How did WW1 contribute to nationalism in the British Colonies?

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How did WW1 contribute to nationalism in the British Colonies?

In 1914 the British Government knew that their armed forces alone were too small to take on the power and strength of the Triple Alliance. The British Empire was called to arms and volunteers from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, India and many other British colonies flocked to the aid of the mother country. In his essay I will investigate how the Great War contributed to the nationalism of other British colonies.

The Great War of 1914 to 1918 was a global conflict with an enormous loss of both life and property that disturbed the growth of the European Empires. Their control of the world’s resources, at the expense of colonized peoples, had given them the ability to expand and develop at an accelerated rate. In Europe, the public embraced the Empire’s acceptance to fight as a sign of unified colonial countries regardless of their differences.

The attitudes of the foreign soldiers in 1914 were very bold. They thought that this was their chance to impress and to show that they were equal. This was their chance to free themselves from the chains of discrimination and racism. To them, the war was a lifeline where they could prove themselves, whilst earning a wage and supporting their family.

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Military personnel also felt they had a duty to support the mother country and to help those who were helping them. Country leaders believed this war to be a noble cause where their men could demonstrate their loyalty.  Countries’ loyalty was pressured into joining the war and fighting for what they most respected at the time.

Many citizens of the British Empire were overcome by nationalistic sentiments. As this nationalism began to grow, countries exaggerated their power and status as being superior to others around them.   Propaganda was also widely used to influence colonies to join ...

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