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To What Extent Was Balkan Nationalism Responsible for the Outbreak of the First World War?

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Pal Shah 07/09/2003 11 C History HL To What Extent Was Balkan Nationalism Responsible for the Outbreak of the First World War? The First World War was a long and tragic war that kidnapped Europe into four years of war with each other. The war left behind it an appalling saga of a raped Europe - ten million dead, millions of widows and orphans, unredeemable destruction to countries and cities, and emotionally tortured millions of minds. The question though, is who caused this atrocious circumstance in Europe? And what pulled in so many countries in a one war? One victim of the blame is Balkan Nationalism - but the real question is: To what extent is this nationalism responsible towards the inauguration of the First World War? In 1914 Europe was a melting pot of tension. The reason for this was the fact that the "Super Powers" of Europe were at the epitome of a power struggle. There were the "Entente" powers of one side, with the United Kingdom (U.K), France, and Russia on one side, and the "Central" powers - Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy, on the other side. ...read more.


This would be as the Balkans was a hotspot of European conflict, and actions like these, that could create havoc in a "Super Power" (Austria-Hungary), would be absolutely unacceptable. It is reasonable on the side of the Austria-Hungarians' to be concerned by such terrorist groups, that want to fuel nationalism in a empire that has so many ethnic minorities being ruled over by a one Emperor. This - the "Black Hand" and their gang - were one of the prime reasons of why Balkan nationalism was responsible for the outbreak of World War I. Another reason why Serbian Nationalism was responsible for the outbreak of World War I, would be due to the fact that not only are groups like the "Black Hand" promoting nationalism (and Serbian at that), but by doing so, they are encouraging the Serbs in Austria Hungary to revolt. The aim of this would be that by revolting against Austria-Hungary, the Serbians would join Serbia, to form a "Greater" Serbia - which was the aim of the "Black Hand." ...read more.


Likewise, there is also the reality that Serbia could have accepted the terms of the Ultimatum, and avoided conflict with a "Super Power," which was bound to get all of Europe into war. Serbia in all likelihood knew that them rejecting the Ultimatum would lead to a major war in Europe - but decided to put their nationalism before logic. Serbia decided that it should show its people how patriotic the Government can be, and therefore did not give into to a power like Austria-Hungary. Thereby, due to all the reasons mentioned above, one can see that Austria-Hungary saw Serbia as a growing threat to their dominancy in the Balkans, as Serbia too was a growing and an influential power in that region. This tension is one of the chief reasons for the outbreak for war. This could have been avoided if Serbia would have simply understood that their ambitious expansion plans at the cost of other nations would simply not work, and that an influence-in-the-region race would not work with a "Super Power" such as Austria-Hungary. One can conclude, therefore, that Serbian Nationalism was to blame for the outbreak of the First World War. 1 Source: http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/FWWblackhand.htm ...read more.

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