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Just like being an atheist does not prevent me from recognizing the reality of the religious experience, being apatriotic (what do you exactly mean by apatriot, DoDo? Are you inventing the term? In Spanish we have apátrida, but that means basically "stateless") does not prevent me from recognizing the reality of the national experience.

Western Europe's national identities started to form in the 15th century and were fully formed by the end of the 17th century. This coincides with the establishment of authoritarian monarchies to replace the feudal order. The  authoritarian monarchy and the nation developed in parallel and it is hard to argue that one clearly caused the other.

The failure of Spain to annex Portugal and the way that England's annexation of Ireland ended up not lasting have to do with the fact that both annexations happened in the 17th century.

The authoritarian monarchy gave way to the absolute monarchy (17th to 19th centuries), under which the national identities were more or less frozen. There was a second wave of nationality formation staring with the democratic revolutions of the 19th century.

I understand that, to some extent, Central and Eastern Europe followed a different path as nationality formation was influenced by the existence of four multi-national empires: Germany, Austria-Hungary, Ottoman and Russian.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 14th, 2006 at 07:34:22 AM EST
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