Europe exploded in the 20th century, setting the stage for a conflict that would shatter the very foundations of the continent. As regional hostility & competition grew, World War 1 began as thefirst armed struggle to witness the complete mobilization of society at large, while the effects of the war left a fatal toll on the population, devastating the stability of Germany. With the rise of 19th century new imperialism, competition among European countries increased. The brutality of colonialism, which marked the end of many lives, served as an indirect cause of the war, heightening global tensions. The early 20th century also bore witness to many political and social crises in and around Europe that led politicians to willingly pursue a foreign war to divert attention from domestic conflicts, as demonstrated by the effects of the Dreyfus Affair. Increased militarism also served as a cause of the war, as Britain and Germany set the sea as its stage for naval discord. As the oddly enthusiastic responses to World War 1 delineate the social effects of the war, the political effects lie in the signing of the Treaty of Versailles and the utter financial chaos Germany was left in. The social fabric of the era changed as women figured more prominently. The war left a legacy of deceived feelings; many felt betrayed by the immorality of propaganda, often questioning why the war was received differently outside of their country. The republic replaced the constitutional monarch as the standard type of government, and the belief that nations have the right to political self-determination arose.
An underlying cause of WW1 is rooted in the arms race of the period, often referred to as militarism (Document 1). Britain and Germany were not necessarily natural enemies, with Britain readily accepting the fact that the German army was possibly the most powerful on the continent. However, naval forces posed an issue to the British since their fleet …

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