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Cause of World War 1

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Introduction

Q: "Nationalistic fervour was responsible for the outbreak of war." Do you agree with this statement? Argue your case. Nationalistic fervour was indeed responsible for the outbreak of war, as all the main causes of the war stem from the ideals of nationalism. There are two notable definitions of what nationalism means that can help historians determine what nationalism is. The Macquarie Dictionary defines nationalism as "the desire for national advancement of independence" and the World Book 2001 defines it as "wanting the best for a nation one is affiliated with." From these two definitions, as historians, we can link all the main causes of World War One to nationalistic fervour. Colonialism of Africa and the crises in Morocco added to tensions between Germany, Britain and France. The tensions in the Balkans coupled with the assassination of Franz Ferdinand all came from the thoughts of Serbian nationalism. The countries that were part of the alliance system and the treaties that went with the balance of power also wanted the best for their nation. The arms race and German militarism was a competition between Germany and Britain to have the best military, trade and empire. All the main causes of the Great War are all linked to nationalistic fervour in some way. ...read more.

Middle

Many historians call the assassination "the spark that lit the bonfire", that is The Great War. The Balkans was a mix of different nationalities, which had been under Turkish rule for centuries. Russia wanted to control the area to help Serbia, under its treaty with the country, to create a grand Slav nation for the area. Austria-Hungary also wanted to control the area, to gain trade routes in the Mediterranean, as did the Germans with a Berlin - Baghdad railway. In 1908, when Austria-Hungary took over Bosnia-Herzegovina, Russia and Serbia were livid, but they quickly backed off when Germany said it would support Austria-Hungary. Russia, determined to gain control over the area with Serbia, and still fuming, began a rapid arms build-up. In 1912, a newly formed Balkan League, comprising of Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece and Montenegro), defeated Turkey and gained more land from a decrypted Ottoman Empire, which was quickly diminishing. This victory gave more land to Serbia and Bulgaria, in particular, but in 1913, the Balkan League fell out because Bulgaria wanted more territory. Bulgaria then signed an alliance with Germany in 1914, to become an ally of the Triple Alliance. All of the nationalistic ideas of land and a grand Empire were really getting out of hand. Patriotism was being taken to the next level (war) ...read more.

Conclusion

Of course, this was only going to make tensions between the powers of Europe even worse. German militarism and the arms race at land and sea was just more explosives added to the bomb that was to explode into The Great War. In conclusion, nationalistic fervour was responsible for the outbreak of war for a number of reasons. The colonisation of Africa, Germany's want to expand into an empire, and the crises at Morocco are all examples of the strong nationalism of the times. The alignment of the alliance system and the treaties to better the countries involved caused more friction in the lead up to a seemingly inevitable war. The arms race at sea and land, with the ideals of German militarism added to the tide of emotion that had engulfed Europe in the early 20th century. But most importantly, the spark of the war came from the troubled Balkans region, who all wanted their own nations, and showed this through the assassination of the heir to the Austria-Hungarian throne. These are all major contributors to the outbreak of World War One, coming from nationalism, patriotism and nationalistic fervour. Word Count: 1626 ?? ?? ?? ?? World War 1 Causes Essay WW1 Causes Essay By Stuart Hinchliffe 30/07/07 Yr 11 IB Modern History Page 1/3 ...read more.

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