World War I began as a European conflict, only gradually did it develop into a world war (Ross, 6). The growing tensions between the European countries were caused by militarism, alliances, imperialism, and nationalism. The first cause, militarism, is known as the trend toward developing military resources, both for national defense and for the protection of colonial interests. Militarism denoted a rise in military expenditure and it increased in military and naval forces. It put more influence of the military men upon the policies of the civilian government. Militarism had a preference for force as a solution to problems. This was one of the main causes of the First World War. The second cause was there were too many alliances which often conflicted with one another. Every country was pledging to protect others, creating entangling mutual protection schemes. Alliances were made in secret and they produced a lot of distrust and suspicion among the European powers. Their general suspicion prevented their diplomats to devise a suitable solution to many of the crises preceding the war. The third cause was imperialism.