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Background Causes of World War 1 On Sunday June 28 1914 in Sarajevo the Archduke and Archduchess of Austria-Hungary were both shot and killed by a member of the terrorist group called the Black Hand This was the immediate cause of the war but the war was caused by a number of other factors most which were happening in the years leading up to the shooting at Sarajevo There were six main background causes of world war 1 They were imperialism colonialism militarism the arms race nationalism and the Alliance system Imperialism Imperialism was when one state dominated other states or territories This could be done by the military economically politically culturally etc Britain for example used the Royal Navy to acquire an empire and to prevent other states from expanding Other imperialists included the USA Russia Germany Austria Turkey France and Japan Colonialism Colonialism was the acquisition of colonies The colonies were used as dependencies for the purpose of wealth ie Britain got spices and silks from India land for emigrants glory and the Christian missionary Militarism Militarism was the glorification of the army it was based on the belief that the military solution was the best solution Having strong armies and navies also made others think twice before attacking you because you would have an advantage over them The Arms Race Many countries were in competition with one another for who could have the most and the best weapons The size of navies and armies would decide who was the most powerful nation Nationalism Nationalism was a feeling of deep loyalty to ones people and country Nationalism drew the many states of Germany together but extreme nationalism soon became a problem Nationalism was also the force that started the conflict between Serbia Bosnia and Austria-Hungary Serbias
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