Five Ideas that shaped the World: Nationalism, Industrialism, Colonialism, Imperialism and communism

Essay by Erik DeBoerCollege, UndergraduateA+, January 1996

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Nationalism is a political philosophy holding that the welfare of the nation-state is paramount, and attitude often strengthened when people share a common history, religion, language, or ethnic background. The term also refers to a group state of mind in which patriotism, or loyalty to one's country, is regarded as an individual's principal duty. In the 18th century, nationalism began to take form by scholars & poets who sought to find in ancient legends and songs, the soul of the nation. The cohesion of each national group was being reinforced all the time by the consciousness of its neighbors nationalism. Although it has contributed to excesses of militarism and Imperialism, as in Europe under Napoleon I or under German Nazism, it has also inspired movements against such abuses. It remains a powerful force in world politics despite the spread of trade and communication and the interdependence of nations. With the means of communication, 20th century nationalism has swept around the world to become the greatest lever of change in our day.

Industrialism is an economic and social system based on the development of large-scale industries and marked by the production of large quantities of inexpensive manufactured goods and the concentration of employment in urban factories. Industrialism started as farmers needed to produce more and more crops to support the increasing population. With the inventions like the seed drill and better plows the farmer could plant faster and cover larger plots of land with the help of fewer workers. Also they started controlling the water for better irrigation and using tools for faster harvesting. These changes had to occur to produce enough food for the people freed from farming going to the factories. Power is the next step that pushed the revolution into the next century. The full industrial revolution developed...