Nationalism can be defined in reference to two aspects. The first aspect is attitude which a member of a particular nation shows when it comes to minding about their national identity. The second aspect is the actions and activities which members of a particular nation are likely to undertake when they are to achieve self-determination or political sovereignty. This brings about the issue of nation and national identity. Nation and national identity can be described in terms of one’s origin, ethnicity and cultural ties. Every nation has their own practices and members have the desire to be associated with these practices to consider themselves as real members. Membership to a nation can be voluntary or involuntary. Voluntary members are those who originate from another nation but willingly acquired the nationality of another country. Involuntary members are those born in that nation and do not have the chance to change their nationality. About the political sovereignty the question arises whether one needs to have total authority for either domestic and international affairs or something less is required. Though sovereignty means being in total control, modern nationalism disagrees with this. There has been a lot debate about nation and nationalism.
These debates have been among the nationalists, the Perennialists and postmodernists and Marxists. The nationalists describe nation as a phenomenon which is timeless which man started creating immediately he climbed out of primordial slime. The Perennialists argue that nations have been in existence for a very long time but they can take different shapes at different points in their history. The postmodernists and Marxists view nations as very modern and constructed. This is the most recent argument.
Nationalism included of the romantic exaltation of feeling and identity and the liberal requirement that the state should have the people as the first priority and not any other ting. For instance, God or imperial domination (Halsall 2007). Therefore liberal colonialism can be termed as civic nationalism while romantic exaltation is referred to as identity nationalism. Both of these types of nationalisms are middle class movements. It can also be explained in two other ways, the first method is the French method in which anyone who followed the French laws was termed as a French citizen (Halsall 2007). This created uniformity and lead to destruction of regional languages. Civic nationalism has been completely accepted by the United States. The German method was based on political situations on ethnic terms. To be considered as a Germany one had to speak a German language and may be having a German name (Halsall 2007). The nationalists who adopted the German idea of nationalism ended up being chauvinistic and aggressive since it made it necessary to draw boundaries between different nations and neighborhoods. If these boundaries are not clearly drawn using civic measures, some groups which did not belong to the particular state were still left out to stay in the particular state or nation (Halsall 2007).
Nationalism can unite people from different classes and with different ideologies while at the same time creating harmony and linking the past to the present and give people a sense of identity. At the same nationalism can be used by dictators, despots and power hungry politicians to achieve their personal gains (Halsall 2007). It can still lead to violence and create differences among people of different geographical areas. From the foregoing, it can be concluded that nationalism has both positive and negative effects.
Nationalism can be classified in to many types. First is the ethnic nationalism in which a nation or a state is described based on past generations. It focuses on culture which was observed by the past generation. The state sees its members as an ethnic group which was charged with the responsibility of observing its social life and cultural activities (Halsall 2007). The modern ethnic nationalism focused more on volk. Ethnic nationalism is what is now called nationalism. The second type is civic nationalism in which people are referred to as members of a particular nation depending to how they are committed as citizens. It is voluntary for one to decide to be a citizen of a particular nation. Civic nationalism can be compared to state nationalism which describes a nation as a community whose maintenance depends on its citizens. Third is expansionist nationalism which focuses on autonomous and patriotic and believes in expansionism. Fourth is romantic nationalism is majorly French and focuses more on the historical ethnic culture which should be in line with romantic laws. The fifth type is cultural nationalism n which a nation is described depending on the culture of that particular nation. It believes that being a member of nation is not voluntary and does not depend on past generations however a person can incorporate a culture of a particular nation if they are willing to.
It has been difficult to differentiate imperialism and colonialism in their definitions. This is because like colonialism, it involves political and economic control over a country which is independent. It involves one country exercising their power over another country. This exercise of power can be in terms of settlement, sovereignty or indirect/direct use of mechanisms of control. Imperialism is used to describe situations in which foreign government administers a territory or a country without necessarily settling there. Imperialism is a concept which keeps on changing with time.
The traditional meaning of imperialism was a system of military domination and sovereignty over other territories. This traditional way of understanding changed after Leninist analyzed the issue of imperialism. Leninist analysis was that imperialism was a system whose main aim was to exploit the economy. According to Lenin and the Marxists imperialism was necessary as it was a stage of capitalism.
Imperialism was cause by a couple of reasons. The European countries manufactured a lot of products but the level of consumption was very low. Thus imperialism rose as they sought new markets and new consumers. The European industries needed raw materials hence the search for these materials made imperialism possible. They were also looking for cheap and profitable labor. For instance we can see that Indian workers were involved in growing cotton and other activities. In addition to labor they were also looking for cheap and profitable land. By imperialism, they were trying to create politically submissive and economically profitable colonies.
The impact of imperialism so sudden leaving behind impacts which can be clearly be seen up to date. It created a very big gap between the rich and the poor with the rich getting richer and poor getting poorer. This happened because the Europeans were able to take raw materials raw materials from their colonies while at the same time they used them as laborers. It resulted to creation of illogical boundaries between different nations. The boundaries created by European nations did not put tribal boundaries in to consideration. These boundaries are still present hence different tribes try to stay together. There was rivalry and competition over power between European nations which gave rise to the First World War. The Europeans introduced their way of life to the nations they imperialized. This led to destruction of the original way of life. The local government was lost and imperialized leaders lacked the experience of running large governments since they were only allowed to govern small portions depending on the boundaries.
However, imperialism did not only come with negative effects but positive impacts as well. It led to development of better education systems, health systems and sanitation. In Africa for instance, infrastructure improved with construction of transportation and communication systems. It also led to exchange in cultures because Europeans were also able to get some African ideas.
Colonization has a role to play in the world we are living in today. It took place for many centuries during which the recent word was shaped and reshaped. During the colonialism era, there were many discoveries but at the same time it brought about many tragedies. It can be defined as the practice in which one person rules the other mostly in the country of the colonized (Kohn 2006). Colonialism involves economic and political control over a country which is dependent. It involves the transfer of people of one country to another new territory.
Colonialism is not a modern issue since there are so many cases in which a society extends its boundaries by including the adjacent territory to theirs and then settling their people to the newly acquired territory (Kohn 2006). It is also not restricted to time and place because we can see different countries being colonized while others colonized at different times. Some of the countries which were able to set up colonies included Greeks, Romans, Moors and Ottomans (Kohn 2006). Technological developments have been found to change colonization especially in the sixteenth century. For instance, there was the introduction of the fast sailing ships which made it easier to move people from one territory to another.
It is a term used to describe the actions of the European countries in their settlement and political control over other nations including Americans, Australia and parts of Asia and Africa. It is form of conquest which was expected to have economic and strategic benefits to Europeans (Kohn 2006). This term colonialism is mostly used to refer to settlement areas that were controlled by permanent European residents.
The main aim why colonialism took place was to gain economic power. In Africa colonialism contributed to development of education since the colonizers were able to build schools. Through colonialism Christianity was introduced which lead to elimination of some tradition beliefs and practices which were destructive (Marker 2003). Resources were taken away and Africans were used to provide labor. The African leaders obeyed white men and followed their orders.
During colonialism, there was creation of new boundaries with even consulting those ho were being colonized. They never considered the social realities of those ling in the areas where boundaries were created (Marker 2003). This has led to development of many conflicts about boundaries as nations use different arguments to justify their accusations. It also led to ethnic rivalry and group status. These still were brought about by creation of boundaries. Members of the same ethnic groups were separated using these boundaries (Marker 2003). Conflicts arose due to this artificial separation. There was unequal distribution of resources. Although those who were being colonized were in their country, they never had direct assess to the resources. They worked in the farms but the pay was very small or it was not there at all (Marker 2003). Human rights were violated as those colonized were used as slaves and worked without pay. Their resources were taken from them and were not allowed to go to the same schools and hospitals as their colonizers. Colonized were not given the opportunity to be leaders. Those given that opportunity were just the local leaders who had very little power (Marker 2003). This led to skills and experience for leadership.
In addition to the negative impacts, there were positive impacts which included; spread of Christianity, improvement in education and health systems and improvement in infrastructure (Marker 2003).
Neocolonialism is worse than imperialism. It is an indirect form of control via economic and cultural dependence. In itself, it is the continued control of former countries. So the colonizers continue having control of the countries they once colonized even after the colonization period is over. The residents of that territory are exploited for their labor and resources for the benefit of metropole. Those who practice neocolonialism exercise power without any responsibility while those whom it is practiced on are exploited without any redress.
According to Nkrumah, neocolonialism has its effects. It continues to control a country even after acquiring its independent state. It mostly shows through economic and monetary measures. As a state continues to experience control from their former colonizers, they are likely to be subjected to imperial power by new actors. The new actors may include international financial and monetary organizations. Neocolonialism can result to limited wars and crucial issues like education, development and poverty might be ignored as all the focus is on neocolonial elites.
Neo-colonialism can be explained as one which has a very big dominance on economy. It is mostly a situation where countries which are powerful and have transnational economic conditions take control of those countries that are weak. It can be described as a form of economic imperialism. The powerful nations take control of the economies of the countries which are not powerful. Sometimes it can be seen as colonization. Neocolonialist powers can be used to explain these aspects. They explain neocolonialism as a condition where powerful countries use their financial power and trade policies to control the less powerful countries. A less powerful country may experience neocolonialism from their former colonizers or from other powerful countries. This is mostly if the less powerful country has a lot of raw materials and natural resources. In this context the powerful countries have a lot of influence in the governance and economy of the weaker countries in terms of how raw materials are used, and prices of the products which are produced from the raw materials. The economic and governance policies which are set out mostly are in favor of the powerful or developed countries.
Economic neocolonialism can also be explained using the dependency theory. In this theory it is developed that there is the centre of the wealthy and powerful nations and the periphery of the less powerful and developing nations. In this condition the raw materials originate from the periphery of the weak nations and taken to the powerful nations to continue expanding their economy and wealth. This has contributed to the poverty which has continued in the weak countries. This argument can be related to the Marxist analysis of inequalities in the world. Free market economists differ with the dependency theory in that they argue that the less powerful countries are still in the progress to gain their power.
During colonization, colonizers were able to identify valuable resources available in the countries they colonized. This is the reason as to why the probability of coming back is high. It is a positive thing to do because if the weak are not assisted in utilizing their raw materials, they might go to waste. But this has been taken as an advantage by the powerful countries. It has contributed to continued poverty in these poor countries. The poor and weak countries are forced to follow foreign policies which are not favorable at all.
Neo-imperialism refers to a condition in which one nation dominates another by use of unequal conditions of economic exchange. It exists in a situation where one nation depends on another nation because it cannot survive economically on its own. This makes the weaker nation to rely on a stronger nation. Its difference from imperialism is that there is no use of political power but money power to ensure that the poor countries do not go against the rules set for them. This is happening up to date. For instance, there is neo-imperialism between the industrialized societies and the Third World. The third world relies on the industrialized countries for aid in which they can get necessities like food and shelter. In return, the Third world has to adhere to the foreign policies otherwise the aid will be withdrawn.
Neo-colonialism is happening allover in the modern world due to the modern economic policies. United Nations is leading in developing neo-imperialism with other countries. Neo-imperialism can be viewed as the way in which new issues are developing and will continue to develop as technology improves and communication between foreign countries become easier.
Neo imperialism can be associated to economic isms because it mostly deals with economic matters. Just like neocolonialism the weak nations depend on the strong nations. In this condition, the policies set aside are unfavorable to the weaker nation. It can be used as an arena for international relations because different nations get involved with each other. However the problem occurs in this relation because one nation is not benefiting.
An example of neo imperialism is the one seen for India in Africa (Mujitaba 2010). In neo imperialism, the economy and government of developing countries is controlled by the developed countries indirectly. India imitates the work done by the western world, (Mujitaba 2010) an activity which imposes neo imperialism on Africans.
Halsall, P, Nationalism, viewed on April 12, 2011 from http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/modsbook17.html, 2007
Karolides, Nicholas, Literature suppressed on political grounds. Volume 1. New York, Facts on File Inc, 2006.
Kohn, Margret, Colonialism, viewed 30th March 2011, http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/colonialism/, 2006.
Marker, S, Effects of Colonization, Viewed on April 12, 2011 from http://www.beyondintractability.org/essay/post-colonial/, 2003
Mujitaba, Raja, India’s Neo-imperialism in Africa, viewed on April 12, 2011 from http://www.opinion-maker.org/2010/09/indias-neo-imperialism-in-africa/, 2010