Nationalism: Its Meaning and History

Nationalism: Its Meaning and History

Nationalism: Its Meaning and History

Nationalism: Its Meaning and History

Excerpt

Nationalism has been one of the determining forces in modern history. It originated in eighteenth century Western Europe; during the nineteenth century it spread all over Europe; in the twentieth century it has become a world-wide movement, and its importance in Asia and Africa is growing with every year. But nationalism is not the same in all countries and at all times. It is a historical phenomenon and thus determined by the political ideas and the social structure of the various lands where it takes root.

An understanding of nationalism and its implications for modern history and for our time appears as fundamental today as an understanding of religion would have been for thirteenth century Christendom. Like religion, nationalism can present many and most diverse forms. Only a study of the historical growth of nationalism and a comparative study of its different forms can make us understand the impact of nationalism today, the promise and the peril which it has carried and continues to carry for the liberty of man and the preservation of peace.

Miss Lorraine Waxman has been most helpful in preparing the manuscript for publication. I wish to express my thanks to her.

HANS KOHN

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