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Jingoism is a more extreme form of patriotism that advocates for an extremely hawkish foreign policy. It is usually the result of a more hardcore form of nationalism in which one believes that one's own country has a superior belief system and culture to those of every other country. This leads many jingoists to advocate an aggressive foreign policy, as they either believe they must spread their ideals or that it is simply their right to exploit other cultures. In some cases they just may want to make an "example" out of another country. It is often used by dictatorships.


The term first came into widespread usage in America in the 1890s in reference to the Republican Party's aggressive support for the annexation of Hawaii. The term was also used to refer to the Spanish-American War and Teddy Roosevelt's foreign policy.[1]

Countries that used to have colonies in Africa and Asia have also been called jingoistic, notably Britain and Belgium.[2] This air of hawkishness and nationalism was a factor in the outbreak of the First World War.

Jingoism has also been used to describe the foreign policy of European fascists who believed war was good because (they thought) it settled the question of which country was the "greatest," encouraged national unity, and boosted the economy.[3]

The Cold War-era United States was arguably a recent manifestation of jingoism; the U.S. and its allies would meddle in other countries' affairs in the name of fighting the Commies, though the word could also apply to the USSR's foreign policy of attempting to spread communism wherever possible. More recently, the term has been used to describe neoconservatives who supported the Iraq War in the name of spreading capitalism, democracy, and other "American values." A more traditional, less subtle "jingoistic" attitude can occasionally be seen on Fox News.[4]


“Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business.” - Jonah Goldberg (psst, he's serious[5])

"Jingoism, racism, fear, religious fundamentalism: these are the ways of appealing to people if you’re trying to organize a mass base of support for policies that are really intended to crush them." - Noam Chomsky[6]

"It is the same in all wars; the soldiers do the fighting, the journalists do the shouting, and no true patriot ever gets near a front line trench, except on the briefest of propaganda tours. Sometimes it is a comfort to me to think that the aeroplane is altering the conditions of war. Perhaps when the next great war comes we may see that sight unprecedented in all history, a jingo with a bullet-hole in him.” - George Orwell, Homage to Catalonia[7]

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