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Hobsbawm Summary

by: Keyanna Alexander

Hobsbawm Summary GLST 1000

Keyanna Alexander
GPA 3.6

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About this Document

Review of the required reading from "The Age of Capital" by Hobsbawm
Global Experience
Dr. Joshua Nadel
Class Notes
global, nations, democracy, nationstate, Politics
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Keyanna Alexander on Sunday February 14, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to GLST 1000 at North Carolina Central University taught by Dr. Joshua Nadel in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 27 views. For similar materials see Global Experience in History at North Carolina Central University.


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Date Created: 02/14/16
Keyanna Alexander GSLT 1000­02 Dr. Nadel February 15, 2016 Hobsbawm Summary Chapter 6: Building Nations Starting in 1848 countries claimed independence and nationality. These included  Germans, Italians, Hungarians, Poles, Rumanians, Czechs, Croats, Danes and others. With the  claiming of nationhood there arrived the “Eastern Question”: how to redraw the map of  European Turkey (amongst other countries). A similar issue occurred in Habsburg Empire when  different nationalities demands included everything from cultural autonomy to secession.  The belief of Nation­Building was a logical, necessary, and desirable transformation of  “nations” into sovereign nation­states, with territory defined by the settlement of members of a  “nation,” which is defined by a past history, common culture, ethnic compositions, and language. Nation­Building doesn’t make sense because these criteria are not met in non­nation­states, but  they still claim territories with differing groups (nations). Historic nationhood focused on the  importance of the institutions and culture of the ruling classes verses Ideological nationhood that  believes no people should be exploited and ruled by another.  When claiming nationhood, nations put emphasis on folk heritage to argue separation,  because they may have the same language as their ruling classes. Small nation, an un­historical  or semi­historical nation, prosed a dilemma to the traditional theology of nation­states.  Traditionally, nation­states must be progressive, suggesting that it is of substantial size. Unification was placed in nations wanting independence to give them that size of  progression. For example Yugoslav is a state to unite Serbs, Croats, Slovenes, Bosnians,  Macedonians and others, but they do not believe they come from the heritage that makes a nation of people. Giuseppe Mazzini: believed that Europe should consist of 27 nation­states, where all  smaller nations would be integrated, with or without autonomy. Believed that identify small  nations as nation­states would undermine the progression of larger nations. Unification of  countries lead to the classification of local languages to merely dialect. This would give  argument to making the elitists’ language to be the official language of the nation­state. For  example Italy’s official language is Italian, but many people speak Savoyards (a language/dialect closer to French). National European choices with small nations include, denying their existence, reduce  them to reginal autonomy, or accepting them. Majority of the time the greater nation­state choose to deny their claims to independence. This then lead to the issue of creating nationalism. Nation­ state vs. Nationalism: After Italy had been established from Alps to Sicily, only 2.5% spoke  Italian on a daily basis. They were Italian geographically, but not culturally. To enforce  nationalism, educational and propaganda were used to unify the local elitists under the umbrella  of the nation­state, and then trickled down to the more traditional or poor sections. Mass  nationalism also correlated with economic and political development.  Czech Nationalism: bourgeoisie founds a Czech bank, National theatre, Sokol gymnastic  clubs, etc. Austro­Hungarian Compromise:  series of vast open air mass rallies, termed  “meetings”. More direct than the middle­class nationalism of Italy or Germany. Irish Republican  Brotherhood (Fenians): Irish Republican Army, lineal descendant of the secret revolutionary  fraternities from before 1848, making it the longest living organization of its kind. Support came  entirely from the popular masses. Their criterion for nationalism was Catholicism. The  movement only worked with the triumph of liberalism. The Fenians generated the force to win  independence from England, but left the leading of the newly independent nation to the middle­ class moderates, rich farmers and tradesmen.  Education was used in developing nationalism through propaganda, teach the official  language, and unify the national heritage. Minorities demanded their own schools in order to not  have to force a different culture on their children to be literate.  Many of the Jewish people were bilingual Yiddish – native language and whatever  language of their neighbors. Their nation did not receive the same advantages as others because  they did not have an official language or territory.   The paradox of nationalism is that once it is established it automatically creates a  counter­nationalism where citizens must choose to assimilate or be inferior. Liberalism believed  nationalism was malleable. The US assumed immigrates would leave their nationalism behind to  assimilate into Americans. Immigrates instead became more consciously proud of their  nationality.  Chapter Seven: The Forces of Democracy Focused on the fact that the masses opinions counted, not necessarily what they were.  The masses were considered “numerous, ignorant, and dangerous.” The line between the middle­ class and inferiors were becoming blurred through social mobility and educational progress. The  masses were also capable of rebelling again if they felt that their interests were not being  considered. The Second Empire of Louis Napoleon was an experiment on political management  of the French masses. Napoleon was the first European elected official. He worked to “enforce  their interest in their own name.” France was the first European country to have universal  suffrage. Aristocrats relied on their historical property to achieve political influence while petty  bourgeois were able to control to votes of the working or lower class.   Liberalism was popular because of its support of Manchesterism, the only economy  policy that made sense for development. Called “The Left.” “The Right” resisted the belief of the forces of history. They wished to slow down progress in the fear that developing too fast would  lead to another revolution. Choosing sides most likely tied to their economic trade. The Catholic  Church was outwardly Conservative, as seen in Pope Pius IX’s “Syllabus of Errors.”  Karl Marx founded the International Workingmen Association, which worked for  working classes rights and was considered a socialist organization. Lassalle’s General German  Workers Association was radical­democratic and was the only Marxist mass labor movement.  Their rival group was the Social Democratic Party. Both groups would eventually merge to  create Social Democratic Party of Germany. The Marxist movements would go on to fail in  every nation that tried to start a mass labor movement. 


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