World War Nationalism

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The First World War was a calamity, but what was done in the wake of it, and the world it created, set the stage for even worse events. The post war world teetered on a precarious balance in both Europe and Asia. The nationalism that caused the First World War, manifested itself after the war and threatened post war security. Post- war Europe and Asia were fractured because of issues stemming from the First World War and combined with nascent and growing nationalism.

Europe bore the brunt of the damage caused by the First World War. Millions died, thousands of square kilometers were decimated. The economies of the major nations were in ruins and old and new empires were shattered. As a response to the brutality of war on an industrial scale,
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China’s Qing dynasty collapsed in 1911, three years before the First World War. Sun Yat Sen became president of the new republic and set out on his mission of reforming China. However, his presidency only lasted for a few weeks as he soon was forced to hand over power to the military. Within a few years’ China went from being an established empire to a country with no central government. Warlords ruled different regions and constantly vied for control of Beijing. This state of continuous struggle that affected Asia’s largest nation helped to fuel an instability across Asia. Japan, although a victor of the First World War got nothing out of the Paris peace conferences. Japan felt betrayed by this and concluded it couldn’t trust the western powers, resolving to forge a divergent path. Imperial Japan wanted to become the dominant power in Asia, aiming to remove western colonialism from Asia. Japan became more and more militaristic and in the early 1930’s invaded and occupied Manchuria as a bid to show their dominance over the region, and to expand their empire. This show of military power created a broad uneasiness and showed that the Japanese were a serious threat to peace in Asia. Japan was becoming powerful enough to worry western powers and force them to watch Japan’s actions carefully. China’s decline into a state of perpetual conflict and unrest left a massive power vacuum in Asia that …show more content…
Japan being a victor during the first world war did not feel that they were treated fairly at the Paris peace conferences. Japan felt betrayed and grew to resent western colonialism in Asia. The Japanese grew increasing nationalistic and militaristic felt the need to establish themselves as the major power in Asia. These increasing nationalistic and militaristic views culminated in the invasion of Manchuria in the early 1930’s and the subsequent invasion of China later on in that decade. Unlike Japan, China was on the decline during and after the First World War. China entered a state of chaos with no functioning government and regional warlords holding the functional power. In the mid 1920’s Chiang Kai Shek, the leader of the Kuomintang (a nationalistic political party) declared him and his party to be the government in China. He wanted to rid China of all foreign interference and reunite the country into one strong nation. The Kuomintang despised the communists as they thought they would only bring unrest. This new power in China put Chinese interests first, and encouraged nationalistic sentiments to flourish, albeit for a short period of time. China and Japan both saw an increase in nationalism following the First World War, in ways relevant to the coming

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