Nationalism Essay

10164 words - 41 pages

The world and its resources are no longer a privilege earned through fulfillment of the "white mans burden"; rather, they are a right that is being exploited by whomever finds themselves in a position to do so. Such is the nature of the rapidly globalizing economy. Following World War Two the most powerful force to occupy Eastern Europe since the Habsburg dynasty, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, took control. By doing so Stalin suspended the history of this region. The nature of World War Two lead to a bipolar power structure in its aftermath, with the democratic United States at one pole and the communist U.S.S.R. at the other; the spoils of war were divided between the two. Because the U.S.S.R. came to an end, the nineteen nineties have marked a return to history even though it might not be readily apparent. As history is the explanation of most modern actions, modern actions serve as steps forward to the past. By comparing two states that experienced radically different effects from the Cold Wars end the flexibility and inherent accuracy of this explanation for modern events is quite clear; those two states are Czechoslovakia and Germany.

The defining engine of European history is the nation-state and nationalism, which drives the creation of nation-states. The mistake when looking at the post Cold War era is often in defining the axis around which that nationalism swung. Depending on the position of a nation relative to the state or states that it occupies nationalism can be either a destructive of a constructive force. When the Cold War ended Germany was reunified by nationalism because they had been a nation divided between states; however, Czechoslovakia dissolved since it was really a multi-national state. These events brought about more accurate nation-states in which the state more closely matches a given nation. As the Soviet rule of the Eastern Block was repressive there was no recognition of historical goals, but when the forces or repression were removed historical goals became both attainable and desirable. The events in Czechoslovakia and Germany following the historical anomaly of the Cold War represent a return to history. The history to which these three nations return is one of nation-state building on the European model that has become increasingly desirable in a globalizing world (Schwartz p. 2).

        The events which occurred when the oppressive hand of Soviet government met its demise in Czechoslovakia and Germany during the early nineties and late eighties were a direct function of those nations' history, making the end of the Cold War a return to history: one of division and unity respectively; however, the relative ease of this return was made possible by the return's superficial nature, since the submission following the radish model: red skinned and white flesh. The impact of Soviet breakup on its model states was complete and resulted in radical change. The form that change...

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