Nationalism and the First World War
A discussion of the nationalistic roots of the First World War.
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This paper presents various explanations why the First World War began, what were its primary causes, and concentrates particularly on the significance of the rising imperialism during the 19th century, most especially among the European nations (Germany, Great Britain, and Austria- Hungary).
“The First World War was the first-ever war that had brought great destruction and required greater involvement of many countries, most especially the European nations. Evidence of the impending world war started during the early 19th century, wherein colonization and strengthening of military power is the most prevalent activity of all European nations at that time. The World War I was said to have many causes, although the most important and more popular cause discussed by historians today is that the First World War started because of the rising imperialism among competing European nations. The war had two competing groups, the Triple Alliance and the Triple Entente. The Triple Alliance was composed of Germany, Austria- Hungary, and Italy, while the Triple Entente was made up of Great Britain, France, and Russia. These groups were not originally formed as a triad; rather, each nation became affiliated with each other before and during the course of the war. One of the earliest alliances that were formed (prior to the First World War) is the pact between Germany and Austria- Hungary against Russia in 1879, which is then called the Dual Alliance (Spartacus Educational 2002). The other alliances (that of the Triple Entente, in particular) were formed upon the declaration of the war. The other nations that participated in the war, like Japan and the US, only participated when the war is already escalating. Prior to the First World War, there is already tension between these countries (comprising the Triple Alliance and Entente) because of succeeding events (pre-1914 events) that became the primary reasons for the war to inevitably begin.”