The Role Of Nationalism In The 20th Century

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Isabel Clements Modern Middle East History 10/19/15 Nationalism as a Political Strategy throughout the 20th Century Over the past hundred years nationalism has been utilized, and often succeeded, as a political tactic. An ideology grounded in the allegiance to one’s nation, nationalism is a semi-physical but primarily abstract concept. In order for a leader to be able to use Nationalism to their benefit, it is crucial that a nation is familiarized with the demeanor of the ideology. For nationalism to be an effective political move, a nation must ideally have recently suffered a blow to national pride, be in possession of a potential scapegoat, and have in mind an ideal society that requires progression to reach. World leaders use nationalism…show more content…
In the aftermath of World War One, Italy did not receive the territory it had been promised at the Treaty of Versailles’s ratification. Instead provided with two small territories in exchange for their contributions (500,000 dead, 1 million wounded) to the winning Allied side, Italians felt betrayed. The liberal Italian government quickly became a scapegoat for Italian nationalists who they accused of accepting a “mutilated victory” that failed to compensate Italy for its excessive casualties. Benito Mussolini, bitter himself as a result of aforementioned events, possessed skills that cajoled disaffected and unemployed veterans. By harnessing and capitalizing on their anger, he eventually gained a solid control of Italy. From the early 1920s until his ousting in 1943, Mussolini promoted national values and stressed the importance of a strong military, claiming to be working in the interest of restoring former Italian glory with the Roman Empire as an ideal. He proved his severity on the matter to the Italian people and the rest of the world by demanding enrollment of all citizens into the gargantuan military that would occupy Ethiopia, Albania, and Libya within five years (1935-1940). Mussolini’s strategic use of militarism to enforce national superiority and strength resulted in Italy’s emergence as a large threat to neighboring countries. Nationalistic, militaristic, and fascist values that Mussolini enforced upon Italy where what eventually led to their joining the axis powers and going to war against the allied powers. Successful in grasping and maintaining power due to the employment of nationalism, Mussolini’s regime ultimately succeeded in creating a nation of loyal

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