Underlying Causes of World War I

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Underlying Causes of World War I It may seem like wars start abruptly, with little cause, but usually there is a bigger story. New policies, lack of equality, military influence, and too much government involvement usually stir up the peace initially. These turn the country or area into a ‘powder keg’, ready to explode into war at the smallest spark. Although the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand was the spark of World War I, policies at the time like nationalism and militarism were the underlying causes of the war. Nationalism influenced people’s thoughts about war, twisting their minds to believe that their government and military was supreme and would win a war quickly. Because “most European countries, with the exception of France and Prussia, had not had any major wars within the 19th century, they stepped into the 20th century thinking that they were immune to defeat. This idea of immunity developed as countries forgot of their past wars and sufferings. The British were confident in their naval forces, the Germans in their arms and ships, and the Russians thought their land was protected by God. Citizens strongly believed that their country was the best and would do just about anything to help their country. It became a school boy’s duty to enlist in the army upon his graduation. As Erich Maria Remarque states in his book, All Quiet on the Western Front, the “young men of twenty... whom Kantorek calls the ‘Iron Youth,’” are the ones sent off to war in Germany. Their teachers drilled this message into their minds from a young age. The boys were told that it was their duty to their country to fight. Zara Steiner, British Historian, related that British teachers were told “to teach boys that success in w... ... middle of paper ... ... Works Cited Beck, Roger B.. Modern world history: patterns of interaction. Student text and teacher's ed. Orlando, FL.: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Pub. Co., 2012. Print. "Impact of World War One on the Weimar Republic." Impact of World War One on the Weimar Republic. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Apr. 2014. . Remarque, Erich Maria, and A. W. Wheen. All quiet on the western front;. Boston: Little, Brown, and Co., 1929. Print. "Steiner, Dr Zara Shakow (1928–)." Steiner, Zara. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Apr. 2014. . "World War I." World War I. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Apr. 2014. . "World War I." World War I. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Apr. 2014. .

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