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Essay on The Great War

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Imperialism The late nineteenth and early twentieth century saw a great deal of colonization of Asia and Africa by European powers, each trying to fulfill its own version of manifest destiny. England controlled vast holds in Africa, as well as India; the Belgians ruled the Congo; Germany, France, and Italy also held several African lands. These colonies funded a great part of the ruling countries' economies and provided foreign markets for European products, and expansion became necessary and desirable to advance the glory and the wealth of each European power. However, the land available diminished as Germany, France, England, Italy, and Belgium occupied increasingly large tracts of land. Oftentimes, border disputes would break out…show more content…
Tangling alliances also developed whose purpose, ironically, lay in preventing the outbreak of war for conquest. German official Otto von Bismarck took advantage of Italian resentment towards France and created the Triple Alliance between Germany, Italy and Austria- Hungary in 1882. In exchange for Italy's agreement to stay neutral if war broke out between Austria-Hungary and Russia, Germany and Austria-Hungary would protect Italy from France. However, after Bismarck was fired by Kaiser William II in 1890, the traditional dislike of Slavs kept Bismarck's successors from renewing the understanding with Russia. France took advantage of this opportunity to get an ally, and the Franco- Russian Entente was formed in 1891, which became a formal alliance in 1894. The Kruger telegram William II sent to congratulate the leader of the Boers for defeating the British in 1896, his instructions to the German soldiers to behave like Huns in China during the Boxer Rebellion, and particularly the large-scale navy he was building all contributed to British distrust of Germany. As a result, Britain and France overlooked all major imperialistic conflict between them and formed the Entente Cordiale in 1904. Nationalism At the settlement of the Congress of Vienna in 1815, the principle of nationalism was ignored in favor of preserving the peace. Germany and Italy were left as divided states, but strong nationalist movements and
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