Lawrence S. Kaplan

Nationalism suffers from confusion both over the meaning of the term and over its role in the modern world. Its antecedents may be found in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, with the rise of the nation-state under dynastic rule, but its ideology and vitality are no older than the late eighteenth century, the period of the American and French revolutions. Nationalism represents a political creed in which the people offer their supreme allegiance to a nation-state. It underlies the cohesion of modern societies and legitimizes a nation's assertions of authority over the lives of its inhabitants.


Deutsch, Karl Wolfgang. Nationalism and Social Communication: An Inquiry into the Foundations of Nationality. Cambridge, Mass., 1953. Employs the techniques of the social sciences to examine nationalism.

Hayes, Carlton J. H. Essays on Nationalism. New York, 1926. A collection of writings by the founder of American studies in nationalism.

Kohn, Hans. American Nationalism: An Interpretive Essay. 2d ed. New York, 1980. Particularly useful for its insights on the American character and its relationships to nationalism.

LaFeber, Walter. The New Empire: An Interpretation of American Expansion, 1860–1898. Ithaca, N.Y., 1963. Presents an economic explanation of the growth of nationalism.

Levin, N. Gordon, Jr. Woodrow Wilson and World Politics: America's Response to War and Revolution. New York, 1968. Links American nationalism with Wilsonian internationalism.

McDougall, Walter A. Promised Land, Crusader State: The American Encounter with the World since 1776. Boston, 1997. Warns of the dangers that nationalist pride may bring if America overextends its reach in the world.

May, Ernest R. American Imperialism: A Speculative Essay. New York, 1968. Offers speculations on reasons why nationalism developed into imperialism at the end of the nineteenth century.

Merk, Frederick. Manifest Destiny and Mission in American History: A Reinterpretation. New York, 1963. Gives a favorable view of manifest destiny as a link between nationalism and American ideals.

Nye, Joseph S., Jr. Bound to Lead: The Changing Nature of American Power. New York, 1990. Reflects the pride that American leadership conveys.

Shafer, Boyd C. Faces of Nationalism: New Realities and Old Myths. New York, 1972. Summation of the many approaches to nationalism.

Steel, Ronald. Pax Americana. Rev. ed. New York, 1970. Treats nationalism and the Cold War.

Stephanson, Anders. Manifest Destiny: American Expansion and the Empire of Right. New York, 1995.

Van Alstyne, Richard W. Genesis of American Nationalism. Waltham, Mass., 1970. An examination of nationalism in the early republic.

Waldstreicher, David. In the Midst of Perpetual Fetes: The Making of American Nationalism, 1776–1820. Chapel Hill, 1997. Emphasizes flaws in the foundations of American nationalism.

Weinberg, Albert Katz. Manifest Destiny: A Study of Nationalist Expansionism in American History. Baltimore, 1935. A major revisionist statement on nineteenth-century nationalism as expressed in manifest destiny.

Zelinsky, Wilbur. Nation into State: The Shifting Symbolic Foundations of American Nationalism. Chapel Hill, N.C., 1988. Finds American nationalism evolving from shared national values to events glorifying the nation-state itself.

See also Anti-Imperialism ; Continental Expansion ; Immigration ; Imperialism ; Nativism ; Religion ; Wilsonian Missionary Diplomacy .

Also read article about Nationalism from Wikipedia

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