Germany had ambitious expansion plans and wanted a large empire.
However, Germany had entered the race for colonisation too late and much of Africa was already conquered.
When Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia and Russia mobilised, Austria counted on Germany; its only ally to support them in an event of a war and Germany only did so as it did not want to lose its only ally.
Italy had left behind Austria-Hungary and Germany in the Triple Alliance that potentially shows the weakness within the alliance system.
The great powers mostly had just modernised meaning new technology and weapons.
Imperialism Ww1 Essays Descriptive Writing Of A Beach Essay
The arms race began in 1891 and by 1914 Germany had the biggest increase in military spending.
Furthermore, the crisis in the Balkans did not help ease tensions at all between the Great Powers.
Austria-Hungary and Russia on two different sides (Triple Alliance/Entente) both had conflicting interests in the Balkans and had become a great source of tension in Europe. The Habsburg Empire had been trying to repress the nationalism and Serbia was extremely unhappy when Austria-Hungary annexed Bosnia-Herzegovina, however, the gains Serbia made in the First Balkan War of 1912, alarmed Austria-Hungary.
However, imperialism was not the leading cause of World War I and was an important factor, however, not the main cause.
Imperialism is not one of the most important causes of World War One.