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But the few colonies Germany had were of minimal importance in the crushing conditions of Versailles that crippled the German economy and kept the industrial heartland under occupation. This was Germany-France in the ding-dong one side takes a piece of the other / the other takes it back and ups one battle since 1870.

This was nations defining their borders and fighting for them, not imperial rivalry. It was Europe still seeking its spatial distribution after the upheavals of nineteenth-century romantic nationalism - which was much more what the Nazis packaged into their tinpot ideology than imperialism. Even the notion that they had a right to vast territories to the East was posited on the need for the great, dynamic German people to have room to grow and settle - Lebensraum - than on an imperial theme.

In other words, in 1930s continental Europe, I don't see empire as a reason for war, I see nationalism.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Sep 5th, 2011 at 03:12:22 AM EST
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