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The road to first world war

Your essay should consist of the following:

Paragraph 1: Using your words, provide a definition of nationalism and 3 examples of nationalism in

the 19th century.

Paragraph 2: Explain the importance of nationalism as a force for state building in the 19th century. In

other words, “What role did nationalism play in shaping 19th century Europe?”

Paragraph 3: Provide examples of nationalism and how this phenomenon continues to shape regions

of the world today.

Rubric: 10pts, Format, 10pts Grammar, 20pts Content and 10pts for proper period based examples.

Nationalism is the desire for national advancement especially politically. It can also
be defined as excessive patriotism and the devotion for one to their country. Nationalism
tends to bring together people of one country together irrespective of the boundaries. In the

19 th century during the First World War, the German tribes were disintegrated into very small
factions. However, the spirit of nationalism is what caused the majority of the German tribes
to unite and form the current country (Gal,2011). Their desire to unite was so great that they
defeated the French on their own homeland in the franco-prussian war and managed to take
control of Alsace and Lorraine. The Italians were another group that were split right down in
the middle and managed to join before taking over the Austria- Hungary to reclaim their
region what is today north eastern Italia. Great Britain was another country that faced
numerous challenges. The irelanders wanted to split their country from the hold of Great
Britain and carried out several assassination attempts. However they were not successful in
their quest as the previous two countries.
Nationalism played an essential role in building the 19 th century wars. It was because
of nationalism that we even encountered the First World War. Countries wanted to maintain
their cultures and ethnical languages and this could only be achieved by formally coming
together against the common enemy. For example the Germans came managed to overcome
the French due to the spirit of nationalism. Initially their forces could not match the French
prowess in the field.
In today’s world the spirit of nationalism still spreads throughout the world. The
cessation of south Sudan from the original Sudan making it the youngest country in the world
provides the perfect example. Also, the people of Scotland went on a referendum to
determine if they wanted to cede from British. These two examples show the effect of
nationalism in the world.

Gal, Susan. 2011. ‘Polyglot Nationalism. Alternative Perspectives On Language In 19Th Century
Hungary’. Langage Et Société 136 (2): 31.

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