Nationalism in the 19th century was very similar to patriotism. Nationalism is when people are loyal to and proud of their country and have the belief that their country or independant nation is superior to others. In the 19th century nationalism was extremely prevenant, though it would be replaced by patriotism. Though many benefited from Nationalism, it caused unnecessary destruction in the 18th and 19th centuries in Europe. It caused uprisings that lead to numerous revolts, disturbing the order, causing needless death and eventually leading to world war one. Firstly, nationalism was used as a political tool for leaders to gain power. This can especially be seen in the German Unification of 1871. The unification took place on January 18 and was when the Princes of the German states made Wilhelm of Prussia as Emperor Wilhelm of the German Empire. From positions of established power, this new generation of leaders molded nationalism to fit harsh political realities. They focused their eyes on practical policies not ideals."(West in the world pg. 610) These leaders would pretend to help the people, but in reality they were manipulating and compromising to achieve their personal goals. Though, nationalism often allowed for the creation of new, more powerful, and more oppressive monarchies, these monarchies often came to power through corrupt means. .
Secondly, nationalism lead to the assassination that caused world war one and was the cause of many other things. Though some may argue that imperialism was the main factor behind the start of world war one, it was still a byproduct of nationalist government. It is commonly believed that it was the assassination of Prince Ferdinand of Austria, a direct byproduct of Serbian nationalism. "Serbians seeking to gain territory at Austria-Hungary's expense, and members of a secret society collaborated together to kill the Austrian heir to the throne.