European militarism involved a few factors. Militarism describes a period of time when a country builds up its military. This was a common practice in European history. This was especially true at the end of the 1800s. Because there was a race for colonies, countries began to build up their army and navy. Because most of the available land was already taken, countries like Germany and Italy, which didn't become unified countries until 1870, were desperate to get colonies either by taking them from the existing world powers or by conquering lands that still were available. Since not a lot of land was available for colonization, this meant taking land from other European colonial powers. As a result, Germany and Italy built up their military. France and Great Britain did the same in anticipation of the challenge presented by Germany and Italy. History has shown us that when countries build up their army and navy, the purpose is often to send a message that a country won't hesitate to use its military to accomplish its goals. Throughout European history, militarism has often led to wars and conquest. It was no different by the end of the 1800s. By 1914, the world would be at war, and the desire for land would be one of the causes of the war. Building up the military would be another cause of World War I. Throughout history, European militarism has meant a military build up with war and conquest to follow.