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How did nationalism lead to ww1? It is the most argued debate that nationalism led to World War I. Explain with specific reference to the nationalist movements in Germany and France, including Boulangerism in France, how this argument can be sustained.
A strong argument states that nationalism led to World War I because of the ‘Nationalism’ of countries such as Germany and France. Both countries were a major part of the issue at the beginning of World War I. Germany was a major player because they thought it was their right to expand “Lebensraum” or living space,
France because of its nationalism and Boulangerism, Russia for being militarily strong, and Italy due to its late intervention. The argument is strengthened by the nationalism in many countries, such as Britain and Germany.
Nationalism was a major factor in causing World War I because it directly led to imperialism which set off a series of events that inevitably led to war. Nationalism existed in both France and Germany, but it took different forms in each country. In France, there was Boulangerism which was a very powerful French nationalist movement.
This movement allowed France to develop feelings of nationalism and almost superiority over other countries such as Germany. In Germany, the main source of nationalistic feeling came from the desire by Kaiser Wilhelm II for German world power status and his support of an expansionist foreign policy.
Prussia used nationalism to create a unified German state, and Bismarck encouraged patriotic sentiment to keep the peace between members of the new federal government. In a way, nationalism was necessary for both countries to create their own central governments from many smaller duchies and countries after 1815.
However, as these two countries were growing increasingly powerful due to industrialization and military build-up, it led to disputes over territory. Nationalism also played a large role in the tension between Britain and Germany, mainly due to German expansionist policy which included its desire for colonies.
Britain was concerned about the security of its empire, so this gave rise to an ‘Imperialist’ foreign policy. This increased tension between the two powers and led to a series of events that eventually brought on the war. Eventually, nationalism became more than just a feeling as countries had more reasons than ever before to be nationalistic.
Germany was an imperialist country that wanted control of numerous territories such as France’s border of Alsace-Lorraine. The French felt that the original conditions of the Treaty of Frankfurt following their defeat in 1871 were not being upheld and that they had earned back these territories.
This nationalist feeling led to a military build-up by France which contributed further to tension between Germany and Britain. Nationalism was also linked with Boulanger’s rise to power, where he promised to restore the lost provinces of Alsace-Lorraine. This was a direct result of French nationalism and the feeling of superiority over Germany.
Nationalism led to imperialism, and eventually war as no country was willing to back down and territorially compromise. Nationalism caused World War I because it created feelings of supremacy in both France and Germany which led to an imperialist foreign policy. France’s nationalism was a by-product of Boulangerism, where he promised to restore Alsace-Lorraine to France and stir up nationalist sentiments in the French public.
The German government under Kaiser Wilhelm II believed ‘Lebensraum’ or living space should be expanded into Eastern Europe because of the rapid rise of Germany’s population, which meant that more food was needed. German nationalism also led to their desire for an overseas empire and territorial expansion into Eastern Europe.
All of these factors caused conflict among European nations because no one was willing to back down. This led to an inevitable war between the Great Powers that engulfed all of Europe. These events can almost all be linked back to nationalism and the feelings of supremacy that is created.
World War I was caused by nationalism because it led to imperialism, which then led to an overseas empire, which eventually proved to be the main cause of conflict between European nations. Nationalism also caused tension between Germany and Britain as both countries were very powerful, and in the end, Germany’s imperialist desires held back Britain from making compromises.
France was driven by an intense nationalist feeling after losing Alsace-Lorraine to Germany and it made them more determined than ever to reclaim these territories. This is just one example of how nationalism led to World War I, and that without such feelings of superiority throughout Europe the war would never have taken place.
The example of Alsace-Lorraine was an event that came before World War I, but it is still important because it shows how nationalism gave rise to imperialism which then led to more reasons for conflict between European nations. Following the defeat of France by Germany in 1871, Alsace-Lorraine was taken away from them and became part of Germany.
French nationalism over this loss led to a military build-up under General Boulanger (who promised to give back Alsace-Lorraine to France). This only added fuel to the fire and added further tension between France and Germany.
Without nationalism, World War I may not have occurred because feelings of superiority that it gave rise to force countries into an inevitable war that engulfed all of Europe. This was linked to imperialism which caused tensions between powerful European nations such as Britain and Germany. Nationalism also led to the loss of Alsace-Lorraine for France, which further increased tensions between the two countries.
The example of Alsace-Lorraine was an event before World War I, but it is still important because it shows how nationalism gave rise to imperialism which then led to more reasons for conflict between European nations. Following the defeat of France by Germany in 1871, Alsace-Lorraine was taken away from them and became part of Germany.
French nationalism over this loss led to a military build-up under General Boulanger (who promised to give back Alsace-Lorraine to France). This only added fuel to the fire and added further tension between France and Germany. That is how did nationalism lead to ww1.