World War 1 Imperialism Essay

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Arguably one of the most significant conflicts to have ever taken place, World War 1 wreaked havoc upon nations. However, the causes of this war remain unbeknownst to many. Although there is no definite answer so as to what really lead to this conflict, factors such as imperialism have been long speculated to have played a role. When answering the question of to what extent imperialism within the great powers was a significant factor in their decision to go to war, one can argue that imperialism contributed greatly in the instigation of the war, as shown by imperialism’s creation of rivalry between nations, its impact on international relations and the way it lead to militarism. It is evident that imperialism caused rivalry when one considers…show more content…
His “Congo Free State” was legally recognized, allowing him full access to the African whilst hiding under false intentions of humanitarianism. With the control he now had, King Leopold was able to exploit Africa and instituted what one can only describe as a reign of terror. When the other European powers became aware of the dark motives behind his actions, they met in Berlin to sign the Berlin Act, which allowed these nations to claim any part of Africa with physical control. At first this led to placidity between nations. However, the scramble for Africa fueled the rivalry to come. As Study.com articulates “all of a sudden, European powers realized the value of African territory and began trying to take over it. This led to tremendous competition among the European powers, particularly Belgium, Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, and Spain.” This idea is further supported by the BBC, which explains that “commercial greed, territorial ambition, and political rivalry all fuelled the European race to take over Africa”. Another example of the rivalry created by imperialism is shown by the collapse of the Ottoman empire. This once strong empire suffered multiple losses, as one sees when considering the
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