Compare and Contrast Nationalism in Africa and Latin America. Nationalism is a form of patriotism based upon the identification of a group of individuals with a nation. Nationalism was as important a force during the 20th century as it had been in the previous era. People under the control of imperialist nations continued to strive for their own identities, and new, independent nations popped up in Africa and Latin America. Nationalism was sparked as a result of the desire for freedom both political and cultural freedom. The elimination of the common enemy Europe caused internal divisions to emerge in Africa. Similarly, in Latin America, the frequency of coup d’états were astounding proof. “In the mid 1970’s, only Columbia, Venezuela and Costa Rica maintained democratic governments (182)”. With the absence of a common enemy, military men driven by the desire for power tried to seize power and exerted dictatorship. This happened years later in Africa nations after their independence. Europeans created artificial borders which ignored cultural differences in Africa. “The French ideal was to assimilate the African subjects into French cultures rather than preserving their native traditions (44).” This was another reason for the emergence of nationalism in Africa. They fought to abolish these unfair practices against them. Similarly, Latin Americans fought to free themselves of European oppression and the right to their culture, freedom and to govern themselves.
By the early 20th century Europeans had colonized most of the African continent. Christian missionaries set up schools that educated new native elite, who learned not only skills and literacy but western political ideas as well. They couldn't help but notice the contrast between the democratic ideals they were being taught in class and the reality of discrimination that they saw around them. “The first nationalist groups were formed in urban areas, primarily among people who had been exposed...
Cited: Duiker, William J., and William J. Duiker. Contemporary World History. 5th ed. Boston: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning, 2010. Print.
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