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Though there were several events leading up to World War I, these actions are generalized by a vital concept known as MANIA - an acronym which comprises of the themes of Militarism, Alliances, Nationalism, Imperialism, and Assassination.
- Following the Industrial Revolution, nations developed the resources, equipment, and weapons necessary to mobilize the strength of their military.
- Nations, such as England and Germany, created policies that helped to amplify the power and size of their armies.
- Prior to World War I, two immense alliances (mutual agreements of protection between nations) established a sharp divide throughout the globe.
- Triple Alliance: Germany, Italy, and Austria-Hungary
- Triple Entente: Britain, France, and Russia
- The French Revolution incited impact beyond France itself - it inspired change and unity within the most powerful European nations throughout the globe.
- Marked by a strong sense of pride and patriotism within one’s nation.
- The need to colonize and fulfill the duties of White Man’s Burden - an obligation to educate the “uncivilized” groups of individuals.
- Nations competed for the spot for the most powerful European nation. This is an immediate example of Social Darwinism - Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection and survival of the fittest.
- On this date, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary was executed by a Serbian nationalist. This single execution was a spark that led Austria Hungary to declare war on Serbia.
- As a result, alliances connected to these nations declared war on each other one by one, igniting the official beginning of World War I.