Author: Fara-Mae U. Maque

Have you ever been in love? It may be with a person, place, thing, or even a memory. When we love someone or something, we take care of it, nurture it, and make sure no harm comes upon it. We put them in our priorities and become loyal and faithful to them.  

According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, NATIONALISM is “an ideology based on the premise that the individual’s loyalty and devotion to the nation-state surpass other individual or group interests.“ In simple words, NATIONALISM is the expression of love for one’s own country. This concept started during the American and French revolutions, when people clamored for reorganization of the society and establishment of new nations. These occurrences are a prevalent theme in the study of Nationalism. 

Anyone can display and express love for one’s country. As early as kindergarten level, there are activities that allow students to practice Nationalism. Without Nationalism, it is impossible to establish a single identity as a nation. This will lead to factions among people and disunity. Then, societal instability will follow and the whole state will collapse. This is the primary aim of Social Studies Education – to develop and increase civic competence and avoid societal collapse.

This module will delve into the development of Nationalism in the countries of Asia. The division is according to the five recognized regions of the continent – South Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia, West Asia, and North Asia. Each countries’ struggle for independence will be highlighted within sub-lessons. In general, this module will assist in answering questions such as; (1) what are the factors leading to the development of Nationalism?, (2) How is Nationalism manifested? And (3) How did Nationalism contribute to nation-building?

| Most Essential Learning Competencies 

  • Analyze the factors, ideologies, and events in the formation of nationalist consciousness and Asian nation-state.
  • Value the role of Nationalism in battling imperialism in Asian Countries.

| Content Standards

By the end of this module, learners are expected to demonstrate an understanding of the transformations, developments, and continuities in Asia from the 19th to 20th centuries.

| Performance Standards

By the end of this module, learners are expected to analyze the transformations, developments and continuities in Asia from the 19th to the 20th centuries

Lesson 1: Development of Nationalism in Asian Regions

| Lesson Objectives

At the end of the lesson, the student is able to:

  • Enumerate the factors and events leading to the development of Nationalism in Asia,
  • Discuss the role of people and government players in nation-building process,
  • Conceptualize the process of nation-building in relation to nationalism,
  • Embody the ideals needed to support nationalistic feelings and ideals; 
  • Value how manifestations of Nationalism supported nation-building in Asia;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how nationalism begins, how nationalism is expressed, and how nationalism leads to independence;
  • Determine the factors that lead to the development of Nationalism in Asia;
  • Express how Nationalism is manifested in Asia; and
  • Value the role of Nationalism as part of nation-building in Asia.

| Key Concepts

  • Aggressive Nationalism – a feeling of superiority about one’s own country in comparison to other countries.
  • Ahimsa – A principle or way of living that aims to be at peace and co-exist with other living things.
  • Bayanihan – A word that describes the “spirit of unity” embedded within the Filipino Culture. The whole community or “bayan” extends whatever help is needed, even to a stranger.
  • Civil War – A war between organized groups within the same state or country. This type of conflict happens when a side aims to gain control or power, seek independence, or alter policies. 
  • Defensive Nationalism – A type of nationalism where people defend their country against direct attack, because they love their country and want to see it survive.

Hospitality – A trait unique to Filipinos that describes their warm and welcoming nature to people (specifically foreigners)

| Self-Evaluation Form (Part I)

Answer the following questions. 

  1. As a Grade 7 student, how do you show love for your own country? Cite two to three examples.


  1. Why do you need to show love for your own country?


  1. How should countries defend their natural resources from imperialist and colonialist nations?


| Sub-lesson 1: The Themes, Types, and Manifestations of Nationalism

Across history,  most nationalistic movements spring from a revolt, revolution, or civil war to battle foreign forces considered to be imperialist and colonizers (such as the British Empire, Portuguese, and Spanish) or to promote societal equality (fighting against racial discrimination or corruption of power).

Figure 1. Themes of Nationalism in Asia


Two types of Nationalism are identified in Asian regions. First, Aggressive Nationalism is manifested by forcefully taking lands of other countries with the goal of expanding and gaining dominance over others. This is a negative connotation of Nationalism because it comes from feeling superiority and a thirst for power. Second, Defensive Nationalism is manifested by protecting one’s country through declaration of war, revolts, diplomacy, and similar forms. 

In present times, Nationalism is exercised to sustain national identity as well as to maintain societal stability. These are manifested through the following actions:

  • Unity among people. As Filipinos, we employ the BAYANIHAN strategy, where we help within our capabilities and even go out of our way to help a stranger. This can also be associated with HOSPITALITY.

A depiction of Bayanihan where people help carry a stranger’s house



  • Patronizing local products. This helps our local businessmen and products flourish, thus adding funds to our country. 

A shot from a Marikina-made shoe factory



  • Advocating justice and fulfilling citizen responsibilities. Practicing your right to suffrage and electing good officials to government seats is one example of this manifestation. As a learner, simple activities such as singing the Philippine National Anthem with fervor and showing respect to the Philippine flag counts. 

People gather to sing the national anthem



  • Readiness to sacrifice one’s life for the sake of the country. Heroes and martyrs such as Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, and Emilio Aguinaldo are good examples. 

An oversize diorama where Jose Rizal was executed by the Spaniards




| Sub-lesson 2: Colonial Rule and The Call for Nationalism in South Asia

Figure 2. The Map of South Asia, Reference: Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc.

The development of Nationalism in South Asia has inter-lapping histories rooted in the Indian Subcontinent. 



The call for Nationalism in India started due to its colonization by the British people in 1858. Indians have no control over their own bureaucracy, had their lands stolen, and their values and traditions diluted. The domination of British rule in India was prevalent. Between 1857 to 1859, the Sepoy Rebellion emerged due to the introduction of the new Enfield Rifle. The Sepoys (what they called the Indian soldiers under British rule) used the new gun which had cartridges that were then rumored to be lubricated with pig and cow lard. Soldiers were expected to bite these cartridges to load gunpowder and so the Indian soldiers deemed this as an insult as Indian Hindus do not eat cow meat and Indian Muslims do not eat pig meat. This was known to be the first step towards the search for independence. Mohandas Gandhi, a nationalist, rallied against the English rule through non-violent means or Ahimsa. Instead of carrying guns and other weapons, he urged the public to boycott British products. He also led hunger strikes across the nation. These are just a few of the many ways India struggled for their freedom. Through the leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru, Indians gained their independence on the 15th of August, 1947. 



Pakistan territory was once a part of Greater India. This was a product of the division among Indian Hindus and Indian Muslims. With Indian independence, Hindus adopted most of the British ways while the opposite group was reluctant about it. The bureaucracy was monopolized by Hindus, which of course, made the Muslims feel marginalized because their stances could not be represented. In August 1947, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, a Muslim politician who successfully entered post in the All Indian National Congress, became the first governor-general of the country. In the same year, Pakistan was formally separated from India.



Pakistan had two exclaves: East and West. West Pakistan is found in the western part of India and East Pakistan is located in the east side of India where Bengal Muslims hoped they would receive better treatment with the creation of the new state. The similarity among the two groups was their Islamic religion. Their physical appearances and attitudes were different, and these differences were further strengthened by the geographical division. Political power was centered in the Western wing of Pakistan. The East was dominated by the group of Bengali people that were seen as weak and “less Islamic”. The discrimination of the Bengalis sparked the thirst for the independence of a new state from Pakistan. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, also known as the “Father of the Nation” and architect of Bangla Independence, drew out the Six Point Demand to call for the eastern exclave’s development in all aspects. He formerly served as an elected councilor of All Muslim India League until the partition of India in 1947. The birth of Bangladesh was created after the war of 1971 or commonly known as “Bangladesh Liberation War” where India also supported the Bengalis. 



The country’s monarchical family was established in 1768, led by its founding King, Prithvi Narayan Shah. It was abolished by the First Constituent Republic in 2008 which ended its 240-year supremacy. Nepal was a British protectorate until the latter granted absolute independence in 1923. The greatest challenge in the country, however, is the struggle to establish a democratic state against monarchical families. The Shah Dev family, specifically, the son of King Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah, ruled the state. In 1990, the Nepali Congress Party successfully proceeded with the first free elections in 1990. However, a Maoist guerilla movement was on the move to install a communist government. A ten-year civil war ensued within the country until the Peace Talks accord started. 



The geographical location of Bhutan in the mountains gave it an advantage to be hidden from imperialists and colonizers. However, it did not last long until 1720 when the Chinese seized Tibet and Bhutan. The British invasion happened between 1772-1773 after the Bhutanese people had to give up their control of the southern border. In exchange, the British government granted subsidies. The independence of Bhutan is marked with the coronation day of Druk Gyalpo (a local title for King), Ugyen Wangchuk in 1907, under the Wangchuk Dynasty. The responsibilities of Britain over Bhutan were passed to India in 1949. Not long enough, China tried to regain control of the state and suppressed Tibetan Buddhism. They failed because the country has stronger ties with India and winged under its protection. As a historically monarchical state, Bhutan shifted to democracy and had its first national elections in March of 2008. 



A small island south of India formerly called Ceylon had its history intertwined with the Indian subcontinents’ history, however, its geographical position allowed it to have unique characteristics. Such as the creation of Sinhalese language, which is indigenous to the island. The path of the country towards independence is regarded as one of those with peaceful origins. Trade was a key factor in establishing foreign relations. Don Stephen Senanayake urged for economic self-determination of the island until the conception of its full independence. In 1948, it gained the status of Dominion granted by the British people. The status meant that the country is an autonomous entity but pledges allegiance to the British empire. The land was later renamed as “Sri Lanka”. After multiple struggles to assume full autonomy, the Republic of Sri Lanka was founded in 1972. 



Maldives was influenced by Indian kings in the beginning of the tenth century before its conception as a country. In the middle of the sixteenth century, the island became a center of interest to foreign powers, specifically the Portuguese. They monopolized the trade of Cowry shells, an indigenous product of the island,  which was used as an ingredient in perfumes. With the expulsion of Portuguese rulers, the island was adopted as a British protectorate and was placed under the wing of the Dutch rulers of Sri Lanka in 1887. The sultanates were later abolished and Maldives was granted full independence in 1965. The first republic was led by Prime Minister Ahmed Zaki but was then arrested for participating in a coup and was replaced by President Ibrahim Nasir in 1975. Former President Nasir was known to be the first president of Maldives after gaining full independence in the 1960s.  



Similar to the other South Asian countries, the land of Afghanistan (before its conception of freedom as a nation) was colonized by the Imperial British. The Englishmen successfully occupied the city of Kabul after winning the First Anglo-Afghan War in 1842. Their occupancy in the country did not last long after Commander Akbar Khan defeated them. The British came back, hence the start of the Second Anglo-Afghan War in 1878, but they were defeated by Abdur Rahman Khan. However, English supremacy was needed to protect the Afghans from the perils posed by the Russians and Persians. In exchange for the protection granted to the Afghans, the Englishmen gained control of the country’s external affairs. In 1919, the Afghans regained their country’s control on external affairs and freedom from the British empire after they won the Third Anglo-Afghan war in 1919. 

In conclusion, countries from South Asia needed Nationalism to prevent imperialists and colonizers from fully acquiring their land. Freedom fighters employed violence, diplomacy, and establishing trade relations to gain independence.

| Sub-lesson 3: The Ottoman Reign, Former British Protectorates, and the Call for Freedom in West Asia

The development of nationalism in West Asia was born with the fall of the invading empires except for Israel when the Jewish state was formed after World War II.



Before its conception as a country, Armenia was home to Persians, Arabs, Byzantines, Mongols, and Turks. The prominent Ottoman Empire settled in the land in 1880s. However, Armenians under Ottoman rule were subjected to discrimination and persecution. The war between the Ottomans and neighboring Christian Russian empire fueled fear among the Muslim Turk leaders, suggesting that Armenians might sympathize with the Russian enemy. Armenians were deported to other Turk territories like Syria. During these placements, foreign observers like United States reported large-scale massacres, intentional starvation and other inhumane treatments of Armenians. Mikayel Chamchian, an Armenian monk and theologian, wrote “Patmutiun Hayots” or “History of Armenia” in 1785-1788 which strengthened Armenian consciousness. Armenia assumed its independence through former US President Bush following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Armenians casted their vote in a referendum to proclaim sovereignty on September 23, 1991. 



The land was formerly a part of the old greater Russia until its fall following the 1917 Russian revolution. Briefly, Azerbaijan became part of a short-lived “Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic” between 1922-1936, together with Georgia and Armenia. On May 28, 1918, Azerbaijan assumed its status as a democratic republic and was known as the first secular and democratic Islamic nation in the world. Despite this, the country again lost its independence when it was integrated into the Soviet Republic in 1920 and remained part of the new found republic for 71 years. It wasn’t until 1991 when the Soviet Republic was admonished and Azeris were able to regain their independence through a referendum. Mammad Amin Rasulzadeh, founded the first Azerbaijani Republic. He served in the National Council from 1918. Although he was not able to live through the 1991 declaration of Azerbaijan independence, he was commemorated as a national hero. 



From 1783, the al-Khalifah family established their dominance over the land after expelling the Persians. Similar to the other countries in the region, the British took Bahrain as a protectorate from 1861 to 1971. In 1867, the Bahrain-Qatari war erupted after a series of small disputes over territorial islands. The British Empire intervened by proposing a truce, which was successful. Through a United Nations Referendum signed in 1971, Bahrain was declared an independent state. 



The country was dominated by the Ottoman Turks until 1878. Cyprus was then taken by the British government as a protectorate after the Cyprus Convention. Under this agreement, Britain will support the Ottoman Empire against Russia in its battle for territories in the Middle East. The Cypriots (locals of Cyprus) have a strong identity of their own culture, relating themselves to the Greek. An anti-British nationalistic group called Ethniki Organosis Kyprion Agoniston or “EOKA” was established to end foreign rule in the country. Cyprus was recognized as an independent state on August 16, 1960 after a treaty was made together with the United Kingdom, Turkey, and Greece. 



The fall of the Constantinople Empire gave the Ottoman Empire access to Georgia in 1453. The Russian, however, continued to challenge the Ottoman Turks until they finally grew as the new “imperial power” in the land in the 1800s. The first movement towards Georgian Nationalism was led by Prince Ilia Chavchavadze, leader of a social movement dubbed the Pirveli Dasi, or First Group. Because political opposition was suppressed, nationalistic poems, essays, and other literary pieces became their ultimate weapon.  The country enjoyed a short-lived independence from 1918 to 1921, while being part of the Soviet Union. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Georgia assumed independence through a referendum on the 9th of April, 1991. 



Britain took Iraq from the clutches of Ottoman Turks during World War I. In 1920, Britain was granted the right to govern the land by the League of Nations, as written in the Treaty of Sevres. A Hashemite monarchy – also known as the Royal House of Hashim – came from Jordan and was imposed as rulers. Two types of nationalism stemmed within the region – first variant, views of a unified nation consisting of Arab, Turkmen, Assyrian, and Kurdish. Their common ground comes from Mesopotamian heritage. The second variant is the link between Iraq and the Arab peninsula as a whole.  Iraq was admitted to the League of Nations and was one of the founding countries for the Arab League, which marked its official status as an independent state on October 3, 1932.



Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini was the father of the Iranian Revolution and the first leader (also called as rahbar) of the Islamic republic established in 1979. Before assuming independence, the country was led by Pahlavi, an authoritarian ruler for 26 years (between 1925-1979) who depended on American support. Iranian Revolution (dated 1978-1979) caused the fall of Pahlavi, where thousands of students from religious school (also called madrasah) began protests in the streets. Khomeini was exiled, but he continued to demand for the abdication of Shah Pahlavi until the royal family fled the country in 1979.



Israel, the only Jewish nation in the world, declared its independence on May 14, 1948. Before attaining sovereignty, The “War of Independence” (dated 1947-1949) was fought mainly to define the country’s border. The Northern region struggled against Lebanon and Syria, the Eastern border was against Iraq and Jordan, Egyptians and Sudanese were taking the South, and Palestinians together with some Arab were infesting the country’s internal territory. David Ben-Gurion was the first to affix his signature on the Israeli Declaration of Independence, and he became the national founder of the state of Israel. 



Throughout history, the land became part of the imperialist families such as Nabatean Kingdom (occupied between 4th century BCE and 106 CE), the Roman Empire (established in 1st Century AD), and Ottoman Empire (rules between 1516-1918 CE). The Arabs joined forces with the British people to drive out Ottoman Turks from the region, this was known in history as the “Great Arab Revolutionary Army” during World War I. With the success of pushing out Muslim Turks, Jordan became part of the British Colony. Prince Abdullah bin Hussein met the local tribes of Jordan to map out the creation of an independent Jordan state. He was able to establish a Consultative Council composed of the officers and soldiers who formerly served in the Great Arab Revolutionary Army, but the council was still under British supervision. The country gained its independence in 1946 through a treaty signed between Emir Abdullah and the British. It was first named as the “Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan” and was renamed as the “Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan”. The term “Hashemite Kingdom” was taken from the country’s first leader, Emir Abdullah I, who came from the prominent Hashemite family. 



The country was part of the Ottoman Empire’s province of Basra in 1913. This arrangement was conceptualized in the Anglo-Ottoman Convention of 1913 which the British helped concur. But, with the explosion of World War I, the country’s affairs were disrupted. Kuwait-Najd War happened in 1919 to 1921, this started when Saudi Arabian Sheikh Ibn Saud wanted to annex Kuwait. The Sheikhdom of Kuwait became fully independent on June 19, 1961 after the termination of the Anglo-Kuwaiti Treaty of 1899 by the United Kingdom. The Anglo-Kuwaiti Treaty of 1899 gave the British people control over Kuwait’s foreign policy by refusing to receive any foreign representatives without the agreement of the British Government. Kuwait was liberated and recognized as a country by Britain on June 19, 1961. However, Iraq advertised its claim over the Kuwaiti region until October 1963, when they finally recognized the Kuwaitis independence.



Around the 16th century, Fakhr al-Din Ma’n, a Druze chief, began gathering groups of Lebanese to establish governance. Unfortunately, his progress was halted when he was executed by the Ottoman Turks in 1635. Turks dominated the country until the end of World War I in 1918. With the creation of the League of Nations, Lebanon was assigned under the supervision of France. The aim of this arrangement is to help Lebanon’s nation-building until it is capable of leading its own people. A council of Christian figures was organized by Lebanese nationalists and the state’s independence was proclaimed on November 22, 1943. Lebanon became a member of the Arab League and United Nations in 1945. The next year, French troops officially retreated from the country. 



Portugal colonized Oman around 1507-1650 because of its important position in trade routes. They were driven out by the Omani tribes in 1696. The tribe was led by Saif bin Sultan, who then became the land’s leader after the Portuguese were expelled. After his death, his nephew Sultan bin Ahmad, took over his position and established an alliance with Britain. In 1798, Oman and Great Britain signed a Treaty of Friendship. Under this treaty, Britain guaranteed the Sultan’s rule. In 1856, after the death of Sultan Sa’id bin Sultan Al-Busaid, two sons quarreled over the throne. The British Empire proposed the division of the Omani Empire into the “Sultanate of Oman and Muscat” and the “Sultanate of Zanzibar”.  In 1891, Oman and Muscat became a British Protectorate. Britain granted full independence to Oman through the 1951 Treaty of Friendship, Commerce, and Navigation on November 18, 1650. 



With the authority vested in the League of Nations after World War I, Palestine was one among multiple countries assigned under British protectorate. In 1917, Britain expressed its support to create a “home for Jewish People” through the Balfour Declaration. However, Palestinian and Arab leaders opposed this idea because Palestine was promised to the Sharif of Mecca as a collateral during the war. The United Nations then drafted a partition plan, highlighting the British Mandate of Palestine into Arab and Jewish states. This sparked the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It ended in 1949, declaring Israel as the winner and leaving Palestinians displaced. On November 15, 1988, the country adopted a declaration of independence and was officially named as State of Palestine. The state’s declaration was written by the famous Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish. 



Multiple Arab tribes settled in the land of Bahrain in 1783. For a short time, the country also fell to the Ottoman Turks, and then was assigned under British Protectorate in 1916, similar to the other countries discussed in this module. Oil became the main source of economic prosperity in the island. Abdullah Al Thani, the leader, negotiated with Britain for protection against attack coming from the sea and within their land. In 1968, Britain announced plans to vacate the island. After negotiations with neighboring sheikhdoms—those of the present United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) and Bahrain—Qatar declared independence on September 3, 1971.



Saudi Arabia is one of the few countries who had little experience with foreign powers colonizing the land. The impending idea of being at war with Muslims even outside Saudi Arabia was not a good investment for imperialists. Ottoman Turks were able to control a small portion of the land in 1517, but were kicked out shortly after. Following Ottoman dominance, Egypt controlled Arabia from 1818 to 1824. For the remainder of the nineteenth century, Egypt, Britain, and the Ottomans vied for control of the region. On September 23, 1932, Abd al Aziz ibn Abd ar-Rahman Al Saud established the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.



Spanning their imperial rule around the world, the Ottomans managed to occupy Syria in 1516 and stayed in the land until 1918. With the conclusion of  World War I, Syria was assigned under the supervision of France. From 1925 to 1927, Syrians united against the French occupation in what’s now known as the Great Syrian Revolt. In 1936, France and Syria negotiated a treaty of independence, which allowed Syria to remain independent but gave France military and economic power. Syria is considered to have emerged as an independent country for the first time on 24 October 1945, upon the signing of the United Nations Charter by the Syrian government, effectively ending France’s mandate by the League of Nations.



At the conclusion of World War I in 1918, the Armistice of Mudros embodied a peace agreement between the Ottoman Empire and Allies. The Allies were given the authority to rule over Constantinople (now known as Turkey). 

The War of Independence broke out (1919-1922) led by Mustafa Kemal. He aligned Islamic principles and ideals towards nationalism. On 29 October 1923, the Grand National Assembly proclaimed the Republic of Turkey, and Mustafa Kemal became its first president. In 1934, Kemal was given the title “Atatürk” which means “Father of the Turks” for his role in the Turkish nationalistic movement. 



The Trucial Sheikhdoms (former name of UAE) consists of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharja, Ajman, Umm al-Qaiwain, Fujairah, and Ras al-Khaimah were under a British protectorate. The country declared its independence on December 2, 1971, following the completion of treaties with Great Britain. The United States recognized the United Arab Emirates the next day on December 3.



After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in 1918, the land was divided into two, due to ideological differences and tribal tensions. North Yemen became an independent republic influenced by Saudi Arabia, while South Yemen continued under British supervision until 1967. Yemenis were reunited after Ali Abdullah Saleh (North Yemen) and Ali Salem al Beidh (South Yemen) approved a draft of a “unity constitution” drawn up in 1981. The draft highlighted a demilitarized border and passage of all Yemenis, no matter which side they are on. Efforts toward unification continued until May 22, 1990, the Republic of Yemen’s independence was declared.


In summary, West Asian countries were mostly under protectorate status due to the influence of World War I and the League of Nations. Treaties, referendums, and other diplomatic ways were made to declare independence in most countries.

| Sub-lesson 4: The Fall of USSR and the Rise of North Asian Nations

The failed 1991 coup d’etat and succeeding events gave way to the dissolution of the USSR or Soviet Union with the former inclusive states calling out for their independence.



The Kazakh Khanate began when small nomadic tribes developed a common language, culture, and economy. Later on, Khanate was divided into three Hordes – Great, Middle, and Little Horde – which was a result of political disunion and competition within the citizenry. Outside forces also began to pose a threat to the already divided Kazakh community. To withstand the threats, Little Horde and part of Middle Horde signed treaties of protection with the powerful Russia in 1730s to 1740s. This made way for Imperial Russia to rule most of Kazakhstan. In 1920, the country became a Soviet Republic. Upon the collapse of the Soviet Union, Kazakhstan declared independence on December 16, 1991.



Between 1835-1858, a war occurred between two tribes residing in the Tien Shan Mountains, which the Russians took as an opportunity to establish dominion over the land. At that time, Kyrgyz (locals of the country) were also facing issues with the Kokand Khanate, a tribe from Uzbekistan. Russians did not bother to protect the Kyrgyz people from the khanate’s threat. In 1916, the Great Rebellion of Kyrgyz happened which resulted in thousands of North Asian’s death and massive migration to China. Kyrgyzstan was the first in the North Asian region to join the world’s independent countries on August 31, 1991. 



In 1916, Basmachi revolt by the Tajiks was launched to fight the Tsarist Russia and Soviet ruling. However, the Soviets were able to dominate the revolt. In 1980, Tajikistan had poor living conditions which was a result of Kahar Mahkamov’s attempt to market Tajikistan’s economy. Kahar Mahkamov was the secretary of the Communist Party of Tajikistan. Michael Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Republic, was able to direct Tajikistan’s recovery through the “glasnost” policy. Glasnost policy refers to the transparency of discussing political and social issues within the USSR. The Republic of Tajikistan was formed on September 9, 1991. 



Over the course of time, multiple empires settled in Turkmenistan. It is due to the location of the Silk Road, a route known for trade in ancient history, that is found near the country. The country was known to be part of the Anti-Bolshevik Propaganda. The propaganda encouraged the peasants and working class to fight against the elite and oppressors in 1918. In 1925, Turkmen were integrated into the Soviet Union. The country declared its independence on September 27, 1991.



After the year 1520, the Uzbeks successfully established the Khanate of Bukhara. With the occupation of Persian people at the end of the sixteenth century, the Uzbek states began to fall due to competition in throne succession. A long period of struggle to keep the land’s borders safe continued and it became much worse when the Russians entered the scene. Some Khanates within the land were under the Russian Protectorate.  In 1924, Uzbekistan was absorbed into the Soviet Republic. On August 31, 1991, Uzbekistan gained its independence.

| Sub-lesson 5: The East Asia

East Asian nationalism began to take shape in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a time of profound political and social upheaval. The region’s resistance to Western imperialism and colonialism, the spread of Enlightenment ideals, and international movements for self-determination were the main forces behind this transition. Similar patterns were followed by Korea and other East Asian countries as they fought against foreign dominance and attempted to express their national identities.



Mongolia was a home to various ethnic tribes who were considered as nomads that herds sheeps, horses, and other animals as their way of living. Genghis Khan founded the Mongol empire (year 1206), which was known to be the largest empire in the history of man. His successor, Kublai Khan, was able to conquer China. Civil war rose among Mongols which made it easier for the Chinese Ming Dynasty to conquer them in 1919. Bogd Khan, the last Khagan of Mongols, proclaimed the independence of the country in 1911. His proclamation, however, was not true independence. In 1921, Mongolia was free from the Chinese colonizers and Mongolian People’s Republic was declared.



The first event that sparked Chinese Nationalism was driven by the Opium Wars that happened between 1839 to 1860. Opium Wars were fought by the locals against the British Empire because China attempted to limit the entry of the depressant drug – Opium – in the country. Two wars happened and China failed both, resulting in the surrender of lands and ports to the British Empire. Mao Zedong led the creation of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) on October 1, 1949. This ended the civil unrest between the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the Nationalist Party, also known as Kuomintang (KMT). 



Japan was known for its “closed door policy” which meant that they avoid or limit foreign interaction within the country by opening only one port for each foreign country such as France and the United States. Pre-independence government was called a “shogunate”, led by a “shogun”. Japan became an imperial power and started World War II by bombing Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. The entry of the United States to Japan occurred after World War II (dated 1945-1952). General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers in Japan, encouraged the former Emperor Hirohito to adopt liberal governance practices to rebuild the country. The San Francisco Peace Treaty in 1951 marked the official entry of Japan to the list of independent nations in the world. 


NORTH KOREA AND SOUTH KOREA (Recognized as 2 different countries)

Korea (before the division of North and South) has been invaded, influenced, and fought over by its larger neighbors. Mongols occupied the lands from 1231 until the early 1400s. Imperial Japan followed in 1592 to 1597. The country decided to close their doors to avoid further invasion, hence earning a nickname the “Hermit Kingdom”. Korean dynasties ruled the land independently, but the success of the Japanese people in the Sino-Japanese war of 1894 and Russo-Japanese war of 1904 led to the annexing of Korea to the Japanese Empire. When Japan lost World War II in 1945, North Korea and South Korea were created. In August 1948, the Republic of Korea (R.O.K) in the south was established. The next month, North established the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (D.P.R.K.).



The islands of Taiwan were invaded by the Dutch people from the Netherlands and Spaniards in the early 1700s. The Qing dynasty of China incorporated Taiwan and annexed it as a province in 1887. After the first Sino-Japanese war of 1894–95, Taiwan was given by treaty to Imperial Japan. When Japan lost in World War II, Taiwan was taken under care by the Republic of China or R.O.C, a nationalist party. Taiwan shares a history with China which is why there is a pending question up-to-date if Taiwan is part of China or an independent nation. Starting 1971, the United States and Australia have recognised the People’s Republic of China as the sole legal government of “one China”. According to the writers of Britannica Encyclopedia, the US initially accepted that Taiwan was part of China, but later followed the Australian position of simply “acknowledging” the PRC’s sovereign claim to Taiwan. Taiwan celebrates its independence day every 10th of October. 

| Sub-lesson 6: Land of Diversity, Southeast Asian Region

Southeast Asia’s nationalism arose in the 20th century, mostly in opposition to the forces of imperialism and colonialism. A number of European nations, including the British, French, Dutch, and Spanish, ruled over different areas of the region. People in the region started to feel the effects of foreign domination, which intensified their desire for independence and self-determination. Notable individuals who were instrumental in expressing nationalist feelings and activities were Jose Rizal in the Philippines, Sukarno in Indonesia, and Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam. Following World War II, there was a significant rise in anti-colonial movements, which ultimately resulted in the independence of the majority of Southeast Asian countries. These nations started to establish their own governments and identities, influencing the intricate fabric of Southeast Asian nationalism.



Brunei was a British protectorate in 1888 until a British resident was granted the power of administration in 1906.  Under foreign administration, Brunei’s significance began to revive with the start of petroleum production in 1929. The Imperial Japanese power took over the country during World War II until their loss. British negotiations started for the independence of Brunei. In 1959, the Bruneians were given the chance to self-govern themselves, led by a high commissioner. The Englishmen remained responsible for Brunei’s foreign policy and defense mechanism. Brunei duly gained independence on January 1, 1984, and an Islamic sultanate was established.  



Cambodians were placed under protectorate status of French colony in 1864. Later, it became part of the French Indochina union together with Cochin China, Annan, and Tonkin. Cambodian nationalism, also known as Khmer nationalism, sparked with the leadership of King Norodom Sihanouk. He made an alliance with the United States to claim Cambodian sovereignty. He successfully declared Cambodian independence on November 9, 1953 after French forces retreated from the land, officially ending eight decades of colonial control.



Portugal began establishing alliance with local Indonesian leaders and strengthening military conquest to rule the land in 1600s but they were driven out by the Dutch (except in East Timor), who began colonizing the islands in the early 1700s. Indonesian nationalism was awakened when the Dutch Ethical Policy was mandated. The policy was imposed mainly to spread Dutch culture in colonies such as Indonesia (formerly called Dutch East Indies). The establishment of the organization called “Sarekat Islam” or Islamic Union whose goal was to establish a cooperative against big Chinese traders was one of the many nationalistic movements in the country. On 17 August 1945 the Indonesian nationalist forces announced Indonesian independence after almost 350 years of Dutch rule.



The existence of three independent Laotian states were already recognized in the beginning of 18th century. However, there are constant territorial threat from Myanmar and Siamese kingdoms. Eventually, the Laotian kingdoms began to fight among themselves, that became the reason for Siamese occupation. The French empire came to invade the country as well. Siam then gave Laos to France as a protectorate in 1904. In 1954, Laos gains full independence as a constitutional monarchy as French withdraw following defeat at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu by the Viet Minh.



In 1511, the Sultanate of Malacca was invaded by the Portuguese which marked the start of the colonial era in Malaya. The Dutch had plans for Malaysia and successfully nabbed the lands from Portugues claws in 1641. In 1824, the British colonization of Malays started with the completion of the Anglo-Dutch treaty. The Englishmen ruled the land for 83 years. Tunku Abdul Rahman became the “Father of Malay Independence” and also the first prime minister. The state of independent Malaysia was made possible on 16 September 1963 after successful negotiation between Abdul Rahman and the United Kingdom. 



Formerly called Burma, the land became part of the British empire in 1824 and lasted until 1948. The struggle for independence was manifested through the first Anglo-Burmese War in 1824. The British won, supported by the Indian Army forces. The Burmese people again tried for the second time, which only led to more parts of the country being annexed under the British Empire. Another strife for independence resulted in the third Anglo-Burmese war, which led to another English success. Fast forward to 1947, the British government and Burmese nationalist representatives signed an agreement in London, which provided for Burmese independence from Britain within one year.



Filipino nationalism was embodied by young men and women of the revolutionary era. Three hundred years of Spanish rule made the Filipinos crave for independence due to unjust and inhuman treatment of the Spanish government. The first president of the Philippines, Emilio Aguinaldo, waved the flag of the Philippines which marked the first intention of sovereignty by the Filipinos, however, it was not true freedom from the colonizers. The country was annexed under the United States, and promised to grant full independence to the country as soon as the Filipinos are ready. However, the country fell under Japanese occupation during World War II in 1945, and US forces and Filipinos fought together to regain control. On 4 July, 1946 the Republic of the Philippines attained its independence. However, the country celebrates Independence Day on 12th of June to commemorate the beginning of Aguinaldo’s revolutionary government. 



The Malacca Sultanate of Malaysia annexed the island under its territory in 1398. In 1867, with the successful negotiations between UK and Johor Sultanate settling on the island, the Crown Colony of Singapore was founded. Singaporoeans found themselves under Japanese imposition during World War II. After the war, the British granted partial self-governance to the island settlers in 1963. On 9 August 1965, the Parliament of Malaysia voted 126–0 in favor of a constitutional amendment. 



Formerly known as “Siam” and the people as “Siamese”,  Thailand was never brought under European colonial domination. Thailand was ruled by an absolute monarchy until the Siamese Revolution of 1932 which ousted the Chakri dynasty. On 10 December 1932, His Majesty King Prajadhipok signed Thailand’s first constitution, ending the 700 years of Thailand absolute monarchy. Despite the number of successive constitutions that followed in the span of just over half a century, the basic concepts of constitutional government and monarchy laid down in the 1932 constitution have remained unchanged. The independence day of Thailand is celebrated on December 5 to commemorate the birth of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. He was loved because of his steady influence in the Thai community. 



Timor-Leste, also known as East Timor, is one of the countries who gained their independence during the 20th century. In 1520, the Portuguese invaded the land. It was followed by the Spanish invasion in 1522. Indonesia invaded East Timor in 1975, after a visit from U.S. President Gerald Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, and it is widely believed that the United States gave Indonesia sanction to invade. They remained in the county for 25 years, which was a period of conflict between guerilla organizations and the Indonesian military. The resignation of the Indonesian leader, Suharto, in 1998 paved the way for a referendum in East Timor on August 30, 1999. It was not until the year 2002 when independence was finally achieved by the country. 



Vietnam had an active history of warfare against foreign oppression. Historically, the Chinese people took over the land in the early 1200s. Fast forward to the 16th century, the feudal system of China began to lose popularity in Vietnam. Multiple civil wars infested the country. This gave way to western occupations. The French came in posing as missionaries and traders. The Dien Bien Phu victory and Geneva Accord in 1954 put an end to the war of resistance against the French colonialists. North and South Vietnam was created as a result of this accord. In 1973, the Paris Accord was signed for restoration of peace in Vietnam and withdrawal of the US troops. On September 2nd, 1945, thousands of Vietnamese people gathered at Ba Dinh Square, Hanoi to listen to the Declaration of Independence read by Ho Chi Minh.

| Self-Evaluation Form (Part 2)


Answer the following questions.


  1. How can you improve your sense of nationalism?


  1. How can you embody the importance of nationalism and interconnectedness within the Asian region? 


  1. What important skills should be taught in schools that aid the promotion of nationalistic values? Be specific and describe at least three (3) achievable standards.


  1. To what extent can parents, communities, and other people help instill nationalistic values to a student like you?


List of Activities

| Synchronous Activities


Instructions: Let the students draw themes from the discussion on nationalism. At least three themes is the minimum. Here is a quick and easy to follow guide in doing thematic analysis for your students:



Instructions: Pick 3 countries and complete the chart below.


Instructions: Complete the information needed in the chart based on the module discussion. Compare your answers with your classmate and check for any discrepancy.Students may pick more than 10 countries to discuss.


Instructions: Strategically group the students (may be more groups for a larger class. Ex. 6 groups, 3 sets of matches). Give them sides to represent. Invite them to use the discussion to support their positions.  


| Asynchronous Activities


Instructions: Go to and create a padlet board for this activity. Invite your students to submit posts that examine two countries in South Asia and the pros and cons of their nationalist movements. Invite them to spark a discussion by commenting in other students’ posts too. You can provide 2 or more days for this activity.



Instructions: Using the knowledge gained from discussions, create a poster with an 11×17″ dimension showing the role of nationalism in nation-building. This can be hand-drawn or made digitally. It should be original and without the use of AI.



Instructions: To further students’ interest on nationalism, choose one of online courses listed and submit a picture or screenshot of the certificate acquired. 

Portal 1:

Portal 2:



Instructions: Watch the 12-minute video on youtube titled “What is Nationalism and How Did it Spread? | World History Project by the OER Project” through this link >> and answer the guide questions.

Guide questions:

  1. Write three (3) valuable ideas, concepts, things you have learned from watching the clip.
  2. How do you see the future form of Nationalism after watching this clip?



| Self-Paced Learning (Optional Activities)


Instructions: Pick one country discussed in this module and create a poster that advertises their struggle for sovereignty and why it is important to be preserved. Digital arts are accepted. The poster should be in a short bond paper or 8 x 11” dimension. 


Instructions: Pick from any of the news concerning territorial disputes and nation-building presented below and write a reflection paper with at least 400 words. 

News 1: The Problem of Nationalism by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D

Or scan this QR: 

News 2: America’s Uncomfortable Relationship With Nationalism by Graham E. Fuller

Or scan this QR: 

News 3: Understanding the Constructive and Destructive Natures of Nationalism

Or scan this QR: 


Instructions: Read through 3 articles posted and create a 100-word reaction paper. 

Article 1: Nationalism, Great Power and Conflict in South Asia

Or scan this QR: 

Article 2: Religious Nationalism in South Asia by Dr. La Toya Waha

Or scan this QR: 

Article 3: Teaching Nationalism in South Asia by Ahsan Butt

Or scan this QR: 

Article 4: Nationalism in South Asia and the “Problem of Kashmir” by Vinay Lal

Or scan this QR: 

Article 5: The Nation-State Problematic in Asia: The South Asian Experience by Binoda Mishra

Or scan this QR: 

Article 6: West Asia: Between Tradition and Modernity by Salwa Mikdadi

Or scan this QR:

Article 7: Genetic Nationalism and the Middle East: A Conversation with Elise K. Burton by Ryan Zohar

Or scan this QR:

Article 8: Secular Nationalism: The ‘Cure’ for Middle East Sectarianism by Alp Sevimlisoy

Or scan this QR:

Article 9: The Ottoman Empire – Page 7 – Rise of Arab nationalism


Or scan this QR:

Article 10: Saudi First: How hyper-nationalism is transforming Saudi Arabia by Eman Alhussein

Or scan this QR:


Self-Evaluation Form (Part 2)

Answer the following questions.


  1. How can you improve your sense of nationalism?



  1. How can you embody the importance of nationalism and interconnectedness within the Asian region? 



  1. What important skills should be taught in schools that aid the promotion of nationalistic values? Be specific and describe at least three (3) achievable standards.



  1. To what extent can parents, communities, and other people help instill nationalistic values to a student like you?



| Rubric for Discussions


Excellent Above Average Developing Needs Improvement

The central theme/idea/argument of the student’s output is focused and supported by evidence which indicates mastery of the content.


The flow of the discussion of the central theme/idea/theme is coherent.


The form and presentation of the central theme/idea is clear, persuasive, polite, and easy to understand.

| Rubric for Written Outputs


Excellent Above Average Developing Needs Improvement

The central theme/idea of the paper is focused and supported by evidence which indicates mastery of the content.


The flow of the discussion of the central theme/idea is coherent.


The form and presentation of the central theme/idea is clear and easy to understand..


| Rubric for Creative Outputs


Excellent Above Average Developing Needs Improvement

The artwork clearly presents information, ideas, and/or theme on topic which demonstrates understanding and mastery of the content.


The artwork is meaningful and elicits understanding on the subject.

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