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Past questions Quotes o Nationalism Nationalism o Nature o History o Invention and uniqueness o National peculiarities o Comparing national histories
'It is imagined because the members of even the smallest nation will never know most of their fellow members'. o Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities. That 'a people dissatisfied with the present will grasp at any version of the past'. o Angus Macintyre. 'Un passé qui ne passe pas' o Eric Conan on Vichy France. 'In 1817, motivated by the burning desire to contribute to the triumph of constitutionalism, I set about searching in history books for proofs and arguments that would support my political ideas'. o Augustin Thierry. Marxism-Leninism is 'the unified materialistic theory of social development'. o Peter Bollhagen. 'The theory of nationalism represents Marxism's great historical failure.' o Tom Nairn, The Break-up of Britain. "The "Hungarian rock surrounded by the Teutonic-Slavic sea". o The poet Mihály Vörösmarty. "We must admit that by ourselves we are not a great state." o Francis Déak. "[T]he Slavs are not fit to govern, they must be ruled". o Count Julius Andrássy. "What is certain is that he was neither a Czech nor a German… For this reason, Count Taaffe was to a certain degree objective and unbiased with regard to national strivings". o A journalist. "Be tough! The Czech skull is impervious to reason, but it is susceptible to blows." o Theodor Mommsen during the Badeni crisis. "Our citizens of the non-Magyar tongue must… become accustomed to the fact that they belong to the community of a nation-state, of a state which is not a conglomerate of various races". o Stephen Tisza, Hungarian PM in 1913. That "the history of the world ought to go before the history of England". o John Morley. I am "an enemy of modern France". o Hippolyte Taine.
Disciplines : nationalism
2 Nationalism Nature
The question of what a nation actually is has tormented historians. o Establishing objective criteria is next to impossible.
Stalin's definition is perhaps the best known.
For him, a nation was an historical entity with a community of language, territory, economic life, and culture.
But constant exceptions can be found. o Eric Hobsbawm simply opts for the vague definition of a large number of people who think themselves to be a nation.
Hobsbawm has focused on invented traditions that underpin nationality. o Nationalism holds that the political and national unit should be congruent. Benedict Anderson described a nation in Imagined Communities as an imagined political community. o Imagined because none of its members will ever meet everyone in the nation.
'It is imagined because the members of even the smallest nation will never know most of their fellow members'.
Or understand everything in it.
All communities larger than face-to-face villages are imagined.
They exist only in people's heads. o He points out that nations do not create states and nationalism.
But that states and nationalism creates nations. For Ernest Gellner, the nation is a total invention. o Not the awakening of a nation to self-consciousness.
But the invention of a nation that does not exist. The question is whether writing about the nation-state legitimises it. o Making historians, perhaps unwittingly, propaganda agents for nationalism.
Their choice of historical framework is inescapably political.
Robert A Rosenstone has argued that the historian is part of history. o He has led an understanding of self-reflexivity.
Incorporating the nature of a historian's present into their craft. o At once a recorder of the past.
And a manifestation of the present.
Shaped by his own cultural, and therefore national, circumstances.
A reflection which should be acknowledged in the works.
Not a scientist, as Leopold von Ranke and the German school insisted. The nineteenth century saw the impact of this German school of history.
Disciplines : nationalism
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