Nationalism Is a Modern Form of Consciousness

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A few weeks ago the topic of nationalism was presented to me. So I asked myself “What is nationalism?” and “How did it come about?” This led me to an essay stating that “Nationalism is a modern form of consciousness (Greenfeld 2006: 64-92).” It went on to say that “Nationalism is the constitutive element of modernity and it provides the foundational form of consciousness in all societies defined as nations (Greenfeld 1992: 3-26).” With this brief insight on nationalism I wrote this paper. This essay will discuss the proposed question ‘Nationalism is a modern form of consciousness. What role(s) do you think that this form of consciousness play(s) in the identity of Caribbean people? Do you think that this modern form of consciousness contributes to the motivation of Caribbean people?’ But before we talk about nationalism in the Caribbean we must take into consideration the history of the Caribbean in order to identify the role that this form of consciousness plays in the identity of Caribbean people. While growing up, I can vividly remember my primary school teacher, Mrs Khan, stating that “The Caribbean is a group of small islands encircled by the Caribbean Sea”. That same afternoon I asked my mother about the small islands makes up the Caribbean and how far are they from Trinidad. She told me that “The Caribbean is made up of countries such as Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Island (BVI), Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, St Christopher & Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines and the republic of Trinidad and Tobago and that they share a common history. It is enriched with variety of cultures, religion and dialects, which were mixed and created new forms such French Patois; that’s why the Caribbean is comprises of such rich diversity.” This information encouraged me to dig deeper and find out more about nationalism and to my astonishment I realised that there are multiple...
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