A universal way of defining the causes of nationalism, applicable to every time and place, does not exist. It is dependent on how certain nations or states classify themselves in terms of race, religion and language, and how their political and economical structure is comprised in comparison to other nations/states.
Nationalism stems from being proud of one’s nation. Renan defines nationalism as an idealistic concept: “A nation is a soul, a spiritual principle. Two things, which are really only one, go to make up this soul or spiritual principle. One of these things lies in the past, the other in the present. The one is the possession in common of a rich heritage of memories; and the other is actual agreement, the desire to live together, and the will to make the most of the jopint inheritance…the nation, like the individual, is the fruit of a long past spent in toil, sacrifice, and devotion…To share the glories of the past, and a common will in the present; to have done great deeds together, and to desire to do more-…these are things of greater value than identity of custom-houses and frontiers in accordance with strategic notions. These are things which are understood, in spite of differences in race and language”(Renan).
Adding to this, or simplifying it, Mastafa Rejai, in his book, Political Ideologies and Their Approach, mentions: “Nationalism refers to a feeling of membership in a nation together with collective desire and action to achieve and enhance the status, power, and well-being of a nation. Nation comes from the Latin, nation, reffering to a human group in a particular geographic area. Later on the meaning f nation was expanded to include common values, common ideals, common customs, common territory, common religion, common race, common past, common future and the like” (Rejai, 24).
In the process of glorifying one nation it is possible for that nation to infringe on the rights of another by conquering or annexing another nation, creating...