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Patriotism is The Primary Cause of Wars Globally - IELTS Task 2 Band 9 Sample Essay

Updated: Mar 19

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.


Write about the following topic:


Some argue that patriotism is the primary cause of wars globally. Others feel that it serves to prevent less ethical politicians from running a country and starting wars.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.


Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge and experiences.


You should write at least 250 words.


IELTS Task 2 Band 9 Sample Essay - Some argue that patriotism is the primary cause of wars globally. Others feel that it serves to prevent less ethical politicians from running a country and starting wars.

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Model Essay 1

The question of whether patriotism fuels wars or fortifies nations against unethical leadership and conflict is multifaceted. This essay argues that while patriotism can indeed precipitate conflict, it also plays a crucial role in uniting a country against tyranny and aggression, with a focus on the dual nature of patriotism's impact on war and governance.


On one hand, patriotism is often cited as a primary catalyst for war. It can blind citizens to the faults of their own nation, fostering an "us versus them" mentality that exacerbates international tensions. Historical examples abound, with World War I being a poignant case where nationalistic fervour among European powers, coupled with alliances, led to a devastating conflict. The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary, interpreted through a lens of fierce patriotism, ignited a war that engulfed the world, illustrating how national pride can escalate disputes into full-scale wars.


Conversely, patriotism can act as a bulwark against the rise of less ethical politicians and the wars they might start. A strong sense of national pride can foster unity and resilience, enabling citizens to stand against leaders who would otherwise manipulate national sentiment for personal or aggressive ends. The role of patriotic movements in the downfall of corrupt regimes, such as the peaceful revolution in Eastern Europe that led to the fall of the Berlin Wall, underscores the potential of patriotism to safeguard democracy and peace. In these contexts, patriotism serves not as a spark for conflict but as a force for collective action against threats to national integrity and global stability.


In conclusion, patriotism holds a dual role, capable of both igniting conflicts and defending against unjust leadership. Embracing its positive aspects can help societies distinguish between unity-driven patriotism and divisive nationalism, fostering peace and deterring war. This underscores the nuanced potential of patriotism to either provoke war or consolidate national unity against threats.


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Model Essay 2

Debates surrounding patriotism's impact oscillate between its role as a harbinger of war and a protective shield against misgovernance and conflict initiation. This essay posits that patriotism can inadvertently lead to hostilities but, when channeled correctly, acts as a deterrent to war through the promotion of national unity and ethical leadership.


Patriotism, when misinterpreted or manipulated, can indeed stoke the fires of war, transforming into a catalyst for aggression. It fosters an environment where aggressive nationalism flourishes, often leading to a vilification of 'the other,' and propelling nations towards conflict under the guise of defending national honor. The Falklands War between the UK and Argentina in 1982 serves as an emblematic example of this phenomenon, where heightened nationalistic sentiments on both sides escalated a territorial dispute into a full-blown conflict, demonstrating how excessive patriotism can obscure rational judgment and propel nations into unnecessary wars, disregarding the devastating consequences.


Conversely, patriotism, when channeled positively, can fortify a nation against the machinations of unethical leaders, acting as a unifying force. By cultivating a sense of collective identity and shared values, patriotism can unify a populace to stand against policies that would lead to unjust wars, fostering a sense of responsibility towards global peace. The mass protests against the Vietnam War in the United States illustrate this principle vividly. Americans' patriotic desire for peace and justice spurred widespread demonstrations, showcasing how patriotism, rooted in ethical convictions, can exert pressure on leaders to pursue peaceful resolutions, thus demonstrating its power to enact positive change and encourage a more harmonious international landscape.


In summary, while patriotism has the potential to lead nations into conflict, it also embodies the power to unify and steer them towards peace. By fostering a balanced patriotism that prioritizes ethical governance and peaceful coexistence, societies can mitigate the risk of war and enhance global stability. This nuanced understanding reaffirms the essay's thesis that patriotism's influence is twofold, with the capacity for both conflict and peace.


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Model Essay 3

Some maintain that nationalism is the chief culprit behind global conflicts, while others contend that it acts as a safeguard against morally questionable politicians obtaining leadership positions and inciting wars. I believe in proper use of patriotism for both running a country and avoiding war, because an excessive sense of patriotism can lead to aggression and conflict, while the same attribute can serve as a deterrent to war, by promoting strong ethical values and good governance.


However, patriotism sometimes converts into a strong nationalist sentiment leading to conflicts between different countries. Nationalistic fervour often creates a sense of superiority and righteousness, which can lead to a desire for domination and control over others. This desire for control can then lead to aggression and war, as nations seek to assert their dominance over others. For example, the aggressive actions of Germany prior to World War II were fuelled by a strong sense of patriotism or nationalism and a desire to expand the nation's power and influence.


On the other hand, patriotism can also serve as a deterrent to war, as it promotes strong ethical values and good governance. In a democratic system, politicians who espouse patriotic values and support ethical policies are more likely to be elected, while those who engage in unethical activities are more likely to be rejected by the public. This leads to a greater level of accountability and transparency in government, which in turn helps to prevent war. For instance, the democratic system in the South Korea, where elected officials are held accountable to the public, has prevented the country from engaging in large-scale wars of aggression.


In conclusion, both views have merit, and the impact of patriotism on war will depend on the specific circumstances and the type of government in place. However, one thing is certain - patriotism, when used in the right way, can help promote peace and stability in the world.


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