Popular belief holds that nationalism,or the idea of it, spread throughout Europe as a consequence of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution. Though the concept and term of "nationalism" were likely coined at that time, I am trying to write a paper tracing its beginnings back to, at least, the Tudor monarchy in Britain.
I am having a bit of trouble... The information is there, I'm sure it is, but I am having a lot of trouble organizing my thoughts and a lot of trouble with the structure of the paper. I am not sure where or how to begin.
Nationalism as a concept, is according to Benedict Anderson's influential Imagined Communities, a distinctly modern construction, as the combination of factors needed for the adoption of this secular religion was not present before this period. Somehow individuals have to believe that they are part of a larger community of citizens, most of whom they will never meet. Pre-modern societies did not have the technology to present a consistent ideological message to the masses. The development of print changed this potential into reality.
In terms of Britain, there are two problems ...
This solution provides an overview of the origins of Britain's protestant identity in the English Reformation. It discusses the reasons why nationalism is considered a modern phenomenon, while identifying early modern foundations. It includes a short list of sources for theories on nationalism and British national identity.