Does a country create nationalism or does nationalism create a country? These are the main questions rooted in the study of nationalism. First appearing in England and introduced my Protestantism and eventually replaced by ones consciousness and dignity as an individual; nationalism is defined as the advocacy of or support for the interests of one's own nation, especially to the exclusion or detriment of the interests of other nations. Nationalism is said to give an individual pride in their own country and give someone national identity, but when does that pride go too far? When does that pride become self-obsessive and end up resulting in a country thinking that their way of life, ethnic background or political agenda is better than others? In this essay I will be discussing the reasons as to why I believe nationalism is a negative force in the modern world.
It has been seen time and time again that nationalism has led to the rise of extremism. Some of the worst atrocities that have occurred over the last one hundred years were responsible due to nationalism. Nazi Germany is one of the most famous examples of extreme nationalism and was one of its core concepts in Nazism. The Nazis used nationalism as an approach to gain support and voters. Adolf Hitler said himself that, "We demand the unification of all Germans in the Greater Germany on the basis of the people's right to self-determination. In addition, Hitler also said "what we must fight for is to safeguard the existence and reproduction of our race and our people, the sustenance of our children and the purity of our blood, the freedom and independence of the fatherland, so that our people may mature for the fulfillment of the mission allotted it by the creator of the universe. This quote by Adolf Hitler shows that Nazism in Germany leading up to and during world war two was rooted in extreme nationalism. It was also evident that the use of extreme nationalism gained the Nazis political power.