Nationalism, a feeling of pride for and devotion to one s country has been one of the most destructive forces of the past two hundred years. Durin the nineteenth century, several different isms wre forwarded by progressive politicians. Nationalism was the belief in self-determnation for people that shared a similar culture. The kingdoms emerging from the middle ages were often made up of several different nationalitites, and each of these people wanted to have their own distinct country. Around1850, the industrial revolution began and in order to induastraialize a contry had to have resources.
If the lacked resourcese, they had to take over another country. And this imperialism or domination of another country was by annexation by extreme measures, colonizaation or by economic aid. This imperialism also led to nationalism. Nationalism in the imperialist countries made them arrogant and proud and also led to militarism with a bulild up of weapons needed to control ad enforce people who were nationalistic and usually in te defeated countries, the people became very patriotic about theier culture Pride patriotism and loyalty are fine qualities of nationalism in moderation.
Extreme nationalism creates blindness to the faults of one s own nation. When extreme nationalism affects a large number of te population aof a country, trouble starts. It needs the help of a certain kind of person and a certain kind of conditions. A charismatic leader rising to peower in times of stress are the two most important elements needed for the espread of extreeme nationalism. The leader is usually a erson without conscience and he or she is helped along if the masses are obedient and accustomed to authority.
One of the first people to expoit nationalism was Napolean Bonaparte. He was a brilliant sodieer and a briliant admaistrator. He seized control of France during the turmooil that followed the French Revolution. Napoleonic France was an expample of nationalism caried too far. He inspired passionate loyalty from soldiers and civilians and this patriotic fervor led to many gory battles and economic chaos in Europe over mnay years. Napolean made France great but at acost whic could hardly be measured. World War I was also the result of twisted concept of nationalism.
The German King, Kaiser Willhem, and hsi geneerals had been building up theri military strength for years. The Geramn people, believing their armiwes to be unbeataable and their cause joust, went to wwar with enthusiasm. As the casulaties for war grew the appetite for war diminished. This adventure in nationalism ended at a cost of more thatn eight milliion lives. The deceat of Germay in WW I led directly into the worst excursion the world has ever seen. The peace tereaty that ended world war one humiliated Germay and left it penniless.
A small Austian house painter seized the opportunity to expoit popular discontent. Adolf Htler was ale to inspire foiniatcal loyalty throu the use of nationalaism. When the great depression struck in 1929, he explained it as a Jewish-commnist plot, an explanition accepted by many Germans. Promising a strong Germany, jobs and national glory he attracted millions of voters. Through abrilliatn campaign of propaganda Hitler sold the Geramn peopl eon the idea they were a master race, destined to rule the world.
Concentratin camps were opened to house oponents and groups that the Nazis decided were inferior-Jews, Gpsies, communists, the handicapped. It was not long berfore the final solution was put in palce-the extermination of all inferior races. This domination required the domination of neighbours against whom Geramy had some grievance or other. Hsi armis conquered most of Europe and North Africa. Two other countires weent along with Htler int Italy Benito Mussolini imitated Hitler and whipped the Italians into frenies into super nationalisms.
Ongh other side of the wordlds Japanese extreme nationalismld to the conquest of East Asia. After six years of war the extreme nationalists were defeated and the atrocities and mass murders carried out inthe name of nationalism sowed how thin the veneer of civialaizatin can be. Sloboden Milosevic, the leader of Serbia stoked the fires of Saerbian nationalism in the Blakans. He wanteed to create and lead a greater Serbia that would include those areas of osnia where Ethnic Serbs were a majority.
It did not take much effort to stir up Serbian national passion, when communism coolasped, he explooited peoples future and blood letting on a scale not seen in Europe followed. The polite phrase ethnic cleansing was coined to describe the torture, rape and the murdr of tens of thousands of non serbs since 1990 Most of the twentieth century have disliked nationalism. These great thinkers reflect civilized societies hoorror ant the t errible ravages, palgure, death, and destruction caused by those worshipped by nationalism.
For nationalism, it msut not be forgotten, it can be savage and finatical. Thsi especially so when it stands largely on its own, without being refined by the ideals of goals of a stong philosphy or idealogy, wheter it be religion, liberalism, socialism, conservatism or whatever. The problem is nto nationalism as such. The trouble starts when antionalism is linked with militarism. As the 1990s began, nationalism remained a potent force in world affairs. Competing Jewish, Arab, and Palestinian nationalist aspirations continued to generate political instability in the Middle East.
In Eastern Europe, where nationalist passions had largely been held in check since World War II, the decline of Communist rule unleashed separatist forces that contributed to the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, and Czechoslovakia and threatened the integrity of other countries. The penetration of nationalism into colonial countries was hastened by World War II. The British, French, and Dutch empires in eastern Asia were overrun by the Japanese, who widely disseminated the nationalistic slogan Asia for the Asians.
During the India independenceand divsion into India and Pakistan 15 million people were displaced from theri homes. Most extreme nationlism as we have seen is expansionist aiming to conquer and control neghbours, however there is another kind fo extreme nationalism that is inward-looking. Isolationaism shuns contaact with other nations and is usually a withdrawl from reality. It is a brand of nationalism that denies the need for internatonal cooperation. It saus that therere are no outside causes or principles worth supporting. A we know the world is becoming a global village and these policcies cannot possible work.