- from Nationalism
American. Russian. Mexican. Iranian. Chinese. Kenyan. People use these words and others to describe nationality. That’s which country a person is from.
Citizens in the United States come from many different ethnic backgrounds, countries, and religions. But they all think of themselves as American. It’s the same in other countries, too. Nationality is one of the most basic ways people around the world describe themselves.
Nationalism is loyalty to a nation. The idea might seem ancient. But it began at the end of the 1600s. Before then, people were mostly loyal to a state or government. Rulers like kings, powerful families, or the Church ran each state. In the 1700s, the American and French Revolutions made people feel more tied to each other by nationality. That’s a shared land, culture, and language. Soon, the idea that each nationality should form a nation-state took hold all over the world. A nation-state would be an independent country of its own. Nationalist movements started to unite people into nation-states.