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National Self-determination in Europe - Essay Example

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National Self-determination in Europe

The principle of national self-determination, which acquired popular political prevalence in 19th century Europe, played a key role in the confederation of Italy in addition to that of Germany at that point in time. It was in no way been entirely unconstructive in the 20th century.
Large colonial systems are usually intrinsically unsound, causing formidable demands for independence in their component parts. From time to time when great empires have been endangered with defeat and disintegration, as in Europe after two world wars, this principle has been usually supported as a basis for a new and improved order. This principle has assisted to manipulate the reaction of main powers to the disintegration of empires; and it has offered an outline within which the accomplishment of national objectives was assumed to take in self-determination in the shape of independent institutions.
The principle of national self-determination has no reliable explanation. There has been a need of transparency as to which 'peoples' or 'nations' are its owner and intended beneficiaries. Peoples are merely not arranged suitably on the map in a way that makes their creation into states achievable without calamities. Some of the most awful characteristics of 20th Century history included the quest of irredentist assertions, the materialization of authoritarianism in post-colonial states, and the brutal dealing with minorities - can in some way be credited to the principle and its imperfection.

Problems with respect to the principle were involved, directly or indirectly, in the causation of the great majority of differences in the 20th century, including the two world wars. The principle has always been disputed, and not only by the European colonial powers. At best it is only one principle among many, and requires be balancing against other values and mitigated by other matters.

National Self-Determination Since 1988
The great majority of the countries have in recent times emerged to new independent statehood, or claimed a statehood that was lost previously. This principle has helped these countries in their materialization of independence from long periods of foreign rule. Examples include the republics of the ex-Soviet Union and the republics of the ex-Yugoslavia.

'National self-determination' remains dominant as a slogan for political and armed action; however it has not been supported in the 1990s as a model for international stability or as a possible course to international harmony. The actions towards self-determination in the 1990s have taken place without the benefit of attractive general support of the idea by key statesmen. In many instances for example in the former Yugoslavia and Soviet Union wars resulted. The demand of some peoples to self-determination is still welcomed primarily by an embarrassed silence from the world community as the case of Chechnya demonstrates the point.

National Self-Determination & European Integration
European integration is conceivably the most debatable. However looking at the genesis and ancient history of the European Community it is clear that West European integration was, for a considerable period of time was believed as something ...Show more


The concept of national self-determination, like all theoretical political terms, has in the period of time experienced transformation in significance and implication. Its fundamental gist remains that the principle that every nation has an entitlement to form an independent state and establish its own authority.
Author : norberto28
National Self-determination in Europe
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