What is not a race : Language and Nationalism

05 Dec

When we think about the differences between two different nations, first of all usually assume that they speak two different languages. (The biggest exception – United Kingdom and the United States – the country, consisting mainly of English-speaking residents.)

Almost every nation in Europe, spoke their own language. The language may be more important than political loyalty. People with a common language have a common literature, and therefore shared traditions. resident of the island of Cyprus feels that he has more in common with residents of Greece, than with English-speaking people who manage them. When Hitler told the Germans, he meant not only the population of Germany, but also all those anywhere else in the world considered German as their mother tongue.

This identification of the European nations on a common language, and not in accordance with the political unity, is known as nationalism.

Nationalism is sometimes ended with the formation of nations. For example, in the beginning of XIX century the Italian peninsula was divided pa small, independent type of education of Naples, Sardinia, Parma, Modena and Tuscany. All of their people spoke Italian. In addition, residents of some parts of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Lombardy and Venice, also spoke in Italian. Through a series of wars, which were attended by these Italian education headed by Sardinia, they were united in the Kingdom of Italy.

Similarly, many small states in Central Europe under the leadership of Prussia, subjects who speak German, were united in Germanskuyu empire.

On the other hand, nationalism can and destroy the state. In the Austro-Hungarian Empire, lived people who spoke different languages, such as Polish, Serbian, Romanian, Italian, Czech, lice, they were more or less dissatisfied with the fact that they run by people who spoke German. After the First World War and the defeat of Austria-Hungary, these “subject peoples” have formed their own country, or by joining neighboring independent peoples who speak their native language.

The problem of nationalism has not disappeared after the First World War. Many of the problems that led to World War II, affected the German-speaking population that lived outside the borders of Germany, especially in Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland. Since the Second World War nationalist manifestations grown in countries that have long been colonies or became so recently, it was in North Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

Is it then the languages are so characteristic, by which we can divide humanity into races? Of course, language is a more accurate indication of the community of people than the political community in which they live.

For example, everywhere in Europe there are German-speaking colonies. Before World War II, they were very far from Germany – on the Volga River in Russia. Half a million people living on the Volga, descended from the Germans brought in the XVIII century by Catherine the Great.

Because they lived on the Volga, one would assume that they are – Russian, if not for the fact that they managed to preserve the German language.

Since 1795-th to 1918 on the map of Europe in general, there was no country called Poland. Yet for nearly a thousand years until 1795, Poland existed. It was divided Prussia (which later formed the main part of Germany), Austria and Russia and, surprisingly cartographers, disappeared. However, residents of a vanished Poland maintained their language and sense of kinship with each other. When all three empires, swallowed it, were defeated in World War I, a new Poland.

Thus, the language is preserved, even when the nation is defeated and dispersed, and not only within the borders of Europe. France previously owned by Canada and a third of the territory that is now the United States. Her political rule ended in 1763 and Canada in 1803 in the United States. Nevertheless, minority of the Canadian population (mainly in the province of Quebec) is basically still spoke in French, and traces of the French language remained in the U.S. state of Louisiana.

A similar case with the Dutch language P Pennsylvania. The Dutch lived in Pennsylvania since the formation of the American nation, and they still speak a dialect of German, thus pointing to his German origin.

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Posted by on December 5, 2009 in Historical


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