Militarism was a significant force in several European nations in the years prior to World War I. Their governments were strongly influenced, if not dominated, by military leaders, their interests and priorities. Generals and admirals sometimes acted as de facto government ministers, advising political leaders, influencing domestic policy and demanding increases in defence and arms spending. This militarism fathered a dangerous child, the arms race, which gave rise to new military technologies and increased defence spending.
This is not just an arms race, but also a government's attitude of mind, seeing war as a valid means of foreign policy. This often includes the influence of government by the generals. All the nations of Europe were militaristic, but the governments of Germany and Austria-Hungary were especially so.
All the countries of Europe built up their armies and navies. Intheir armed forces stood like this: Germany and Britain clashed over the size of their navies - in Kaiser Wilhelm began to build up the German navy Tirpiz's Navy Lawannouncing that he wanted Germans to sail all over the world and take for Germany 'a place in the sun'.
Afterhe began to build numbers of the new, large 'Dreadnought' battleships, which were more powerful than any other ship. The British developed the idea that Germany wanted to challenge British sea power - the basis of Britain's greatness cf 'Britannia rules the waves'.
A strong navy would also allow Germany to threaten British colonies overseas. Britain made an alliance with Japan inso as not to have to worry so much about the Pacific. Britain also began to build Dreadnoughts.
The British government had planned to build four Dreadnoughts inbut when Germany refused to limit the number of ships it was building, the British public protested, demanding: Britain and Germany thus had a naval arms race.
ByBritain had won this naval arms race and the British navy was much larger than the German navy, so it is arguable that this was NOT a major cause of World War One.
Another thing that the countries of Europe did was to train all their young men so that if there was a war they could call, not only on the standing army, but on huge numbers of trained reservists.
One historians has estimated the total number of men including reservists that the countries could thus call upon as: Source A The German answer to all our talk about the limitation of armaments is: Germany shall increase to the utmost of her power I have lived among Germans, but with the best will in the world I can see no solution to the present collision of ideals but war.
I believe war is unavoidable; war the sooner the better. But we ought to do more to press to prepare the popularity of a war against Russia. The Kaiser supported this.
Tirpitz [head of the navy] said that the navy would prefer to see the postponement of the great fight for one and a half years. From the Diary of Admiral Muller, 8 December Some historians say that this proves that Germany was wanting war inalthough others say that it records a general discussion of no great significance.
Alliances As well as seeking protection in the size of their armies, the countries of Europe sought protection by forming alliances. At first, Bismarck had kept Germany friendly with Russia.The arms race and the naval race were also a great long term cause of WW1.
As one country increased its armies, so all the others felt obliged to increase their armed forces to keep the balance of power. Arms race ww1 essay crime media popular culture essay environmentalism and consumerism essay mla research paper index cards every man is an island essay about myself mannaric acid synthesis essay, milgram experiment essay summary statements umn medical school research papers alfred yuson essays about love multiple authors mla heading for essay.
Essay Compare and Contrast Ww1 and Ww2. supported with artillery and machine guns.
However, World War two was an offensive war, depending on Germany’s blitzkrieg, or lightning war, and it also includes major naval forced and air forces resulting into higher casualties.
[Note: the AQA syllabus only requires you to know about the Arms Race and the System of Alliances, but you may wish to treat nationalism, imperialism and awful governments as essential background knowledge.].
The argument which follows suggests that Europe in was RIPE for war to break out - that the causes of World War One went back . to have white babies is now “racist” and “inhuman” while supporting destruction and genocide of an entire race is the height of morality.
U.S. WW2 Militaria Remember to check our two other militaria pages! One features U.S. WW2 items and the other has interesting U.S. and foreign militaria items (other than U.S. WW2 or German WW1/WW2 items).