SELF-INTERST SPARKED WORLD WAR I
READ ABOUT IT!
Welcome to the Self-Interest Sparked World War I Virtual Center. The first thing your group needs to do is read about the Self-Interest that sparked World War I. After you read, you need to work together to complete the Self-Interest Center Page in your Lesson Chronicles.
Imperialism is when a nation takes over another nation to rule them and take their natural resources. The definition of imperialism describes self-interest as well. Taking over another nation for their natural resources is concern only for what you need. There was no concern for the nation you took over.
Alliances Were About Self-Interest
Alliances were made out of self-interest. Alliances are agreements between nations to work together for a common goal or to defend each other in the event of war. Invasion alliances were made between nations to increase the chances that they would win in a war. Winners received land or money. Invading another nation was about getting something you wanted from another nation without any concern for that nation's feelings. Defense alliances were made between nations to decrease the chances of another nation invading and to help defend each other in the event of invasion. Defense alliances were about protecting your nation from other nations who might want to invade. Asking another nation to help defend you is a form of self-interest. You are asking them to take a risk to protect you because you are more interested in protecting your nation than in preserving theirs.
The Assassination Was About Self-Interest
The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand was about self-interest as well. Assassination is killing a famous or important person usually for political reasons. Serbian nationalists plotted to assassinate the Archduke because they wanted their nation to be as important as Austria-Hungary. They wanted Bosnia to be a part of their nation. They were more interested in what was best for their nation than what was best for Austria-Hungary or the Archduke. On the flip side of that, self-interest is what put the Archduke in Bosnia. He was inspecting his army troops that had occupied the capital of Bosnia. If Austria-Hungary had never annexed Bosnia into their empire, there would have been no assassination in the first place.
Crises Were About Self-Interest
Crises were also about self-interest. Crises are a difficult or dangerous situations in which a decision must be made quickly and the result of the decision has heavy consequences. Every crises was a result of one nation wanting something from another nation without any regard for the consequences. The Moroccan Crisis was about who would control Morocco and gain their rich farm lands and mining country. France and Germany were self-interested. They did not consider that Morocco wanted to be independent. The Bosnian Crisis was also about self-interest. Austria-Hungary annexed Bosnia without any regard for how Bosnia or her neighbors would feel about it.
Self-Interest Is Not a Bad Thing
Even though self-interest is responsible for World War I, self-interest is not a bad thing. Nations have to put their nation first. It is human nature to protect ourselves, our families, and our property. Self-preservation is a natural tendency to protect yourself from harm or death. We have a responsibility to ourselves to take care of ourselves and we are happy when we feel all of our needs and some of our wants are met. Nations have a responsibility to protect their citizens and to provide a safe place for citizens to live and work. So nations have to put their citizens needs first, just as parents have to put their children's needs first.
The nations of Europe did try to build nations in which their citizens could be proud. They did build armies and form alliances to protect their citizens. They did take over other nations to ensure that their citizens had the natural resources they needed to survive and thrive. They did build up the citizens and give them reasons to be proud. Unfortunately, what was best for one nation might not be best for other nations. It was this conflict of self-interests that started World War I and it would take the world almost 70 years to learn that unless we communicate and work through conflicts of interests, we are doomed to a life of constant war.
The second thing we need to do is to analyze what you have learned. In this activity, you will be given several scenarios where you must determine what the conflict is and how the conflict could have been resolved with both sides having the most needs met. You will blog about your ideas and respond to others comments.
Conflicts of Self-Interests
Click on the icons below to read and blog about 6 different conflicts. Follow the directions in each blog.
You just learned about alliances before World War I. You analyzed the relationships between the major nations and determined whether they were friends or enemies. Now you need to show off what you know. Complete the Center Check by clicking on the Center Check Icon below and answering the questions.
You have completed the Assassination that Led to World War I Center. Click on the button below to go back to the Lesson 1 - The Causes of World War I Home Page.