To what extent was imperialism a cause in the outbreak of World War I

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The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand on June 28th, 1914 is often referred to as the beginning of World War I. However, it was only a catalyst. Instead, events from the late 19th century had created tensions and conflict amongst the European powers that could only be solved through war. Imperialism- the taking over of another country territorially, militarily, economically, and culturally- in the late 1800s was a significant cause of World War I because it started Europe’s major powers on a path of conflict and rivalry. Equally significant were the alliance systems, which split Europe into two, and the nationalism which created among people and nations a desire for greater strength and for new acquisitions.
Imperialism was an important factor in the outbreak of World War I. As European countries raced to lay claims in Africa, conflicts were created amongst them. Britain, the world power of the time, dreamed of building a “Cape to Cairo” railroad over entirely British-controlled territory. Germany, however, planned to prevent the British dream by taking over East Africa. To prevent war between the two countries, arrangements were made in 1886 that gave Britain control of the northern part of the region, British East Africa, and gave Germany control of the southern part of the region, German East Africa. With their railroad dream prevented by Germany, relationships between Britain and Germany grew strained. Further tensions were created built after the allied Boer states of the Transvaal Republic and the Orange Free State declared war on Great Britain in 1899. Although the Boers were outnumbered, the weapons that Germany provided for them helped the war last until 1902. As land in Africa became increasingly scarce, German...

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...0 1914. Germany`s government, seizing the opportunity, portrayed them as the aggressor and declared war on Russia on August 1st 1914. Two days later the Germany declared war on France and set the Schlieffen Plan in motion. German troops broke Belgium neutrality by passing through to invade France. Seeing it as an opportunity to get rid of their greatest threat, Britain declared war on Germany on August 4 1914.
For four years, Europe was engulfed in war. Although Franz Ferdinand`s assassination led declarations of war across Europe, the causes of World War I can be traced further back. Imperialism in Africa and the Balkans created tensions across Europe, while alliance systems created predetermined enemies. Nationalism sparked a desire for more land and led to an arms race between Britain and Germany. All of these combined caused ``the war to end all wars``.

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