Nationalism vs Patriotism. Simple explanation with examples.


Now that our world is becoming more and more interconnected, some people believe that it is important to support one’s own country. Both “nationalism” and “patriotism” can be used to describe a pride for one’s country. What’s the difference?

The main difference between these two terms is the degree to which people feel them, and whether they are beneficial feelings or not.

Patriotism

Noun: The root of the word patriotism is patriot, or a person who is loyal to their country. In general, this is a very positive feeling. Patriotism is support for one’s country because you feel pride in it, and a belief in the values of that country.

Examples

  • People who volunteer to serve in the military feel a sense of patriotism to their country.
  • Patriotism is needed in a country after war to help revive the country’s economy and society.

Nationalism

Noun: For nationalism, the meaning is quite different. Instead of just a positive feeling of pride in your country, nationalism is a feeling of superiority.

You will think that your country is better than other countries, to the point that you reject other countries – their people, products, culture, language, etc. – simply because they are from other countries. Even if things from your own country are inferior, you defend them unconditionally because you believe you country is better.

Examples

  • Recently, there have been a lot of cries for more nationalism in the government.
  • I originally thought that the driving force behind that organization was patriotism, but after they started taking more extreme measures and stances I realized it had turned into nationalism.

While a pride in your own country is certainly encouraged, an excessive pride or outright rejection of other cultures is not! Nationalism can lead a country to become closed off and inhibit its growth and cooperation with other nations. In the globalized world of today, cooperation is certainly preferable to conflict.

nationalism vs patriotism

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Written by: Alice Chen

Alice Chen is a native Texan who loves to travel and teach! She also writes at WhereverIWant.com about travel and VitaminPH.org about public health.