What Are Some Examples of Ethnocentrism in World History?

Ethnocentrism is the belief that one’s own cultural background and values are superior to those of other cultures. This mindset has been prevalent throughout history, leading to conflicts between different groups of people. Here are some examples of ethnocentrism in world history:

The Crusades

The Crusades were a series of religious wars fought between Christians and Muslims during the Middle Ages. The Christians believed that their religion was the only true faith and saw it as their duty to convert others to Christianity.

This led to a clash with the Muslims who believed in Islam. The Crusaders saw themselves as the superior culture and believed that they were doing God’s work by converting others to their faith.


During the Age of Exploration, European powers colonized various parts of the world including Africa, Asia, and America. The Europeans believed that their culture was more advanced than those they found in these regions.

They imposed their language, religion, and customs on the native populations without regard for their traditions or beliefs. This resulted in a loss of cultural identity for many indigenous groups.

World War II

Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime is an extreme example of ethnocentrism in modern history. Hitler believed that Germans were a superior race and sought to eliminate other cultures he deemed inferior such as Jews, homosexuals, and people with disabilities. He also wanted to conquer other countries and impose German culture on them.


Apartheid was a system of institutionalized racial segregation enforced by the government of South Africa from 1948 until 1994. The white minority government saw itself as superior to other races such as blacks and Indians. Non-whites were subjected to discrimination in areas such as education, employment, and housing.


Ethnocentrism has been a common mindset throughout history. It has led to conflicts between different groups of people and has caused harm to those who have been subjected to it. It is important for us to recognize the value of different cultures and respect them rather than imposing our own beliefs on others.