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Nationalism between 1870 and 1918

According to Oxford Dictionary, nationalism refers to the desire of a people sharing a common language, race and/or culture to be self-governing (sovereign). During the years 1870-1918, or there about, the pundits of the time, such as Joseph Chamberlain, came to the realization that commerce is an essential pillar in the existence and survival of their countries. This, thus, led to the persistence and more desire of imperialism, which is again defined as the influence of other countries by a different country that may be superior in one way or another. Influencing other countries provided raw material for the imperial country and also provided the demand for the produced goods. (Disraeli, 1872)

Faced with the challenges of growing populations and a decrease in local demand for the locally produced products, the feeling of nationalism acted to rally and integrated the imperialist Britain and other colonizers towards a common course. This saw demands by the public to increase the navy influence to secure their borders and their influence in Asia and African colonies (Chamberlain, 1894). In part, trying to spread civility, Christianity, and Britain influence to the countries that were behind, especially in Africa and Asia, they were fast tracked leading to a form of orderliness and sense of purpose which in one way or another is integration. Some imperialists believe that due to their rule in some of their colonies, there has been a significant increase in prosperity and happiness among the natives of those colonies (Chamberlain, 1897).

Nationalism also had an alternative effect of disintegration, due to, the efforts of nations trying to be superior in comparison to other nations which they viewed as almost equals, which led to race-race competition or nation-nation competition. Believers of social Darwinism stated that the stronger race mentally and physically was to survive and deserved it at the expense of the lesser nations or races (Lenin, 1917). Nationalism was the drive of imperialism and most of its projects. For a nation to be sovereign, it needs to have a sustained commerce, which means that trade both local and foreign were in no doubt a must, and, thus, the controlling of colonies in Africa and Asia, which did not only act as a destination for their finished goods but also as a source of raw materials for commerce (Pearson, 1991).

The desire to safe guard the security and interests of a colony (nationalism) also pushed for imperialistic projects, such as creating powerful overseas navy forces, to act as a defense to the already colonized land marks, to resettle the overpopulated Britain and the likes into Africa, and to spread civility and Christianity all over the colonies. Nationalism, from the view point of the colonized counties, appeared to counter imperialism, since the respective nations, such as Egypt and India, rising up to their nationalism meant that they had to be liberated from the imperialism of their colonial masters (Pearson, 1991).

The rise of nationalism in the various colonies was to lead to loss of partial or total control of the lands that were based and overseas empires. Some imperialists further suggested that it would lead to stagnation of the superior human race development, especially if there was no contest for trade routes and such benefits. In addition to that, controlling other nations was a source of employment in the mother countries due to the demand of the locally produced products, and, thus, nationalism of the colonies would put a great deal of challenge for the continental empires of the queens rule (Chamberlain, 1897). 

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