Nationalism: The Early Twentieth Century

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Nationalism is the patriotic attachment one feels to their own country or nation, either from a feeling of collective identity or individual feelings. Nationalism was an important topic of discussion during the early twentieth century because it was one of the main catalysts of the First and Second World Wars. Prior to WWI, a Serbian nationalist terrorist group attacked the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand when he came to visit Serbia to promote positive relations between their nations, killing him and his wife. The countries proceeded to declare war on each other and then alliances brought in many other countries from around the world into the disagreement. World War started off with one man, Adolf Hitler, igniting fierce nationalism within …show more content…
Nationalism has become an important issue as many countries have started to lean towards protectionism again. After the Second World War, international cooperation became the norm as agreements and international organizations like the United Nations began to rise. All of a sudden, countries were deciding to look more at the global community rather than just themselves. Today, countries are reverting back to their traditional views and becoming more isolationist. One notable example of this trend is the transition from President Barack Obama to President-elect Donald J. Trump. Obama warned the Greek people while visiting Athens that we, “are going to have to guard against a rise in a crude sort of nationalism, or ethnic identity, or tribalism” (Eilperin and Jaffe, pg. 1). This statement perfectly describes the type of nationalism that is currently emerging in politics today. Whether you agree with President Obama that nationalism should be a cause for concern or not, it is undeniable that nationalism certainly is becoming an important issue.
What has caused this change to occur? Why have we reverted back to our old ways? In order to address this issue, I will look at two particular cases in European countries that show this turn back towards our old nationalistic tendencies, Russia and Britain. Nationalism is an important aspect of current politics because
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At this time, Russia showed military aggression against the Ukraine in 2014 when they invaded the Crimea. This kind of event tends to shows a heightened amount of nationalism from the aggressor. This comes out of a feeling of superiority from the nation and its leaders. Many articles have recently come out referring to a this surge of “New Russian Nationalism.” An example of this can be seen in The Weekly Standard in an article called “Moscow Calling,” where the author Andrew Struttaford talks about how Russia nationalism is a sort of Eurasianism. Eurasianism is the bringing together of Europe and Asia with, in this case, the ideologies of the Russians. Russia is an Eastern or ethnic nationalistic country. This kind of nationalism comes out of the idea that being a member of a state comes out of your ancestry. This is contrasted against Eestern or civic nationalism which defines nationalism as being a part of a nation, usually through citizenship. As Eastern nationalism this comes out of ancestry rather than citizenship, it is considered to be much more exclusive and can easily lead to feelings of superiority from the “in group.” As stated earlier, feelings of superiority can lead to aggression. Robert Jackson discusses the other factors that contribute to a countries aggression in his novel, Global Politics in the

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