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M.A.I.N - World War I

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Stephanie Babiak

on 11 February 2014

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Transcript of M.A.I.N - World War I

M.A.I.N - World War I
M is for... Militarism
Militarism is the idea that a society has its focus on the development of armaments and associated technology. It also relates to a society that possesses a powerful military class.

Between 1871 and 1914, there were enormous advances in military technology, as well as an increase in equipment and personnel. This was all linked to the rise of aggressive nationalism and imperialism in the European nations, which we’ll cover shortly, but remember – nothing stands alone.
Technology gone mad
The size of armies and navies came to be seen as a reflection of national pride, and a symbol of a nation’s capability to rule the world. This led to nations essentially competing with one another to show their superiority in terms of their military, and forgetting that the whole reason they had built their armies in the first place was for security.

Technology developments in military fields helped fuel this fire. Gone were the wooden ships that needed sails to propel them forward – instead steel armored monsters driven by turbine engines had taken over the field. Their capacity for killing was like nothing that had been seen on the seas before.

War ships of the past
The new menace - The Dreadnought
M.A.I.N - why it matters
1914 saw the dawn of the First World War. From what we’ve already covered, it’s pretty self evident that things are not going well. In short, Europe is a big fat mess.

But why is it like this?

There is a general consensus among historians that there were four M.A.I.N causes of the first world war. These are as follows:
M = Militarism
A = Alliances
I = Imperialism
N = Nationalism

A is for... Alliances
We've already looked in class at how the string of alliances helped cause the war, so we won't focus too much on that today.
Not the best way of handling things...
Navies for the win! ... or lose.
During this time, the British were known for their navy, and it was a point of pride and honour among them. Before 1888, when Otto von Bismarck was in power in Germany, the Germans opted not to push forward aggressively in terms of military and acquisition of colonies, as Bismarck believed this would result in conflict with Britain.

However, when Wilhelm II ascended to the throne in 1888, this policy was completely altered. He wished to expand Germany’s power and influence, and this began with the expansion of their military and navy.
In 1904, the British responded, and began their own period of naval expansion. Each was trying to outdo the other.

Layer upon layer of bad things...
We’re going to look at each of these in more detail, but remember, not ONE of these causes would be enough by itself.

They are all interconnected and multi-layered. It was the COMBINATION of these things that led to the outbreak of the war, rather than just one by itself.
And so it goes...
This naval arms race did not go unnoticed by the other major powers of Europe.
It impacted on the attitudes and actions of the rest of Europe, who also began preparing for war – they believed they had no choice but to continue this rivalry lest they be left behind and seen as a weak easy target, and therefore susceptible to war or invasion.
I is for... imperialism
Imperialism refers to a country's desire to increase its influence via colonisation, use of military force or other means.
Colonisation refers to establishing new populations, or colonies, in new countries. Think about how Britain colonised Australia - this is a prime example of colonisation, and also of imperialism.

The 19th Century saw European powers trying to consolidate their power through the acquisition of territory and resources in other parts of the world.
From 1870 onwards, this land grab became even more frantic as the number of unclaimed territories decreased.

N is for... nationalism
Nationalism has been one of the most powerful forces in modern history.

And on that note, it's reading time!
M = Militarism
A = Alliances
I = Imperialism
N = Nationalism
Full transcript