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Did the Industrial Revolution inevitably cause World War 1?

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Transcript of Did the Industrial Revolution inevitably cause World War 1?

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[1]
Did the Industrial Revolution inevitably cause World War 1?
Generally considered separate from WW1, the Industrial Revolution (1760-1840), believe it or not, has strong correlations with the causes of The Great War.

This slideshow will go through the major links between the two historical events.
Did the Industrial Revolution inevitably cause World War 1?
Life before the Industrial Revolution
Life after the Industrial Revolution
During and after the Industrial Revolution, new technologies made overseas trade much more lucrative:

This made colonies vital to the economies and growth of European countries.

Between 1815 and 1914, the British Empire grew by 26,000,000 square kilometers and over 400 million people.

That's almost 25% of the World!

Rivalry between major European countries contributed to World War 1.
World War 1 Causes - Imperialism
Before the Industrial Revolution, most of Europe was completely rural.

Farm life mixed in with social life and was family-based.

The population didn't grow much, due to poverty, war, plagues and poor hygiene.

The countries we know today didn't exist. Europe was divided into many small states based on ethnicity and culture.

Many people suffered in poverty, only royalty and aristocracy being wealthy.
With the Industrial Revolution ...

People shifted from farm life to city life as people were needed to work in factories.

Many of the small nation states combined into empires and dynasties (e.g the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Ottoman Empire).

Wealth spread throughout Europe, albeit slowly (and not equally).

Quality of life improved with life expectancy increasing.
After the widespread industrialization
of arms manufacturing, Europe had soon started an arms race - which was a major catalyst for World War 1.

National pride had fostered militarism which in turn ignited the arms race.

Spending on arms increased dramatically as did Iron and steel production.

World War 1 Causes - Militarism

The Industrial Revolution brought Wealth
There were many benefits to society from the Industrial Revolution

Importantly, this resulted in an exponential increase in wealth - reflected in the GDP of major European countries.

The graph shows a spike in GDP from the 1800s.
World War 1 Causes - Nationalism
The Industrial Revolution provided perfect conditions for Nationalism to prosper.

Urbanization saw a rise in city populations.

This was aided by improved transport, living standards and literacy rates, as well as overall population increases.
source: http://www.correlatesofwar.org/, Singer, J. David. 1987. "Reconstructing the Correlates of War Dataset on Material Capabilities of States, 1816-1985" International Interactions, 14: 115-32.
World War 1 Causes - Imperialism
source: http://www.correlatesofwar.org/, Singer, J. David. 1987. "Reconstructing the Correlates of War Dataset on Material Capabilities of States, 1816-1985" International Interactions, 14: 115-32.
In terms of amassed colony size, there were major differences between Europe's empires.

Colonization meant more access to resources, which meant more potential wealth.
World War 1 Causes - Militarism
source: http://www.correlatesofwar.org/, Singer, J. David. 1987. "Reconstructing the Correlates of War Dataset on Material Capabilities of States, 1816-1985" International Interactions, 14: 115-32.
During the Industrial Revolution, military expenditure reflected the increased
acceptance of the use of force in
attaining political goals.
World War 1 Causes - Alliances
As political tensions were rising due to increased competition for wealth, colonies and resources, no single country could defend itself against all potential aggressors.

This led increasingly to alliances being formed, each creating military pacts.

If one empire were to go to war with another, then its allies would follow shortly.

Source: Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Map_Europe_alliances_1914-en.svg
"No matter what political reasons are given for war, the underlying reason is always economic."
A.J.P. Taylor - English Historian
World War 1 Causes
The direct cause of WWI was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand at Sarajevo on 28 June 1914 ...however, historians agree there were more long term causes including:

Nationalism
An extreme form of patriotism marked by feelings of superiority over other countries.

Imperialism
The colonization of other countries, often through military force in order to expand an existing country's power.

Militarism
The policy of aggressive military force to defend or pursue national interests.

Alliances
A formal agreement or treaty between nations to cooperate for specific purposes.
World War 1 Causes - Militarism
source: http://www.correlatesofwar.org/, Singer, J. David. 1987. "Reconstructing the Correlates of War Dataset on Material Capabilities of States, 1816-1985" International Interactions, 14: 115-32.
Force was still an acceptable means of attaining political and economic goals.

The graph shows
the rising number of conflicts globally in the century preceding the war.
To sum up, the causes of WW1 were fueled by:

The Logs
- the benefits and changes to modern society brought on by the Industrial Revolution
The Tinder
- nationalism, militarism, imperialism and the system of alliances
The Sparks
- the numerous smaller conflicts globally
Inevitable War?
Wealth helped balance Power & Rivalry
Wealth was not distributed equally amongst European countries

However the largest economies (Germany, the UK and Russia) had similar sized economies.

This helped maintain a balance of power but was also a source of competition.
The period from 1760 to 1840 saw rises in new technologies that facilitated manual and agricultural work.

Dramatic impacts on society remain even today, with improvements in ...
The Industrial Revolution - Quick Facts
What do you think is the most common cause of war?
The Industrial Revolution & The Great War
Importantly, the Industrial Revolution changed how wars were fought ...

New machines increased casualties.

Trains and cars made transporting troops and supplies faster.

Larger, healthier populations meant larger armies.

No country had experienced a full war with greater fire power and larger armies.
What do you know about the Industrial Revolution?
World War 1 Causes

Nationalism
World War 1 Causes

Imperialism
World War 1 Causes

Militarism
World War 1 Causes

Alliances
World War 1 Causes

How did these work toegther?
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