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Modern World History ; The first World WarBy the late 19th century "Europe was a...

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fami | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted July 8, 2011 at 4:20 PM via web

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Modern World History ; The first World War

By the late 19th century "Europe was a dynamite ready to be lit"- Peter Moss

The events following the first world war had it's own catastrophic impacts on the fortune of European powers and imperialism. Thus, who was to be blame for turning the pages of vague destiny; Germany, Russia, Austria, Serbia, France or Britain?

What were the causes and consequences of such a warmongering revolution which was greater than the French revolution of 18th century or the German-Unification revolution of 19th century?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 8, 2011 at 10:00 PM (Answer #2)

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The typical answer here is that there was a mania for nationalism and national pride during this time.  National pride was connected to military prowess as well as to the ability to take and hold an empire.  The "warmongering revolution," then, was something of a manifestation of the times.  It came about because the "spirit of the age" was one that emphasized national glory and pride through militarism and imperialism.

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larrygates | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 9, 2011 at 12:05 AM (Answer #3)

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If you wish to blame some country--or person--for "turning the pages of vague destiny, may I suggest two: Napoleon Bonaparte and Otto von Bismarck. The legacy of the Napoleonic Wars was the birth of liberalism and more importantly nationalism, as those opposing Napoleon developed a new concept of nationality; being part of a nation state. It was this nationalism that prevented the Congress of Vienna from restoring the old order, as had been hoped. In order to prevent the re-emergence of a second Napoleonic Empire, a series of alliance, beginning with the Holy Alliance proposed by Alexander I was created, alliances to operate in time of war and peace. Otto von Bismarck appealled to nationalism in uniting Germany, first by provoking a war with Austria and then with France. The end result was a united Germany with intense nationalism to support it. Bismarck then declared himself "satisfied" with Germany's acquisitions, although the rest of Europe clearly was not.

Both Imperialism and the Balance of Power were also factors here. European nations were in a race with one another to develop colonies in Africa and Asia. Here again Bismarck tried to defuse the situation with the Berlin Conference whic proposed to peacefully carve up Africa; but it was not to be. The Balance of Power resulted in France and England opposing Russia in the Crimean War to prevent Russia from occupying Constantinople; the outcome of the war was anything but pleasant, and a series of overlapping alliances--a la Bismarck developed to protect countries from aggression by others. The very existence of this system of alliances gave rise to tension and provided the fuse to ignite the dynamite already there.

Two excellent sources you might consider: James L. Stokesberry, A Short History of World War I; and Barbara Tuchman, The Guns of August.

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 9, 2011 at 2:30 AM (Answer #4)

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I agree with these posts. War is a desperate attempt to get power. Europe is full of land-locked, tiny countries. When you can't colonize, you have to expand by taking over your neighbor. In World War II and I, arrogant, power-hungry leaders convinced their populace that it was their right.
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amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 9, 2011 at 8:39 AM (Answer #5)

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Just as the above posters have mentioned, it is often difficult to pinpoint a world war on just one country.  There were so many factors to consider, not the least of which was that immense sense of national pride and machismo permeating the continent.

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stolperia | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 9, 2011 at 12:23 PM (Answer #6)

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And it wasn't just the European continent that was consumed with nationalistic pride in the late 19th century. Consider the United States and the philosophy of Manifest Destiny, the Spanish-American War, construction of the Panama Canal,... There was plenty of national pride and imperialistic activity coming out of the new world as well as the old!

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fami | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted July 9, 2011 at 3:30 PM (Answer #7)

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If you wish to blame some country--or person--for "turning the pages of vague destiny, may I suggest two: Napoleon Bonaparte and Otto von Bismarck. The legacy of the Napoleonic Wars was the birth of liberalism and more importantly nationalism, as those opposing Napoleon developed a new concept of nationality; being part of a nation state. It was this nationalism that prevented the Congress of Vienna from restoring the old order, as had been hoped. In order to prevent the re-emergence of a second Napoleonic Empire, a series of alliance, beginning with the Holy Alliance proposed by Alexander I was created, alliances to operate in time of war and peace. Otto von Bismarck appealled to nationalism in uniting Germany, first by provoking a war with Austria and then with France. The end result was a united Germany with intense nationalism to support it. Bismarck then declared himself "satisfied" with Germany's acquisitions, although the rest of Europe clearly was not.

Both Imperialism and the Balance of Power were also factors here. European nations were in a race with one another to develop colonies in Africa and Asia. Here again Bismarck tried to defuse the situation with the Berlin Conference whic proposed to peacefully carve up Africa; but it was not to be. The Balance of Power resulted in France and England opposing Russia in the Crimean War to prevent Russia from occupying Constantinople; the outcome of the war was anything but pleasant, and a series of overlapping alliances--a la Bismarck developed to protect countries from aggression by others. The very existence of this system of alliances gave rise to tension and provided the fuse to ignite the dynamite already there.

Two excellent sources you might consider: James L. Stokesberry, A Short History of World War I; and Barbara Tuchman, The Guns of August.

Thank you so much Sir. Your answer was accurate and comprehensive and as per my postulation your theories are 100% correct for Napoleon was the initial generator of liberalism while the ambitious prime minister of Prussia i.e. Otto Von Bismarck was a spontaneous architect who beautifully altered the coarse of history by getting into conflict with France and later participating in the imperialism like scramble for Africa and the Balkan dispute.

 

P.S:- Thanx for the sources

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fami | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted July 9, 2011 at 3:37 PM (Answer #8)

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In reply to #2,4,5 and 6: Thank you all for figuring out my quarry with quality answers

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brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 10, 2011 at 1:27 AM (Answer #9)

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I don't know that you can say one country was to blame for the start of World War I, though the losers of any conflict will inevitably be held accountable for it.  The environment in terms of nationalism, a giant European arms race, a competing system of imperial alliances and a desire for colonies and resources were fertile grounds for the start of one of history's greatest and most disastrous wars.

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