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Nationalism in World War 1 Essay

Nationalism held a huge part in world war1 as it does in many wars. A major part of nationalism in world war1 is shown through Otto van Bismarck. Bismarck was a very tactical man and was great at thinking up strategies. It seemed he would do all he could to promote Germany and make it truly powerful over the rest of Europe by making a group of alliances that wouldn’t give France a chance to rise up to Germany since alone France was weak. Although Bismarck’s will to help Germany as much as possible was strong, the alliance he had made with Austria-Hungry and Russia (the league of three emperors) failed several times. It managed to rebuild itself but fell in 1887. Nationalism is more or less patriotic greed and because of Bismarck’s excessive use of it, it helped to carry on the war. His crewed tactics created long-term problems for European diplomacy. The end of his balancing act most likely caused Europe’s slide to war. Bismarck’s reign over Germany was brought to a halt after Wilhelm the second was crowned Kaiser in 1888. Bismarck resigned in 1890.

Kaiser Wilhelm the second was another example of Nationalism and its cold grasp over world war1. Although he also wanted Germany to be great he worked differently than Bismarck. His public speeches carried Germany’s glory and might. He also proved very popular with the German people. Kaiser Wilhelm the second was a vain impulsive man who believed in Prussian domination over Germany. Wilhelm the second wanted to turn Germany into a large colonial empire and build a large army for her, to protect Germany. Because of his infection with nationalism Kaiser wilhelm the second lost an old friend Russia, who now allied with France bringing new problems to Kaiser Wilhelm the second. During Kaiser Wilhelms reign over Germany, the years 1890-1914 have been seen as a period of anarchy. Nationalism was a very strong force that affected the minds of many political groups. It also caused others. Examples of these are:

The League of three emperors which wasn’t the most stable of the nationalist groups

The dual entente, which was an alliance of France and Russia to crush Germany if they should attack either sides. (This shows what effect nationalism can have on the friendship of countries)

The Anglo-Japanese Alliance was britains desperate attempt to find an alliance to counter the dual entente and to make Britain more Superior.

The Balkan League was probably the largest and most powerful nationalist alliance of its time. There greed through nationalism caused them to nearly drive turkey right out of Europe and to gain a considerable amount of Turkish states causing a great upset between the two groups. Later on this strong alliance came to a halt when the second Balkan war began when Bulgaria started quarreling with Greece and Serbia. Bulgaria felt like she got dealt the smallest hand and wanted more out of the arrangement so she attacked her former allies but Turkey joined in the war against Bulgaria to gain more power for her country from the land she lost in the first war. Bulgaria was defeated easily.

This League was probably one of the largest examples of nationalism in world war1 because of all the greed for each region’s country shown in it. Therefore I conclude with saying that nationalism is contributed in world war 1 by greed through individuals and alliances alike and that nationalism is indeed the main cause of world war1.


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