Birth of Nations- 19th Century Nationalism

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HIS - History
HIS - History HIS 231
Eric Zuelow

th 3/5 Birth of nations (Nationalism in 19 C. Europe) Agenda -The nationalism debate -Origins of European nationalism -the 1848 revolutions and german unification Nationalism Debate What is a nation, and when is a nation? What: There is a distinction between states and nations, but nations are subjective. States have clear borders, institutions and the legitimate use of force. Nations: have certain common identifying features, language, history, culture. It it an ethnic community? Blood? Biological? Racial? Modernity theory-benedict Anderson: a nation doesn’t actually exist, its imagined. A belief in soothing in common that differentiates one group from another. Represents a “deep, horizontal comradeship.” Vertical relationship: class differences Horizontal relationship: class doesn’t matter What about jews representing a national community? All you need is for them to imagine themselves as part of that community. What we think is often more important than reality. This belief is a powerful concept people are willing to die for. Problem is, we want to know how population feels, and to know that we must get in their heads, which requires literacy. Literacy expresses nationalism, but literacy for all people is not necessary til the industrial rev. only the elites can express nationalism prior to that. Identies are very fluid concepts, but legitimacy is established by longevity. French Rev- first nation with horizontal relationship. Liberte, egalite, fratenite. Industrial Rev- leads to formation of nations. Prior to rev. life is intensely local, but the rev requires that languages and accents blend and become more national. New traditions are incented. A collective purpose, building the empire ,is in lace. Define a nation by it’s common goals? Task-create traditions. So take existing cultures and turn them national Sir Walter Scott makes up all sorts of ridiculous traditions for Scotland when king comes, cements national pride and the short kilt. Czech folk stories turned into national operas. Germany unified in 1871, now culture must unify. Richard Wagner- the musician of the landscape of Germany. His operas are on such a grand scale a new opera house must be built
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