Militarism denoted a rise in military expenditure, an increase in military and naval forces, more influence of the military men upon the policies of the civilian government, and a preference for force as a solution to problems. Militarism was one of the main causes of the First World War.
Increase in military control of the civilian government
After 1907, there was an increase in military influence on policy making. This could be reflected particularly in Germany and Russia. The German Army at this period was called a "State within the State". The parliament and the politicians had to follow the General Staff. They had no say in the army's design to preserve the Fatherland. Even though the Schlieffen Plan would incur the anger of Great Britain and bring the latter into a war, it was accepted by the German civilian government as the war plan. In 1914, the Russian generals were also able to force the Czar to accept full mobilization. They threatened him with the danger of defeat if he acted contrarily.
Arms race
After 1871, the war atmosphere engendered by the secret alliances led to an armaments race among the powers. The race was particularly serious between 1900 and 1914, as the international situation became much worse than before. There was a significant rise in the army and naval estimates of the European powers in these years.
Rise in Military Expenditure
The Total Defence Expenditure of the Powers (in million £ )
(Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy, Britain, France and Russia)
It is also important to take notice of the fact that from 1910 to 1914, while France increased her defence expenditure by 10%, Britain by 13%, Russia by 39%, and Germany was the most militaristic as she increased by 73%. Increased war expenditure enabled all the powers to raise more armies and improve their battleships.
Military Rivalry
Army conscription
All the Continental European powers had adopted...