Nationalism In Western Europe

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Nationalism The rise in the spirit of nationalism led to many changes in Western Europe. You can trace this rise back to the American Revolution where the Americans established a country and kicked out the British colonialists. After viewing this uprising and playing a role in helping the Americans, the French were inspired to revolt in their own country. This along with many other factors eventually led to the French revolution in 1789. After the events of the French revolution and the toppling of the near absolutist monarchy, other nations in Europe also thought about standing up to the absolutist regimes in their countries. This led to the eventual revolutions all over Europe in the 19th century with 2 new states being formed. In the 1860s…show more content…
The word denotes a group of people and their common geographical origin. Nationalism forged strong bonds and loyalty between the people and the state. Nationalism and national identity have been the fundamental ideas, which have led to the creation of nation states in the past 2 centuries (Olins, 2002). Citizens owed their supreme loyalty to the nation and its representative state institutions. Patriotism was present in European societies long ago but nationalism was invented to reinforce the cultural and linguistic unity of people. The introduction of the printing press got rid of the supreme power of the church and the pope. Latin was no longer the universal language and local languages began to grow. Language plays a huge role in unifying a people so this also played a role in the rise of nationalism. After the spread of the Enlightenment ideas of self-determination of the nation and the general participation of all its members in the politics of a state, nationalism soon became an irresistible political force. The two ideas of self-determination and mass-participation were formed by the French conception of popular sovereignty and the German idea of political romanticism (Knutsen, 1997) that were popularized by Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Johann Gottfried von Herder…show more content…
The start of Nazism however has also been blamed on social Darwinism (Weikart, 1993). Even though it began in Britain, social Darwinism had its greatest impact on continental Europe, especially in Germany. It began to get accepted in Germany in the 1890s after liberalism had passed its prime (Weikart, 1993). The social Darwinism in Germany was present long before Hitler so this goes to show you that the hatred and racism was already there even before Hitler came to power and manipulated the

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