How Did Militarism Lead to World War I?

did-militarism-lead-world-war Credit: Print Collector/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Militarism between the Great Powers in Europe and Asia put military leaders, namely generals and admirals, in primary leadership positions as government ministers. While mass-producing new weapons and drafting war plans, these leaders refused to seek diplomatic solutions in favor of military ones.

Militarism refers to the belief or notion that a nation should keep a powerful military and use it aggressively to promote its own interests. When discussing the events unfolding in Europe, Col. Edward House, an adviser to U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, said, “The situation is extraordinary. It is militarism run stark mad.” Revolutionary advances in technology and large-scale production emboldened these militaristic governments and aristocracies, paving the way to the First World War.