One of the main causes of World War I was militarism. Militarism is a strong belief in and dedication to expanding a country’s armed forces. In the years leading up to World War I, many European countries built up their armies to deter attacks from any unfriendly neighbors. As many European countries were also industrialized, armies grew to tremendous sizes.
At the same time, other nations began expanding their naval forces. As an island nation, England has traditionally maintained a strong navy to ensure its security. When Germany began to rapidly expand its navy, England saw this as a threat. Both countries competed for naval supremacy, and the naval arms race had begun.
Of all the various types of ships produced at the time, the most feared were the dreadnoughts. Dreadnoughts were enormous battleships with large guns that were able to attack and destroy targets from over five miles away. England and Germany were not the only countries to build such ships. The USS Delaware, pictured here, is an example of an American dreadnought battleship.
How do advancements in technology contribute to global conflicts?
Check for Understanding
Evaluate the influence of ships like this one on international relations using evidence from the photograph and your knowledge of world history.