Updated October 17, 2020

Imperialism and European Nationalism

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Imperialism and European Nationalism essay
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Imperialism and European Nationalism were two of the four main contributing factors to the cause of World War One, also including secret alliances, and militarism. These two factors were important causes of WW1, because they created an increase of tension in Europe and outside of Europe. Through imperialism and nationalism, the two other causes were able to affect the beginnings of the war. and imperialistic and national events were the foundation of the cause of WW1.

Imperialism is broadly defined as the extension or imposition of power, authority, or influence (merriam-webster.com/dictionary). Imperialism was a main cause of the world war because the government was always being unequal and highly favored themselves. When the government did this, a terrible economy would emerge , and then would have been forced to trade with other surrounding countries and allies. All of this created an intensified build up in war and increased problematic events between Europe and other surrounding nations.

Nationalism is simply defined as having a very strong passion for your country,(stanford edu entries) was a main cause of World War 1 because many people felt the need to fight for their country. In countries from all over the world, men began enlisting in the army as soon as they could. For a prime example of pride for one\’s country, In the first year of war, on October 3rd, 1914 approximately 33 000 Canadians set out overseas to Britain to fight for their home country (Canadian War Museum). Nationalism led to World Wars due to a majority of the people believing they needed to fight for their country, many people who weren’t fighting wanted to support their soldiers, and many soldiers felt as if they couldn’t back out of the war due to their strong pride for their country. The people who weren’t fighting overseas helped out the troops by all coming together to make care packages that included many things that the soldiers which were mostly young men, needed, such as food, clothing, cigarettes, etc. Many things that the care packages included helped the soldiers survive and fight for a longer period of time.

Imperialism and Nationalism were main reasons for world wars and still play a factor in today\’s world history, due to either having such pride in one’s country or simply having such a powerful and controlling government. Both of these factors contributed to mainly World War one and caused much damage to various aspects, but people can’t help on what they have pride in or how they view their political values.


  1. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/nationalism/
  2. https://www.warmuseum.ca/search/?q=nationalism
  3. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/imperialism

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