|Military Buildup||Defense Alliances||Nationalism||Colony Disputes|
During the time before World War One, land was still the equivalent of power. The more land you had, the more powerful you were since it meant you could draw on more resources. Thus, it was imperative for European countries to have and maintain power over colonies in other places, mainly in Africa and Asia. This led to competition between the countries for colonies.
This competition took a couple of different forms. In one way, it was a competition between the countries themselves over certain colonies. However, the most major issue was losing colonies due to the colony declaring independence or revolting.
|Colony of France.|
The most major situation that contributed to the war was the Moroccan revolt. In 1904, France was in control of the Moroccan colony. France also had other powerful colonies in Algeria and Viet Nam, and as such it was bound to begin losing one. Morocco therefore began protesting for independence in 1905.
This wasn't a problem until Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany declared that France had no control or authority over Morocco. This move actually led to a crisis in Europe because colonial strength was at stake. Due to Germany's action here, Britain and France grew closer together because the Prime Minister at the time disagreed with Germany's actions. Through this their defense alliance was further solidified, and France's tension with Germany grew evermore. The conclusion was that France could keep the Moroccan colony at the Algeciras Conference in 1906.
In accordance to this conference, the French were supposed to protect any Germanic people in the region (since revolting would not be uncommon). In 1911, Germany felt this was violated, and thus they sent a ship to a port city in Morocco to protect the people. They subsequentially denied France's holding on Morocco once again, but this aggravated the British (which was part of the Entente). Germany backed down as long as they received rights over the Congo region.
This particular colonial issue certainly brought the countries closer to war. If anything, it increased tension by much between the two alliances, and it made Britain and France hate Germany even more. Germany's bravery in each case, along with its ever increasing military, scared Britain and France that war may be incoming, and so they would prepare. This preparation would only cause Germany to become increasingly claustophobic and resentful toward the Entente. Finally, due to Germany backing down so easily, the Germanic sense of nationalism was hurt. The people could not handle this idea, and they called the government weak. When it came time to act in Austria-Hungary's behalf therefore, Germany would not again be "weak".