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How Nationalism Has Affected the Balkans

Nationalism, if awaken at once, can become one of the strongest forces that can alter the shape of political and social landscape of a region. There have been numerous instances where revolutions or wars have been started due to the rise of nationalism among the people living in a region. One of those examples is that of nationalism of Balkans which is said to be one of the leading influencers of the World War I.

The Balkans is a region in Southeast Europe which includes a large group of nations and provinces residing in the region. In the presence of such a diverse group of nations, any nationalist movement can have largely negative impact for the region as a whole. One nation may attempt to weaken the other and this cycle can go for a long time and escalate till one of the nations is completely driven out of the region or eliminated. In a humanitarian context, nationalist movements have been largely seen as negative and disastrous because they always end in a significant loss of human life. The nationalism movements in the Balkans region originated in early 1900s when Serbian nationalist groups aimed to free Serbia from foreign influence and this resulted in numerous nationalism movements in the Balkans. These movements aimed at driving the foreign influences out of the region, and the major focus was on Austro-Hungarian group which was seen as a major threat to Serbian nationalism.

Most of the influence of the nationalism in the Balkans has been highly negative as it gave significant rise to the acts of terrorism which were aimed at driving out Hungarians. These disruptions were mostly backed by the individuals in Serbian government and military. In addition to that, the nationalist groups were also encouraged by Russian forces which were involved in the creation of anti-Austrian propaganda. Due to the presence of such strong forces at the background, these nationalist movements only escalated further in intensity and in volume.

Ultimately, these movements and the acts of disruptions originating from these movements became one of the grounds leading to World War I. The WWI began in the Balkans in July 1914 due to the rising conflicts.

It can be concluded that nationalism has affected the Balkans in a great way and the World War I is one of the resounding evidences of the scale of the impact of nationalism. The events originating from the rising wave of nationalism have ended in enormous losses in the Balkans.


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