Analyse the Role of Nationalism in the Escalation of Tensions in Europe from 1870-1909

Topics: Bosnia and Herzegovina, World War I, German Empire Pages: 2 (637 words) Published: August 28, 2013
Nationalism is an ideology people have that helps them identify themselves with their country. It is patriotism hinted with a feeling of superiority over other countries. Nationalism in Europe rose by several folds after the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-71. France was not only defeated, but also humiliated by the well-equipped Prussian Army. France was made to surrender 80,000 men, pay 5,000 million marks and had been further humiliated by the Prussian victory march through Paris. There was a strong feeling of ‘Revanche’ throughout France. As of Germany, its victory gave it a new position in Europe and now had the potential to be one of the dominating nations. This gave the Germans a new confidence and a feeling of patriotism rose amongst them. There were several treaties and alliances formed following the Franco-Prussian wars between the European powers.

The new course of action took place after Kaiser Wilhelm II came to throne in 1888 in Germany. Bismarck had to resign and was replaced as Chancellor in 1890. All the treaties relapsed and Bismarck’s system was ruined. The new policy of “Weltpolitik” had come up in which Kaiser hoped to make Germany a colonial power. This was supported by the Germans and manifested nationalism amongst people. This policy, though, created tension amongst other European powers, especially Britain as it was the strongest colonial power. German policies, moreover, threatened the British naval forces. Thus, there appeared to be a rise of nationalism in both Britain and Germany due to the Weltpolitik policy. Britain now found it appropriate to make alliances due to threats from Germany, France and other European nations. The arms and naval race further created tension in Europe, with every nation trying to trying to be superior to the other.

The situation of the Balkans furthered the tension in Europe. Turkey tried to retain its control over the Balkans. The instability in Austria- Hungary caused them to see Serbia as a threat...
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