Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Concept of Nationalism

To repeat, the sense of nationalism is a modern concept and this only came to ascendancy in the last century and a half. It is the product of the chaos and political upheavals of the 18th century and a result of the French Revolution. It spread to other lands by wars and commerce, and by colonialism itself.
In ancient times the state was either a city-state, such as Athens, Sparta, or early Rome, or a far-flung empire like Macedon and Persia. Even in such antiquity, people were already conscious of their racial or cultural differences, and each people sought to view itself as "superior," as the Jews had considered themselves the "chosen people" or the Greeks had regarded non-Creeks as "barbarians."
This sense of belonging to a unified or homogeneous group was the offshoot of many factors, such as the need to defend a common frontier, the development of a common tongue or language, a common belief, a common history and tradition, and even shared conviction to close ranks and to resist a common aggressor. Racial and cultural prejudice directed against a group of people could also provide impetus to the formation of a homogeneous grouping. There may be other reasons.

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