What Is Nationalism?

Topics: Nationalism, Nation, Government Pages: 4 (1332 words) Published: December 2, 2012
What is Nationalism?
The easiest way to define such a complex and broad term like nationalism is to start with the definition of a nation. A nation, as Ernest Renan clearly defined in 1882, is “is a conglomerate of people who share a common past and have derived a strong bond, with an agreement to stay together and be governed by mutual consent in the future.” In other words, a vast group of people living under the same type of government that share a common language, culture, history and a similar background overall. These nations become unified by sport events like the Olympics or World Cups. Nationalism is a possible definition of the happiness and pride lived during these games but the term is so complex that further explanation is needed. The origins of Nationalism, its characteristics, the types of nationalism that concern and the huge complexity of the term could all join in to create a perfect definition of such term. The causes that arouse the feelings of nationalism can lead to a clear definition of this word. Short-term political causes like the American and French Revolution led to the unification of its people to fight for what was theirs. The vernacularization of language and an easy access to books or newspapers were some of the effects that resulted from Martin Luther’s 95 theses, the translation of the New Testament, or the invention of the printing press. Consequently, nationalism started emerging as a political ideology. In John Stuart Mill’s article “Of Nationality, as connected with Representive Government “expresses the causes of nationalism from his perspective. Mill begins his article by explaining how people, being part of a nation, should be linked by common sympathies, should cooperate with each other, and agree to live under the rules of the same government. In addition, he mentions the fact that geographical limits are also one of the causes of nationalism. People living in the same area will consequently end up having a common...
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