ImperialismIt wasn’t just in Europe that Germany clashed with other European countries.

The bigger and richer European countries found an expression for their nationalism through embracing imperialism and attempting to build an empire for the glory of the nation.

Unfortunately, the situation of several European countries attempting to conquer and control new lands to aggressively assert their nation’s brilliance inevitably brought them into competition with one another. And when Germany arrived on the scene seeking what it called its ‘place in the sun’, European and global affairs became a lot more complex.

In the years leading up to 1914, there were several flashpoints and conflicts that resulted from these imperial rivalries:

The Boer War, 1899-1902

Britain went to war with the Boers (Dutch settlers) in South Africa. Germany voiced its support for the Boers and against Britain.

The First Morocco Crisis, 1905

At this time France attempted to gain further territory in Morocco. However, Germany came to the support of the Sultan of Morocco in an attempt to prevent France from seizing more territory.

The Second Morocco Crisis, 1911

France’s control over its Moroccan territories was threatened by a rebellion. France prepared to send in its troops, but for a time Germany threatened to send naval forces to the region to prevent this.

These imperial rivalries were another of the long-term causes of the war, with each territorial dispute causing the powers to become more hostile to one another.