Nation-state was not how political Communities were organized – nationalism is only 200 years old.
(ancient Greece city-states, ancient Indian republics and kingdoms, European monarchs/dynasties in feudal Kingdoms)
Little agreement among writers on the Exact meaning of ‘nationalism’.
Nationalism: The belief that a Group of people are united by a common history, tradition, language And culture, and hence they should establish a sovereign political Community of their own – nation.
Ideology/movement that seeks to Establish a nation-state.
Belief that the nation is the primary Focus of loyalty, the sole object of people’s allegiance.
Sense of loyalty that makes people to Live and work within the modern state, even die for the state in Wars, etc.
Hans Kohn: “Nationalism Demands the Nation-State; the creation of the Nation-State Strengthens nationalism.”
Nation: thus refers to a Close-knit political community with a a shared history and a Culturally, linguistically, ethnically or even racially homogenous Population.
However, no country today satisfies These criteria strictly.
Max Weber: Nation is a community Of sentiment which would adequately manifest itself in a State of Its own.
The terms ‘nation’ and ‘state’ Are used synonymously – due to the belief that every community of People that think of themselves as a nation should also have a state Of their own.
- POLITICAL CENTRALIZATION –
Political centralization was Brought about with the rise of Absolutist monarchs (Tudor Dynasty in England, Bourbon dynasty in France) and the weakening and Collapse of horizontal + vertical challenges by the 16th Century:
Feudal (vertical) forces:
Merchant capitalism emerged.
Monarchs’ dependence on taxation From feudal agrarian production and vassals reduced.
They consolidated political power with The help of the emerging merchant classes.
Capitalism eventually replaced Feudalism.
Religious (horizontal) forces: Religious reformation of the 15th century dealt a Heavy blow to the power of the Catholic Church.
Monarchs were now able to exercise ‘absolute’ power – establish direct, effective and Comprehensive rule over the entire population.
Strict enforcement of territorial Boundaries
Standardization of population through Religion, education, language
Maintenance of standing armies
Stricter rules of residence and Mobility for citizens
Advancements in transport and Communication – these political aims could be achieved more Effectively.
Formation of the earliest form of Modern state (absolutist state) having sovereignty, government, Fixed territory – however, it was ruled by the pre-modern Institution of monarchy.