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It¶s common knowledge today that World War I was the most gruesome war ever
fought. The body count was through the roof, countries had to ration their
supplies, almost every country in the world was fighting, and nobody knew what
happened to cause the war. What could have been so provocative that almost
every country in the world got involved? That question can¶t be properly
answered by event A or event B, there was a series of events that caused it, a
domino effect. Alone, none of these factors would have been bad enough to even
start a war, but they all seem to be part of a chain, you get one and the others
follow. The four primary factors are nationalism, imperialism, militarism, and
alliances.
Nationalism is the notion that every man has a loyalty to the nation he
belongs to. The people he shares a common culture and history with.
Nationalism in Germany was high in the early 1900¶s because it had just become
a country. The Germans were feeling proud and patriotic at becoming a country.
Nationalism isn¶t necessarily a bad thing, but it can get out of hand. A country
gets cocky, thinking they¶re the best, the greatest, the strongest. The country
gets haughty and bold, believing they can do anything.
Imperialism is the result of nationalism gone a wry. The country feels they
need to expand, such a great country deserves a great amount of land, right?
Imperialism is when a country takes over another country. A good example of
nationalism and imperialism is Rudyard Kipling¶s poem µThe White Man¶s
Burden¶. Kipling¶s poem suggested that it was the duty of the more developed
countries to fulfill their obligations as ³proper gentlemen´ to develop and advance
other countries. The reality of it was that Africa was divided amongst developed
countries, but all they did was rape Africa of its natural resources and cause
tension amongst the natives.
When you¶ve got a country conquers new land, they don¶t end up with a
great feeling of content and accomplishment. They feel like now they¶ve got even
more of their own land to defend from other countries. They almost get a feeling
of paranoia, throwing tremendous amounts of money into their military. This is
called militarism. Countries focus more on military than anything else, they
compete with other countries to have the biggest, strongest military. This gets
costly, it gets dangerous, and countries feel a sense of panic.
Keep your friends close and your enemies closer? Maybe that was the
goal of alliances. When two countries form an alliance, they agree to defend
each other in the event that either one goes into a war.c

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