Liberalism and Identity 4

Liberalism and Identity 4 - th century – a militaristic...

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Militant nationalism – identity theorists argue that militant cultural nationalism emerged as the most powerful force in 19 th century Europe, as a more powerful idea than competing liberal nationalism and socialist nationalism. Rising nationalism in general led to the dissolution of the Concert of Europe system, as statesmen like Bismarck viewed no other duty than the advancement of one’s own state’s national interests. This is more than the expansion of power – it involves the primacy of one’s own national culture as superior to others. Prussian militant nationalism became irredentist – Bismarck sought the unification of all German speaking peoples – this was particularly the case in Alsace-Lorraine, controlled by France, but populated by German-speakers. This was combined with a strong sense of militarism – led to the creation of conscripted armies who would fight for their nations – this began with Napoleon in France, but was carried through into the 19
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Unformatted text preview: th century – a militaristic culture emerged in Germany. This can be seen in the literature of the time; a sense of malaise permeated Europe; many have argued there was too long a period of peace – Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front, where the young soldiers are swept away by militarism, and Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain, which takes place in a tuberculosis sanitarium that serves as an allegory for a decaying Europe. When world War I broke out, people all over Europe were cheering in the streets. This combined with a Social Darwinist interpretation of life – nations would compete and the strongest would survive – thus, one sees the coming conflict painted by leaders as a national struggle for survival – of Germans against the French, and Germans against the Slavs in Russia and Eastern Europe. This form of militant nationalism overrode emerging liberal nationalism and sot nationalism....
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