History and Study of Nationality
The idea of nationhood has always been a challenge for many. In most cases, people tend to think of nationhood as a political concept rather than a cultural one. In other words, they tend to look at nationhood through the lens of politics rather than a cultural one. A nation is essentially a group of individuals who, in the context of their country, have a bond that transcends the differences of their individual identities. People who live within a nation share a certain amount of things in common with all the other individuals that make up that nation, even if those differences are minor in comparison to those of other nations. A nation thus consists of members who enjoy a degree of cultural belonging and some level of financial prosperity.
Nationalism, sometimes known as ethno-nationalism, tends to be a result of feeling identified with a group or nation as opposed to an individual, or an idea, which one thinks is exclusive to him or her. One can be considered a nation by most people anywhere in the world but most people consider themselves members of a particular nation when they identify with the culture, language or ethnic background of their nation. The idea of being “one nation” dates back to the very beginning of recorded history. For instance, it was recorded that the Phoenicians identified their culture with that of the Egyptians. Thus, it is not entirely incorrect to say that all peoples have at least some degree of cultural identity, though most peoples do not share all of the same cultural and identity belonging.
Historically, the concept of nationhood has taken on many guises and names. For instance, early philosophies tended to privilege the Athens and Rome over all other nations, while other philosophies, like those of Plato, looked at the issue from the perspective of individualistic ethics. In modern times, many contemporary thinkers and individuals tend to associate nationhood with ethnic identity. Nationalism has sometimes been used as a way of defining group membership, such as identifying the Aryan race as a nation, and other similar ideas. However, all people living within a nation have the right to claim and promote their own cultural identity, to determine their own historical and political identity, and to protect their own cultural heritage, especially if those cultural values are threatened by another.