Reasons for and consequences of separatism within and across national borders

8 August 2016

Separatism is the wanting or succession of being separate and splitting from a main country, usually because they no longer identify with the main body they are attached/part of. As a result, they feel isolated and excluded from the main body and wish to no longer be a part of it, which can often result in peaceful separation from that body, however it is sometimes very violent and may bring about more negatives than positives.

Separatism is often the result of certain needs or reasons that the majority of a population in one area agree with, these reasons include reasons like feeling economically isolated, minorities with different cultures or ethnicities that simply do not belong to the main body, the feeling of being exploited by others, the natural collapse of the state, splitting it into many smaller states. As a result of this, there is many consequences brought about, for example the aim is often succeeded, which is the establishment of clear, separate states or countries, the protection of a language, the growth of political parties, terrorism and civil war.

Reasons for and consequences of separatism within and across national borders Essay Example

The majority of the consequences are positive, however the negative consequences are never felt softly, they are always hard hitting globally, for example the violence that the separatism of Timor caused. Sometimes separatism will be forced upon people who didn’t want it as a result of greed(The partition of Bengal) or due to the nature of the time, for example the separating of East Germany and West Germany following world war 2.

One of the main reasons of the willingness of separatism is a difference in religion beliefs, as a difference in these beliefs is usually a very strong one and in certain areas of the world there is no limitation of religious oppression, often resulting in people dying as a result of religious oppression. As a result, people are often willing to go very far to support their own religious beliefs, this includes separating from a country in order to avoid differences in beliefs and conflicts.

This is very evident in Sudan, which was once the largest country in Africa until it separated in 2011. This is an example of religious conflicts causing separatism as the Christian people were struggling under the rule of the Arab Muslim north and so they felt like independence was needed to separate the Muslim north and the Christian south. The situation in Sudan shows clear consequences of what happens when countrys separate when it’s related to a sensitive topic, such

as religion, and it isn’t dealt with properly, as the borders were not made clear in Sudan it has resulted in a lot of violence, and on top of that, the majority of the resources went to the south, showing a very unfair scenario of separatism, but also highlights how sometimes separatism isn’t just black and white. That there’s a lot to take into account, the resources, the terrain, the population, and if these aren’t all considered and taken into account, the consequence will more than likely be violence, as evident in Sudan where around 690,000 have been displaced along with many needless deaths.

Another example of a cause of separatism is oppression and nationality, the idea of being feeling oppressed and wanting to be separate and free. There is many examples of this in history, the most famous being the US declaration of independence where the US felt oppressed by the English and wanted to be separate and no longer colonised. This is another example of separatism that is often very violent and causes a lot of deaths. An example of this is Timor where Portugal ruled east Timor until 1975, where they withdrew, and almost instantly after the Timorese declared independence, Indonesia invaded and used violence to take over.

As a result of this, there was many uprising and revolts, and in 1991 the Indonesian people retaliated by opening fire on a memorial procession, killing around 300. As a result the Indonesians were pressured into allowing an independence referendum. This shows an example of a nationalist-separatist movement where a nation resists annexation from another state who only aims to exploit them, and as a consequence, there was unneeded deaths and violence, but a separate East Timor was established, which was the aim all along.

Separatism doesn’t always have to be violent or cause violence, and often it doesn’t, as the cause of separatism often correlates with the consequences of the separatism, for example a non-violent political dispute for separatism will often result in a peaceful separation. An example of this is Scotland, which also provides to be an example of not only feeling economically feeling isolated from the main body (The U. K) but also provides as an example of a country that feels like it is being exploited with England using the north sea oil and gas reserves, and on top of that,

nationalism. The entirety of the push for separatism for Scotland has been peaceful and political, and as a clear consequence of this, there has been no violence, but also there will be a preservation of the native Scottish culture and preservation of its separate education and legal system from the U. K. Essentially, Scotland is already separate from the U. K, except with the other countries using the resources within the Scottish boundary which is why there is an uprising on Scottish nationalism in the first place, along with the fact that being separate will benefit them immensely.

In conclusion, while separatism is almost guaranteed to cause conflicts, the expression of this conflict doesn’t always necessary have to be violent, it can remain peaceful, and often the expression of wanting separatism being peaceful usually results in peaceful consequences. However it is also fair to say that sometimes the violence is unavoidable, such as places where oppression is high and freedom is low, however it is very easy to say that violence could easily be avoided in places where conflict is the result of things that need not cause violence, such as religion and differences in opinions.

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