The Instigator
Mandooke
Con (against)
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The Contender
A341
Pro (for)
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Nationalism Was a Destructive Force During the 19th to Early 20th century in Europe

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/30/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,941 times Debate No: 53738
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (2)
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Mandooke

Con

Hey History buffs! Basically like what the topic says, do you or do you not think that nationalism was a destructive force in Europe during the 19th century? I personally think that it was not, that rather, nationalism was the complete opposite. I mean look at the Hatian revolution, or the revolutions during 1848, people uniting against the imperialistic regimes was the right thing to do. Of course you could simply say, "well look at those countries now" but the point is during that specific time period was nationalism destructive? No,
A341

Pro

I don't know what I'm supposed to put in the first round but as you've outlined your position I will outline mine.

Here is a definition of nationalism: "an extreme form of patriotism marked by a feeling of superiority over other countries." or "advocacy of political independence for a particular country.".

In the nineteenth century nationalism lead to imperialism by European nations (and to some extent the US) which lead to the subjection of many peoples.

Nationalism also caused the formation of the triple entente and triple alliance which lead to increased militarism and caused a cold war (which became a warm war later but you wanted to cut off "early twentieth century" at 1914.
Debate Round No. 1
Mandooke

Con

na"tion"al"ism [nash-uh-nl-iz-uhm, nash-nuh-liz-]
noun
1. spirit or aspirations common to the whole of a nation.
2. devotion and loyalty to one's own country; patriotism.
3. excessive patriotism; chauvinism.
4. the desire for national advancement or political independence.
5. the policy or doctrine of asserting the interests of one's own nation viewed as separate from the interests of other nations or the common interests of all nations.

None of these definitions say "thinking of one's own country as greater than others.". Nationalism is the same as patriotism, the only difference is that patriotism is an expression of nationalism. It can have its extremities, but during the specific time span that were are discussing on, nationalism was powerful but it was in no way harmful.

During the 19th C, nationalism and liberalism were two sides of the same coin. As people who shared a culture and language had gotten fed up with being ruled by a foreign power. Greece for instance, controlled by the Ottoman Empire for years, finally in 1831 obtains their independence with the help of European powers. Only because they shared the same feeling of nationalism, which if you look at the definitions above again also mean the desire for political independence.

Wanted to also point out that you basically say that nationalism led to imperialism. But that's not simply true. As you may well know there is a difference between a nation and a state and it was the state of the great European powers that wanted to expand and conquer. A nation wants political independence, a state wants to become an international power.
A341

Pro

Pan-Slavic Nationalism 1850's-1914 (Body count: Unknown probably a few thousand)

During the time Slavic nationalism became an ever stronger way for Russia to play the larger game of trying to take down the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires (which they were eventually successful in).

American Civil War 1861-1865 (Body count: 750,000 [1])

If you take the good you must also take the bad, those who were fighting for the south in the Civil War were motivated by patriotism, this lead to one of the most destructive wars in world history.

There were also another 3000 or so killed by southern terrorist organisations like the KKK though the rest of the 19th century.

Napoleonic Wars 1803-1815 (Body count: 5,000,000- 7,000,000)

The Napoleonic wars appear to have been motivated by extreme French nationalism and Napoleon's attempt to establish France as a major world power.

German Nationalism and Unification [2] 1849-1914 (Body count: 200,000-300,000)

Prussia, the largest and most ambitious kingdom in Germany went about uniting Germany through violence where necessary. This also lead to the Franco-Prussian war where the Germans invaded Alsace-Lorraine and the formation of the German empire which entered an arms race with Britain which escalated into a cold war. These wars had the support of the patriotic German people.

British Imperialism 1800-1914 (Body count: Unknown estimates are usually up from 40,000,000)

The British people thought of themselves as to the rest of the world and much of their national identity was caught up in their empire. It was the people who pushed colonialism as much as the government.

I can't see how the positives of 19th century nationalism were not out weighed by the more negative side.

[1] http://www.nytimes.com...;

[2] http://www.age-of-the-sage.org...
Debate Round No. 2
Mandooke

Con

Mandooke forfeited this round.
A341

Pro

A341 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Mandooke

Con

Mandooke forfeited this round.
A341

Pro

A341 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
Mandooke

Con

Mandooke forfeited this round.
A341

Pro

A341 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Mandooke 2 years ago
Mandooke
Hey, um all the way to lets say 1914.
Posted by A341 2 years ago
A341
How long are you extending early 20th century to?
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