Zionism is the movement for the re-establishment of the Jewish people's self-determination in their homeland and the resumption of Jewish sovereignty in Eretz Israel (the Land of Israel).
In 70 CE, the Romans destroyed the Temple and razed the city of Jerusalem, the religious and administrative capital of the Jewish people. Jewish independence came to an end, and in the decades that followed, most of the Jews in Eretz Israel were exiled. They never stopped hoping to return home, and expressed these yearnings in prayer and literature. At the end of the annual Passover meal, Jews all over the world repeat the vow Next year in Jerusalem, and at Jewish weddings the groom recites If I forget you, Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its cunning (Psalm 137).
The Jewish connection with Eretz Israel is not manifested in prayer alone. In fact, throughout history, there has always been a Jewish presence in Eretz Israel.
In the late nineteenth century, as national movements took shape in Europe and as antisemitism on that continent grew, an Austrian Jewish journalist, Theodor Herzl, began to organize the national movement of the Jewish people - the Zionist movement.. The goal of this movement was a political solution: an independent state for the Jewish people. The most natural place for this state was Zion, or Eretz Israel, the homeland of the Jewish people.
Herzl elaborated this vision in his book The Jewish State. He envisioned a developed, thriving country in which all inhabitants, Jews and non-Jews, would live in peace and tranquility. This vision and its fulfillment are Zionism.