The Causes Of Nationalism And Imperialism During World War I

1856 Words8 Pages
The First World War broke out in 1914, bringing about destruction on a scale that no war before had been able to replicate. While the exact causes of this war have long since been under debate, the precursors to a war mentality had become present during the dawn of the twentieth century. Due to industrialization, new political ideas spread, heightened by the European scramble for empire and military power, and the formation of the German state in 1871 had brought the importance of national pride to the forefront of European’s minds. Focusing on Great Britain and Germany, it becomes apparent that the sustained ideas of nationalism and imperialism in Europe that resulted from industrialization during the nineteenth century created much of the volatile national rivalries present at the dawn of World War I. As the war wore on, the destruction and loss of human life during the war permanently shifted attitudes towards nationalism and imperialism in public opinion and government office alike. Between the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815 and the start of the First World War in 1914, most of the major nations in Europe had gone through a period of rapid industrialization on the continent and empire-building outside of it, causing an exponential growth of population around the world. Though the British Empire dwarfed the empires of other European powers (with a population of 412 million), Germany had the highest population in Western Europe at over 65 million people, with Britain
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