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Essays on nationalism in world war 1

Nationalists exaggerate the value or importance of their country and place its interests above those of other countries. Nationalism was a prevalent force in early 20th century Europe and a significant cause of World War I. Many Europeans — particularly citizens of the so-called Great Powers — believed in the cultural, economic and military supremacy of their nation.

  1. This page was written by Jim Southey and Steve Thompson. The first cause of World War 1 was nationalism which is having great pride in one's country and cultural background.
  2. The Cold War continued the sequence, fought covertly between the capitalist U. In 1918, it finally ended.
  3. They were opposed by the Central Powers.
  4. A major part of nationalism in world war1 is shown through Otto van Bismarck. Kaiser Wilhelm the second was a vain impulsive man who believed in Prussian domination over Germany.

Their over-confidence was fuelled by popular culture and the press. The pages of many newspapers were filled with nationalist rhetoric and inflammatory stories, such as rumours about rival nations and their evil intentions. Nationalism could be found in literature, music, theatre and art.

Royals, politicians and diplomats did little to deflate nationalism; some actively contributed to it with provocative remarks and rhetoric. Nationalism gave citizens an inflated confidence in their nation, government and military strength. It convinced them that their country was fair, righteous and without blame.

In contrast, nationalist ideas demonised rival nations, caricaturing them as aggressive, scheming, deceitful, backward or uncivilised. Nationalist reports convinced many that their country was threatened by the plotting, scheming and hungry imperialism of its rivals.

What was the Effect of Nationalism on World War I?

Nationalist and militarist rhetoric assured them that if war erupted, their nation would emerge victorious. In concert with its dangerous brothers, imperialism and militarism, nationalism contributed to a continental delusion that suggested a European war was both necessary and winnable. Aside from the Crimean War 1853-56 and the Franco-Prussian War 1870-71the 19th century was one of comparative peace in Europe. The citizens of England, France and Germany had grown accustomed to colonial wars: Along with rising militarism and the burgeoning arms race, this fostered a growing delusion of invincibility.

The British, for example, believed their naval power and the economic might of the Empire would give them the upper hand in any war. The Germans placed great faith in Prussian military efficiency, their growing industrial base, new armaments and an expanding fleet of battleships and U-boats submarines. The French placed their faith in a wall of concrete fortresses and defences, running the length of their eastern border, capable of withstanding any German attack.

  • This nationalism was not about supremacy or military power — but the right of ethnic groups to independence, autonomy and self-government;
  • They were opposed by the Central Powers;
  • It was to be a traditional, noble, and victorious moment; all finished by Christmas 1914;
  • The Germans placed great faith in Prussian military efficiency, their growing industrial base, new armaments and an expanding fleet of battleships and U-boats submarines;
  • Nationalists exaggerate the value or importance of their country and place its interests above those of other countries.

The Battle of Dorking, typical of anti-German invasion fiction By the late 1800s, some European powers had grown almost drunk with patriotism and nationalism. Britain, to focus on one example, had enjoyed two centuries of imperial, commercial and naval dominance.

Nationalism In World War 1 Essay

London had spent the 19th century advancing her imperial and commercial interests and avoiding wars — however, the unification of Germany, the speed of German armament and the bellicosity of Kaiser Wilhelm II caused concern among British nationalists. By 1910, a Londoner could buy dozens of tawdry novellas warning of German, Russian or French aggression.

This invasion literature often used racial stereotyping or innuendo: Penny novelists, cartoonists and satirists mocked the rulers of these countries. Two of the most popular targets were the German Kaiser and the Russian tsar, both of whom were ridiculed for their arrogance, ambition or megalomania. German nationalism and xenophobia were no less intense, though they came from different origins.

Unlike Britain, Germany was a comparatively young nation: The leaders of post-1871 Germany relied on nationalist sentiment to consolidate and strengthen the new nation and to gain public support.

  • Despite the sincere reasons for the war, there was, as is now, several opposing groups to the war;
  • The French placed their faith in a wall of concrete fortresses and defences, running the length of their eastern border, capable of withstanding any German attack;
  • This invasion literature often used racial stereotyping or innuendo:

German culture — from the poetry of Goethe to the music of Richard Wagner — was promoted and celebrated. German nationalism was backed by German militarism; the state of the nation was defined and reflected by the strength of its military forces.

Both the Kaiser and his nation were young, nationalistic, obsessed with military power and imperial expansion. The British became a popular target in the pre-war German press, where Britain was painted as expansionist, selfish, greedy and obsessed with money.

Nationalism was also emerging in distant colonies. This cartoon depicts rising Chinese nationalism As the Great Powers beat their chests and filled their people with a sense of righteousness and superiority, another form of nationalism was on the rise in southern Europe. This nationalism was not about supremacy or military power — but the right of ethnic groups to independence, autonomy and self-government. With the world divided into large empires and spheres of influence, many different regions, races and religious groups wanted freedom from their imperial masters.

In Russia, more than 80 ethnic groups in eastern Europe and Asia were forced to speak the Russian language, worship the Russian tsar and practice the Russian Orthodox religion. Nationalist groups contributed to the weakening of the Ottoman Empire in eastern Europe, by seeking to throw off Muslim rule.

Nationalism in World War 1 Essay

No nationalist movement had a greater impact on the outbreak of war than Slavic groups in the Balkans. Pan-Slavism, the belief that the Slavic peoples of eastern Europe should have their own nation, was a powerful force in the region. Slavic nationalism was strongest in Serbia, where it had risen significantly in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Pan-Slavism was particularly opposed to the Austro-Hungarian Empire and its control and influence over the region.

How to cite this page

It was this pan-Slavic nationalism that inspired the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo in June 1914, an event that led directly to the outbreak of World War I. Nationalism was an intense form of patriotism. Those with nationalist tendencies celebrated the culture and achievements of their own country and placed its interests above those of other nations.

British nationalism was fuelled by a century of comparative peace and prosperity. The British Empire had flourished and expanded, its naval strength had grown and Britons had known only colonial wars. German nationalism was a new phenomenon, emerging from the unification of Germany in 1871. Rising nationalism was also a factor in the Balkans, where Slavic Serbs and others sought independence and autonomy from the political domination of Austria-Hungary.

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This page was written by Jim Southey and Steve Thompson. To reference this page, use the following citation: