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The Rise and Fall of Europe

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Submitted By blaine
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In the early 20th century Europe had acquired global dominance. Primarily its progress was due to the Industrial Revolution. However, there were many other factors that contributed to the rise of Europe. The first was the formation of alliance systems, which allowed for long term relationships between countries. Next was a sense of nationalism, which gave countries unity and allowed them to work together for the good of their country. Another factor was militarism and the arms race. Each country wanted to show their power through the military, even though they didn’t want to fight. Two more factors that contributed to the rise in European power include imperialism, or the belief of superiority, and Social Darwinism, which is a theory that competition between all individuals, groups, nations or ideas drives social evolution in human societies (Wikipedia). Many client-state relationships evolved in this time period, with Europe being the superior state and other nations being the subordinate clients. Because of these factors, Europe had better food distribution, advances in medicine and sanitation. Their standard of living also increased. Progress in Europe seemed inevitable; however, it was these factors that ultimately led to its downfall in the mid 20th century. The first major hit that Europe received was the “Great War” or World War I which occurred from 1914 to 1918. The causes of this war were not clear cut but they were believed to be the formation of alliances, competition, militarism and nationalism. Secret alliances developed in Europe after the Franco-Prussian War, which eventually split the continent into two hostile sides. These secret alliances led to the suspicion of more secret agreements. Because so many different powers were involved in mutual defense agreements, when the war did happen, it involved nearly every country of Europe....

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