How Did Militarism Contribute to World War 1?
The Great Depression was a major factor that led to World War 1. When the wealthy industrial nations of the world began to compete for resources, many saw their markets as being cut off from the rest of the world. The United States was one of these countries. As the cost of raw materials and energy grew, many of the United States’ trading partners in Europe and Asia were experiencing higher than normal inflation and trade deficit deficits. These nations responded by cutting back on their purchases of U.S. Treasury Bonds (known as foreign bonds when they are issued outside the United States), and others began to do the same.
The response of world leaders to this global problem was a defensive one. World War 1 was ignited when France, Germany, and Italy each began to build up massive armaments programs in preparation for war with the other. The response to this by the international community was to cut back on military spending, but not to the degree that would have been sufficient to defeat an enemy. This led to a global economic depression that the United States was arguably partly responsible for.
Military technology was again a key player in the development of weapons used during World War 1. German and Italian military technology created some of the most lethal weaponry the world has ever seen, including the poison gas gasses used by German soldiers to kill enemy soldiers in the trenches. British military technologies like the rifled musket helped the British to slowly win the Second World War. How did militarism contribute to world war 1?
In order to answer the question ‘how did militarism contribute to world war 1’, it is necessary to look at how wars are fought. War involves a conflict between two groups with opposite objectives. At the start of the game each side is neutral and has no aspirations to gain control over the world. They simply want to survive the first world war and emerge as stronger nations than their opposition. As each side grows more powerful, they are forced to come to blows with one another, usually ending with one side retaining control of the world.
How Did Militarism Contribute To World War 1?
As each side develops their military technology, it is important to remember that technological advances can only go so far. Realistic goals must be set if military power is to be used effectively. Without a clearly defined goal, any military strategy made by a nation is based on the whims of leaders. For example, if Hitler wanted to end the war quickly, he would use every available resource to make this happen.
In the early minutes of World War 1, when news of a new German invention or German plan to attack Britain came out, public opinion was against it. However, once the technology was brought to the forefront of the public’s consciousness, they began to support the war effort. A key question then became how did militarism contribute to world war 1. Hitler and his Nazi party began advocating aggressive actions against neighboring countries in an attempt to gain global dominance.
The infamous “blood thirst” speech, written by Nazi leader Adolphus von Moltke was a turning point for the German soldiers. The speech, which was recorded and read by thousands of Germans in occupied territories, galvanized the soldiers and allowed them to fight more ferociously than ever before. Eventually, after WWI ended and Germany began to rebuild its military technology, these changes sparked a Second World War. Again, there were not many clear goals to guide the soldiers. After the defeat of the German military, it was clear that Hitler and his fellow National Socialist movement had failed to fulfill their aggressive plans.
The US entered the Second World War with a huge arsenal of nuclear weapons. Unlike the German aircraft carriers which were sunk off the coast of Europe, the US had no shortage of aircraft carriers. One of the most powerful weapons used in this period of world war was radar. Radio technology allowed US soldiers to know exactly where the enemy military was and when they were most likely to attack. Even though we are still locked in debate over whether or not we should have used nuclear weapons in World War 2, it is safe to say that without the technology which enabled the growth of the German Air Force and the bombing of the Japanese cities that would win the war for the Germans, we may never have won.