White Nationalism Research Papers
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Throughout American history, white nationalism has taken a variety of forms. Prior to the Civil War, white nationalism was directed against immigrants, seen as coming to the country in greater numbers and providing increased competition for jobs and resources. Movements were made to identify what a “Native American” was, attempting in the process to restrict the immigration and growth of foreign populations. After the Civil War, white nationalism worked against the newly-freed African American population, especially as a result of the creation, growth, and perpetual resurgence of groups like the Ku Klux Klan. These supremacy groups are the exception, though, and not the rule, as most white nationalists do not identify themselves as part of these extremist groups.
White nationalism has emerged in other parts of the world as well; it is not restricted to the American population. While 1915 would bring the film Birth of a Nation and its demonstrated of the growing sense of white nationalism, later extreme versions of nationalism would sweep Europe in the hopes of eradicating anyone who was not representative of the true Aryan heritage of blonde hair and blue eyes. Australia, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Russia, and a host of other prominent countries have undergone periods where this sense of white nationalism becomes increasingly prominent, and it is unlikely that, in our increasingly-diverse society, such movements are going to disappear any time soon.
Research papers often equate nationalism in the light of five senses of the term that are in common use:
- Nationalism as a feeling of loyalty to the nation
- Nationalism as a tendency to consider the interests of one’s own nation as transcendent over the interests of all other nations
- Nationalism as an attitude that attaches particular importance to the distinctive culture of a nation
- Nationalism which, as a result of #3, places great importance on the preservation of national culture
- Nationalism as a theory of anthropology that holds that human populations naturally divide into nations
Taken in the aggregate all of these indicate that the term is a complex one and recognition of this complexity is important in any attempt to evaluate whether nationalism is a benign or a dark force in human affairs. If we ignore any of these senses, our evaluation will be skewed. For example, if we restrict ourselves to the first two senses, we are apt to equate nationalism with chauvinism and deny the many positive things that flow out of the third and fourth senses of the word. And, if we are to discard the fifth sense of the term from consideration, we are apt to render anything we say moot. For, if nationalism is indeed organic to human behavior, then arguments that it is a dark force are exercises in futility because nationalism will always be with us. Keeping these things in mind, let us see what nationalism’s “historical record” looks like from a utilitarian point of view.