Misunderstood Nationalism

Misunderstood Nationalism

A striking fact of twentieth-century history is the tenacity with which ethno-national groups have maintained their distinct identity, institutions, and desire for self-government. There are few examples in this century of national minorities—that is, national groups who share a state with larger national groups— voluntarily assimilating into the larger society.

North Americans often overlook this fact, because they fail to distinguish immigrants from national minorities. Immigrants choose to leave their original culture and homeland and move to a new country. They know that this uprooting will only be successful if they adapt to their new country, including learning its language and customs.

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