Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
In line with my rejection of the 'nation' concept, I won't speak of 'multinational empires' either.

Absolutist (and not just absolutist) kings defined nations - and the big problem of the romanticist/Enlightement idea of the nation was that while replacing the Empreror with The People, the latter had no clear definer - it had to be invented. And 'nation' concepts then struggled with each other for people and land, broke apart or unified or pushed out each other. You could have called France a 'multinational' empire too, but unlike in the case of the Habsburg Empire, most of the people in the areas once under the control of the French king were assimilated by the Ile-de-France (or just Paris) French-ness.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 07:11:19 AM EST
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