Critical Assessment Of 3 Causes Of World War 1

2026 words - 8 pages

Critical Assessment of 3 Causes of World War 1

Nationalism is being a strong supporter of the rights and interests of
one’s country. It was very high in the 19th century and nations which
had not obtained independence by 1900 were determined to do so as it
gave groups of subject peoples the idea of forming independent nations
of their own.

In 1815, the Congress of Vienna took place. This was a conference held
in Vienna in Austria between ambassadors from the major powers in
Europe. This conference left people under the control of local dynasts
or other nations and ignored nationalism in favour of preserving the
peace, however, revolutions and strong nationalistic movements during
the late 19th century dissolved the anti-nationalistic work of the
Congress of Vienna and led to the unification of Italy in 1861 and
Germany in 1871 after they were left as divided states by the
Congress.

Nationalism was the most imposing cause of war in the late 19th and
early 20th century as it caused a problem ultimately due to the fact
that a nation’s goals came into conflict with the goals of other
nations. An example of this would be Serbian nationalism. Serbia led a
movement to unite the regions of Slavs. This weakened the
Austro-Hungarian, Russian and Ottoman empires as Slavs made up most of
Austria-Hungary and there was a fear that Slavic nationalism would
result in the countries breaking up.

The Radical Party brought the idea of nationalism to Serbia. They
mixed nationalist and socialist rhetoric in a way that was new to
Serbia and had wide appeal even though it had been discredited by
Western Europe in 1848. Yet nationalism was a product of other forces
combined with the Radical Party. By the 1880’s the Progressive and
Radical Parties had agreed to expand free education and nationalism
was influenced through schools as curriculums and textbooks were
written to convey an emphatic Serbian nationalist message. However,
South Slav nationalism was not confined to Serbia. Before 1848, the
“Illyrian Movement” in Croatia combined a program of political rights
with the concept of South Slav unity.

In 1878, the loss of Bosnia to Austria caused an increased popular and
political nationalist agitation and Serbia’s ruling family, the
Obrenovics, was becoming a humiliation however the Obrenovic dynasty
came to an end in 1903 after the king and queen were murdered in their
royal chamber by a group of young Serbian nationalists. The coup of
1903 had lasting influence on Serbian politics. It made the army a
powerful force in domestic politics and by 1908 Serbia had increased
in size by 82 percent.

Serbia had now turned her attention north towards Bosnia (who were
still under Austro-Hungarian rule), Croatia and Vojvodina. However, in
1908 all of Serbia’s enemies were on the ascendant:...

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