Patriotism Essay Ideas On Counter

Not to be confused with Nationalism.

For the Japanese movie, see Patriotism (film).

Patriotism is the ideology of attachment to a homeland. This attachment can be a combination of many different features relating to one's own homeland, including ethnic, cultural, political or historical aspects. It encompasses a set of concepts closely related to those of nationalism.[1][2][3] An excess of patriotism in the defense of a nation is called chauvinism; another related term is jingoism.

The English term patriot is first attested in the Elizabethan era, via Middle French from Late Latin (6th century) patriota, meaning "countryman", ultimately from Greek πατριώτης (patriōtēs), meaning 'from the same country', from πατρίς (patris), meaning 'fatherland'.[4] The abstract noun patriotism appears in the early 18th century.[5]


The general notion of civic virtue and group dedication has been attested in culture globally throughout the historical period. For the Enlightenment thinkers of 18th-century Europe, loyalty to the state was chiefly considered in contrast to loyalty to the Church. It was argued that clerics should not be allowed to teach in public schools since their patrie was heaven, so that they could not inspire love of the homeland in their students. One of the most influential proponents of this classical notion of patriotism was Jean-Jacques Rousseau.[1]

Enlightenment thinkers also criticized what they saw as the excess of patriotism. In 1774, Samuel Johnson published The Patriot, a critique of what he viewed as false patriotism. On the evening of 7 April 1775, he made the famous statement, "Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel."[6]James Boswell, who reported this comment in his Life of Johnson, does not provide context for the quote, and it has therefore been argued that Johnson was in fact attacking the false use of the term "patriotism" by contemporaries such as John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute (the patriot-minister) and his supporters; Johnson spoke elsewhere in favor of what he considered "true" patriotism.[7] However, there is no direct evidence to contradict the widely held to belief that Johnson's famous remark was a criticism of patriotism itself.

Philosophical issues[edit]

Patriotism may be strengthened by adherence to a national religion (a civil religion or even a theocracy). This is the opposite of the separation of church and state demanded by the Enlightenment thinkers who saw patriotism and faith as similar and opposed forces. Michael Billig and Jean Bethke Elshtain have both argued that the difference between patriotism and faith is difficult to discern and relies largely on the attitude of the one doing the labelling.[8]

Christopher Heath Wellman,[9] professor of philosophy at Washington University in St. Louis, describes that a popular view of the "patriotist" position is robust obligations to compatriots and only minimal samaritan responsibilities to foreigners.[10] Wellman calls this position "patriotist" rather than "nationalist" to single out the members of territorial, political units rather than cultural groups.[10]

George Orwell, in his influential essay Notes on Nationalism distinguished patriotism from related concept of nationalism:

"By 'patriotism' I mean devotion to a particular place and a particular way of life, which one believes to be the best in the world but has no wish to force upon other people. Patriotism is of its nature defensive, both militarily and culturally. Nationalism, on the other hand, is inseparable from the desire for power. The abiding purpose of every nationalist is to secure more power and more prestige, not for himself but for the nation or other unit in which he has chosen to sink his own individuality." [11]

Voltaire quote[edit]

"It is lamentable, that to be a good patriot one must become the enemy of the rest of mankind." [12]


Marxists have taken various stances regarding patriotism. On one hand, Karl Marx famously stated that "The working men have no country"[13] and that "the supremacy of the proletariat will cause them [national differences] to vanish still faster." The same view is promoted by present-day Trotskyists such as Alan Woods, who is "in favour of tearing down all frontiers and creating a socialist world commonwealth."[14]

On the other hand, Stalinists and Maoists are usually in favour of socialist patriotism based on the theory of socialism in one country.[15]

Region-specific issues[edit]

In the European Union, thinkers such as Jürgen Habermas have advocated a "Euro-patriotism", but patriotism in Europe is usually directed at the nation-state and more often than not coincides with "Euroscepticism".[citation needed]


Several surveys have tried to measure patriotism for various reasons, such as the Correlates of War project which found some correlation between war propensity and patriotism. The results from different studies are time dependent. For example, patriotism in Germany before World War I ranked at or near the top, whereas today it ranks at or near the bottom of patriotism surveys.[citation needed]

Since 1981, the World Values Survey explores people's national values and beliefs and refer to the average answer "for high income residents" of a country to the question "Are you proud to be [insert nationality]?". It ranges from 1 (not proud) to 4 (very proud).[16]

See also[edit]


Further reading[edit]

Look up patriotism in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Patriotism.
  • Charles Blatberg, From Pluralist to Patriotic Politics: Putting Practice First, Oxford University Press, 2000. ISBN 0-19-829688-6.
  • Craig Calhoun, Is it Time to Be Postnational?, in Ethnicity, Nationalism, and Minority Rights, (eds.) Stephen May, Tariq Modood and Judith Squires. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2004. pp. 231–56.[1]
  • Paul Gomberg, “Patriotism is Like Racism,” in Igor Primoratz, ed., Patriotism, Humanity Books, 2002, pp. 105–12. ISBN 1-57392-955-7.
  • Jürgen Habermas, “Appendix II: Citizenship and National Identity,” in Between Facts and Norms: Contributions to a Discourse Theory of Law and Democracy, trans. William Rehg, MIT Press, 1996.
  • Johan Huizinga, “Patriotism and Nationalism in European History”. In Men and Ideas. History, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance. Transl. by James S. Holmes and Hans van Marle. New York: Meridian Books, 1959.
  • Alasdair MacIntyre, 'Is Patriotism a Virtue?', in: R. Beiner (ed.), Theorizing Citizenship, 1995, State University of New York Press, pp. 209–28.
  • Joshua Cohen and Martha C. Nussbaum, For Love of Country: Debating the Limits of Patriotism, Beacon Press, 1996. ISBN 0-8070-4313-3.
  • George Orwell, "Notes on Nationalism"[2] in England Your England and Other Essays, Secker and Warburg, 1953.
  • Igor Primoratz, ed., Patriotism, Humanity Books, 2002. ISBN 1-57392-955-7.
  • Daniel Bar-Tal and Ervin Staub, Patriotism, Wadsworth Publishing, 1999. ISBN 0-8304-1410-X.
  • Maurizio Viroli, For Love of Country: An Essay on Patriotism and Nationalism, Oxford University Press, 1997. ISBN 0-19-829358-5.
  • Gilbert K. Chesterton 1922 that America is "the only nation in the world that is founded on a creed. That creed is set forth with dogmatic and even theological lucidity in the Declaration of Independence."
  • John Witherspoon The Dominion of Providence Over The Passions of Man, Princeton May 17, 1776.
An American poster with a patriotic theme (1917), issued by the U.S. Food Administration during World War I
  1. ^ abHarvey Chisick. Historical Dictionary of the Enlightenment. Retrieved 2013-11-03. 
  2. ^"Nationalism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)". Retrieved 2013-11-03. 
  3. ^"Patriotism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)". Retrieved 2013-11-03. 
  4. ^"Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, πατρι-ώτης". Retrieved 2013-11-03. 
  5. ^OED
  6. ^Boswell, James (1986), Hibbert, Christopher, ed., The Life of Samuel Johnson, New York: Penguin Classics, ISBN 0-14-043116-0 
  7. ^Griffin, Dustin (2005), Patriotism and Poetry in Eighteenth-Century Britain, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-00959-6 
  8. ^Billig, Michael. Banal Nationalism. London: Sage Publishers, 1995, pp. 56–58.
  9. ^Christopher Wellman, Professor of Philosophy at Washington University in St. Louis, and Professorial Research Fellow at Charles Sturt University in the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics.
  10. ^ abWellman, Christopher Heath (2014). Liberal Rights and Responsibilities: Essays on Citizenship and Sovereignty. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 32, 50. ISBN 9780199982189. 
  11. ^Orwell, George Essays, John Carey, Ed., Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2002
  12. ^
  13. ^"Communist Manifesto (Chapter 2)". Retrieved 2013-11-03. 
  14. ^[1]Archived December 10, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
  15. ^Motyl, Alexander J. (2001). Encyclopedia of Nationalism, Volume II. Academic Press. ISBN 0-12-227230-7. 
  16. ^Morse, Adair. "Patriotism in Your Portfolio"(PDF). Journal of Financial Markets. U of C 2008. 14 (2): 411–40. doi:10.1016/j.finmar.2010.10.006. Archived from the original(PDF) on November 25, 2011. 

Anti-patriotism is the ideology that opposes patriotism; it usually refers to those with cosmopolitan views and is usually of an Internationalist and anti-nationalist nature as well. Normally, anti-patriotism stems from the belief that patriotism is wrong since people born in a country, whether they like it or not and regardless of their individuality, are encouraged to love the country or sacrifice themselves for it; consequently, people who oppose patriotism may oppose its perceived authoritarianism, while others may believe that patriotism may lead to war because of geopolitical disputes. Usually, this term is used in a pejorative way by those who defend patriotism or nationalism, and terms such as cosmopolitanism or world citizenship may be used to avoid the bias that comes from the typical usage of the words anti-patriot or anti-patriotism. Sometimes anti patriotical groups and individuals are often used as a form of Active measures against own country by other country or some third side, especially during Cold war.[1] The idea of multiple cultures intertwined has also been questioned as anti-patriotic, but mainly in smaller social communities: colleges, universities, etc.[2]

The Espionage Act of 1917 and the Sedition Act of 1918 were pieces of legislation in the United States that were passed after it entered World War I, to incriminate individuals who attempted to impede the war effort.[3] Those who did so were punished and believed to be performing acts of anti-patriotism.[3]

Examples of Supreme Court cases that deal with anti-patriotism[edit]

Texas v. Johnson (1989)[edit]

During a protest outside the Republican Party’s 1984 national convention, Gregory Johnson burned an American flag, he was then arrested and charged with violating a state law.[4] Johnson asserted that his right to burn the American flag was protected by the First Amendment.[4] The case was then brought to the United States Supreme Court.[4] The Supreme Court ruled by a 5-4 decision that Johnson’s conviction was unconstitutional.[4]Justice William Brennan, in his majority opinion asserted that the act of burning a flag was considered an expressive activity which is protected by the First Amendment.[4] Although, 4 members of the Supreme Court argued that his actions were forms of anti-patriotism, and therefore punishable and unprotected by the First Amendment.[4]

In Chief Justice William Rehnquist's dissenting opinion he asserted that the American flag is a visible symbol for the country and therefore should be preserved.[4] Rehnquist argued that burning the flag expressed disapproval and anti-patriotism for the nation’s policy, and was therefore a symbolic desecration of the U.S. in its entirety.[4] Still today, many argue that the act of burning the American flag is a clear act of anti-patriotism and should not be protected by the First Amendment.

Schenck v. United States (1919)[edit]

The Espionage Act of 1917 was a piece of legislation that was passed to punish and criminalize individuals who impeded the war effort by interfering with military recruitment and supporting foreign enemies; the act was passed shortly after the U.S. declared war on Germany.[3] Some opposed the war, specifically the American Socialist Party, who publicly declared their disapproval. Charles Schenck was the general secretary for the American Socialist Party, who opposed the war and exhibited that disapproval by distributing pamphlets that vilified Woodrow Wilson’s administration and insisted that the draft was unconstitutional.[5] The court unanimously ruled that Schenck’s distribution of the pamphlets posed a clear and present danger to the national security of the U.S.[5] The court ruled that because of this, his speech was not protected by the First Amendment and was simultaneously in violation of the Espionage Act of 1917.[5] The act of deterring individuals from registering for the draft during wartime can be seen as an act of anti-patriotism as it condemns the U.S. government.[5]

Abrams v. United States (1919)[edit]

In this case, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that those who provoked and promoted resistance to the war were in direct violation of the Espionage Act, and their speech was not protected by the First Amendment.[6] The provocation of a riot and strike in order to hurt the war effort was seen as an act of anti-patriotism.[6] Abrams attempted to make the workers in ammunition factories go on strike.[6] Therefore, because Abrams acted in a way that was directly attempting to damage the war effort of the U.S., his actions can be seen as acts of anti-patriotism.[6] Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes argued that this act did not present a clear and present danger to national security and free speech should not be limited because of that.[6] It is reasonable to conclude that in this case, Abrams was acting in violation of the Espionage Act because he attempted to impede the war effort.[6]

See also[edit]


Four Victims of Cheap Patriotism (1910). Anti-war cartoon depicting a widow grieving the death of her husband alongside their children playing with a toy rifle and soldiers.

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