Origins of World War I

1218 Words3 Pages

Many factors of causation lead up to the explosion of World War One. These causations are both preconditions and precipitants. The preconditions are factors that had built up over a long term; whereas the precipitants are catalysts or short term factors. The preconditions are as pointed toward war as the arms race and the treaties, such as the Entente Cordial and the Triple Alliance; or less war intentional such as Nationalism and Imperialism. The precipitants are events that include the assassination of Arch Duke Franz Ferdinand.
Rudyard Kipling’s poem “The White Man’s Burden” articulates the imperialism of the English empire into India, Cambodia, China, and Africa. The English thought it their duty to go out and take over these barbaric nations to civilize them. They justified their act of westernizing and destroying others’ cultures as the “burden’ they were born to bear. “And when your goal is nearest the end for others sought, watch sloth and heathen folly bring all your hopes to nought.” They blamed the ineffectiveness of their efforts on the native’s laziness. They are the ones whose whole world is being flipped upside down; being submerged in a new culture with new laws and strange people. Yet, somehow they are the lazy ones and despite the trails for the white man at the end of the day it is beneficial to the savages.
In the British missionary letters England’s foreign power is once again made apparent. The missionaries are urging the Queen to annex the South Sea Islands because if they don’t the French will. And, Lord have mercy if the French annex the islands instead of England. “The sympathy of the New Herbrides natives are all with Great Britain, hence they long for British protection, while th...

... middle of paper ...

...s Germany’s time to be a world leader. On the contrary England believed that it was in the world’s best interests if it remained a world power. Both countries are very power hungry and manipulating words to best fit their interests not the wellbeing of other countries. Due to nationalism, countries see other countries as threats. An arms race begins and alliances are formed. So when one thing is added to another, a war explodes and the whole world is involved. Now as a Christian I am not trying to say that God isn’t in control, on the contrary, I find it hard to believe that God would take a step back and allow war to erupt among his entire creation. I believe, through past examples, that it seems more likely that man’s selfish, sinful nature caused preconditions to build up that finally enough was enough and the world found itself submerged in conflict.

Open Document