Expansion of a state’s control over territories and peoples beyond its borders is likely to lead to friction, hence insecurity, because the safety zones and spheres of influence of competing nations are bound to overlap sooner or later. On the Western Front, France and the United Kingdom halted the German advance in September 1914. Profits can be achieved through the supply of valuable raw materials and foodstuffs, precious minerals, and cheap labour. The weakness in their view is that historical evidence does not support it and that it fails to explain precapitalist imperialism and communist imperialism. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. In their modern form, arguments about the causes and value of imperialism can be classified into four main groups. Then the decades between the middle of the 19th century and World War I (1914–18) were again characterized by intense imperialistic policies. Our worksheet bundle includes a fact file and printable worksheets and student activities. Europe never regained the leading position in world affairs that it had before the war. When the fighting began, each nation’s allies became involved in the conflict.France, Russia, and the United Kingdom—collectively known as the Entente—backed Serbia. It is the most important cause of WW1, because it created a build-up of tension in Europe and outside of Europe, and through imperialism, the three other causes were able to affect the beginnings of the war. Corrections? Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_relations_of_the_Great_Powers_(1814%E2%80%931919). However, critics say imperialism exists today; for example, many in the Middle East saw the U.S.-led Iraq War as a new brand of anti-Arab and anti-Islamic imperialism. This all came on top of Britain and France having colonial and trade interests in the region too. World War I (1914-1918) was a conflict that involved more countries and caused greater destruction than any other war up to its time. Then Japan renewed its empire building with an attack in 1931 upon China. The opposing armies then fought from trenches that stretched across Belgium and northeastern France. Imperialism as a cause of WWI. The conditions that led to World War I took shape over several decades. Other imperial nations of the 19th century included Russia, which held territories in Eastern Europe, France, which held territories primarily in South East Asia, the newly unified Germany, which maintained control over countries in primarily in Africa, Austria-Hungary which ruled over significant regions in Europe itself, and to a lesser extent Spain, the Ottoman Empire, Portugal, Belgium, Holland and Italy. Nations are urged, proponents of this viewpoint say, to obtain bases, strategic materials, buffer states, “natural” frontiers, and control of communication lines for reasons of security or to prevent other states from obtaining them. In decline, it retained modern-day Turkey, Egypt, Syria, Palestine, Armenia and Macedonia. The shooting took place in Sarajevo, the capital of Austria-Hungary's province of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Provides over 25,000 encyclopedic entries.