Difference Between Nationalism and Patriotism – Patriotism vs Nationalism

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

The difference between Nationalism and Patriotism is that Nationalism is loyalty and devotion to one’s country, in contrast, Patriotism is love or devotion to one’s country. Both definitions appear the same and allude to the love for one’s country. But, there is a thin line demarcating both ideologies. Nationalism emphasizes the inheritance, civilization and vocabulary of a Nation, whereas Patriotism emphasizes the values and faith of a nation.

Difference Between Nationalism and Patriotism PDF

Patriotism vs Nationalism differ as Nationalism connects people against a foreign enemy nation, but Patriotism unites individuals for the well-being and wealth of one country. This article helps you to understand the basic difference between Nationalism and Patriotism.

Difference Between Nationalism and Patriotism

A crucial difference between Nationalism and Patriotism is that Nationalism elevates one nation above all others and promotes its culture and interests above those of other nations or supranational institutions. Patriotism, on the other hand, is free of this constraint.

Patriotism vs Nationalism

Difference Between Nationalism and Patriotism



Nationalism believes that one’s home country is better than all others. It can also imply suspicion or contempt for other countries, giving the impression that they are rivals.

Patriotism lies in the principles of liberty, justice, and equality.

Patriots believe their country’s government and people are inherently good and should work together to enhance their living conditions.

Nationalism enjoys a negative aura.

It promotes a more extreme and exclusionary love of one’s country- at the expense of foreigners, immigrants, and even residents who they believe do not belong to the nation in some manner, typically owing to racial or religious differences.

Patriotism enjoys a positive undertone.

It is a broad notion that includes positive feelings, attitudes, and behaviours. Moreover, it believes in the principles of tolerance and multiculturalism.

Any criticism is repugnant to nationalism, seeing it as an insult first and foremost.

Nationalism seeks hollow explanations and excuses for previous failings.

Furthermore, any dissent will be considered a threat to the unity and integrity of the country.

Patriotism attempts to learn new things from criticism.

They value constructive criticism, see shortcomings, and provide suggestions for improvement.

Nationalists are more concerned with maintaining the status quo because they are hesitant to recognize that their country has made mistakes.

While proud to be a citizen, a patriot may recognize flawed government laws and practices and attempt to correct them.

Nationalism and Patriotism

Nationalism and Patriotism are motivated by a love for one’s country, but they are not synonymous. The Main Difference Between Nationalism and Patriotism is that while patriots are proud of their homeland without declaring that every other country is terrible or evil, nationalists believe in “right or wrong, my country.”

What is Nationalism?

In most modern contexts, nationalism is the “identification with one’s nation and support for its interests, particularly to the exclusion or detriment of others’ interests.”
Nationalism, in a word, is an extreme kind of patriotism.

  • The pride of nationalism, nevertheless, praises its country’s integrity and refuses its flaws.
  • Nationalism is disrespectful toward the goodness of other nations and asserts itself to be the greatest.

Nationalism UPSC

Practicing Nationalism UPSC questions can help the UPSC aspirants to understand the basics better. It is important to go through the key difference between Nationalism and Patriotism and their comparisons thoroughly. It is also recommended to know the details of Political Science and International Relations syllabus, optional books and the best preparation strategy for UPSC Exam.

What is Patriotism?

Patriotism is a sense of pride, commitment, and attachment to one’s nation and other patriotic citizens, similar to love. Factors like history, race or ethnicity, culture, religious beliefs, etc., can impact feelings of attachment.

  • A sense of pride unites all people, which allows them to persist in the face of hardship.
  • For instance, if colonial Americans did not share common patriotic principles, they might not have chosen the path to freedom from England.


Key Difference Between Nationalism and Patriotism

The key Difference Between Nationalism and Patriotism is that a nationalist adores his country and is proud of their country no matter what it accomplishes, whereas a patriot values his nation and is proud of it for what it accomplishes.

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