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Should Nationalism Be Suppressed? Essay

834 words - 3 pages

The French Revolution was a time of great change. There is debate over whether nationalism should be suppressed. Nationalism is defined as devotion and loyalty to one's own country while suppression is synonymous with subdue or stifle. A revolution is an overthrow or thorough replacement of an established government or political system by the people being governed. Political conformity, autocracy and status quo are all values held by those who are of the opinion that nationalism should be suppressed. People who believe that nationalism should not be suppressed value human rights, democracy and political freedom. Nationalism should never be suppressed.A case study that supports this view is the storming of the Bastille. Someone who would support this position is Locke because he valued the right to rebel against an unfit leader. By standing up for their rights and not allowing themselves to be held down by the inequality of the Old Regime, the people who stormed the Bastille helped to bring about great change in France. It is evident in that the fall of the Bastille proves that nationalism should not be suppressed because it was one of the first times in history that people of a country came together to fight against the injustice of an absolute ruler. The fall of the Bastille symbolized how nationalism displayed by the French people loosened the grasp that the monarchy had on the country. Some people may argue that nationalism should be suppressed because it leads to outbursts of radicalism and violence and a monarch provides stability. However, this idea is wrong because if violence is not used the people are ignored and are not taken seriously. The storming of the Bastille was one of the early expressions of nationalism in the French Revolution. This demonstrates that nationalism should never be suppressed because acts of nationalism can bring about revolutionary changes.Another example of revolutionary change and growth through nationalism is the rule of Napoleon Boneaparte. Someone who would support this position would be Voltaire because he values a strong monarch that protects the basic rights of the people. Napoleon used nationalism to transform France into a European superpower. By establishing lycees Napoleon ensured that nationalism was instilled as a core value for coming generations. Nationalism helped his army because his soldiers felt a true sense of loyalty and pride for their country. Some people may argue that Napoleon should have suppressed nationalism because in the end...

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