Nationalism is a powerful force that can unite or separate. In France’s case, it united the citizens in a struggle to bring the power of choice to the people. The first developments of this nationalism were seen during the French Revolution. Throughout the Enlightenment Age, the French did not only experience this feeling, but also gave birth to the concept of “mass popular nationalism,” the term “levee en masse,” the transfer of sovereignty to the people, and also used many types of propaganda to inspire nationalism.
When this strong feeling towards a nation was first mentioned during the late 18th century, there seemed to be a dispute over the idea until the term gained political implications when groups got classified as nationalists. Nationalism by definition is the highest terminal loyalty of one individual, that for which he/she is willing to kill or die for. It is a belief that people of a state, territory or a political entity share. Some countries have a common past and will share a common fate when they share the same idea like love of the fatherland. Whatever happens to individuals even strangers, as long as they share the same idea, it is important to everyone. Such is the strong feeling of loyalty that the
As a new concept, nationalism proved to be a very beneficial weapon for France during the war against Spain, Austria, Prussia, and England which is where the term "Levee en Masse" was developed. Also, the writings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and his new doctrine of popular self-government influenced their mentality to become the "Citizens of France". In addition, the people at war needed some type of inspiration of why it was right to be fighting for this cause. Children should give hope, and the elder should preach to warriors. The anthem was composed by Joseph Rouget de Lisle when he learned that France had declared war on Austria and it became the anthem of the Revolution. If for some reason they found evidence that their still existed even the slightest amount of material, then the citizen was treated as a suspect of war. Consequently, the national anthem during the enlightenment age was created to encourage people for war, as well as to transmit a positive view of their country. All factions were fighting for the same purpose, where there were no gaps between racial or social groups. As a result, new virtues of the land reminded people of: liberty, equality, and fraternity. If the government noticed that a citizen didn"tmt want to assist, then they would send people to search their territory. During this period, single men had to go to battle, married men had to provide transportation of arms. Nationalism spread and shortly after the power of choice began available to other nations too. For example, propagandas that promoted the cause were the national anthem, the tricolor, the flag, as well as newspapers. All these new inventions were thrilling for all Frenchmen, giving them a vision of hope as well as motivation to continue battling. During this same war, where France was in conflict with most of its neighbors, mass popular nationalism was born.