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Europe At The Height Of Its Power

709 words - 3 pages

From 1850-1914, Europe was at the height of its power. Europe dominated practically every facet of life including trade, commerce, colonization, finances, and industrialization. Furthermore, Europe completely controlled all militaristic action from China to Africa. Many new ideas were rapidly evolving during this 64-year period that all lead directly to the atrocities of World War I. The three major themes that dominated Europe at the height of its power were nationalism, mass politics, and social Darwinism that spurred colonization. These three key concepts dictated the mindset and actions of Europe from 1850-1914.Nationalism, huge pride for one's state, spread very quickly in Europe during these 64 years. Document 1 reveals the immense national pride prevalent among many Italians. Mazzini encourages Italy to arise from its "slumber" and regain its former power. Nationalism is so potent in Italy she is "unmatched" by the rest of Europe in all things. This example demonstrates the intrinsic pride each nation had for itself. Frobel in document 2 predicts a German nation that holds all the "Power, Power, Power" in the world. Nationalism and the desire for substantial dominance is so profound in this quote that Germans will give their allegiance to anyone that can give them their desired power. Frobel's quote is extremely disturbing in that it accurately foreshadows both World War I and World War II, where Germany pledges vast power to both the Kaiser and Hitler.Another significant theme that dictated the actions of Europe from 1850-1914 was mass politics, the large effect of the masses on ideas and government. Marx in document 5 shows the importance and impact of mass politics. The masses have realized their own power as a whole and can control what kind of government they want. Therefore, when the Communists suggest the abolition of private property they greatly help nine-tenths of the population that gain nothing from it. Any usurping of the old order is justified, encouraged, and now accomplishable with the rise of mass politics. Written by a railroad worker in 1848, document 6 reminds the masses that they should not sympathize with Parliament or the "robber," since the workers are the ones being "robbed."...

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