Posted On: Nov. 8, 2017
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines nationalism as a feeling of loyalty to ones country (or a distinct pride in ones country) where the people believe their country is better and more important than other countries or a desire by a large group of people (such as people who share the same culture, history, language, etc.) to form a separate and independent nation of their own. Yet, nationalism is often confused for patriotism and patriotism for nationalism. The differences between the two couldn’t be further apart with the only similarity being the connection the people may have with their nation. Goff (2014, p. 20) stated many western nations were affected by ethnic and religious differences as well as by political conflicts as most European nations nursed hostilities toward their neighbors. This more than likely establish nationalism. Additionally, nationalist are unified through their culture, whereas, Patriots – such as in America - share in the same value and beliefs despite cultural differences. Nationalism, unlike Patriotism, demonstrates superiority over other countries and assumes their country is better than all other countries. As Goff states in the first few chapters’, nationalism is not required for a country to be powerful and notes this through his comparison between nationalism and imperialism in relevant countries. Important nationalist factors such as those stressed to Japanese students were loyalty to the emperor and the state, selfless patriotism, and duty to family (Goff, 2014, p. 89). The first demonstration of imperialism dates back to Boxer Rebellion in China during 1900. And according to Goff (2014, p. 14) prior to the Boxer Rebellion, foreign powers had used imperialist policies and superior military might to impose unfair treaties on the Chinese and to carve China into spheres of influence. It would be the introduction of modern nationalism that would assist in the rise of identity for countries such as China and Japan during which the Asians were exposed to Western science, technology, political philosophy, and cultural norms, much of which would ultimately be used against the conquering nations (Goff, 2014, p. 80). Goff, R. (2014). The Twentieth Century and Beyond: A Global History, 7th Edition [VitalSouce bookshelf version]. Retrieved from http://online.vitalsource.com/books/0390249289 Nationalism and patriotism are very often used in the same context. However, there is a vast difference between the two. Patriotism can be shown by people belonging to different religion, speaking different languages or ethnicity. However, they all belong to one country and are quite vociferous in their feeling towards the nation they belong. Nationalism can be manifested by people belonging to different countries, who follow the same culture or religion. It shows superiority over other countries and nationalists believe that they are far better and superior than others. This often gives rise to conflicts.