All Quiet on the Western Front
Uploaded by youandmealways on Sep 11, 1999
Nationalism can be defined as having a sense of belonging and loyalty to ones country or nation state. Of all the European nations, France was the first to sport the idea of nationalism. Many countries became influenced by the French's ideas of nationalism. As a result nationalism had spread throughout out Europe by the nineteenth and twentieth century. One result that nationalism had on Europe was, the wanting of unification. The people of nation states wanted their country to belong to. This wanting lea d to the unifying of Italy and Germany. Soon nationalism had increased the people's confidence, and a feeling of imperialism ran through the unified countries. Unified countries such as France, Germany, Russia wanted to extend their empires. But this Imperialism in Europe led to many conflicts between countries. All this Conflict eventually resulted in the beginning of World War I The causes of World War I were the intense nationalism that dominated Europe throughout the 19th and into the 20th century, and the establishment of large armies in Europe after 1871. Imperialism created a rivalry between nations and empires. The build up of armies and navies created fear between nations. France feared Germany, Germany feared Russia, Austria-Hungary and Russia rivalled around Balkans, Britain feared German's expanding navy, Slovakia wanted to free Slavian land from Astria-Hungary's oppression. Italy was jealous of French and English colonies in Africa. Ottoman Empire struggled to survive in a hostile climate. Germany signed a secret alliance with Austria-Hungary and Italy, thus creating a Triple Alliance. France and Russia signed an Entente agreement which was later signed by Britain, thus creating Triple Entante. Then Europe was divided into hostile camps. During this time nationalism had caused a glorified view of the war. These views showed how inexperienced the people of Europe were in warfare. In Erich Maria Remarque's novel All Quiet on the Western Front, we can see that even though this glorious view contradicted the Germans soldiers' expectations, they still stayed loyal.
In the Beginning of the novel we read that Paul Baumer and his classmates had volunteered to enlist in the war. But they were forced in to volunteering. Their school master Kantorek had filled their heads up with views of nationalism which glorified the war. Some students were even under the pressure of their parents to enlist. Not enlisting would be like turning your back on your country. To the teachers...