Jingoism is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as "extreme patriotism in the form of aggressive foreign policy". In practice, it refers to the advocation of the use of threats or actual force against other countries in order to safeguard what they perceive as their country's national interests, and colloquially to excessive bias in judging one's own country as superior to others – an extreme type of nationalism.
The term originated in Britain, expressing a pugnacious attitude towards Russia in the 1870s. During the 19th century in the United States, journalists called this attitude spread-eagleism. "Jingoism" did not enter the U.S. vernacular until near the turn of the 20th century. This nationalistic belligerence was intensified by the sinking of the battleship USS Maine in Havana harbor that led to the Spanish-American War of 1898.
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