Nationalism in these terms have been noted. This

Nationalism can be succinctly
understood as an extreme form of patriotism marked by a feeling of supremacy
over other countries whereby people express an excessive devotion to a nation.
It is argued that the idea of a “nation” first emerged during the
Enlightenment period, namely as a consequence of the ‘rational’ as opposed to
‘religious’ thinking propagated during this era that would give birth to the
American and French revolutions. Terms such as nationalism and patriotism will
be used interchangeably throughout, although the nuanced differences in these
terms have been noted. This essay will begin with an outline of the importance
of nationalism in the nineteenth century, examining pseudo-scientific and
social Darwinist theories that underpinned the construction of nationhood. It
will then move on to explain how such theories were a prerequisite for creating
strong feelings of nationalism that fuelled the hatred in pre-war Europe. (OTHER
POINTS I WILL EXAMINE) This essay will argue that nationalism was the
most significant factor in causing the outbreak of the First World War and
explain using primary sources and contextual knowledge, how nationalism was the
overarching factor that interlinks all the causes of the First World War
together.

Nationalist and patriotic
feelings drastically increased during the nineteenth century with the rise of
imperialism and Prussian Militarism. The patriotic sentiment towards one’s
country demanded the loathing of another country. Such assertive and zealous
nationalism expressed by European leaders created the ideal conditions for war.
Nationalism was a vehicle behind a nations’ drive for international
superiority, which involves the development of: the army’s military ability; the
Navy’s sea power and political dominance. This was exacerbated due to the
crisis of nationalist groups desiring independence. Furthermore, it convinced
civilisations that their ravenous imperialistic rivalries were a threat to
their nation. Therefore, it can be said that nationalism was primarily
fundamental in causing the outbreak of the First World War. It is the most
significant long-term factor that underpins not only Imperialism and Prussian
militarism but all the other factors. Ultimately when combined with the
short-term factors it triggered the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand on the
28th June 1914.

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