NCERT Solutions for Class 11 Political Science Chapter 14 - Nationalism

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Political Science Class 11 chapter “Nationalism” provides an explanation of nationalism and pluralism; the distinction between a nation and a state, national self-determination, common political identity, merits and demerits of nationalism, etc.

Question 1:

How is a Nation different from other forms of collective belonging?


A Nation is not merely a collection of people. It is also different from other forms of groups or communities. Nation is not an association of families. It is different from the family. Family is based on kinship and family originates due to kinship. In a family, all members have a direct relationship and personal knowledge about each other. But Nation is not based on kinship. Moreover, members of the nation have no personal contact with each other. Nation is also different from tribes and clans. Tribes and clans are also based on kinship. In tribes, members generally know each other and moreover we can trace the limbs that bind them to us. But a nation is not based on kinship.

Question 2:

What do you understand by the right to national self-determination? How has this idea resulted in both formation of and challenges to nation-states?


In simple words, right to national selfdetermination means that every nationality should have the right to determine the form of government under which it would live. If it decides to live along with other nations in one state, well and good. But if it decides to form a separate and independent government of its own, it should have the right to do so.

Question 3:

“We have seen that Nationalism can unite people as well as divide them, liberate them as well as generate bitterness and conflict.” Illustrate your answer with examples.


Nationalism can unite people as well as divide them. Nationalism is a unifying factor. Nationalism dominates mutual struggle and jealousy. The word ‘Nation’ is a symbol of unity and it creates religious and cultural unity. In the 19th century Europe, the spirit of Nationalism led to the unification of a number of small kingdoms into larger nation-states. The present day German and Italian states are also the result of unification.
On the other hand, Nationalism is also responsible for the break-up of big empires such as Austro- Hungarian and Russian empires in the early 20th century. Nationalism was also mainly responsible for the break up of the British, French, Dutch and Portuguese empires in Asia and Africa. Moreover, Nationalism teaches to hate other nations. A Nation upholding the values of Nationalism regards its Nation as superior to others and thereby hatred for other nations is created. An atmosphere of malice and ill-will can result in war.

Question 4:

Neither descent, nor language, nor religion or ethnicity can claim to be a common factor in nationalism all over the world. Comment.


It is a hard fact that neither descent, nor language, nor religion or ethnicity can claim to be a common factor in nationalism all over the world. We may take the example of any nationality today; it is not possible to find purity of race in it. The English, the Americans, the French, the Indians all are the mixture of many races. Like the same community, same language is also a very significant factor in the making of a nationality, but is not an essential element. In the modern age, people speaking different languages live in one Nation. For example, the people of Switzerland speak three different language : French, German and Italian and still have one nationality.
Common religion is also not the sole basis of Nationalism. Now a days almost in all the nations we find people having faith in different religions. In India, Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Parsi and Muslims reside side by side and all these communities are the followers of different faiths. In England, America and Switzerland, etc., people who have faith in different religions but the differences in religion are not at all an obstruction in the way of nationality. Besides this, people having the same religion may have a different nationality. The people of Pakistan and Bangladesh have the same religion but they are two separate nationalities.

Question 5:

Illustrate with suitable examples the factors that lead to the emergence of nationalist feelings.


The following factors are responsible for the emergence of nationalist feelings :

  1. Common Motherland – Every human being has love for his motherland. People belonging to one place are mutually bound by their love for motherland. The Jews, though they remained away from their motherland, had love for it and it kept Nationalism alive.
  2. Common Race – Commonness of race is a big force in bringing the people near to one another and organising them into a nationality.
  3. Common Language – Common language is also a significant factor in the making of a nationality. According to Garner, “Community of language is most important moulding a people into a nationality.”
  4. Common Religion – Common religion also contributes to nationalist feelings. The nationality of Pakistan is based on religion.
  5. Common History – The people having a common history definitely develop the spirit of oneness. Common past invokes inspiration in the people and binds them together.
  6. Common Interests – Common interests is the most significant factor in the case of nationality. According to Gilchrist, “Common interests are.........closely connected with the development of nationality.”
  7. Common Culture – Common culture is an important element in the formation and development of nationality.
  8. Common Political Aspirations – Common political aspiration plays a very important role in the formation and development of a nation and Nationality.
Question 6:

How is democracy more effective than authoritarian governments in dealing with conflicting nationalist aspirations?


Democratic government is more effective than authoritarian governments in dealing with conflicting nationalist aspirations.

Question 7:

What do you think are the limitations of Nationalism?


Following are the main limitations of Nationalism :

  1. Absence of Emotional Integration : The nations which don’t have same race, religion, culture and civilisation, lack emotional integration.
  2. Communalism : Communalism divides a Nation into mutually opposed races, communities and classes.
  3. Provincialism : Spirit of provincialism is a big limitation on Nationalism.
  4. Illiteracy : Illiteracy is an enemy of Nationalism. Only the literate people make the progress of Nationalism possible.
  5. Religious Differences : Religious differences is a big limitation to Nationalism. These differences affect the feelings of unity of citizens and divide them in separate communities, groups and classes.
  6. Capitalism : Capitalism also puts limitations on Nationalism.