1913: Population Growth and Imperial Ambitions
Did population growth help create the scenario for the first World War?
August 20, 2013
1. In the 30 years up to 1913, Britain’s population increased more than 28%, from 35 million to 45 million.
2. Germany’s population increased 36% from 50 million to 68 million.
3. France’s population, on the other hand, only grew by two million to 41 million — a fact not lost on German military planners.
4. In 1913, French President Raymond Poincare successfully campaigned to extend military conscription from two to three years to maintain the nation’s fighting parity with Germany.
From The Year of Globalization by Mark Archer (Wall Street Journal).