak of hostilities." The United Kingdom had the biggest and most powerful navy in the world at the time, and the Kaiser was enthusiastic about the expansion of Germany?s naval forces. With the help of Grand Admiral Alfred Von Tirpitz who designed four Fleet Acts from 1898 ? 1912, he set the goal to achieve an expansion of their navy that would represent 2/3 of the British navy. Wilhelm II?s desire to expand his navy was mostly sparked by the aftermath of the Kruger Telegram and the British Foreign Office?s threat to kill the German Economy by blockading the German Coast. The British noticed their expansion and quickly joined the race to keep ahead of the Germans. During the arms race between the two nations, Britain came up with a ship that revolutionized naval power; the HMS Dreadnought encouraged Germany to build something that could match the ship. Nonetheless, by the beginning of World War I Britain had 49 ships in comparison to Germany who only had 29 which is approximately 60%. ...read more.


That is how all the great European joined in. The Treaty of Versailles was a peace treaty that ended the war. It required Germany to bear all the responsibility of the war, and it was impossible to meet all the requirements considering that Germany?s economy was devastated by the loss of the war. All the nations wanted something from Germany, from territorial changed to military restrictions. Alsace and Loraine were regained by the French, the Province of Posen was ceded to Poland, Czechoslovakian gained the Hulltschin area of Upper Silesia, etc. The total sum of reparations demanded to Germany would be US $442 billion by today?s standards. The people of Germany were bathing in poverty and everything had to be taken away from them, giving conditions of desperation that rose to World War II. Every war has more than one cause, but militarism is always at the heart of the problem. Though Germany had indeed a sense of militarism much too strong, it wasn?t correct to impose such large demands in the Treaty of Versailles, as it was not the only nation whose militarism had contributed to the source of conflict. World War I was probably preventable if each nation had eased down the emphasis on military forces, and if their webs of alliances had been less complex, not leading to a domino effect in the end. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate History section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate History essays

  1. Nazi Germany

    farm, so many children of farmers left the land to work for better pay in Germany's industries Big business and the middle classes - many middle-class business keepers were grateful to the Nazis for eliminating the Communist threat to their businesses - big businesses benefited from Nazi rule - no

  2. What Effect Did World War II have on Eastern Europe?

    Many significant Romanian philosophers and authors, however, were exiled during the communist party's rule in an effort to censor any ideas that were against it. ECONOMIC ASPECT Romania's economy before World War Two consisted of the agriculture sector as well as a significant industrial sector.

  1. The cold war - the conferences and the start of the cCold War

    East Germany was losing her best skilled people, managers and workers 6) People in East Germany could visit West Berlin, could hear from their relatives in the West and could watch Western television programs- so they were aware about Western prosperity 7)

  2. To what extent can the origins of the cold war be linked to the ...

    the Cold War as both the USA and USSR were forced into confrontation which raised the tension between the nations so much. Yet these tensions would have never happened if the Bolshevik Revolution didn't occur in 1917. In fact the rise of communism through the Bolshevik Revolution can be compared to the Rise of Fascism in Italy and Germany.

  1. IB History HL, Extended Notes: Russia, the Tsars, the Provisional Govenment and the Revolution.

    Germans imposed such severe terms that General Skalon committed suicide on the spot and another delegate, Professor Pokrovsky, cried. 4. Germans retaliated by continuing their advance and then imposing harsher terms when negotiations recommenced. 5. Lenin argued in favor of signing, Trotsky argued for ?no peace, no war? (war declared to be ended but no treaty signed)

  2. Notes on the History and Development of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

    - The US closened their ties with Israel - Arab states lost the war militarily, but won it diplomatically - The Arab states realised the importance of their weapon: oil - Arab nations formulated a plan, through OAPEC (Organisation of Arab Oil Petroleum Exporting Countries), to strop selling oil to

  1. To what extent were economic conditions the predominant factor in the proliferation and manifestation ...

    However the German psyche of the time, though certainly a factor, only retained significance in combination with other elements. More specifically particular developments constituted an attitude of the German people susceptible to extremism, both from the left and the right, and further developments ultimately pushed significant portions of this greatly

  2. The Causes of WW1. First World War caused by MANIA: Militarism - Alliances ...

    also increased cooperation among the military staff of the countries of the same camp. For example, all the three Entente powers held secret military talks. The British and the French naval authorities agreed that the French navy should be concentrated in the Mediterranean and the British in the North Sea.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work