The role of nationalism became a huge thing during the interwar period because of the growing feeling of a sense of independence wanted by many citizens. There was a period of “deglobalization” in which economic nationalism, or the belief that countries should be as self-supporting as possible, predominated (Shubert, A. & Goldstein, R.J. (2012)). There was such a concern for famine that many governments imposed tariffs to prevent exports of food. Nationalism is the belief that people were defined by their membership in a nation and owed that nation their primary loyalty. (Shubert, A. & Goldstein, R.J. (2012)). “Nationalism is an ideology about individuated being. It is an ideology concerned with boundedness, continuity, and homogeneity encompassing diversity” (The Nationalism Project, Handler, R.). A nationalist would argue that three basic requirements would constitute being a nationalist. The first is that there exists a nation with an explicit and peculiar character. Secondly, the interests and values of the nation take priority over all other interests and values. Lastly, the nation must be as independent as possible (The Nationalism Project, Breuilly, J.). Nationalism in the Allied countries was accepted for the most part, whereas nationalism in the Axis countries was not as accepting and nationalists were even punished. Ernest Gellner explains that regardless of how individuals feel about their own nation they are only nationalists if they are of the same nation and share the same culture such as ideas and ways of behaving and communicating. Additionally, they are of the same nation if they recognize each other as belonging to the same nation (The Nationalism Project, Gellner, E.). There is much debate over the exact meaning of the word “nationalism” and whether or not it is a good thing or a bad thing and if it is better to be all in or only partially in. “For our purposes, let us define it at the outset as a large social group integrated not by one but by a combination of several kinds of objective relationships (economic, political, linguistic, cultural, religious, geographical, historical), and their subjective reflection in collective consciousness” (The Nationalism Project, Miroslav, H.).
Shubert, A. & Goldstein, R.J. (2012). Twentieth-century Europe [Electronic version]. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/
The Nationalism Project (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (http://www.nationalismproject.org/what.htm)