Militarism and World War I

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world war one weapons

In the years leading up to World War I, there was a great arms build up, particularly in Great Britain and Germany. The newly industrialized nations of Europe had a capacity to create more powerful weapons, in greater quantity, and and less expense than ever before. A rise in nationalism and growing competition for colonies abroad encouraged this buildup. An attitude of militarism - giving the military a high priority in the nations' economies and politics - pervaded these nations. The military gained greater control of the civiliam governments. The countries built more strategic railways and intensified industrial capacity.

There was an arms race and the border between France and Germany became fortified and militarized. The size of the armies of France and Germany dramatically increased. All of the countries of Europe except Great Britain adopted conscription. Great Britain and Germany vied for the world's largest and most powerful navies. The invention of the battleship gave these sea powers greater destructive ability than ever before.

Leaders of all the European nations came to see war as inevitable.


World War I

Part of The Great War Exhibit

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