There Many thought if a conflict arose it

 There were many events that led up the first
Word War and the debate for which ones were the most significant are still
discussed today.  Some reasons included
the competition to gain and keep colonies, the growing arms race, and various
diplomatic crises all increased the growing international tensions amongst the
great powers. It can be argued that three most significant political changes
that preceded the Great War are that of the alliances, militarism, and
nationalism.

Europe’s
main powers were divided into two alliance groups. One was the Triple Alliance
which consisted of Germany, Italy, and Austria-Hungary. The other was the
Triple Entente that was made up of Great Britain, France, and Russia. These
nations tied themselves together to gain more protection from rivaling states. In
doing so the stage was beginning to be set for a global conflict due to the
growing tensions between the neighboring states. Germany had a rivalry with
France over the Alsacs as well as a rivalry with Great Britain over their
navies and economic power. Russia and Austria fought over the Balkans. (McKay,
Crowston, Wiesner-Hanks, Perry, 2014) This coming together of powers would go
on to cause an inevitable chain reaction. Martin H. Levinson and Alfred Korzybski described
these alliance as a “chain gang” and “when one gang member yanked hard on the chain, the other gang members
had little choice but to mindlessly react.” (Levinson,
Korzybski, 2014)

With
tension growing there was almost a natural progression and expansion of the
military and nationalism. One could say that militarism sprang from the growing
nationalism that was starting to emerge during this time. Germany started to
expand their naval fleet with large gunships called “dreadnoughts”. Germans
viewed having a large navy as a right of a great world power which gave them a
sense of national pride. (Levinson, 2005) Great Britain began to feel as they
were being challenged by Germany to grow their navy as well. In turn they
followed and starting to spend more money then they had in a long time on
building their naval fleet. Many thought if a conflict arose it would be over quickly,
so the portrayal of war was glorified. (McKay, Crowston, Wiesner-Hanks, Perry,
2014)

Leaders
promoted nationalism and militarism in hopes to distract the peopled from the
various domestic conflicts that were arising. Many of the countries in the
alliance were starting to feel pressure within their states to make a change. Great
Britain was facing a war with North Ireland and growing women’s movement. The
victory of the Marxists Social Democratic party in the elections led many
officials to think that the country was beginning to fall apart. The Russian
defeat in the Russo-Japanese war as well as the 1905 revolution weakened
tsarist regime. With these popular movements the upper-class elite were
frightened they might lose power. (McKay, Crowston, Wiesner-Hanks, Perry, 2014)
They were advocating and glorifying war to help take them postpone the internal
social and political conflicts. The thought of victory would help rally the
masses behind the nation and push any previous issues aside.

These
three significant changes all helped lead these European nations into the first
world war. The issues outlined in this essay help set stage for a European wide
conflict as tensions grew high. The final catalyst that would thrust all these
nations into the first World War was the assassination of Archduke Franz
Ferdinand. With his assassination nation upon nation began to declare war
against the other until it spiraled out of control and all-out war was
unleashed.