Nationalism, a political ideology of a strong national identity, was clearly responsible for the outbreak of World War One. The overreaching desire to be the greatest nation was intensified toward the end of the 19th Century. Tension began sprawling from country to country in relation to a shift in the balance of power. In order to fix the heavily important balance of power, countries sought out to extend their influence through the acquisition of colonies, thus gaining resources and prestige, vital components for maintaining nationalistic ideologies. However, to protect these newly acquired colonies and to prevent the loss of their prestige, countries felt the need to increase their military might by large which in turn would advert major threats to their colonies. Along with an increase of militarism, countries sought out the creation of two alliance system's, the triple alliance, and the triple Entente, to secure their nations prestige and self interest.
In response to the shifted imbalance of power, countries sought to gain colonies as well as resources and prestige through imperialism. By the beginning of the 20th century, most of the world had been colonised by only a few great powers. The British empire had colonised countries such as India, South Africa, and parts of North Africa. France as well had colonised several countries including Morocco, Tunisia, New Caledonia, etc. As imperialism increased, so did the need for prestige. Disputes occurred between countries, for example, France and Italy over Tunis, Britain and Germany over South Africa, and France and Germany over Morocco. Germany, a late player, was eager to gain a place in the sun as shown in source C, a British postcard which is reliable in portraying how Britain felt about Germany, however not reliable in showing what was happening at the time due to it's overwhelming bias opinion. Tension increased furthermore with Austria-Hungary's shot at imperialism in the Balkans in the an attempt to maintain its position of power, and it's prestige.