Does nationalism play in affect on the cause of world war 1? This can be shown through the unification of Germany durring world war 1.The assassination of the Austrian archduke before the outbreak of World War 1.Bismarck was instrumental in the unification of Germany. It was his thirst for expansion and Prussian rule throughout Germany that drove him. It was during the unification of the southern states that nationalism played an essential role. With the help of Austria, Bismarck's first strike was at Denmark in 1864. Austria only joined in the hope that Schleswig and Holstein would not become part of Prussia. This was a catalyst for the Austro-Prussian war in 1866 that resulted in the defeat of Austria. In agreement, Prussia assumed territorial control over Schleswig and Holstein and other German states. Consequently, this led to the unification of the northern states, leaving Austria out of Prussian affairs and leaving Prussia as the premier power of Germany. In achieving this success, Bismarck disregarded parliamentary powers that left him a hated man by many liberals. Bismarck's actions illustrate that nationalism was not a factor, but instead it was his desire to expand Prussian territory at any cost. Bismarck used nationalism as an important tool in completing the unification. "Using the vacant Spanish throne, Bismarck forged a telegram, insinuating that Napoleon and King William had insulted each other." (Perry, 404) This led to high feelings of Nationalism throughout Germany, and led to a confrontation between Prussia and France. This war, known as the Franco-Prussia War, resulted in the southern German states binding together in national unity to come to Prussia's aid. This maneuvering was as Bismarck predicted. Central Europe in 1871 bore witness to a great nation and the final steps in the unification of Germany, later to become known as the German Empire. This also gave them the needed power to play a major role in World War I.