Nationalism and the Origins of World War One Assignment

Nationalism and the Origins of World War One Assignment Words: 918

Nationalism occurs when a race of group of people create an indentity in which they have a love and a loyalty for. This group will have a common factor of race, language, culture or religion. The assassination of Franz Ferdinand, the Austrian Archduke during the time of 1914, sparked off an already existing conflict between Austria and Serbia. The force of Nationalism influenced this conflict between Serbia and Austria due to the nationalistic views of the Serbian people. The conflict that occurred on the 28th June 1914 was the assassination of the Austrian Archduke, Franz Ferdinand.

While he and his wife were visiting Bosnia, they were both shot dead by Serbian nationalist, Gavrilo Princip, On this day nationalism was running high through Serbian and Bosnian people, as it was the anniversary of the Battle of Kossovo when Serbia first lost her independence. Nationalism influenced Gavrilo Princip to first throw a grenade in the direction of the archduke’s car. Fortunately this grenade hit the roof of the car. Later on that day, Princip attempted to shoot Franz Ferdinand and his wife and succeeded.

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This conflict between Serbia and Austria had been building up for some time due to nationalistic ideas. The main factors and causes of this conflict between Serbia and Austria were fueled by the force of nationalism. Serbia had wanted control of Bosnia for a long time, in order to make a large Balkan state, creating a ‘Greater Serbia’. As a result of these factors, Serbian nationalists were looking for a way to force Austria out of Bosnia. Serbia influenced by nationalism wanted to create a large Panslavic nation, a nation conbining all Slavs.

Austria was in their way. This lead to Serbia’s growth in nationalism. The assassination of Franz Ferdinand combined with other conflicts consequently led to the outbreak of war. The circumstances in which Franz Ferdinand was assassinated were greatly influenced by the force of nationalism also. Gavrilo Princip, the assassinator, had strong nationalistic views. He believed in creating a large, unified Balkan nation and was therefore a part of the ‘Black Hand’. The ‘Black Hand’ group had the aim of creating a Greater Serbia.

Austria, also with very nationalistic views had control of a large polyglot – many different races and languages present – empire, which was too large to control. The nationalistic views of Austria impacted the lives of Franz Ferdinand and his wife as they were visiting Bosnia to inspect army exercises in the area. This visit powered the Black Hand group to take matters into their own hands. They did this because the Serbian government wanted nothing to do with it, as they did not want the blame for any actions taken.

Due to these circumstances in the Balkan area at the time, the Archduke was killed, and Serbia was about to forced into war by Austria, who for years had been wanting a reason to attack Serbia. After the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, Austria had had enough of Serbia. For a long time, Austria had been looking for a way to crush the Serbian nationalist empire. Now the Austrian’s had a valid reason. As an outcome of the assassination Austria issued an ultimatum to the Serbs, in which the Serbian government did not completely agree with.

As a result of the un-cooperation by the Serbian government, Austria declared war. Once war was declared, Russia being an ally of Serbia began to mobilise. This is because Russia wanted to fully back up Serbia this time, they didn’t want a repeat of the humiliating back-down in Bosnia 1908-09. With the accelerated mobolisation, there was no time to create any agreements to prevent war. As a result of Russian mobilistation, Germany also began to mobilise, putting the Schlieffen Plan into place. The Schlieffen Plan was designed to give Germany dominance.

The plan was for German armies to travel through Belgium to France, and defeat France. Then further moving on to Russia to defeat them before they had fully mobilised. Unfortunately, Germany could not reach Russia in time, as RUssia started to mobilise too quickly. Although the assassination occurred at the beginning of World War One, it was only an event which sparked off from other conflicts influenced by Nationalism. These conflicts included the First Moroccan Crisis 1906, the Agadir Incident 1911-12 and the naval arms race between Britain and Germany.

The conflicts between Serbia and Austria, and previous other conflicts which led up to World War One were predominantly caused by the force of Nationalism. Serbian nationalistic values impacted the way of life for Serbian people. An example of this is Gavrilo Princip. Nationalism influeced him to join the ‘Black Hand’ and consequently assassinate the Archduke of Austria. His love and loyalty for Serbia caused him to murder for the greater good of his country. The Serbian extreme nationalistic views were produced mainly because of the different rules over the Slav empirres.

The people of these states felt that they had to be true to their state and not the empire they belonged in. This caused much unrest between these states. Nationalism changed the lives of people in Europe greatly. This force of Nationalism seems to have caused an on going conflict between Serbia and Austria. This event showed the impact of Nationlism and showed the changes in many countries. Furthermore, had Serbia not provoked a war with Austria, other conflicts would have sparked World War One instead.

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Nationalism and the Origins of World War One Assignment. (2021, Mar 06). Retrieved April 22, 2021, from