Nationalism has had a long history in the Western world; understanding its role and emergence is important to understanding how our world functions today. This deep-diving volume considers how nationalism began as a way to unite countries and traces the ideology's evolution through to what it represents today. Readers will learn that it is a fascinating and sometimes contradictory belief system. This guide explains how nationalism can be both a positive and negative force for different kinds of political climates and how this ideology affects the ordinary citizen every day. It also discusses how nationalism affects current political parties on both the conservative and liberal ends of the political spectrum.