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Imperialistic Rivalries and the Road to the First World War

            "The first great twentieth century world war" has been widely written about and examined, therefore making Lowell Ragatz's attempt to supplement and focus on important aspects of this event fair. Some of the information, however, may have enhanced the chapter if it was left out, and an emphasis was made on other sections of the road to war. Overall, nonetheless, the author did a good job to extract information that would reinforce one's knowledge of the subject, while still being selective.
             There is an extensive focus on imperialism and its contribution to the emergence of the war. Imperialism, according to the chapter, was the basis for national relations of the time. The tide had turned to a situation where the individual associated himself with the needs and interest of the nation at large, rather than personal endeavors. Such a description of imperialism clarifies reasons why the war was accepted, rather than it being met by mass hostility. The chapter, however, seems to focus extensively on the definitions of imperialism and its relation and non-relation to nationalism and colonialism. Its importance in shaping the foreign relations of 1815 is, in contrary to the author's statements, overemphasized. This space may have been better used on individual and more recent events, that created deepened rivalries between the powers, sparking their grandiose aspirations in other parts of the world, also know as colonialism, which predictably lead to major discontent with one another.
             The focus on expansion and colonialism is information that the textbook delves into very sufficiently, therefore the chapters focus on it heightens ones understanding of the extent to which World Politics grew, from such expansionist principles, becoming an initiating factor in the war. Given that the aim of the chapter is to give a concise but accurate overview of the situation pre-1914, it does well to eradicate unnecessary detailing of events that linger in the textbook.

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