Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Rise of Nationalism

In chapter 6, Hobsbawn discusses the rise of nationalism and nations. During the late 18th and early 19th centuries people all across the world identified with their homeland as a nation more than ever. With the increase of democratization, an increase of nationalism in politics is seen. Increases in democratization resulted in more elections where politicians could stand behind patriotism and a new found nationalism as a platform. Many citizens' focused their pride and homeland towards their neighbors, kin, and home ground. With the rise of nationalism this pride transformed to patriotism for their nation or state.
During this increasingly democratic period, nations needed their citizens to be nationalistic and look up to the fatherland just as much as the citizens needed their country. Governments needed their citizens for everyday life including postmen, police, transit employees, and military.
I found it interesting how citizens identified with their country prior to the rise of nationalism. Growing up in America, I have always thought of myself as an American. People growing up before this period often associated with their village, language, family, and neighbors rather than a country as a whole. I also was surprised to find out common languages were often a product of nationalism rather than a factor. I though citizens would rally together under one language rather than establish a national language after nationalism was achieved.


  1. I also found the fragmentation of polyethnic states and the rise of new groups pushing for independence based on common culture language and beliefs. I think that people tend to group with those more or less like themselves. Hence, people with the same basic language and culture will clump together. As democracy began to spread through areas that had previously been content with working along with people of other cultural and linguistic backgrounds the idea of a new state sharing the same ideas and culture came into the spot light. Even if there were differences in a language, I think over a longer period of time different dialects merged together to either form new languages or alter those that existed to a more commonly accepted form within the new nation states.

  2. I liked your take on the reading sean. I really also agree with what you said about our national pride. It really is true about nationalism wherever we go. Take pitt for example, our pride is undeniable.