Friday, October 16, 2009

Nationalism Goes Mainstream

In this week’s reading of Age of Empire, Eric Hobsbawn focuses on the creation of nationalism and in his words, “the new woman.” While nationalism was established through countries embracing a democratic society and living a life of democratization, it was certainly not the only cause of it. This liberal view quickly became a part of each country, and slowly but surely began to cause unanticipated tension both within and outside the county. People began to develop a strong sense of pride for their country, and began to identify themselves with their nation, which in some eyes is a good thing. However, some took their pride as a right to “protect” their country, which consequently caused a few heads to clash more than once. To add to the tension, this idea of nationalism also introduced a hot topic this is still debated today – immigration.

Nationalism ended up being an extreme “morale booster,” if you will, during these times. Because everyone was identifying themselves with their nation, and taking a passionate pride in the nation they belonged to, this inevitably helped the country in time of war. Having everyone be accepting and supportive of war, obviously sets the tone of the media. With the media reporting positive things about the war, this contributed to the success of the war. This idea is known as “mainstream.”

What I would have liked Hobsbawn to expound upon, if possible, is how nationalism directly affected immigration? I know that it caused immigration, but what exact role did it play? Comments are welcome.


  1. This confuses me as well. It seems to me that it would do the opposite... considering that nationalism is all about loving your own country. It seems like maybe more people would have wanted to stay and be connected with their roots instead of going to a new place.

  2. --dorothy smith wrote the last comment