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World War I and II - Essay Example

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The world politics is dominated by struggle for power between states each trying to maximise its national interest through balance of power mechanisms (Baylis et al. 2008). According to this realism view, war is a natural condition of world politics…
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World War I and II
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Download file to see previous pages The First World War can be attributed to change in distribution of power in the international system and the many alliances which had been formed prior to the war to protect interests of different states (Dickson, 2011). This enabled all the European states to be drawn into the war making it the greatest war ever fought. However, there are many other causes which led and intensified the war. These include; arms race, nationalism, imperialism and militarism among others. The great powers involved in the war included Britain, Italy, France, Germany, Russia, and the Austria-Hungary Empire. The Second World War on the other hand, was as a result of dissatisfaction with the conditions of the peace treaty signed after the First World War and struggle for power by states. However, there are other important factors that contributed to the war such as the great depression of 1930s, the rise of totalitarianism, policy of appeasement, failure of the League of Nations as well as ideologies such as anti-communism, fascism, nationalism, and militarism among others (Dickson, 2011)....
eaders followed social Darwinist ideas which view war as “the only powerful force of nature through which stronger nations prevail over the weaker ones in an international struggle of the fittest.” The international system culture was also that of tolerance to war; disputes between nations were better settled through war rather than negotiation and this created a good environment for nations to wage war against each other in order to maintain or gain power over others. Dickson (2007) argues that the culture of tolerance enabled European powers to assert their power and influence. This is what led Germany to support Austria-Hungary in its quest for war against Serbia after it failed to honour an ultimatum issued by Austria-Hungary demanding justice. Austria-Hungary had severed relations with Serbia as it had a lot of influence on the Balkans hence had long planned to wage war against Serbia. The war was supposed to be small scale but due to the alliance system, the war escalated to a great magnitude. The alliance system began with Bismarck’s desire to unify Germany with the confederate states hence the war with Austria in the north and France in the south. The two were defeated by Prussia and the confederate states united to form the German empire. The loss of Alsace and Lorraine to Prussia left France yearning for revenge against Germany and was just waiting for an opportunity to attack. Germany’s desire to become a world power led it into acquiring more states and hence needed protection against the other powers. It thus started forming alliances with other powers so as to guard against any attacks from France or Russia. Germany formed an alliance with Austria-Hungary and Russia but Russia withdrew later hence the dual alliance to aid each other in case of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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