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The extent to which Nationalists should pursue their goals is a complex issue. The possible changes as well as the losses must be weighed. There is a myriad of complex issues surrounding the situation. Without Nationalists making changes, Italy would not be unified, Apartheid would still exist in South Africa, and many other changes would not have occurred on this planet. I believe that Nationalists should try to solve their problems and get what they want without using violence as a tool.
Giuseppe Mazzini was a major factor in the unification of Italy. He started his fight for unity with non-violent means. He tried wearing black clothing to mourn the persecuted, and he attempted to educate the people about the dangers of foreign rule in Italy. Gradually however he escalated to more violent means of getting his way. He stirred feelings of Nationalism, brotherhood and religion.
In 1848 he started a revolution in Rome. The Pope was forced to flee the city, and Mazzini established a Roman Republic. The entire republic was built upon the one-time rage of the masses. Mazzini simply stirred the emotions of the people, but they didn? t really feel that strongly about it. The population of Rome didn?
t care enough to fight for the retention of the city. The French were easily able to re-take the city, and return it to the Pope. Mahatma Gandhi represents the other side of the spectrum, throughout his life he used only non-violent means to get what he wanted. His main goal was to get Moslems and Hindus to live peacefully together. He was quoted as saying?
All religions are almost as dear to me as my Hinduism? . One instance of his attempts to use non-violent means to accomplish his goal was his two hundred and thirty-kilometer march to the ocean in order to extract salt illegally. This was in protest of Britain? s salt monopoly in India. Other non-violent acts that he used as tools to persuade the government to listen to his goals were his six to twenty-one day fasts. At one time Gandhi used a fast to force his release from prison.
The prison would have been held responsible for his death and would have major pressure put on it to close down. Gandhi had become such a hero to the population that, if the government allowed him to die due to starvation, he would become a martyr. The South African freedom fighter Nelson Mandella is another testimony to the ability to use non-violent methods in order to fight for Nationality. He wanted to do away with apartheid in the area. In 1952 he helped to organize the Nonviolent Defiance Campaign. This was obviously nonviolent in nature, and was an extremely helpful tool in the abolition of apartheid.
In 1964 he was tried for treason, and received a sentence of life imprisonment. He was released in 1988, and ran for Prime Minister of South Africa, and won. His struggle came to represent the goal of freedom for Blacks in South Africa. He accomplished all of this without using any violence at all.
Each of the preceding Nationalists? success was based on the violence that was used in their quests. If someone fights for what they believe in, using violence as a tool they will fail. The people supporting him will want his leadership simply because he is strong, not smart.
The masses will lose support of their leader as soon as they realize that he is not as strong as they think. The only right way to go about nationalism is using nonviolent techniques. The ends do not justify the means.
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