Nationalism may be described as a state of mind which gives priority to the idea of nationality. Nationality in turn refers to a group of people who pride themselves on their common descent, customs, or traditions. As a rule these people inhabit a well-defined geographic area and are united by a common language. Often they tend to exhibit a collective egoism, convinced that their particular culture and ethnic stock are superior to all others. Some notable exceptions to these generalizations exist, yet even these exceptions are also characterized by what has been called "a living and active corporate will" as an essential element. [excerpt]
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Bloom, Robert L. et al. "4. Nationalism as an Idea. XIII: Political Liberalism and Nationalism, 1815-1871." Ideas and Institutions of Western Man (Gettysburg College, 1958), 45-55.