Ethnic and racial ideologies and the attempt to have people living in harmony is one of the themes dealt with in the book A History of Europe in the Twentieth Century by Eric Brose.
Europe has diverse ethnic communities and races living together. All of them have varied cultures that used to conflict with each other. Up to the present time, many races have never agreed on their differing cultures and norms, but they have initiated an idea of appreciation. At the beginning, Brose highlights how the Great Nations rose despite their composition in terms of ethnicity and racial diversification (Brose, 2005 p. 2). Most of the people are the immigrants that run away from the colonies of France and Britain. European culture cannot be easily defined because it is influenced by the mixture of ethnic groups and nations. Spirituality in Europe is defined by Christianity and humanism that are being embraced by the people (Brose, 2005 p.45). Its political background is influenced by the idea of French uprising and modernization.
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The Christians form the major part of the European population: Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Protestants. The Balkans observes the Islamic religion. Additionally, a small group practices Judaism. Therefore, the author states that “Europeans have always tried to work harmoniously with each other so that they can establish a peaceful nation” (Brose, 2005 p. 94). They demand peace, unity and stability of people living both in and out of their country. However, social classification is witnessed in several communities where the low class is mainly utilized for the labor and has limited access to the quality life.
The assassinations that were witnessed prior to July 1914 led to international tensions because diplomatic relations could not solve the problem (Brose, 2005 p. 111). Ethnic tension as well arose since no one had faith on their neighbors. Territorial conflicts also culminated into the First World War, otherwise known as the Great War (Brose, 2005 p.143). This is due to it involved great powers: the central and allies’ ones. The harmonious living that was being promoted in Europe was disrupted by the war because of the attacks from all over. The immigrants had a bad feeling that war between them would erupt. Women were left with the role to take care of their families while their men took part in protecting their society (Brose, 2005 p. 144). The war let to lose of life and property causing conflicts between various countries; economic instability was evidenced. The Great War was the foundation of the Second World War which was felt globally and involved the super power nations.
The First World War was experienced between 1914 and 1918. It emerged as a result of the ssassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife. Moreover, the boundary disputes between the central powers and the allies could not be avoided (Keegan, 2000 p.7). Imperialism had taken the central point in the war since each country was seeking for the colonial wealth. Poor political structure and the rigid cultures influenced the intensification of the war. Furthermore, the fact there was no super power country by then played a major role in the event of the First World War. Several diplomatic meetings had been held in order to solve the crisis on assassinations, but a consensus could not be reached (Keegan, 2000 p.7).
The territorial dispute at Balkans could not be resolved easily because of the various cultural disparities. Gallipoli was a target area by the allied countries whereby Churchill proposed an idea that they launch an attack at the area. Churchill’s idea was not adopted: the allies believed that it was more risk and could lead to lose of life and their resources. Gallipoli was a crucial point for the Turks who thought they were very weak and feared their enemies would overpower them (Keegan, 2000 p. 35). Additionally, to win a battle, a good strategy must be adopted; being opportunistic is vital. The Turkish people took advantage of the weather and the sinking of the military forces that were being supplied to attack their nation. As Keegan states, “Gallipoli acts as a vital reference point because it was at this time where technology and geographical strategy was involved by all the parties in war to emerge victorious” (Keegan, 2000 p. 122). Very many troops were supplied to the region to save the situation. Unfortunately, most of them ended up dying because they were overpowered by their enemies. An aspect of human interest is portrayed in the book (Keegan, 2000 p.143). Keegan argues the generals did not take their military forces into war so that they could die but it was out of ignorance and fear (2000). It is out of the war that led to the collapse of three major kingdoms in the region: the Russian, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman. The aftereffects were not only felt within the affected empires but spread all through the entire Europe. The battle at Gallipoli acted as a major tool towards the attainment of independence by the Turkish people.
Great Britain entered into the war in support of Belgium who was under attack by the Germans. They wanted to defend the treaty that had been signed in London in which Germany was violating. Belgium had taken a neutral stance that was to be respected by all nations. Great Britain did not suffer a lot because it strategized its entry into the war with the guidance of smart people “like Churchill Winston” (Keegan, 2000 p. 187). They also had enough back up in terms of troops and resources.
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