Protestant Reformation and Nationalism

Topics: Protestant Reformation, Modern history, Nationalism Pages: 6 (2182 words) Published: May 9, 2013
HIS 104
Marek McKenna
September Barron
August 27, 2012

Nationalism; One might ask, what is Nationalism? Nationalism is popular political ideology that developed in the 18th century and that it identifies “people” and the purposes that control an independent “state” the key to “nation” is the definition in the identification of a “nation” This definition originally came from France and Spain prior to the 18th century, it refers to a small, elite group of men who would meet and converse with each other. (Getz T. R., & Brooke J. E., 2012). That is until the 18th century, this is when “nation” became redefined as a large group of people, spanning the social classes, one who established a political and cultural community of citizens, thus forming what were known as “Nationalists” they were people who felt as though these groups of citizens should have control over their government and country rather than leaving control in the hands of the aristocratic elite, or the hands of distant power. This is how nationalism was successful in challenging the governments of small kingdoms, or large empires, this in part it what made it a defining political institution of modern age (Getz, T. R. & Brooke J. E., 2012). There is also another definition of nationalism this side excludes a bond to a diverse state where the subjects do not share the same ideas, or moral values and a common culture. “Nationalism is also a normative political theory under which a geographically compact distinct people has a right to self-determination (Ignatieff, 1993: 145). Since an “ought” cannot be derived from an “is,” one might admit the existence of a Serbian nation prior to World War I, while denying that the break-up of the Austro-Hungarian Empire was benign.” Although there is a fine line between nationalism and patriotism one may have a hard time in distinguishing the difference. What is necessary for people to able them in expressing their nationalism they must first identify themselves as belonging to one nation, this would include a large group of people who have many of the same reason or something in common as a group. This is one reason feudalism was eliminated. In the realization that many shared the same common history, language, religion, and or race was what helped them form what is known as national identity. In having a common identity and with the proper authority structure over a large area (i. e., the state) is what made nationalism become possible (Kohn, H. 1967, The Idea of Nationalism). Nationalism would come about in the way that Europe was geographically fractured, as they had many enemies in order to hold onto their many domains. Their problems included aspirations of France and the other rising nation-states with in their regions, and conflicts due to the Reformation. Individualism played a role in the Protestant Reformation by giving individuals salvation and morality. Other Protestant groups like Mennonites, Anabaptists, and Quakers developed emotional and mystical forms of worship, stressing personal experience and individual interpretation of the Bible. Similar movements like the Jansenists and Quietists emerged within the Roman Catholic tradition as well. The technological innovation of the printing press played a role in the Protestant Reformation,” Luther drafted a list of 95 points (theses) for public debate on salvation and penance. Luther targeted the Church’s practice of issuing indulgences-that claimed to remove the sins, which Luther equated selling salvation. Luther's implications of corruption and fundamental error on the part of the Church brought down the wrath of Church officials as well as of powerful lords and nobles. Luther fled persecution, but along the way, he used the printing press to follow up his initial challenge with numerous pamphlets and a German translation of the Bible, reaching a broad audience. (Luther, M. (1517). The 95 Theses.

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