Structural Change

Structural Change

Question

Why do we say that nation state have become the important political form after the first decade of the twentieth century. Briefly explain your answer.

Answer

(i) Historically, we know that nation state developed in Europe after the downfall of feudalism. Nation state took place in Germany, Britain, France, Spain, Polland, Belgium, etc. With the beginning of first decade of the twentieth century national states became the dominant political form. That we all live in nation states and that we all have a nationality or a national citizenship may appear natural to us today.

(ii) Before the First World War passports were not widely used for international travel, and in the most areas few people had one. Societies were, however, not always organised on these lines.

(iii) Nation state pertains to a particular type of state, characteristic of the modern world. A government has sovereign power within a defined territorial area, and the people are citizens of a single nation. Nation states are closely associated with the rise of nationalism.

(iv) The principle of nationalism assumes that any set of people have a right to be free and exercise sovereign power. It is an important part of the rise of democratic ideas.

(v) It must have struck you that the practice of colonialism and the principle of nationalism and democratic rights are contradictory. For colonial rule implied foreign rule such as British rule over India.

(vi) Nationalism implied that the people of India or of any colonised society have an equal right to be sovereign. Indian nationalist leaders were quick to grasp this irony. They declared that freedom or swaraj was their birth-right and fought for both political and economic freedom.

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