What is Nationalism

Explore the definition, types, examples, and impact of nationalism in societies worldwide. Learn how nationalism shapes identities and influences political movements.


Nationalism is a concept that has played a significant role in shaping societies and governments throughout history. It can be defined as the strong belief that the interests of a particular nation are of primary importance, often leading to a desire for independence or sovereignty.

Types of Nationalism

  • Ethnic Nationalism: Based on shared cultural attributes such as language, religion, and traditions.
  • Civic Nationalism: Focuses on a shared political ideology and values rather than ethnic background.

Examples of Nationalism

One famous example of nationalism is the American Revolution, where colonists fought for independence from British rule to establish a sovereign nation. Another example is the rise of nationalism in Europe during the 19th and 20th centuries, leading to the unification of various states into nations such as Italy and Germany.

Case Studies

An interesting case study is the Indian independence movement led by Mahatma Gandhi, who united a diverse population under the banner of nationalism to fight against British colonialism. Another example is the Scottish independence movement, which seeks to break away from the United Kingdom based on a sense of national identity.

Statistics on Nationalism

According to a survey conducted by Pew Research Center, nationalism is on the rise globally, with many countries experiencing a surge in nationalist sentiment. For example, in the United States, the election of Donald Trump as president was seen as a victory for nationalist ideals.


Nationalism can be a powerful force for mobilizing populations, but it can also lead to conflict and division if not managed carefully. Understanding the different types of nationalism and their implications is essential for navigating the complex dynamics of a globalized world.

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