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There are many factors that contributed to the beginning of World War I Some of these include strong nationalism the systems of secret alliances economic imperialism militarism and the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand These are not all of the causes but just a few There are many more causes that will be brought into focus in the following paragraphs One cause was military expansion As a result of tensions between 1871 and 1914 the countries in Europe became fearful of war as a result they started to build up their armies and navies The expansion of the German navy in 1900 and the events of the Russo-Japanese War influenced Great Britain to develop its fleet under the direction of Admiral Sir John Fisher1 Fay The war between Russia and Japan proved the use of long-range naval guns so the British developed the often-used dreadnought battleship notable for its heavy armament Developments in other areas of military technology and organization led to the dominance of general staffs with precisely formulated plans for mobilization and attack These often could not be stopped or reversed once begun4 World Statesmen everywhere realized that the tremendous and still growing expenditures for the armament would either lead to bankruptcy or war A number of efforts were made for worldwide disarmament International rivalry was too strong to allow any progress toward disarmament at any of the conferences that were held The European nations not only armed themselves for purposes of self-defense but also to find themselves standing alone if war did break out2 Karpilvosky In-turn they started to make alliances with other powers The result was the grouping of the great European powers into two hostile military alliances Another major cause was nationalism At the settlement of the Congress of Vienna in 1815 the principle of nationalism was ignored in favor of preserving the peace Germany and Italy were left as divided states but strong nationalist movements and
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