Patriotism

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Patriotism is a cultural attachment, dedication and love for to one's homeland or Vaterland, excluding differences caused by the dependencies of the term's meaning upon context, geography and philosophy. In a generalized sense applicable to all countries and peoples, patriotism is a devotion to one's country and concern for its defence. It is a related sentiment to nationalism.

A patriot is someone who loves, supports, and is prepared to serve their country.

Origin and definition

The word patriotism comes from a Greek word meaning fatherland. For most of history, love of fatherland or homeland was an attachment to the physical features of the land. But that notion changed in the eighteenth century, when the ideals of democracy, socialism, and communism strongly emerged into political thought. Patriotism was still a love of one's country that included connections to the land and people, but then also included its customs and traditions, pride in its history, and devotion to its welfare.

Today most people agree that patriotism also involves service to their country, but many disagree on how to best perform such service. Some believe that the national government speaks for a country; therefore, all its citizens should actively support government policies and actions. Others argue that a true patriot speaks out when convinced that their country is following an unwise or unjust action.

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