World War I was a destructive and horrible war. It lasted from 1914 to 1918. The causes of WWI were alliances, militarism, and imperialism. What do you think was the underlying cause of WWI? The idea of the term underlying simply means the main idea. Also, the definition of the word cause in this case meant the reasons WWI began. The three causes of WWI were alliances, militarism, and imperialism, however the main cause was imperialism. One of the 3 causes of WWI was alliances. Bismarck created alliances with Austria-Hungary, Germany and Italy, known as central powers.
In response, France, Russia, and Great Britain formed their own entente, known as allied powers. The map in document A shows the European alliances in 1914, which was the year when the war began. Though, what it doesn’t show is that in 1915, Italy switched over to allied powers while Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire was added onto the central powers. The news cartoon, “The Crime of the Ages” in Document B shows all the countries involved with WWI pointing fingers at each other, except for Italy because Italy was just dragged into this. Without Italy the central powers would be surrounded with all enemies.
They are all trying to figure out who it is to blame for the death of the peace of Europe. The peace of Europe killed after the short amount of time of just a week after Russia declared war. The next cause was militarism. Document C states Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy, Great Britain, Russia, and France has very increased in growth in armaments from 1890 to 1914. From 1890 to 1914 the amount of British pounds spent on the army and navy from Germany and Austria-Hungary increased almost 400%. Also, Great Britain, Russia, and France spent over 200% from the same period of time.
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In document D Bernhard von Bulow, the German chancellor, spoke “… German people will be a hammer or an avil. ” Bulow worried that England, France, and Russia were going to rule the world. Though he knew that Germany, with just a little improvement would be the hammer of the world. He believed that if Germany was strong, good, and powerful, it would be the one to take all. It is the strongest, so it wins all. The main cause for WWI was imperialism. There was a lot of talk of who it is to blame for all of this, so in this case Germany blamed Great Britain, the bloodsucker of the world.
Document E shows a German propaganda cartoon form 1917. It shows the British octopus as known as the bloodsucker of the world. This makes you realize that England ruled and sucked everyone of their goods, and people of this world. Great Britain ruled with their powerful navy. The size of Colonial Empires at the time of 1913 is shown in Document F. A large colony brings raw materials and is used to support the mother country economically, socially, and military wise. Also, it brings cheap labor, markets, and more taxes.
Imperialism was seen to be the biggest and main cause to the First World War. Alliances and militarism were just there to protect their colonies. In this DBQ, it asks what was the underlying cause of WWI, it was simply believed to be colonization. Which meant they wanted to control more. More colonial land meant more people which meant more money. Although imperialism was the main reason, alliances and militarism had a part in this too. Without the help of the navy and army and of course the alliances that help make that up, no colony would have been able to fight by itself.