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Nationalism A Modern Phenomenon.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Anthony Cantor

Nationalism: A Modern Phenomenon I. What is a nation? Civic vs. ethnic nationalism? II. Nationalism & Liberalism? III. Revolts & Revolutions, 1815-1848 IV. 1848 Revolutions: Springtime of Peoples? *Samuel Smiles reading Nationalism: modern phenomenon; population w/ characteristics that bind it together & that therefore has the right to self-determination; became primary for sovereignty & expression of political rights -in medieval & early modern Europe, “nation” referred to a geographic/linguistic/cultural community, not as a political category of political & cultural sovereignty Nationalism & the French Revolution -“The principle of all sovereignty resides essentially in the nation. No body nor individual may exercise any authority which does not proceed directly from the nation.” –Declaration of the Rights of Man (1789) -but what is a nation? -shift from subject to citizen; emphasis in individual identity instead of being a passive subject of a king Ernest Renan (1823-1892) -“What is a Nation” (1882) -“To have done great things together and to wish to do more, those are the essential conditions for a people.” -a community that has acted together & wanted to continue to act together in the future -“The existence of a nation… is a daily plebiscite.” -referendum: people commit themselves to help the community everyday -he dismissed the idea of the nation is objective, that it occurs naturally: it owes its existence to the continuing allegiance to guiding principles (sometimes called “civic nationalism,” like that of the Fr. Rev., b/c membership is defined by loyalty to founding principles) -“ethnic nationalism” (captures its guiding principle) or “romantic nationalism” (capturing its time) arose throughout the 19 -century Romanticism -Romantics reacted against the Enlightenment (as they understood it) -existed in territories conquered by the Fr. & Napoleon, & saw themselves reacting against the Fr. philosophes; maybe humanity isn’t so universal -Passion & emotion elevated over reason & intellect (Rousseau was a connecting person between the Enlightenment & the Romantic period) -Romantics said peoples aren’t just shaped by reason/rationality but by emotions & the natural world around them -peoples are fundamentally diff. w/ diff. spirits & characters -Reality of human experience in the soul, not in the mind, the heart rather than the head Joseph de Maistre (1753-1821) -Fr. Rev. “an insurrection against God” (why he’s conservative) -“Man cannot create a constitution” -“In the course of my life, I have seen Frenchmen, Italians, Russians; I even know, thanks to Montesquieu, that one can be a Persian; but man I have never met.” -arguing for particularism against the revolutionary talk (ex. Declaration of the Rights of Man…) about the idea of universal “man”; rejects the inclusiveness of civic nationalism Johann Gottfried Herder (1744-1803) -Common national iden
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