Essay about Take Home Final

Submitted By sjasso13
Words: 6161
Pages: 25

Question #1 The evolution of the nation-state can be traced from the fourteenth century to present day, primarily seeing changes in the fourteenth, sixteenth, and nineteenth centuries before arriving to its present state. A nation-state can best be described as “a political unit consisting of an autonomous state inhabited predominantly by a people sharing a common culture, history, and language,” (Nation State). Nation-states first make an appearance during the fourteenth century when the bond between church and state became weaker. The Renaissance movement, which began in the fourteenth century, brought a more secular way of thinking; the thought process towards a unifying polity began to encompass the minds of the European people. By the fourteenth century many countries had accomplished the construction of a nation-state, primarily in Asia where common culture and language united the country establishing a nation-state. The principal goal of creating a nation-state was uniting and combining a geopolitical state with an ethnic or cultural nation. By combining these two entities, nation-states were set apart from regular nations or states by unifying a region under a political entity without compromising their history and culture. Europeans had a harder time creating nation-states, especially during the fourteenth century, because there was not a common language or culture amongst Europeans. For a nation-state to be successful the population must share common culture, languages, values, and ideals. The sixteenth century brought a rise in the development of nation-states due to the increase in central control in many regions. Many European nations were united under the Holy Roman Empire until 1556 when Charles V abdicated the throne and divided his empire amongst his brothers. Although Europe was divided nation-states in general were gaining power, which in turn allowed the rulers and monarchs to gain power and influence as well. The Protestant Reformation, which occurred in the early 1500s, also set the development of nation-states into motion. The Church was becoming less significant in the lives of the people causing a bigger breach between the church and state. In addition to the reformation regulation, high taxing, and lengthy wars were added causes of the decline in the significance of the church to Europe. With the gap between church and state, nation-states were able to gain power and momentum, which led into the nineteenth century. The nineteenth century was when nation-states really began to become a worldwide goal, specifically in Europe. The past century had plagued Europe with wars causing Europeans to become “increasingly conscious of political and cultural borders,” (Tignor 652). The Enlightenment era had produced ideas that emphasized nations coming together and uniting under similar territories, cultures, and traditions and to use those similarities to form a polity. Europe in particular used these similarities to develop more nationalistic views that stemmed from the people’s desire for togetherness. Rulers formed nations by persuading citizens to come together under a unifying identity; these nations were then developed into states but keeping their nationalistic viewpoints to form nation-states. Throughout the late 1800s many nations were becoming nation-states as they moved towards a unifying regional polity. It became a popular belief that a nation’s wealth depended on each citizen rather than solely the rulers and their wealth. Citizens could be held more accountable due to the increase in social conditions, primarily the printing press, which resulted in a more literate population. Nation-states were also able to thrive because of the new innovations and technology that connected all of Europe. People were able to communicate easier which brought people closer together forming a cohesive nation as well as “laying the foundation for closer political integration,” (Tignor 641).