Skip to main content

Year 9: World War I



By the end of the 1800s much of the world was colonised by European powers, specifically Britain, France, Portugal, Spain, and Belgium. Britain held the biggest empire with many countries in Africa and Asia under its rule, and Germany was keen to extend its own empire. 

What were the benefits of having colonies across the world and how did a desire for more territory affect relationships between European countries and eventually lead to war?

The fear over spreading European empires is portrayed in the British satirical cartoon below from the late 1880s.