World History

It is indeed true that there were various dominant political and economic ideas which characterized the 19th and 20th centuries. One of these dominant ideas is nationalism. Nationalism shaped various specific policies in the United States including policies of containment, Monroe doctrine and Roosevelt corollary. The Roosevelt coronary was basically an addition to the doctrine of Monroe which advocated for the European countries to stay outside Latin America. Following this, Roosevelt Corollary extended the issue and stated that the US was acting right to exercise its military in the countries of Latin America so that it can promote nationalism by keeping the European countries out.

It also shaped the US foreign policy with the Philippines in Latin America. Following this, the US then played a role in Guevara, Bolivia where the US administration which was headed by Kennedy engaged in the change of military aid policies from hemispheric defense to counterinsurgency for Latin America. Other specific contributions of nationalism include French Revolution and the revolution also known as Haitian Revolution and the American Revolution.

Another factor or idea was Gandhi 1915. He formed a non-violence movement for nationalism which was shaped by injustices which he viewed in South Africa in the hands of the British since such injustices had never been witnessed by them in India. This idea or movement contributed to the shaping up of policies of non-violence. The movement strived to unify Pakistan and India while at the same time advocating for independence from the British rule.


Anti-colonialism is another factor and idea which came about due to the rise of nationalism

For example, Napoleon only played a role in strengthening nationalism. Other contributions of anti-colonialism in specific include its contribution to Haitian Revolution, political freedom, economic freedom and gaining sovereignty. The idea also provided a clear framework for other revolts in Latin America.

Manifest identity is also another idea that was in place and the idea contributed to the changes in colonialism where the Indians were suffering as the USA enjoyed. Other changes brought in place included the establishment of trade and the US Homestead Act. The latter attracted people to move to the West and at the same time try to forge the US identity.

The nation and states that gained or attained independence benefited from the ideas especially nationalism which freed them from the colonial rule. There was also a change in the policy of imperialism due to the development of nationalism thus less suffering for Indian people.

The Nazi socialism is another idea and this idea elicited a series of problems including authoritative solutions to problems like mass employment which increased as Great Depression undermined capitalism and parliaments causing 1929 crash. The policies shaped include Aryan race, racial policy (against Jews), propaganda policies and final solution. The Nazi of Germany benefited from the Aryan race.

For the World War II, the 1960s containment attained the US containment and the US benefited from the containment on grounds that there was a fear of communism and it helped to maintain power. For instance, Kennan did not know it would blow up together with Boosterism. The idea was strategic for them. The idea shaped policies so that they could benefit, pursue an agenda and have other things such as access to resources in mind. The best example is Truman Doctrine and Marshall Plan.

Considering intervention, the very US emerged from Cold War as a superpower with the power to impose a manipulation to other countries. Due to this idea of containment, it took a big role in shaping Latin American nations. It was a major ideological shift.

Free trade was an economic idea during the 1900s that was focused on particularly business policies of no tariffs, no quotas in domestic or international trade. It was characterized by free labor and free markets. This economic idea was greatly beneficial for more developed countries, but removing barriers for less developed countries was deadly and destroyed their economies as their domestic economies were not ready yet.

The idea of colonialism was both economic and political. It spanned over the 1800s and the 1900s and was supported by several mentalities. This defines which policies and who benefited but in most cases, the people who benefited were the colonizers themselves. The white man’s burden was an economic idea and politics were based on economic principles. Christianity was the most common religion. Local elites, who the colonizers put in charge such as Guatemala, also benefitted.

Communism is a system where ownership is not individual but communal (that is to say equality). In this system, an individual cannot climb the social-economic ladder to enjoy the benefits alone. And yes communism was a source of conflict in the nineteenth and twentieth century since it also pitted major world power advanced in almost all spheres of life.

The US was against this system and went ahead to oppose all that wanted to advance it. States that did not support communism had political and economic conflicts with those who supported communism. The US could not have the economic relationship with a communist state, while the Soviet Union could not relate with states which did not favor communism. This also caused other states to retaliate to that action hence causing a global social, economic and political conflict.

Communism caused social conflict in that it breached the freedom of those who wanted to advance their individual economic status. People were not able choose their lifestyle since all wealth and resources were owned collectively and thus shared collectively.

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The famous Cold War between the Soviet Union and the US was caused by communism. The Russians favored communism whereas the US did not. This war was fought mainly in Vietnam where the US supported the North by providing weapons to fight the South was being supported by the Soviet Union. This was caused by distrust between the two nations.

During this period, Cuba became cautious of its economy. Much of the earnings went to the major business merchants who were mainly foreigners. When the Castro Cuban revolution took place, it targeted the foreign investments mainly from the US. The Cuban government nationalized foreign industrial firms and mines among other privately owned businesses. This was to ensure the West did not have control of the country. The US retaliated by slapping Cuba with an economic embargo after sensing that Cuba was becoming a communist state. This communism factor caused a lot of economic realignment by the Cuban government. At also caused economic conflict between the communist Eastern Europe and Europe. It caused the Cuban economy into a free fall.

Racism is the belief that one race is superior or inferior to the other and that they should, therefore, be segregated one from another. The British who had seen their population grow steadily in India had caused a situation of dominance that caused unrest amongst the local Hindu and Sikhs. The difference in cultural beliefs and more so the ideas of social Darwinism that were growing in India caused a conflict that forced the two groups to segregate. African Americans experienced open racism, hatred and discrimination. This was caused by the belief by Europeans that they were superior to the people of Africa both physically and mentally. They were denied many rights such as equal voting and other legal rights.

Because of this, some African Americans fled to other areas where they felt some comfort. This racism forced the oppressed to use civil disobedience and other means to exert pressure on the government. A system of white supremacy by legally segregating blacks from whites using legislation was reinforced in the southern states, in the years between 1870 and to the end of the 19th century. These laws were known as the Jim Crow laws. This happened in 1942 when the US government moved over 100,000 aliens of Japanese ancestry to camps where they were massacred. More than half were US citizens but that notwithstanding, they were guilty of being of Japanese ancestry.

Other sources of political, social and economic conflicts include colonialism which led to WWI and competition for colonies. The fight for freedom especially in the revolutions was a great source of conflict due to the enlightenment. There was a fight for capital and land which involved UFC, WWI, WWII, fights over land and the Philippines. Conflicts also emerged due to cultural differences especially between China and Britain as well as industrial revolution.

Religion played a big role in shaping political beliefs, norms and behavior. It took many roles and in many cases supported state power and imperial expansion. However, it also had a liberating effect, especially from imperial expansion in several occasions.

Religion denotes a collection of belief systems, cultural systems and views of the world, which relate spirituality to humanity and morality as a social value. Religions explain factors such as origins to life, the meaning of life, and the universe at large. They also define ethics, morality and religious laws. On the other hand, politics denotes the art of undertaking governmental governance affairs. The political system in operation defines behavior within the ruling government and civil life. Its realm of control spans over various spheres of life including the academic, corporate and even religious realms of society. As such, politics has influence on religion in a rather direct manner, but it is also undeniable that religion has influence on politics. This is evidenced even from ancient empires such as those set up by Spain and Portugal, which were greatly supported by the Catholic religion. It is a good example of a church offering support to an imperial power and the approval imperialism, which can be termed as a political policy. The formation of the Pakistani government is also a good example of how religion has been able to influence political power and statesmanship. The religious conflicts that occurred prior to independence between the Hindus and Muslims were the major force behind the division that would later lead to the realization of the two states, divided on the basis of religion. The formulation of most legislation of governance considers morals in society and apparently these morals are mainly defined by religion. This is clearly reflected in laws such as those on theft and murder. The politically developed laws on such issues are obviously influenced by religion and based on religious principles. However, from the Founding Fathers’ times of Constitution making the state has always tried to separate the state from the church, and in essence separating religion and politics. This was perhaps due to the consideration of the probable rise of religious differences that would spark insecurity and division within states. This separation has been the center of contention in issues that relate to faith. For example, the performance of prayer sessions in schools where children of mixed religions attend has sparked legal issues that have even taken on political twists. The clear results have been that religion should be kept out of mixed-religion public spheres and this has been echoed through political and legal platforms. A similar case of conflict has been seen on the gay marriage front and abortion issue. These issues have a heavy religious undertone and their debates have flared with politics getting a mix of religion, where religious groups have come in strongly to oppose some political decisions, which do not support acts such as the banning of abortion and gay marriages. While America and most other Western nations have been trying to moderate the influence of politics and religion on each other, in other nations the influence has been rather extreme.

For example, in a number of Middle-Eastern nations, political systems, their regulation and structure have been totally swallowed up by religion. In these religious states such as Iran, religion is the core determining factor of political structures and laws of a nation. In such states the influence of religion on politics can be termed as “totalitarian,” and the states are akin to religious organizations rather than states. This mix is, however, challenging because it causes the violation of human rights as evidenced by religious laws, which are also state laws that permit some forms of legal killings such as stoning to death adulterous women – Shariah law.


A case or religion acting as a liberating factor can best be witnessed in the Munghal Empire where Islam rule was the overall authority, but it permitted other faiths and thus leading to a tolerating environment

In conclusion, religion has been a major influence on politics mainly in the shaping of morality, ethics and laws that define respect of life and property. This is common across all states that either totally embrace religious codes as part of their political and legal system or those that try to separate them. Therefore, there are two extremes and some middle ground, with some states fully embracing religion and letting it control politics, whereas others allow greater moderation between the two and whilst the other end of the extreme totally tries to separate the state and politics from religious influence. The United States and other Western nations represent one extreme, whereas some Middle Eastern nations that do not tolerate religious free-will represent the other extreme. In the Middle Easter case religion greatly supports state power, but it is also notable that even in the Western states religion supports the state by teaching about the need of respecting the legal systems of rule and political structure of leadership.

Although the term nationalism has varied definitions, we can refer to it as a habit of being loyal and acting in a way to clearly demonstrate devotion and obedience to a nation or a culture. Nationalists believe that states, nations and countries will benefit more if they act as individually as opposed to collectiveness. Therefore, following this description, I want to agree and argue that nationalism supports state power as well as imperial expansion and at the same has a liberating effect.

To start with, nationalism tends to support the state power as well as imperial expansion. For instance, the colonizers had a feeling that they were superior to the people of their colonial possessions and this furthered the belief that they were to civilize these people and thus, supported imperial expansion. Due to Manifest Destiny of Colonialism, Indians suffered, on one hand, while the US did awesome on the other hand. Manifest Destiny also had links with establishment of trade, the US Homestead Act and was behind people moving to the West in search of national US identity. On the same note, we have the United States against a common enemy in which propaganda plays a role to keep their mind on domestic issues rather than look at Vietnam. Looking at nationalism in the case of Japan and Germany in the error of World War II, it is clear that it supported state power and imperial expansion looking at the way Germany felt as if they had been wronged.

It is also true that nationalism has liberating effect and the best example is the liberating effect in south America- Mayans. Looking at the Cuba liberating effect, nationalism was contained with Cuba. The same applies to Africa-Ethiopia as well as India against colonial power where there was a peaceful movement with Gandhi. Other examples where nationalism played a liberating effect include the Haiti liberating effect and Vietnam where there was a liberating effect from the United States and French intervention in the country.