Q. 44.1( 44 Votes )
How was the history of nationalism in Britain unlike the rest of Europe?
Nationalism in Europe developed after the powerful revolutions, wars and military campaigns.
But Britain was exception as there were no wars for nationalism actually before the eighteenth century there was no British nation. The people of different identities lived in the British and were called ethnic ones. The ethnic group comprised English, Welsh, Scot or Irish. These groups had their own culture and political traditions. But slowly and steadily English nation grew in power and extended its influence over the other nations of the island.
In 1707 England united with the Scotland and started to dominant the nation. After Scotland English people united with Irish and resulted in the formation of the ‘United Kingdom of Great Britain’ without any war or bloodshed.
This gave power to the England to impose its influence on other ethnic peoples. This led to the demolition of Scotland’s distinctive culture and political institutions. The Catholic clans that inhabited the Scottish Highlands suffered terrible repression whenever they attempted to assert their independence. The Scottish Highlanders were forbidden to speak their Gaelic language or wear their national dress, and large numbers were forcibly driven out of their homeland.
The condition of Ireland was not different from Scotland. The country was divided between Catholics and Protestants. The English helped the Protestants of Ireland to establish their supremacy over Catholics. Catholics revolted but were soon suppressed and Ireland was forcibly included into the United Kingdom in 1801. This amalgamation led to the growth of new, powerful nation ‘British nation’. The symbols of the new Britain like the British flag (Union Jack, the national anthem (God Save Our Noble King), the English language were actively promoted. In the light of the above, we can say that the history of nationalism in Britain was completely unlike that of the rest of Europe.
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