A History of Nationalism in the East

A History of Nationalism in the East

A History of Nationalism in the East

A History of Nationalism in the East

Excerpt

This book treats of the nationalist movement in the New Orient. It does not seek to recount the history of the countries and peoples concerned, but rather, as far as is possible in relation to the immediate past, to trace the main lines of evolution in the history of political thought; for it is upon this that outward events are based and to it they owe their significance. The movement dealt with in this book is going on in all countries inhabited by other than the white races. It has proved its power in Japan and China, is already stirring in Annam and Tunis, and can be detected even among the negroes.

But this book is confined to the forms assumed by the movement in the territories stretching from Egypt to India. Not only is their history typical and in some respects an example to the movement elsewhere, but they have this in common, that British policy and British civilisation have exercised a decisive influence upon them. In the past century Europe has affected alike the political history of the Oriental peoples and their intellectual and economic development. That influence did not reach its full strength till the beginning of the twentieth century; it has brought about a profound change, not only in the external destiny and the constitutions of those peoples, but also in their economic organisation and their intellectual and spiritual outlook. It has been exercised chiefly through the agency of England, and since 1917 of revolutionary Russia, which thus continued the previous Russian Asiatic policy in a fax more effective form. The most powerful factor was the World War which, like the Thirty Years War and the Napoleonic campaigns, was merely the outward expression of inward changes in man's historic consciousness. Its influence in the sphere of political geography and constitutional law was, indeed, decisive; yet that was slight in comparison with its intellectual and social effects, which will appear in their full force only in process of . . .

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