Reasons For World War I

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The First World War was one of the single most momentous developments in European history, so much so, that many actually consider World War I the moment where the nineteenth century ended and Europe transitioned into the twentieth century. There are many different reasons for World War I, no event as complicated and important as a war and especially a World War has one cause. One of the most important of these reasons for World War I was an escalation of tensions between Great Britain and Germany in the first couple of decades of the twentieth century. These tensions were fueled by an increasing naval arms race between the two countries. The Anglo-German arms race in the lead-up to World War I was a very good display of the problems associated with the security dilemma and the reason why preparing for war might actually make it more likely. In short, the Anglo-German naval arms race, precipitated by the introduction of the Dreadnought Class battleships increased tensions in Europe demonstrated by the security dilemma which directly led to World War I.
International relations theory is a very convenient method for analyzing history. It gives us the tools necessary to explain what is useful data and what isn’t and most importantly it gives us a template to study how certain conditions lead to historical events. The relevant international relations theory which impacted Anglo-German relations and the rise of an arms race between the two states was the security dilemma. The
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