Question to Consider: To what extent was war inevitable in 1914?
In 1914, competition, militarism, and aggressive nationalism led to the inevitability of World War I. They led to rivalries and a tense atmosphere in the early 1900s. It only needed a "spark" to ignite the flames of war. The spark was lit when the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary was assassinated by the Black Hand.
Competition was created when nations competed for economic growth which was driven by industrial growth. Industry requires raw materials for the creation of and markets for the distribution of goods. Document 5 illustrates that conflict arose with an increase in wealth. Due to rivalries over markets, countries fought over these sources of wealth. Colonies were an easy way to gain new markets and areas were claimed through having spheres of influence. Although China lacked valuable resources, its large population was a potentially huge market that enticed countries to claim spheres of influence for control of these markets. Due to the economic interests of the United States, they created the Open Door policy which would leave the markets free for anyone who wished to trade. Germany tried gaining colonies by saying that they were the most fit to take care of them. They believed that weaker races could not take care of themselves and that Germany was strong so they had a right to take over. Alliances were another way to gain markets. As seen in document 2, alliances between nations promise friendship. Through friendship with other nations, they would gain access to not only their markets but their technologies and to be a part of their affairs. These ideas were the basis of industrial imperialism.
Militarism glorified the armies and navies and set the stage for an arms race, which brought tension between nations. Military was romanticized in the early 1900s. When people thought of war, they thought of blaring trumpets and cavalry charges. However, that would not be the...