Nation states have swept the globe since mankind has begun the struggle for power. The United States, Germany, and China are all great example of how the nation state has grown from being a small scale epidemic to "not only the dominant form of polity but virtually the only one," (Sivers, Desnoyers, & Stow, 2012, 748). Though each of these nation states was formed differently, the United States, Germany and China nation states share a lot of similarities, but also a lot of differences. Each was formed in its own particular way, but started in the same--war. The unification of the United States, Germany, and China can all be compared and contrasted on a level that all people can come to understand.
Though the colonies were free from Great Britain's rule in 1783, it is truly hard to say when the colonies actually became the United States--the Union--because during the revolution the colonies showed no unity except for one goal; to separate from Great Britain. The Declaration of Independence was written in 1776 and it did not state anything other than the fact that the states were free from the rule of Great Britain and free to govern themselves. After years without formal government, the Articles of Confederation were written in 1787 and still, they did not offer any nationalism, no continuity of the American identity; they showed no federal government, only power to the states. According to Abraham Lincoln, "The Union is much older than the Constitution. It was formed, in fact, by the Articles of Association in 1774 . . . in 1787 . . . the Constitution was 'to form a more perfect Union,'" (Roberts & Tarver, 2012, 70). So the American nation state was formed from the first piece of governing paper--The Articles of Association. The formation of the nation state is much different than of Germany or China. Germany was formed through ethno linguistic nationalism as the American nation state was formed through a patriot movement. China differed from both of these by taking a purely scholarly pursuit to nationalism--which may be the very reason it failed.