Over were often also determined by military

Over the last 200 years, nationalism has united more than it has divided the different peoples of the world.

Whether it be through unification by social classes, religion, race, or ideology, nationalism has unified the people of the world in many ways. To begin, the unification of social classes depends on nationalism. For example, the phrase “national interests” does not refer to the interests of the common people, but to that of the country’s capital. Nationalism is considered natural at this point, and it truly connects and unifies the different social classes and countries worldwide. Russia was divided more than it was united through nationalism, whether it be in comparison of itself to other countries or through Russia’s own divisions in social classes.

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For example, Russia, until the divide of the Soviet Union, consisted of two social classes, the aristocracy and the peasants/serfs. Social classes were often also determined by military experience or political views, such as with the rise of the Communist Party above all others or with military officers making up the upper class. Nationalism divided the classes further by supplying a superiority ideal to the upper class. The upper class was considered to be fully capable of having full rights, while full rights of citizenship or rights at all to the lower class was questionable. The upper class, or the government, used nationalism to its advantage to create standards for membership and as authors Mr. Margalit and Raz stated in 1990, “Qualification for membership is usually determined by non-voluntary criteria.

One cannot choose to belong. One belongs because of who one is” (Margalit and Raz, 1990, 447). Such standards included ideology, race, religion, gender, and income. Another example was through the serfdom of Russia. In Russia, serfs were defined as peasants who owed a taxed claimed to be ‘printed on their soul’ to their tsar.

If tax was not paid, serfs were forced to join the army for 20 years per offense, a fate that had a high chance of leading to death. Serfs were treated brutally; in fact, serfs were considered to be treated worse than the horses of the royal families. Gravestones have in fact been dedicated to horses rather than to the serfs. The country hid this for the sake of their nationalism and reputation, but it was painfully obvious how much the state and aristocracy downgraded the serfs and peasants to less than human standards. Serfdom was mainly political, as it was formulated to make sure aristocracy and princes did not act out of line.

This led to such bounds that serfs were held to their land, and were prohibited from moving freely. Serfs eventually, especially under the rule of Catherine the Great, had no rights at all and their survival depended on the will and temper of their masters. On a separate note, Russian was very involved in nationalism when it came to their importance par to other countries.

For example, during Western Europe’s Revolution, Russia fought to keep up with the technological advances, and in so created their own 1905 Russian Revolution. In fact, it has even been said that the term “nationalism” in Russia often refers to extremist nationalism. Their desperation to maintain power and reputation is especially shown in modern day, where leaders such as Putin push for military and economical advancements to stay one step ahead of their competition. For Russia, all other countries are and were competition. Overall, Russian demonstrated their nationalism on an extremist scale in their military and economic goals as well as their social classes.

In general, Tibetan nationalism united more than it divided the world, especially through their inner religious peaceful diffusion and united hatred against Chinese oppression.  Tibet is a very religious country, as it holds some of the largest monasteries in the world and 85% of their budget goes towards religious expansion. Their nationalism is emphasized by religious Buddhist values such as compassion, karma, and prayer. They use religious anthems not just to push forth their appreciation and love of Buddhist values but to express political concerns as well. One major theme in the Tibetan anthems include nationalism against Chinese oppression.

While they are angry at the Chinese, they do claim that the Chinese should be treated with compassion, not anger, but this is never said without political intent. Some Tibetans see this religious dependence and religious and peaceful following to be fatal to the country, as this will represent the country as weak and unprotected. They also claim Buddhism should not have such an effect on political issues, and while this nationalism idea is somewhat violent and extremist, it is essential to Tibet’s political balance. Tibet is also heavily influenced by their united nationalism against Chinese oppression. Tibet was taken over by China in 1906, and had ever since resented their occupation on the Tibetan land. This eventually, in 1956, led to popular uprisings, the worst of which being in Lihsa.

Over 1.2 million Tibetans were killed, and Tibet was oppressed once more. This further angered Tibet, and without diplomatic representation, Tibet began to unite under a common cause and hatred. However, Tibet to this day has not been able to free themselves from Chinese oppression, and it is said that China now even considers themselves as “owning” Tibet.

They feel as if they are benefitting both themselves and Tibet with their advances and used Tibet’s land for their own expansion. Tibet eventually came under the control of the People’s Republic Army of China, which was an improvement, yet still under Chinese control. China also received funding from the United States to continue their control over Tibet, furthermore increasing the dominance they held over Tibet. This continued their ideal of superiority over China, and they believed by adding jobs and fixing the economy they helped more than they hurt. However, they used Tibet to spread out their overpopulation and used Tibet to pull their own Chinese people out of poverty rather than the Tibet peoples. Tibet’s people resent the violations restricted on them by China, the destruction of their freedom and culture, and the loss of their government and control over their own country. Overall, Tibet was unified by nationalism over their religious beliefs and their hatred of Chinese oppression.

Overall, Pan-Asianism united the Asian countries in a common cause against European imperialism. To begin, the main idea of Japanese Pan-Asianism was this European imperialism opposition, and this developed under multiple debates of the topic by scholars such as Tokichi Taruri, and they used societies such as the Black Dragon Society to oppose British activity and fight for Japanese imperialism and expansion. They also supported the Chinese while opposing Western imperialism. They came up with the phrase “Asia is one” to oppose Western and European imperialism, and to unite their group together under one equal connected cause.

Overall, most of the Asian peoples were either nationalists, imperialists, or both, and therefore as a Japanese-pro group wanted a new order underneath Japanese rule. They were considered extreme and very aggressive by the Chinese, yet on a rational plane. Another branch of Pan-Asianism included the Pan-Southeast Asian group. Their main objective was to end the reign of Western colonization throughout Southeast Asia.

If this succeeded, they also aimed, like the Japanese Pan-Asian ideals, to destroy Western imperialism and, on their own merit, forceful colonization methods. They considered Britain’s Malay Foundation  to be part of this illegal party, and therefore, with unity from other nations, fought it until it ceased to exist. Unfortunately, this led to a war consisting of  Indonesia, Malaysia, and Philippines, otherwise called the Maphilindo, all against Britain. However, Indonesia opposed the formation of Malaysia, and this led to conflict between those two countries. Britain used this opening to launch a full on attack on Indonesian land.

The conflict that began in 1962 ended in 1965 because of conflict in the Indonesian political party, mainly due to the Indonesian Communist Party. Eventually, in the Vietnam War, the Cold War heavily impacted the Pan-Southeast-Asian group, and they pushed past regional conflicts to form the ASEAN, consisting of Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, and Thailand. The formation purpose is unclear, but the best conclusion is that the group was created to prevent communism from spreading into Southeast Asia so that they would not be corrupted as Vietnam was. Later on though, the group did not disband and all Southeastern Asian nations could join as well as states like Vietnam. This group today creates the overall unity for Southeastern Asia, hoping to create a community, which is a major ideal of the Pan-Southeast-Asian group. Overall, the Pan-Southeast-Asian group aspired to end colonialism on their land and Western imperialism, and overall managed their unity through war and other political struggles.

In general, nationalism was a political statement by a country, whether to prove its independence, claimed superiority, or social status. Some of the methods used to enforce nationalism included religion, race, ideals, superiority complex, and independence movements. In conclusion, it can be said solidly that nationalism helped unite the world more than it divided the world.


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