Nationalism, the idea that one’s identity is closely tied to the nation-state in which one lives, is a fairly modern concept in world history. Beginning in the eighteenth century, a series of shifts led many people to replace older loyalties (such as those to clan, church, or king) with loyalty to the nation. As powerful nation-states competed and carved out empires in the nineteenth century, they began forming the alliances and pacts that would soon lead to world war. An appeal to nationalism was one key tool that government leaders used to inspire their citizens to join that fight.

  1. Download the Nationalism and the World Stage document.
  2. Read the points to consider at the top of the document. Then read over the provided speech and propaganda excerpts. 
  3. Create a new document respond to the following questions:
    • Define Nationalism. Cite the sources that influenced your definition for the term. 
    • Choose from the examples of Nationalism provided on the Nationalism and the World Stage document. Reflect on how this example illustrates the seven elements mentioned at the beginning of the document. If an element is not illustrated, state that it is not illustrated. These elements are:
    • 1. Direct appeal – the message is for you specifically, it’s personal
    • 2. Emotions: pride, loyalty, duty 
    • 3. Emotions: fear or anger   
    • 4. Mention superiority of the country (we’re better than others)   
    • 5. Mention an enemy from outside (a foreign group or nation is out to get us)
    • 6. Demonize those who aren’t patriotic enough   
    • 7. Appeal to God or religion (God is on our side)