Essay on the First World War: How Imperialism Caused the First World War

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  854 Words
Date:  2021-06-01

Introduction The First World War was the result of European imperialism. Empire shaped and the First World War.

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I agree with this statement: The First World War was as a result of European imperialism.

Imperialism Is the process of empire building and expansion of your reach. It started taking place around the 1400s ( known as the 15th century) - European states acquired the need to expand, but it was fully implemented during the 1800s(19th century). At this point, European states had become powerful due to the rapid growth of industries in Europe and their pockets were full. The European states filled with greed. They were unable to conquer Asia due to its great population thus they decided to embark on a conquest of Africa.

Talks in Germany at a Berlin conference had held the scramble for the African continent at bay. Bismark was able to ensure that an anti-imperialist policy was put in place which slowed down the process of expansion in Africa since every state in Europe wanted to expand their territory in this newfound continent. Though they later agreed that Africa did not operate as a European state and effective control was introduced, but before it could be implemented. Bismark was succeeded by Caprivi. The anti-imperialist policy was restored. But as the years went by, the diplomatic talks deteriorated, and the European states started to accumulate weapons so as to protect themselves in the event of an attack. As a result of greed, the countries started to scramble for Africa since it was rich in resources and also attacking each others colonies. Germany, for instance, attacked France in Africa, but in the end, the French were compensated and allowed to take Morocco as one of its colonies. Selfish European state interests lead to the war.

His Majesty King Leopold ventured into the Republic of Congo as awarded the independent state during the 1884 Berlin conference. His goal was to empower the natives of Congo with formal education; secure their welfare with medical supplies, come bearing gifts as well as skills to willfully win the hearts of the Natives. On the contrary, He exercised extreme brutality and inhumane acts in the running of the independent state of Congo. The natives hated and despised the government that was put in place because the government was exploiting the natives, engaging in the trade of slaves as well as taking advantage of the fact that there was no way that what his government was doing would be exposed. Driven by his greed, He would attack the villages and turn them against each other. Under his command, the state officials took total control and were unanswerable to anything. He empowered them with the ability to kill and steal from the local natives. The conditions in Congo had become extremely severe. The natives had developed a pure hatred for the monarchical government. His Majesty King Leopold was conducting trade, but he was exempting export duty from his product while he was taxing other products from other European states.

Due to his treacherous crimes, he was subject to answer for his crimes, after Honorable George Washington had conducted a field study of what was taking place in Congo. Although He had brought pain and suffering to Africa especially in the country of Congo, He contributed to the stop of the second world war in that he didnt participate in the war and was rather interested in negotiations. He denied Germany entry since they were to fight the French leaving Belgium in between to be a waste land.

I dont agree that European imperialism led to the First World War in King Leopolds case.

As much we wont like to admit the inevitable. Every deed has a positive and a negative side considering the fact that there was an accelerated aggression in need for European imperialism whereby the European states sought to be the most powerful states in the world by expansion. There is also a positive side to it. The Map of the world was redrawn at the Berlin conference of 1884 following the European states establishing colonies in Africa. As much as scramble for power always seeks to destroy rather than to build, in this case, there were diplomatic relations which were cemented- like the British and French had signed treaties forming alliances. In that in the event of an attack, one state can be able to rely on another state for support.


I think its safe to conclude that war is brought about by selfish reasons. Reasons which may include scramble for raw materials, more colonies, increase in political as well as economic power. History has proven to prosper as a state (currently referred as a nation or country), alliances are what make this world a better place not investing in the nuclear arsenal and advanced weaponry. As much as they are necessary, it is important to consider the less powerful nations who are not fortunate enough to enjoy the luxury of being a superpower.

Works Cited

http://encyclopedia. George Washington William open letter excerpts.pdf

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Essay on the First World War: How Imperialism Caused the First World War. (2021, Jun 01). Retrieved from

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