At the end of World War II, Western European powers sought political stability after a period of turmoil and devastation. Germany was divided into two spheres of influence: East Germany, controlled by the Soviet Union, and West Germany, controlled by the Allies. Western Europe attempted to unify in the post-war economy, and various views arose regarding this potential unity. The unification of Western Europe was met with opinions that were largely motivated by a nation’s own economic and political interests.
Liberal ideas were in favor of the majority in the country so it paved way for further unification as an independent state which emerged from all hierarchy. In order to defeat other powerful enemies, a strong state would have more advantages as it served as a collective defense. Nationalism accelerated the process of unification since it utilized the military force and political support from a large number of patriots and liberalists.
Some believe that the cause of WWI was only one’s need for power above all. Yet the truly, underlying causes of WWI were the alliance systems, militarism, and imperialism. The alliance systems were one aspect for the cause of WWI, for as it brought power to the weaker countries, more people were able to voice their opinions and influences others. Another component that provoked WWI was militarism, for it fed the flame of tension between the alliances, as each country wanted to be the prominent military source. Imperialism was also a key factor because it gave countries important resources as they continued to obtain smaller, weaker countries. Together these factors created something much larger than one would have guessed, for alone, the trait
Alliances were extensively responsible for increasing tensions between nations. While there were various reasons for the increase in tension between nations, the Alliance system is considered to be the most prominent factor causing tension, which in turn, led to factors such as militarism becoming prevalent. Alliances drew together nations, but while in doing so, caused fear and distrust to prevail among other nations, therefore influencing them into creating their own alliances. When alliances are formed, especially any militaristic or colonial alliance, arms races are created as a byproduct. Arms races cause tension due to the threat of war from apposing sides, which segregates the nations and creates a distinct split in opinions, and thus segregates nations into sides. This is evident with the
In 1853, the Crimean War was fought among the Ottoman Empire, Russia, Britain, and France over a Russian protectorate in the Ottoman Empire’s vassal states to compete with France’s influence. The Ottoman Empire declared war on Russia with the backing of France and Britain. The Russians were defeated and humiliated and were angry with the Austrians for not supporting them as their ally so Russia cut off ties with them. Austria’s supposedly new friends Britain and France failed to help Austria like the Russians did when she needed it. Instead, the French aided the the Italians in their fight for independence against Austria and the British withdrew from foreign affairs. The lack of support for Austria also led to German unification. Austria’s
Germany was little sour over World War I. There was a lot of resentment with the Triple Alliance, because of the Treaty of Versailles.This treaty really maimed Germany, cutting off 15% of their European territory, and they were forced to pay heavy reparations for the war. On top of this, Germany’s military was severely reduced; about two-thirds was gone. Other countries of the world wanted to make sure Germany would not cause any more problems. Germany had to take responsibility for the Great War. However, while Germany was paying to rebuild the rest of the world, Germany fell into a depression itself. Luckily for the Germans, a man named Adolf Hitler
Otto von Bismarck was the first chancellor of the German Empire. He was a master strategist who used realpolitik. As an aristocrat, he “adopted the liberal goal of national unity, giving the German Empire a broad political base” (Background essay). Otto von Bismarck could be considered Machiavelli's model of the ideal ruler in that, he was feared by his people and he used any ends to justify the tactics he used in bringing about the unification of the German states.
The Treaty of Versailles between Allies (Britain, France, Russia) and Germany was perhaps the most important peace treaty that concluded WWI. It was signed six months after armistice, by defeated Germany, in Versailles, France, 1918. While it’s importance in dealing with Germany post war must be recognized, the Treaty of Versailles was ultimately a dictated one sided peace.
“European nations began World War 1 with a glamorous vision of war, only to be psychologically shattered by the realities of the trenches. The experience changed the way people referred to the glamour of battle; they treated it no longer as a positive quality but as a dangerous illusion.” –Virginia Postrel. World War 1 was one of the most horrendous, life shifting wars in history that began in Europe and lasted for 4 years (1914 - 1918) besides affecting 9 million lives. The world was so destructive due to the intensity of the fighting and the deadly weapons. It was the first war in history to involve too many countries, and as a result, World War 1 became known as the Great War. In my opinion, nationalism wasn’t the main cause of the war.
The U.S. only entered World War II 4 years before the War ended. During World War II, the three greatest enemies were Germany, Italy and Japan. Before U.S. joined the war, the Congress passed many act that helps and supported the Allies in Europe in defeating Germany without being personally involved and declaring war on Germany. Henceforth, Germany would have been defeated, even if the U.S. stayed neutral during World War II because while staying neutral the Congress passed the Neutrality Act of 1939, the Lend-Lease Act and signed the Atlantic Charter with Great Britain.
The Two Front War was not supposed to happen. The Schlieffen Plan was supposed to create a “controlled” war against France and Russia, but it turned out to be something completely different than they thought. Schlieffen made a plan to invade France by going through Belgium and the Netherlands but by violating Belgian neutrality and going through Belgium might bring Britain into the war. So they would now not be able to travel through Belgium to get to France anymore yet they may still take this course of action. After they were done fighting against France they would move out and try to start a war with Russia but there was no plan to fight against them. But, this plan never took place because of a different leader named Moltke that changed his plan and made a new one. One where they would not have to invade the Netherlands after all, so they could use them as a supply quarters.
As a product of the Revolutions of 1848, European sentiment towards Nationalism grew extensively among the middle and lower classes. European ethnic groups and nations desired a self-determined state that represented their group and culture. As a result, both Germany and Italy would experience unification movements within several decades. By 1871, the Italian states would be unified under the Italian tricolour flag; and in the same year, the German states would become integrated into Germany under Wilhelm I of Prussia. Nationalism is both a political and social system in which the nation-state is of utmost importance -- in which nation-states act in their own self-interest and are of full sovereignty. Although nationalism alone played a vital role in the Revolutions of 1848, liberal politics and school of thought would ultimately change the way nationalism would take hold in the unification process -- facilitating both processes in Italy and Germany.
The First World War caused millions of deaths and destruction all over Europe and around the world. When the war ended, the victors gathered to mend the results of war through a peace treaty that blamed the defeated− the Treaty of Versailles. The treaty was signed in 1919 and greatly affected the world both directly and indirectly. However, while it did attempt to fix the damage done by WW1, it added further burdens and injury to an already weak Germany that eventually led to the Second World War from their feelings of revenge and rage. This is because the Treaty of Versailles was an imperfect agreement that punished Germany too much and negatively affected both Germany and Europe in physical, political, and financial ways.
Germany was one of the major players in the First World War that started in the year 1914. The Treaty of Versailles, a peace treaty published after the war in 1919, largely blamed Germany for the war, forcing the country to disarm and pay a generous sum of reparation to the victorious side. Many historians still argue over whether this blame was justified or not; while most claim that Germany was the inexcusable cause, some counter that there were other factors to blame, such as Austria-Hungary. I believe that Germany was indeed responsible for WW1, not solely but for the majority of it, because they were what started the war in the first place.