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What was the Effect of Nationalism on World War I?

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Introduction

What was the Effect of Nationalism on World War I? History - Smith Allysa Nationalism greatly affected World War I in multiple ways. Despite the common idea that the First World War was initiated by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, that Serbia, a Balkan country under Russian protection, received the blame. Even though this was a true event, his death could not be the only catalyst of a global war. Instead, nationalism was a primary cause to the four-year conflict that would cataclysmically change Europe forever. Because several factors that provoked the war were results of nationalism in different European nations, some of the largest causes towards the war were German unification - which later upset the central European balance of power, as well as territorial rivalries. Among all of the many European states and peoples, the fuel of nationalistic ideas was further strengthened by factors of competition within European territories. Furthermore, with regards that there are certainly other such as Social Darwinism and militarism. Also, economic competition was influenced by nationalist feeling as the extreme pride of each country - partially based on industrial capacities as well as colonies - led root causes that provoked the first World War, nationalism was definitely a great cause based on the factors and events in which it triggered that eventually led to the First World War. ...read more.

Middle

Several of the German and Austria-Hungary leaders had fear in what they saw as an unavoidable battle between the "Slavs" - people of eastern European origin, and the German civilization. Lastly, Social Darwinism also greatly affected competition amongst states for colonies. Expansion was certainly important for the assurance of a country's economic and military strength in the face of rivals. For a nation to have a slower growing rate in comparison to neighboring countries and territories or to not match a rival state's military or economic advancement was seen tantamount as to a death sentence. So, Social Darwinism injected urgency, desperation, and strong anxiety over international relations. The race for a vastly growing amount of colonies by each state had competition simultaneously growing. In addition for desperate attempts to establish colonies, militarism was also seeked during this time. By 1914, Germany had always had the best military buildup. Both Germany and Britain increased their navies throughout this time - further in Germany and Russia in particular; militarily establishment had an increasing influence upon public policy. It was this increase that played as a key factor in competition leading to rivalry - which helped push to war. The present advancements in technology, such as the Industrial Revolution of Britain, had expanded the consumer markets. Just after 1850, this allowed many businesses to exploit these markets. However, it additionally allowed for the expansion of the amount of producers competing for the markets, which increased competition for what at the time seemed to be an inactive economy - by the turn of the century. ...read more.

Conclusion

This created conflict with Austria-Hungary, which leads to the next nationalistic power. Established as a dual-monarchy in 1867, Austria-Hungary had rule over a huge empire that included many differing nationalities within it; such as Czechs, Serbs, Croats, Poles, Rumanians, and Serbs. However, it was only the Austrians and the Hungarians that had the right to rule - which later caused the other nationalities to form a desire for their own political independence. Therefore, the dual-monarchy policy had been established for the purpose of suppressing nationalist movements. The objective was being to collect political control over the Balkan Peninsula, as here nationalist acts occurred often and consistently encouraged nationalistic movements within the Austria-Hungarian Empire. The main part of the nationalist movement in the Balkans happened to be Serbia - which desired unification with Serbs of Austria-Hungary to form its own power. Additionally, being a Slav country, Russia always supported Serbia in any Austro-Serbian disputes. So, as the European powers attempted to dominate each other before the start of World War I, the rivalries were instigated by factors of nationalism. For the most part, in Europe, the nineteenth century was considered one of the most peaceful times in history. This was made possible as European powers were simply preoccupied by internal events - whether nationalistic, political, or liberal; as well as economic development. However, provided these advancements which helped in giving these nations their power, these are the countries that have turned the calm times in Europe into a time of revolution, extreme economic turmoil, and eventually, the First World War. ...read more.

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