Nationalism and Racism in the Late 19th and 20th Century Essay

Nationalism and Racism in the Late 19th and 20th Century Essay

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Nationalism and Racism in the Late 19th and 20th Century
In the late 19th century, with the squelching of the revolutions of 1848, many Europeans still desired reforms. In this desire, the seeds for unification began to germinate. As the probability of unification in places, such as, Germany and Italy began to intensify, Europeans with liberal views quickly began to entertain a nationalistic way of thinking. Many leaders of this school of thought were supporters of, British statesman, Benjamin Disraeli. Disraeli gave a famous speech at the Crystal Palace in London, in 1872. In his speech, he challenged Europeans to choose one, of two, paths. The two paths were to either advance global Imperial expansion or embrace insignificance in world affairs (Perry 151). This aroused the spirit of loyalty in many European citizens and inspired many speeches and literature in allegiance. These loyalists included Hermann Ahlwardt and Karl Pearson in The Semitic vs. the Teutonic Race and National Life from the Standpoint of Science, respectively. The beginnings of Nationalistic extremism threatened to destroy the peaceful ideals that had come about with the Enlightenment. European Nationalists combined the ideas of Social Darwinism with extreme Nationalism, effectively creating a recipe for intolerance and a justification for racist practices. Pearson and Ahlwardt outlined their racist agendas and ideas for expansionisms that were nationalistic at its core, thereby blurring the lines of Racism and Nationalism Social Darwinism and extreme nationalism was a recipe for intolerance and a justification for racist practices.
During this time, Jews had legal equality in most places; however, having already endured anti-Semitism for hundreds...


... middle of paper ...


...e detriment of all men. He insisted that inferior peoples should be made to decrease their fertility and that the desirable “stock” of white men and women should be encouraged to procreate.
Although many European nations desired the preservation and exploration of their lands, nationhood, language and culture, loyal extremists began to tear down those ideals by including the promotion of hatred against certain groups for their “scientific” differences. The abuses lead to increased agitation of diverse peoples who had once lived together, tolerably. This harmful approach to nationalism stunted the growth and morality of Europeans and climaxed in even more turmoil as the racist arrogances began to bleed throughout Europe.



Perry, Marvin. "Sources of Western Tradition." Perry, Marvin. Sources of Western Tradition. Boston: Houghton Millin Company, 2006. 147.

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