What Led to War in the 20th Century
The growing exceptionalism and ideal of national identity throughout European countries was a major cause, because it created friction between countries as well as racist and nationalist bias. The new found nationalism led to many uprisings across Europe, such as that of the Irish, Poles, Italians, and many more. Because of these tensions, new allies formed across the different nations, notably the formation of the allies and axis powers. Germany and Austria banded together in 1879, and France and Russia joined together in 1894, which left Great Britain to be forced to choose a side .
The Industrial Revolution was also a big player in the increase of wars seen over the 20th century, because of new, better, and more dangerous weapons such as machine guns, airplanes, and mustard gas. War became more defensive than offensive. As the Industrial Revolution was going on in Europe, each country was competing to produce more than the other, and better products than the other, essentially leading to an arms race across the continent. The arms race was also perpetuated by the fear that if a country did not join it, they would be left behind and suffer a crushing defeat if (or when) war did break out. It was because of this that a publishing called The Future War by Ivan Bloch started circling around in 1892. It was a series that predicted the catastrophic warfare that Europe would see in the near future because of the path it was headed down .
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