Patriotism is an affinity and allegiance toward your own country. Long associated with the United States of America, the term is equally applicable to any country, throughout many different periods of history.
Patriotism Essay Types
- Reflective essay. Discuss the significance of patriotism in your life, and how certain events have changed the way you perceive your home country.
- Definition essay. Define “patriotism” and explain how it works in your community.
- Comparison essay. Compare and contrast patriotism across two different cultures, and explain how each culture expresses their national identity and love of their country.
Patriotism – History
Patriotism has its roots throughout history, from early government loyalists to today’s modern patriots. Here are some patriotism essay topics for history class:
- Patriotism in the American Revolution. Describe how colonials in the United States formed a patriotic bond and fought for independence against the British.
- Patriotism in Nazi Germany. Discuss how Hitler used patriotism as a means of exerting power, and explain the German population’s patriotism during World War II.
- Compare and contrast patriotism throughout history. Choose two patriotic periods in history — such as the French Revolution and the American Revolution — and compare how people expressed their patriotism. Alternatively, choose two societies and compare their patriotism from an historical time period to their patriotism today.
Patriotism – Ethics
Patriotism is widely accepted within most cultures, but ethical dilemmas abound when viewing it outside of a given culture. Here are some examples of patriotism essays related to ethics, which are ideal for philosophy, history, rhetoric or ethics classes:
- Expressions of patriotism. How do different cultures express their patriotism, and how do other cultures perceive these expressions?
- Patriotism vs. xenophobia. Discuss how people use their patriotism to exclude or belittle other nations.
- Conscientious objectors: traitors or patriots? The United States military has a special exception class for people who are conscientious objectors to war. Should these people be forced to serve, or are they exercising their freedom by choosing not to serve?
Patriotism – Literary
Many works of literature include patriotic themes:
- Biography. Choose a biography of a famous person and discuss how patriotism impacted their lives. Popular choices: John Adams, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Winston Churchill, Cesar Chavez, Nelson Mandela, Bhagat Singh, Paul Kagame, William Wallace, and Mahatma Gandhi.
- Patriotism in Literature. Choose a piece of literature and analyze the main characters’ patriotism. Popular options: Catch-22 by Joseph Heller, A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway, All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque, and 1984 by George Orwell.