Fiery Nationalism Essay For more than five centuries it has been, and remains, the worldâ€™s â€œmost powerful ideaâ€. Nationalism is a key characteristic of traditional global politics. Despite its strength however, nationalism is not as dominant a political identity as it once was. Nationalism had existed throughout human civilization; it became a major political movement, in large part because of centuries of imperialism. As countries expanded their borders through warfare and colonialism, the map of the world was completely redrawn. Geographic lines were shifted to create political entities based on the â€œwinnersâ€ and â€œlosersâ€ of conflicts rather than based on ethnic lines of indigenous populations. Nationalism is a doctrine invented in Europe at the beginning of the nineteenth century. It pretends to supply a criterion for the determination of the unit of population proper to enjoy a government exclusively its own, for the legitimate exercise of power in the state, and for the right organization of a society of states. Briefly, the doctrine holds that humanity is naturally divided into nations, that nations are known by certain characteristics which can be ascertained, and that the only legitimate type of government is national self-government. Another definitions of nationalism are: devotion and loyalty to oneâ€™s own nation; excessive patriotism; the desire for national advancement or independence; the policy or doctrine of asserting interest of oneâ€™s own nation, viewed as separate from the interest of other nations or the common interest of all nations. Referring to the period 1900-1920, the positive part about nationalism as a political movement was that it allowed them to come together and overthrow imperialism. By the beginning of the twentieth century, nationalist movements threatened to tear apart the established empires and the world order the empires had created. On the other hand, the negative part was that it led to colonial wars for independence and civil wars within countries comprised of multiple nations. The problem for nationalist was that it was often difficult to determine exactly where some ethnics group began and others ended, which led to conflict between nationalities living together within a country. Itâ€™s true that imperialism and militarism were factors in WWI, but both were byproducts of nationalist governments. The alliance system also would not have caused war if it were not for nationalism. Serbian seeking to gain territory at Austria-Hungaryâ€™s expense, and members of a secret society collaborated together to kill the Austrian heir to the throne. This was the spark plug, nationalism, for the war. Nationalist-driven violence was certainly nothing new in the Balkans and what was left of the Ottoman Empire, so it was somewhat surprising that a politically motivated assassination in the region could lead to such large-scale warfare. No one thought it would take much longer than six months to wrap up, because each believed its alliance was clearly superior to other. Instead, the violence dragged into one of the deadliest conflicts in human history. From the period 1921-1945, the Interwar years from 1919 to 1939, it is a period that the conflict was not ended. Nationalism was negative. The frustrated nationalism created by the Treaty of Versailles, the social effects of the Great Depression and ongoing investment in military technology were the road for the next war WWII. In 1929, the Wall Street Market crash and hit Germany hard because the economy was built on mostly loans from America and was dependent on trade, so when the loans needed to be paid and there was no trade, Germanyâ€™s industrialism stopped; German workers were laid off, banks failed so saving and accounts were wiped out, inflation made it difficult to purchases necessities. Hitler decided that he needed to do everything at a political level, so that he will be seen as a legitimate leader and not someone associated with violence and bad things; he wanted to highlight the failings of other political parties. Hitlerâ€™s inflamed sense of nationalism encouraged him to share his beliefs and values with his fellow countrymen. His strong dependence on his beliefs gave him the reassurance he needed to do whatever he could to further his cause, no matter what people thought about him. Depression really took hold of Germany, and Germany had to repay the debt created by the Young Plan; Hitler tried to defeat the Young plan and this campaign made him a political force throughout the country; in his campaigning he turned down his Jewish hatred and promised to get rid of Communists and â€œother enemiesâ€ and to reunite Germany and other German speaking parts of Europe. Extremist were losing popularity because stability was returning; German Nationalist party made him respectable asking for him to help campaign against the Young planâ€™s repayment arrangements; Nazi party won 18.3% of the vote in September 1930. German nationalism made German citizens sympathize with one another, and the thought of more or worse poverty because of the repayments to America worried them all. Hitler, although not the most popular politician in the works at the time, definitely was able to wiggle his foot in the door because of the small amount of doubt in the minds of the people. Hitler was trying to create a sense of nationalism in German people, to the point where they felt they were better than any person of any other race. By creating a clear separation, Hitler was able to set the Germanâ€™s apart from others living in the same area. Hitler felt that the only way Germany would return to order was through the Nazi regime. By combining Chancellor and President, he ensured that he would be at the head of the government and could spread his fiery nationalism to his people. German citizens may not marry or have sex with Jews in order to keep the blood pure (punishment of hard labor); Jews are not allowed to employ female German citizens under 45 as domestic workers (punishment of imprisonment or hard labor). Hitler really began to try to drive a wedge between Germans and Jews so that nationalism was felt very differently by the two different groups. In encouraging the nationalism and superiority in the German citizens, he made them feel better and feel against the Jews. Hitler formally ends obedience to the Treaty of Versailles; German warplanes attack a Spanish town, and this becomes the first air bombardment of an undefended town in history. Hitler outlines plans for a future war, confiding in his general of his intent to destroy Czechoslovakia; this was the beginning of Hitlerâ€™s process of beginning war. Nationalism flexes its muscles here, as the Germans show their new might in their air force and their defiance of the Treaty of Versailles, hereby raising confidence of the German people in their own government and fear of Germany for other countries. The German people were ready for a war. They believed because their leader had taught them to, that the only way to improve their situation was to fight for it. Nationalism prepared them for a war, and not only were they ready for the act, but they were ready to accept the consequences. Their need for stability as a country transcended other needs, and they were ready to do what it took to achieve their goals. WWII was the result of Fascism, and fascism involved nationalism. It is about returning oneâ€™s nation glory days. Hitler and Mussolini both sought to take lands that they felt were those of their nation. Hitler wanted the land Germany had lost in war, and much more. Some of the most horrific parts of WWII, such as Holocaust, were direct products of nationalism. Jews were considered to be a different nation by Germans and thus, the government tried to eliminate them, along with others who they felt were not real Germans. From the period 1946-1999 people have been promised self-determination and were frustrated when the political leaders they trusted to deliver it had failed to do so. This period nationalism was in some part positive. This time they would fight for independence and create their own identities through civil war, political revolutions, and migration. With ongoing nationalistic-driven, postcolonial, and identity-related violence marking almost every region of the world and a â€œcold warâ€ prevailing on a global level, the structure for the latter half of the twentieth century was established. The Cold war was an ideological conflict in which is side use its growing military technology and alliances systems to stop the spread of the opposing ideology. Because no one wanted a nuclear holocaust, the superpowers relied on others (proxies) to engage in battles for them. The process of decolonization was the final death toll of the imperial system that structured the world until the mid-twentieth century. And because it took place in the midst of a Cold war rivalry with two superpowers vying for ideological control, the process was fraught with violence. Nationalist sought independence from foreign domination. The most violent example how the Cold war affected decolonization was the civil war in Vietnam. The fifteen-year military conflict funded by the United States, the USSR and the PRC showed the countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America what decolonization could lead to during the competitive Cold War, and it certainly was not independence. Arab nationalism rose up against centuries of Western imperialism; Islam took on Judaism and Christianity; and ethnic and religious groups fought over territory each claimed legal and history rights to. Also we see, Africa nationalist movement demanded independence some came peacefully, other not. Ghana was a peaceful transition under Kwame Nkrumah, and for Kenya was a violent transition under Jomo Kenyatta. India had been a British colony for many years, the movement led by Mohandas Gandhi pushed for independence, he used a peaceful way not violent- methods to get independence. In conclusion, in my opinion, nationalism has been a positive force, but it has also brought despair and destruction to the world. One side of positive nationalism: which I defined as the proper love of oneâ€™s country and the respect which is due to every culture and nation. The other side, the negative nationalism: an unhealthy form of nationalism, which teaches contempt for other nations or cultures and seeks to advance the well-being of oneâ€™s own nation at the expense of others.
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