The countries that we know today, already “well” established at a political and social level, have gone through major conflicts in order to achieve their freedom and autonomy. Many of these movements or revolutions came about thanks to the French Revolution and an ideopolitical current that emerged known as  nationalism .

What is known as nationalism?

Nationalism is nothing more than a movement today that seeks to gain an advantage within society in order to achieve a political interest. In general, they cling to the needs that the people present and their rulers for some reason or another have not been able to meet, coupled with the fact that nationalists always seek “sovereignty residing in the people ” which translates as the power of a nation resides in its inhabitants.

  • Definition
  • Characteristics of nationalism
  • Origin of nationalism
  • Story
  • Types
  • Causes of nationalism
  • Consequences
  • How it differs from patriotism
  • Nationalism in the world
  • Criticism of nationalism
  • Examples
  • Importance


Nationalism according to the real Spanish academy is defined as an ideological current and in turn also as a socio-political movement which was born together with the concept of nation. This represents everything that makes up a nation at a social, political, economic, religious and cultural level, in addition to seeking to give importance to the people within these different branches mentioned above.


Characteristics of nationalism

Nationalism is presented as an ideological current of a political nature which is characterized mainly by showing its nation the right it has to form its own state of government, this in order to establish its own objectives based on its aspirations and needs. in the area of economy, society and above all their culture, since the latter defines them above all others as a national identity .

In turn, this ideology is characterized by the fact of keeping many the feelings of its community at the national level , seeking to protect its origins, languages, and religion . Already indigenous or acquired.

Origin of nationalism

There are many theories about the origin of nationalism , and they are usually very controversial. This is due to many factors, most of them due to the opinions of each nation which attribute its origin , however, there is one of the most outstanding, which is based on the fact that it arose during a revolution.

This particular revolution was the French Revolution, which was initiated by a feeling of unity of the entire community , for the struggle for their rights as equal men. To this are also added the different bourgeois movements that arose after it.


After the French Revolution arose , throughout Europe a feeling that was called ” nationalist ” began to be transmitted, which was totally opposed to the monarchical and dynastic systems, because it began to be understood that the nation it belonged to all its inhabitants and not to an elite of society.

From the first years of the 19th century, nationalist ideals began to reach every town and corner of every country in the world, which ended up becoming something that was instilled in a fierce way within each citizen .


Throughout history , different types of nationalism have been created adapted to the needs of each citizen of each nation. Among them, the ones that stand out the most are:

  • Centipredo nationalism, also called integrative: This type of nationalism seeks to integrate its inhabitants through the interests of the community, even if they live in different states or regions.
  • Centrifugal nationalism, also called disintegrator: it seeks to separate its inhabitants by regions, even giving more importance to the majority groups.
  • Economic nationalism: This simply seeks its dependence as a nation at the economic level of another, this occurs especially in countries that are or were colonies.
  • Civic nationalism, also called liberal: seeks from the political philosophical sphere to protect its integrity as a nation, without the fact that there is xenophobia.
  • Ethnic nationalism, also called cultural: This type of nationalism seeks to protect in a very intrinsic way the traditions of its past generations and even its liberators.
  • Popular or left-wing nationalism: it  is one that seeks to move the nation to end “oligarchic” political systems and establish “national political sovereignty” or “the sovereignty of the people.”
  • Religious nationalism: it  is conformed to a system in which it is sought that the politics or the state government is always linked to the common religion.
  • Banal nationalism: it  is considered a diffuse form, which is currently called nationalism. Where it seeks to integrate politics with society through unconventional methods.

Causes of nationalism

The causes for which the nationalist movements are formed , is already more than clear and is to generate a feeling of protection and protection among other things about the nation, as a good that belongs to all its inhabitants.

But if there is something that really makes these movements attractive, it is the fact of how they show your real belonged to the nation through cultural activities , large exhibitions about the nation’s sources of income (such as oil, tourism, mining) and the taking of ideas from the community within the political sphere.


Among the greatest consequences throughout the passage of history that nationalist movements have undoubtedly produced, they have been the violent way in which the different conflicts, wars and revolutions that arise from fighting for an ideal end.

The easiest way to understand this is to see the destructions that the wars in countries like Mexico and Cuba have left as a result during their revolutions in terms of civil losses, and on the other hand, World War I and II which not only left large almost incalculable human if not structural losses in every nation.

How it differs from patriotism

The difference between nationalism and patriotism is a very fine line that separates them, since both seek to protect their cultures, original ideals, religion, among others. But while nationalism also seeks to include society within the political realms, patriotism fully respects its political and economic systems , giving more importance to its social identity.

Nationalism in the world

Throughout history almost all nations have fought for their independence , some managed to do it earlier than others, for example in the case of Spain , it was one of the first to get rid of the political system which had been implanted in them. which was a struggle that is believed to last a year to sign the treaty in 1808.

While on the other side of the continent we see revolutions that arose a long time later, such as that of Pancho Villa , who sought to vindicate the cultural identity of Mexicans and achieve an end to the juice that kept them oppressed.

Criticism of nationalism

Experts have always criticized nationalism in a very numerous way for a simple main reason and that is that it is considered a rather weak and rudimentary ideology for the time in which we find ourselves, especially because they consider that nationalism cannot provide a true previous image. defined mind of what is known as cultural identity.


Among the most prominent examples of nationalism in history are the following:

  • The Independence of the United States in 1776.
  • French Revolution in 1789.
  • “Bois Caïman”  the first and largest slave insurrection of the Haitian Revolution in 1791.
  • Haiti became the first country to end slavery , it also managed to become the first independent nation in Latin America as well as the world’s first free and independent Black Republic in 1804.
  • Haiti manages to approve the first Constitution in Latin America in 1805.
  • The War of Independence from Spain in 1808.
  • The Spanish-American War of Independence that is fought between 1809 and 1824.
  • Italian unification under the rule of Piedmont and Sardinia.
  • The Hungarian Revolution in 1848
  • The defense of Paysandú that is fought between 1864 and 1865.
  • The Franco-Prussian War and the unification of Germany under the rule of Prussia
  • The War of the Pacific that is fought between 1879 and 1884.
  • The Maji Maji rebellion that occurs between 1905 and 1907.
  • The first World War
  • The Mexican Revolution that occurs between 1910 and 1917.
  • The founding of the Kingdom of Hungary that occurs between 1920 and 1945 by Miklós Horthy.
  • Sandino’s resistance against the US occupation of Nicaragua that occurs between 1927 and 1933.
  • The spanish civil war.
  • The Second World War
  • The first Vienna arbitration in 1938.
  • The second Vienna arbitration in 1940.
  • The independence of India that occurs between 1942 and 1947.
  • The Peronist government in Argentina that lasts between 1946 and 1955.
  • The Bolivian Revolution that occurs in 1952
  • The Bolivian national liberation struggle that takes place between 1952 and 1964.
  • The Ten Years of Spring in Guatemala that occur between 1944 and 1954.
  • The government of Marcos Pérez Jiménez in Venezuela which lasted between 1952 and 1958.
  • The Nasserist government in Egypt that lasts between 1955 and 1970.
  • The Hungarian Revolution of 1956.
  • The Cuban revolution in 1959.
  • The Indochina War that occurs between 1945 and 1954.
  • The Vietnam War that is fought between 1958 and 1973.
  • The Prague spring in 1968.


Nationalism in many countries managed to do what many of its inhabitants wanted and that was to see their entire nation united, through ties that connected them with each other, always in order to work for their identity as a nation . At first they fought for independence, but today they fight to keep alive the original cultures that make them unique and different from other nations.

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