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Nationalism leads to War

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The destructive forces in which Nationalism can outbreak is both astounding and atrocious. Nationalism was created and pursued to help unite the country socially, economically, and culturally. However, what was meant to be advantageous lead to the centrifugal break down of the countries. Due to Nationalism, wars were incessantly being engaged because of arisen problems such as Imperialism, Militarism, and Exclusive Nationalism. Countries that were imperialistic began to extend their power over boundaries and commenced their supremacy over additional territories, causing hatred and bitterness, which eventually lead to rebellion and war.

Militarism progressed due to the demand of a strong army, as they felt susceptible to attacks from other countries that were robust and had a powerful army as well, causing a massive explosion of weapons being produced and armies being heightened. Exclusive Nationalism did not support other ethnicities, prohibiting others from joining and coercing them to recede, including social Darwinism, which caused great tension between countries. These build ups and disagreements would inevitably lead to war.

Imperialism began when European nations ruled smaller countries. As territories were being controlled, a race to amass other countries began. For example, France and Britain had many other colonies in Africa and Asia. With control of smaller countries, they were able to collect raw materials and produce cheap labor, greatly boosting their economic state. Italy and Germany began to become envious, and decided that they wanted a colonial empire as well. Of course, conflict began when two nations wanted the same country. There was no reasonable way to settle which country belonged to whom.

The only way they were able to settle this was through war. Whoever was the strongest and won the war was the nation that was allowed to keep the country until a more powerful force could drive it out. In the spirit of competition, France had moved to strengthen Algeria and moved into Tunisia and Morocco. Italy had conquered and held Libya as a result from a war with Turkey. There was much bitter rivalry between the nations for control of the last holdings of the Ottoman Empire. Wars were being waged and fought for control of countries that would expand their economics and territory, which eventually gave them more power. They needed force to win these wars, which eventually led to the rise of Militarism.

In the 1800’s, power equaled control. The more power a nation had, the more domination they would have over other countries and nations. This power came through the force of the military. Their military was essential in seizing other territories and protecting the nation. As nations grew larger and captured more territory, the more other countries felt vulnerable to attacks. These countries became worried and began to build there army up. The Industrial Revolution aided in this process by mass producing weapons that would serve as the destruction of other nations. This also sparked something that was called the “Arms Race.” Germany wanted to go head to head with Britain as leader of the seas. In the 1900’s, Germany created the High Seas Fleet, which had global capabilities. A leader by the name of Admiral Tirpitz was in command of this operation, which later became known as the Tirpitz plan.

This made Britain go into the Triple Entente with Russia and France. This alliance surrounded Germany, and so the German’s sparked the race with the Tirpitz plan. The “Dreadnought Race” was a competition between the two countries on the building of dreadnought class ships. Britain’s HMS dreadnought made all others obsolete. Germany then gave more money to its navy to make more of these ships to surpass Britain. These countries would continue to build up their army to become the most superior of them all. Wars were constantly being fought to prove that one nation was stronger than the other, which they became accustomed to and began to enjoy, because of the spread of their glory. This glory that was shared throughout the nation was incredible due to nationalism existing at that point, but Exclusive Nationalism kept the glory within a boundary.

Exclusive Nationalism was one of the very negative effects that occurred. They excluded everyone who was not within the ethnicity, and did not support them. These left smaller ethnic groups within Europe to be separated from the rest of the nation. Social Darwinism also played a role in exclusive nationalism. Social Darwinism states that in order to evolve, only the fittest survive and adapt should be living. This theory was applied to people. Races that were inferior to those races that were superior should be killed off in order to create a society that can adapt and evolve efficiently. Racism occurred and certain ethnic groups were excluded. These people had no places to go, and believed it was unjust the way things were done. As smaller ethnic groups began to become united, they were able to revolt at the nation that rejected them because of their ethnicity. Many rebellions occurred, many of which were to gain control of the land that they had occupied which was taken away from them. Social Darwinism emphasized competition between species and races rather than competition, so that they are able to weed out all who are inferior.

Throughout history, even the best effects still have its negative side. With Nationalism, it was the wars that were constantly being waged amongst the European countries. The bond of common language, culture, history, and government helped some nations while destroying many others in the process. The ideas of Imperialism, Militarism, and Social Darwinism that developed during Nationalism caused the many outbreaks of wars during this time period. When there is no fair or just way to decide what belongs to whom, the only way that a nation can control it is through force and war. It is inevitable for war to continue to repeat itself throughout history, as the need for possessing will always exist in societies.

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