Patriotismus (of lat. patria, native country) is an attitude, which is coined/shaped by a deeply felt and internal-light solidarity with the own native country and by common descent, ethnical, political and/or cultural affiliation can be motivated. Patriotismus differs in its word meaning of Nationalism and chauvinistism, as the term describes alone the love for the own native country and no devaluation for other peoples and implies nations. However the term is particularly konnotiert often negatively due to frequent political abuse in history in Germany, there it with (kaschiertem) nationalism or even chauvinistism is equated (see. in addition among other things Hurra Patriotismus, national socialism).

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the meaning and use term changed in the change of the centuries. In the moralWeekly revue „the Patriot “explained 1724 the versatile writer Michael Richey: a Patriot is humans, who are it around the best of his native country right Ernst, one, which the common nature fairly geflissen to serve is. In the year 1742 translated Richey Patriot with city friend, and Johann Moritz Gericke gave this definition of Patriotismus to 1782: that strong internal impulse, which have the best of the state to the attention, and its welfare in all possible kind to carry search.

Politically in the mass of the populationthe Patriotismus and positively understood nationalism were embodied particularly by the French revolution from 1789 to 1799. At the latest in the napoleonischen wars the idea of the Patriotismus was spread also in the civil layers of other European countries. This idea accompanied first with the liberalsand democratic ideals of the French revolution „liberty, equality, fraternity “and 19 became in the first half. Century after the victory over Napoleon of most reactionary European principalities in the time of the metternichschen restoration after the Viennese suppresses congress 1814/15.

Since thatCenter 19. Century the term of the Patriotismus increasingly connected with nationalism and chauvinistism, i.e. the faith in the superiority of the own nation and the devaluation exerted by it of other nations. The Patriotismus was still carried in Germany as far as the March revolution by the desire, then the Patriotismus in the second empire changed itself all separation in the area of the German federation (Hoffmann von Fallerslebens „Germany, Germany over everything “is filled by this desire), according to national unit and the overcoming, of 1871 - also in the consequence of the patriotic in the long run failed,liberal national movement in Germany since the wars of liberation against Napoleon Bonaparte up to the March revolution 1848/49 - to national presumption („at the German nature the world is to genesen “), which also a reason for the 1. World war was. Also Hitler has in preparation on his destruction campaign against slawischeand other peoples to the feeling of the Germans successfully appeals to be „the chosen people “.


in the today's linguistic usage becomes mostly between Patriotismus and nationalism and/or. Chauvinistism differentiated. Former German Federal President Johannes Rau has, the fundamental difference generally spread in Germanybrought on the handy formula: „A Patriot is someone, which loves its native country. A nationalist is someone, which despises the native countries of the others. “

A patriotic attitude is often equated by critics with nationalism, or assumed as camouflage for nationalistic opinions.

This shows: Even if oneit recognizes that there is a deep solidarity to the native country, follows from it the fundamental problem that a Patriot in the faith acts, only the best for its native country to want. The term „native country “is however an unreal size and it gives thereby no possibility, the ownTo examine convictions regarding your effects independently. Hence it follows that each political spectrum for itself can take up to want the best for the country.

Conservative Patrioten, an established regime is probably (and to the supporters belong to a dominant government) can mine,Patriotismus means the support of the own government and its politics. For others (critical and progressive Patrioten) however the efforts can be for improving the conditions of the native country a driving power of their Patriotismus.

There is thus the danger that Patriotismus is used as pretext, around thoseto regard own opinion as with high order and diffamieren uncomfortable opinions as destructive for the native country. Straight ones in conflict times often try government politicians to make critical voices unpatriotisch “mouth dead by the allocation „.

A particularly pronounced Patriotismus prevails also in the USA, then pupils before that must Beginning of instruction the national anthem sing and almost any house with the national flag one provides. Although the USA are actually according to condition a laizistischer state become often religious and patriotic elements linked (God save America, God's own country, etc.), this advancedeverything with Europeans on lack of understanding and is every now and then a reason for the anti-Americaism.


Wikiquote: Patriotismus - quotations
  • Patriotismus and world openness are not contrasts - them cause each other! (Refuge charcoal burner (CDU), Federal President, speech of 23. May 2004)
  • I want to be never a nationalist, but a Patriot probably. A Patriot is someone, which loves its native country, a nationalist is someone, which despises the native countries of the others. We however want to be a people of the good neighbours, in Europe and in the world. (Johannes Rau (SPD), old Federal President, speech of 23. May 1999)
  • Respect each man native country, but the deinige dear! (Theodor Storm)
  • me it is not fears for that Germany does not become one; our good Chausseen and future railways will already do the ihrige. Forwardseverything however it is one in love among themselves! and it is always one against the foreign enemy. It is one that has German valleys and groschen generally speaking realm the same value; one that my travel suit-case can happen by all 36 states unopened. It is one that the urban passport of a weimarischen citizen is not considered insufficient by the border officials of a large neighbour state, as the passport of a foreigner. It is of inland and foreign country under German states everywhere no more speech. Furthermore Germany is one in measure and weight,in trade and change and one hundred similar things, which I can call not all and like. (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)
  • Patriotismus is love for its; Nationalism is hate on the others. (Smelling pool of broadcasting corporations von Weizsäcker (*1920), dt. Politician (CDU), Federal Presidentv. 1984-94)
  • Not so much that Patriotismus dear I, who hunt our sons on the battleground and they die there are called, but that one, which teaches to live for the native country. Peter Rosegger
  • of the Patriotismus spoils history. (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)
  • I do not love, I my wife (Gustav Heinemann (SPD ), Federal President 1969 - 1974, on the question whether it Germany dear) loves states
  • Patriotismus, of the: Inflammable garbage, which lies for the torch/flare of the Ehrgeizlings ready, which wants to see its name moved in the right light. (Ambrose Bierce, from the dictionary of the devil)
  • Patriotismus is the virtue of the malice! (OSCAR savage)
  • occasionally the Patriotismus with blood must be fed! (George Washington)

see also


  • Birtsch, Günter (Hrsg.): Patriotismus. Hamburg: Mine, 1998. - ISBN 3-78730-978-0
  • Ruge, Arnold/turn, Peter: The Patriotismus. Frankfurt A.M.: Island publishing house, 1968.
  • Theory signpost/guide (part of 1). Nation: Term clarifying and representation of different analysis beginnings. In: arranca! No. 15 (on-line)

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