Nationalistic sentiments that gained traction in the nineteenth century led to the unification of both Germany and Italy, which prior to that time had been divided into small independent city states and principalities. Unification gave both countries more power and prestige, and the for the first time, the chance to act as imperialists by acquiring control of lands overseas. After unification, Germany participated in what was known as the "Scramble for Africa" and acquired large holdings on the continent, as well as in New Guinea. Italy did not do so well in the scramble, but it ended up with a part of Ethiopia called Eritrea and holdings on the horn of Africa.
Germany especially used unification and the power that came with it to assert itself on the world stage. It defeated France in the Franco-Prussian war, gaining territory, and it challenged British control of the seas with a large naval build-up, leading ultimately to the set of alliances that ignited World War I.
In the twentieth...
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