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Self-determination as the leading cause of World War 1
Transcript of Self-determination as the leading cause of World War 1
Changing the Map
Many nations wanted to be free and have the ability to rule themselves. Each nation felt that they should be entitled to make their own decisions and be in charge of their own destiny. Once one nation gained the ability or attempted to gain the ability to rule themselves, other nations were inspired to gain the same rights. Self-determination was the main contribution to the start of WW1.
President Woodrow Wilson helped encourage self-determination of the European nations during WW1. Wilson supported the rights of the individual nations and said that they had a right to rule themselves, just as America had wanted to rule themselves and break away from England.
The political map of Europe changed entirely after the war because of self-determination. for example, the Austro-Hungarian Empire became many smaller countries. Major countries such as Germany and France experienced border changes.
Balkan War in 1912
Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Montenegro formed a military alliance against the Ottoman Empire. Within months, the Balkan allies had destroyed the Ottoman Empire and divided the territory among themselves. The success of the Balkan allies had shocked many of the big European powers such as Russia, France, and Britain. This success not only encouraged other nations to revolt, but it also encouraged large empires to keep control of their revolting territories.
Not just leading up to WW1...
There have been many instances throughout the course of history where countries or nations have risen up against imperialism and declared self rule. Revolts in the quest for self-determination have been going on since history began and although were the main cause of WW1, self determination is not specific to only WW1.
The map that came from the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire
The Boer War
Americans along with many other nationalists volunteered to join the Boer War in favor of the Boers. They believed that the Boers were fighting for their own rights and freedoms against the British, who were acting as controlling tyrants at the time. Although the Boers did not win their rights and freedoms, they still inspired other nations to take up arms against the empires.
1800s Indian Nationalist Movements
In the early 1800s, some Indians began demanding more rights from the British and a greater role of governing themselves. The Indians no longer wanted to be ruled by outsiders and the sense of nationalism started to grow. People felt it necessary to have social reforms and modernization.
Setting the stage for war
"At the turn of the 20th century, the nations of Europe had been at peace with one another for nearly 30 years. An entire generation had grown up ignorant of the horrors of war. Some Europeans believed that progress had made war a thing of the past. Yet in little more than a decade, a massive war would engulf Europe and spread across the globe."
Nationalism and the war
Nationalistic rivalries also grew out of territory disputes. For example, France had not gotten over its territory loss to Germany in the Franco-Prussian War. Also, Austria-Hungary and Russia both tried to take over the Balkans, but were pushed back by the alliances of Serbs, Romanians, and Bulgarians fighting for independence.
One group that suffered greatly for self-determination efforts was the Armenians. By 1880, millions of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire started to demand their freedom. Throughout the late 1800s, thousands of Armenians were killed by Turkish troops. At the start of WW1, the Armenians pledged to support Turkish enemies and were deported or killed. Although they did not win their freedom, this was one of the last fights for self-determination leading into the first world war.
An Armenian town that was destroyed during the massacres.