Nationalism can be defined as having a sense of belonging and loyalty to ones country or nation state. Of all the European nations, France was the first to sport the idea of nationalism. Many countries became influenced by the French's ideas of nationalism, As a result nationalism had spread throughout Europe by the nineteenth and twentieth century. One result that nationalism had on Europe was, the wanting of unification. The people of nation states wanted their country to belong to. This wanting lead to the unifying of Italy and Germany. Soon nationalism had increased the peoples confidence, and a feeling of imperialism ran through the unified countries. Unified countries such as France, Germany, Russia wanted to extend their empires. But this Imperialism in Europe led to many conflicts between countries. All this Conflict eventually resulted in the beginning of World War I. ...view middle of the document...
In 1814-1815 the Congress of Vienna created the so-called German Confederation under Austrian and Prussian hegemony, but this would make it hard for the dreams of nationalism. The rivalry of Austria and Prussia paralyzed it in a way comparable to the effects of Soviet-Americans dualism on the United Nations during the cold war. In Germany the old rulers repressed the nationalist movement ( mainly student and professors) after 1815. The German princes realized that nationalism required a reform or even destruction of the traditional monarchic stated.
The causes of World War I were the intense nationalism that dominated Europe throughout the 19th and into the 20th century, and the establishment of large armies in Europe after 1871. Imperialism created a rivalry between nations and empires. The build up of armies and navies created fear between nations. France feared Germany, Germany feared Russia, Austria-Hungary and Russia rivaled around Balkans, Britain feared German's expanding navy, Slovakia wanted to free Slovak land from Austria-Hungary's oppression. Italy was jealous of French and English colonies in Africa. Ottoman Empire struggled to survive in a hostile climate. Germany signed a secret alliance with Austria-Hungary and Italy, thus creating a Triple Alliance. France and Russia signed an Entente agreement which was later signed by Britain, thus creating Triple Entente. Then Europe was divided into hostile camps. During this time nationalism had caused a glorified view of the war. These views showed how inexperienced the people of Europe were in warfare. In conclusion, because of the strong feelings of nationalism in Europe, many conflicts broke out between the countries and empires of Europe. The result of these conflicts eventually lead to World War I. During the war, the peoples view of nationalism of then contradicted what the soldiers had to face in the war. These views showed how inexperienced the people were in modern warfare. We can see, despite all these views, that the German soldiers continued to fight a war they could not win.