sec·​tion·​al·​ism | \ ˈsek-shnə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce sectionalism (audio) , -shə-nə-ˌli- \

Definition of sectionalism

: an exaggerated devotion to the interests of a region

Examples of sectionalism in a Sentence

a nation divided by sectionalism
Recent Examples on the Web Prior to 2018, Texas schools even taught that states’ rights and sectionalism—not slavery—were the main causes of the Civil War. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, "158 Resources to Understand Racism in America," 4 June 2020 Teaching Tolerance said this teaching obscures the institution of slavery’s influence on factors like sectionalism, states' rights and economic disagreements. al, "Alabama’s black history runs deep, but some students skim the surface," 1 Mar. 2020 Alabama’s standards require students to identify sectionalism, slavery, states’ rights and economic disagreements as the reasons why Alabama succeeded from the union. al, "Alabama’s black history runs deep, but some students skim the surface," 1 Mar. 2020 The state curriculum for seventh-grade history expects students to explain reasons for Texas' involvement in the Civil War, including states' rights, slavery, sectionalism and tariffs. Fernando Ramirez, Houston Chronicle, "Texas school to discontinue assignment asking students to draw themselves as a slave," 12 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sectionalism.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of sectionalism

1847, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of sectionalism was in 1847

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Statistics for sectionalism

Last Updated

15 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sectionalism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Sep. 2020.

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How to pronounce sectionalism (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of sectionalism

chiefly US : a tendency to be more concerned with the interests of your particular group or region than with the problems and interests of the larger group, country, etc.

More from Merriam-Webster on sectionalism Encyclopedia article about sectionalism

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