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It's either ideals and idealism or Blut und Ehre.  Or a Kantian or Hegelian combination.

However France is really the first nation-state; when one looks at borders, demographics, and language.  The French revolution was pretty homogenous.  All of Europe was, especially in demographic maps - except the Balkans, the Balkans look like a polka dotted skirt.

French Republicans!  This is why the aristocrats patronized the German Romantics to write against Napoleon through folklore to propagandize the peasants to fight against their interests when Napoleon was setting up republics, especially in the Rhineland.  Their influence thankfully ended in the rubble of Berlin in 1945.  But Heinrich Heine was ranting about this

But that was supposedly the Great Experiment of the Enlightenment in the US, the beauty was that it was not a nation-state but rather a country made up of several nations.

I am not trying to defend anything here, which is reality today.  I just want to point out what the original purpose was and what a patriot meant.

Obviously, that failed when we had the first Constitutional Convention and they compromised on slavery, our original sin - the fruit of the tree so to speak.  Then it was even easier to sin further with the genocide of the Native Americans afterwards.

But yes, I agree, the Bolsheviks were indeed cosmopolitan in that they wanted a world-wide movement rather than a local national movement.

"Schiller sprach zu Goethe, Steck in dem Arsch die Flöte! Goethe sagte zu Schiller, Mein Arsch ist kein Triller!"

by Jeffersonian Democrat (rzg6f@virginia.edu) on Wed May 6th, 2009 at 05:57:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
However France is really the first nation-state; when one looks at borders, demographics, and language.  The French revolution was pretty homogenous.

Yes and no... It is debatable whether the French nation even existed at the time, at least in any for m that would be recognisable today...

All of Europe was, especially in demographic maps - except the Balkans, the Balkans look like a polka dotted skirt.

And Austria-Hungary. Unless, of course, you count those as "Balkans."

And the Netherlands. And Belgium. And pretty much everywhere on the edges of what would later become Germany.

The point here is not that the border revisions were huge. They weren't, by any stretch of the imagination. The point is that they were often extremely vicious and de-stabilising.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed May 6th, 2009 at 06:06:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
However France is really the first nation-state; when one looks at borders, demographics, and language.

That's correct in my view. The assimilation process started at the end of the 100 Years War, with the absolutist kings applying it already when pushing their borders West towards the Rhine. Still, it wasn't finished until WWI... or maybe not until the loss of Algeria (which was legally part of Metropolitan France).

The French revolution was pretty homogenous.

Nope, that's quite far from the truth.

The French Revolution was primarily a Paris thing, but France was so centralised that that was enough. There was a pretty nasty civil war Southwest of Paris: the Vendée uprising. The educational and official language measures of the French Revolution did much to create a French cultural unity at the same time it triggered other nationalisms in resistance (especially Pangermanism) when applied Europe-wide under Napoleon. Even then, the Italian/French/local identities in Provence, Savoy and the upper Po basin didn't sort themselves out for a century. (Or more, if you watch Fernandel's border guard identity crisis comedy in La legge è legge.)

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

by DoDo on Thu May 21st, 2009 at 05:21:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
(cont.)

pretty homogenous.  All of Europe was, especially in demographic maps - except the Balkans look like a polka dotted skirt

Nah, the rest of the Habsburg Empire looked like a polka dotted skirt (in some areas it still does), not to speak of the hazy German-Polish and Polish-Russian (resp. Belorussian/Ukrainian/etc.) borders. Those were 'sorted out' with WWII and mass deportations afterwards. All apparent ethnic homogeneity was created with blood and deportations and assimilation, maybe except for Iceland.

the aristocrats patronized the German Romantics to write against Napoleon through folklore to propagandize the peasants to fight against their interests when Napoleon was setting up republics, especially in the Rhineland

How much was it the aristocrats' doing? After all, the nationalists tended to be liberals, which got them in conflict with aristocrats by default -- not to mention pure power interests in keeping their local power vs. pan-German calls (something the nationalists would decry very effectively as "provincialism").

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

by DoDo on Thu May 21st, 2009 at 06:20:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
blood and deportations and assimilation
Otherwise known as "nation-building"...

How much was it the aristocrats' doing?
My feeling is that the aristocrats often were a cosmopolitan anti-national force. Married into other noble families in other nations, split loyalties and so one, and maybe most importantly, the national idea was mainly pushed by the royal (ie central) power as a means of controlling and weakening the aristocrats and strengthening itself. At least here in Ultima Thule.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sat May 23rd, 2009 at 07:42:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
propagandize the peasants to fight against their interests when Napoleon was setting up republics, especially in the Rhineland

Or rather, setting up puppet states to consolidate his empire. You should realise that Napoleon's propaganda was for his time like Bush's for ours.

But yes, I agree, the Bolsheviks were indeed cosmopolitan in that they wanted a world-wide movement rather than a local national movement.

That's not fully correct, and this happens to be the subject of a diary I planned years ago but which couldn't get itself written.

World Revolution was a basic communist concept; and internationalism was a key point in the original split between Social Democrats and communists/socialists. But the Bolsheviks in Russia gave up on World Revolution pretty fast after the Revolution. They even felt the need to underpin this deviation from classical Marxism ideologically, e.g. the possibility of "socialism in one country". Thereafter, relations with communists elsewhere became foreign policy, that is, they were in the service of a country's interests.

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

by DoDo on Thu May 21st, 2009 at 06:29:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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