13. Nationalism

it's a complicated lecture today I would talk about nationalism and I do so with a skepticism that of course you'll you'll quickly pick up on aggressive nationalism help unleash the demons of the of the 20th century beginning with World War one with which Unleashed even more dangerous demons after that so I want to talk about about nationalism and particularly I in in a little bit of France but but I in places that one does it usually consider I'll end up drawing on my friend Tim Snyder's work to talk a little bit about about Lithuania and Belarus and why they had their nationalisms were very very different in the second case I didn't really exist at all in the 19th century and I'm going to give a counter example which of course is which I treated in the book but of course is austro-hungarian Empire and and it's funny because one couldn't have imagined I in the 1970s looking nostalgically back on the austro-hungarian Empire this polyglot Habsburg a regime but the horrors of the Balkans really made lots of historians and other social scientists look back and try to figure out how it was that instead of asking why it was the austro-hungarian Empire collapsed during World War a one or really at the end of World War one turning the question round and saying how did it hold together so long so the Austrian Empire is sort of a counter example to to these nationalisms and of course one of the the things that that brought the empire down along with with the war was competing national claims from ethnic minorities within within that those vast domains but I want to start with with a story it's something that it's a book I read all maybe five or six years ago and histories have their history so I'm going to tell the history of this particular book and you'll see kind of what I'm getting at and in the book by the way I sent out one of you had a great idea emailed me saying why don't you send the the terms before the lecture so actually that was a great idea I'd never thought of that and I did it last night though I didn't put this particular book on it anyway the book is Anastasia Caracas II do fields of wheat hills of blood passages to nationhood in Greek Macedonia 1870 1990 when I say that histories have their own history what I mean is the following in this book this anthropologist who is from both Turkish and Greek extraction on either side of her family is writing a book about a small part of Macedonia and Macedonia of course was heavily contested for centuries it was in the middle a trade route went through it in Macedonia there were were Turks and there were Serbs and they were Bulgarians and Macedonians and and Greeks and for centuries they'd all basically gotten along as that part of of the Balkans as you know pass was under the Ottoman Empire and then through a whole series of arrangements that have Wars the Balkan wars before World War one passed back and forth and and and and essentially that that is is one of the points of the book is that basically people go along very very well but that gradually what happened is that among competing national claims that part of Macedonia became seen by Greeks as part of Greater Greece now whenever you heard the term Greater Greece or Greater Serbia or Greater Germany or Greater anything look out because what that means is that in the imaginary of in the view of of nationalists particularly aggressive nationalists that parts of of the territories that have large percentages of a certain ethnic group or even in some cases only minorities but in other cases majorities should be included nomads come what may I in uh in uh in in in the the greater state of that particular ethnic group if you take the example of Kosovo and Kosovo has about eighty five percent of the population are is made up of Muslims of Albanian Muslims and of course Kosovo is his was part of Serbia and when when when Milosevic was talking about greater Serbia it's that greater Serbia for him could not exist unless that's Kosovo with its eighty five percent of people who weren't Serb was included in that well anyway that's another story but what happened with this particular book is that when this book was in manuscript arguing that that basically the idea that Macedonia was Greek was a construction was an invention an invented identity by Greek nationalists the press the university press I guess I shouldn't say this isn't being recorded I shouldn't say which one that was chickened out and decided not to publish the book they one point got a threat saying that that from Greek nationalists saying that I if you publish this book we will blow up your offices in Europe BAM so they chickened out and and quite you know in an example of just utter you know craven cowardice refused to publish the book and so they sent this author him I don't know I've read the book it's a really terrific book I and said you know sorry we're not going to publish your book too bad contract or no contract so University of Chicago Press published the book and when the book came out this particular author received a lot of hate mail and she received a picture of herself with a picture of a Greek flag stuck through where her heart would be so these are fairly serious threats so the point of that is not to jump on Greek nationalists or I'm Serb nationalists so that certainly the Serb nationalists ultra-nationalist have done just an incredible amount of damage and I in the Balkans and over the past the past decades but merely to underline the point that the national identities are constructed and one of the most useful they're invented there in a way imaginary and one of the most interesting sort of historical things you could do is a story is to try to figure out from where do these these these identities come now language pay plays a lot of it may be five-time because I got to do a lot today but just more of a conversation than a lecture five-time I might talk a little bit about about language in the in the case of France but in doing so like most people talking about nationalism I'm drawing on the some of the thinking of Benedict Anderson and his concept of that nationalism in the construction of national self-identity represents imagined communities because basically if you if you consider yourself a member of X nationality you are you are creating links or you're agreeing to links with people whom you don't know people that live in Portland Oregon or people that live in Albuquerque New Mexico or people that live in New Jersey even though we are sitting here in in Connecticut and so one of one of the useful aspects of Anderson's account is is yet again to looking back at the construction of nationalism to see that that here we have that old story that it states and large-scale economic change that are the two driving forces in the construction of national identities now I've gone on you know at least in two lectures and part of another one talking about British national identity and I'm certainly I'm not going to go through that again except to say that that it was precocious lis early the sense of being British and I also argued along the line that that we can now at least for elites say that French national identity began to be constructed in at least by the middle of of the 18th entry but if when you think of the real hotspots the real trouble spots of the 20th century when you think of the origins of world war one which we will be doing thinking out loud together over the next a couple weeks we will be considering a Eastern Europe Central Europe and the Balkans and what's important to understand and here this is a reasonably decent transition from the initial discussion of this anthropologist excellent book is that in most of those places there was no sense of national identity of being Slovene of being Czech of being Croat of being Bulgarians of being Ukrainian or ruthenian the two who are essentially the same until quite late in the nineteenth century and so part of what's going on in Europe between let's say 1880s and 1914 is as an incredible advancement in quotes if you want to call up that in thinking with the emergence of of national identity of ethnic national identity in that identities competing in demanding their own states in that part of the world and of course when in late June 1914 a sixteen-year-old heavily armed guy Serb nationalists I went with my feet in the in the which nor my feet still exist but the places that the steps in Sarajevo no longer exists because of of all the bombing in the place where princeps shot our stoop Fred Francis Ferdinand the assassination that led to because of this the sort of entangling alliances diplomatic alliances that led to World War one that that he was someone who practically could not have existed in the middle of the 19th century even though among serb elites there was there was a national a sense and I'm going to give you some examples taken out of taken from Andersen of even the publication of the very first dictionaries in languages that we now you know that in our quite common for us to to to identify with national states with ethnic national states but in fact the some of these states some of these languages did not even have their own written dictionaries until the middle of the nineteenth century and that's not so long ago so nationalism has to be constructed a sense of self-identity has to be constructed and so that's kind of what I I want to talk about now let me say something at the beginning is that because of the French Revolution and because of the development in in Europe and in other places of parliamentary regimes and democracies it's fairly common to think well national self-consciousness equals a desire for national states and you can't have that with with a monarchy well that's not really true at all I mean that's influence for example by the experience of the United States now the United States the thirteen colonies English was was overwhelmingly the language of the thirteen colonies and they are rebelling at the you know in the with 1776 and all that against other english-speaking people who happened who had a monarchy and so no tannic it's no taxation without representation really became also a kind of an anti-monarchist a sentiment if you think of the Spanish the rebellions in Latin America against Spain there too the rebellion though there were you know millions of people who indigenous peoples who did not speak Spanish but basically was it was a rebellion of of Spanish speakers against a monarch that was Spanish speaking in the case of Spain but if you think about really extreme ethnic nationalism at the end of the 19th century you think of two states who help kind of push the world to the catastrophe that was world war one one has to to appoint the finger at both Russia and in Germany which had autocracies and that the campaign for example this is jumping ahead a little bit but just I'm providing you an overview the campaign of Russification that was undertaken by the Russian Czars a brutal campaign against non Russian minorities was in part a response to rebellions within the Russian Empire by poles for example who rise up in 1831 and in 1863 and are crushed like grapes in 1863 Bismarck the Chancellor of Germany congratulate s' the Czar for for stomping on on the Polish insurgents but the campaign of Russia fication I was part of of the reinvention of Russian national identity and I talked my talk about Peter the Great I talked about how he was what you know so himself is this great Russian Patriot well I think the Russian aggressive Russian nationalism picks its targets rather systematically in campaigns of Russia russification and the big pogrom the massacres of Jews in Odessa you know in Crimea and in other places are cheered on by the Russian czar by nicholas ii whom i will talk about when it when I get to the Russian Revolution who saw this is a healthy thing that the Jews are being beaten to death by real Russians and this was part of his his campaign of Russia fication in the case of Germany you've got this sort of you know madcap loser wilhelm ii you know cracking bottles of champagne or not of champagne but of reasoning as i said over over over big speedy battleships powerful battleships and all of that and and so nobody was more nationalist aggressive nationalist than ville the second the Kaiser who kept saying rather disingenuously that he was the number one German and all of that so we can get rid of the idea that that that strong national identity necessarily has a parliamentary outcome I mean the case of Britain will we're not going talk about it too much but the case of Britain is pretty interesting too but there you have a monarch without real power but Victoria represents in the imaginary of the British citizens what you know the stability and the really the constitutional settlement of of the British Empire but yet a couple points you know need to be made is that that language is important in all of this and though not always and maybe 5-time will give a Swiss example later on but basically in the case of Russian and German nationalism and French nationalism and even Spanish nationalism because of the dominance of Castile one looks back to the time when national languages are which already existed are used and become identified with this self-identity of national people now Latin was the language I mean Latin was the language of of science of diplomacy of everything and it really part of it that what's intriguing about the about the Scientific Revolution is that that important about it is that that the vernacular languages begin to to be used as a way of communicating a scientific discoveries there's a little bit in that chapter that you read about that and certainly language is closely tied to national national self-identity and of course one of the ways when nationalism is is is most aggressive and most vulgar is when very ordinary people whipped on by elites in some ways are urged on by elites began identifying people who don't speak the same language is somehow it's somehow not part of this Imagi community you know and the obvious example would be the you know all the Hungarians who after the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 and the subsequent treaties named after Paris suburbs are included in in Romania and are treated as you know as outsiders and this is very important even in the origins of the 1989 revolution that brought down the dreadful to chest use dictators in in Romania but anyway you know the vernacular develops if you exclude you know the cases of Spain of Spanish Latin America rebelling in Spain and Americans rebelling against against the British the development of these these languages in the use of the languages and their identity with this imagined community is obviously a very important part of of this as well and with the development of the concept of being a citizen and no this is why the French were many reasons the French Revolution is so important that you were no longer the subject of the king you're a situation or if you're female you're a situation now citizenship takes on this kind of linguistic aspect as well during the French Revolution there was a revolutionary priest called the Abed Gregoire I think I mentioned him in the book and and he thought that the all of these regional languages should be squished like grapes because somehow they stood in the way of of a true French national identity you know the whole language that made it so terribly complicated because in the case of Italy which is sort of a in some ways a counter example I think I said before but it's still it's true that at the time of Italian unification only about four or five percent of the population of Italy of the whole boot and Sicily spoke what is now considered to be Italian the case of Frances is which I know more about it is is equally fascinating because of the time of the French Revolution half the French population did not speak French there was a lot of bilingualism but they did not speak French and if you imagine a map of France I think I went through this very quickly before but if you imagine a map of France and if you start at the top they spoke a near lone day or Dutch uh in Dunkirk in places like that and if you move over to Alsace and and much of the hen they spoke a German dialect there and that would be a majority language until well after World War one I mean that and how the French tried to get rid of the German is another story of sort of national aggression even in the context of Germany's defeat after war one and then if you move further south as you go to sub wah which was don't write this down but savoir was it was annexed to France in 1860 people spoke essentially piedmontese which is the language spoken in northern Italy in the state of the strongest state of Italy piedmont-sardinia and then you go further down and they spoke what they spoke Provencal Provencal as in Jean de florette and mine only sauce and and and these these provençal poets sitting up at a place called labo and in freezing in that and the winds of the Mistral and reading each other Provence all poetry then you go to a long Dork and they spoke Okita which is a language of och I mean it's a southern French language it's a written language you go to Catalonia and they spoke Catalan no surprise there you go into the Basque Country and they spoke Basque which is only remotely connected to to finish in magyar that is those are the three hardest languages in Europe I mean how they got there that's another whole story you know we don't really know if you go north they spoke gas coal if you go into Brittany they spoke a Breton which has nothing to with French at all of Latin and then but even in places that didn't have languages there were patois and plot-wise a sort of denigrating term this is what they speak patois in others they don't speak really French but in central France they spoke one pot why and the Limu zom they spoke another patois that was related to that one even in the Loire Valley people spoke patois so this did not condemn them to eternal backwardness and one would say that that in the construction of French national identity that you know there was an argument a long time ago by my late friend Eugen Weber that said that all French national identity had to be constructed between 1880 and 1910 because of railroads military conscription and education railroads military conscription and education it's easy to see how that would work but in fact I mean he missed one of the complexity of this glorious country is that you you know it that lots of Breton soldiers didn't learn French until they were in the trenches if they were lucky enough to survive in World War one and they still spoke Breton in in the eighteen in the 1920s and 1930s and they're still old ladies in Brittany that still speak Breton and their command of French's is is a bit problematic or in Corsica there still have many people to speak Corsican they may or may not feel like they're French so it's in bilingualism I'm out just a little aside in the village where you know I spent half my life actually the last almost in the last 25 years or so people spoke patois and not French through the 1930s and then that really sort of disappeared and now older friends of ours understand patois but they don't speak it and I had something from a book for as I did and I needed someone to lead someone to look at to make sure that what I'd written in patois was correct not that I wrote it but I took from something and he and my friend my Bible partner Lou yeah his parents spoke that as their main language but he couldn't correct it he because he it's just those languages are disappearing yeah but the the point of all this is is that now the more we know about national self-identity it's possible to have more than one identity and it's also just a leap of faith to say oh well so and so who are you you ask who they are well that they're going to say well I'm German or I'm friends it's going to be the first thing that they're going to say they may say I'm from this village or I'm from this family or I'm from this region or I'm Catholic or Protestant or Jewish or Muslim some response like that but yet what we think of these of nationalism we think of these languages as being motors for elites first and then ordinary people to demand states that the borders of states be drawn in a way that reflects their ethnicity and after World War one the Treaty of Versailles you've gone to war over the whole damn question of nationalism you know all these millions of people get killed dying in terrible ways they don't gasp and and everything else flamethrowers and machine guns and all the stuff that will what we'll talk about and so they say well jeez you know if we draw the lines around these people's and give everybody a state that'll be cool and then we won't have Wars anymore so they get all these big maps and these map makers and they try to draw these state boundaries of the after the collapse of the the four empires and it doesn't work you can't do it and then you've got winners and you've got losers and so if we get to punish the losers like Hungary then you leave hungry this sort of small country with much of its population living on the other side of borders and either imagining that that should still be part of Hungary or wanting themselves to live back in Hungary where there'd be nothing for them at all but yet the period we're talking about in the period that I began with you've got these kind of this mobilization of elites saying holy cow we need our own state and remember our line already gave you a lecture to go all these checks sitting in 1848 in a room like this and not quite as nice and they say geez if the ceiling falls and that's the end of the Czech national movement but but between 1848 the springtime of the people's in 1914 you have millions of people who a couple decades of before that had absolutely no sense of being Slovene or very little sense of being Slovene or Slovak or you know Trotter or whatever who are suddenly you know making national demands and and and and wanting to have a separate state within the context for example of or to be independent from the Austrian Empire and one of those people was the sixteen-year-old boy Prince who blows the brains out of franz josef out of out of Franz Ferdinand and his wife when this car backs up the wrong street in Sarajevo though there were some of his friends were out there trying to get him to so that's just a way of kind of thinking a thinking about you know about that that stuff now I'm okay let me give you a couple examples here I wrote down Ukraine Ukraine is a huge country huge important country very contested relationship with Russia now because of of having got Crimea and Russia wants to have Crimea and and all this highly contested relationship because of the number of Russians who live in in Ukraine and and all of that and for Ukrainians the sense that Ukraine always exempt existed is always taken as a given the first Ukrainian grammar book and this is not dissing Ukrainians or anybody but I'm just saying the reality is that the first Ukrainian grammar book was published not in 1311 or in 1511 but in 1819 is the very first one the first Czech German dictionary you know if you're going to have a national identity you got to have a dictionary so you can translate things between German and Czech it's published it's a long publication process 1935 to 1939 a-to-z the first Czech national organization the one I just described starts in 1846 now that's pretty recent the first Norwegian grammar book which is distinguished Norwegian as a separate language and a separate identity from say Swedish and Danish is not till 1848 a grammar book and the first a dictionary that is separating making a distinction between Norwegian and Danish isn't until 1850 and that's what I mean about you know about the construction of national identity is that you know you have to have you know that you have to have a sense that you are part of this amad and community now let me having said that before I talk about a counterexample yes yes yes let me do this like that why not let me let me give you a couple examples that that I hope make the point and these I'm drawing from from from Schneider that let's look at why at the end of the 19th century Lithuanian nationalism develops Lithuania you know Lithuania capital Vilnius big tall basketball players like sabonis who played in the NBA you know that why Lithuanian nationalism rapidly develops but only at the end of the 19th century and Belarusian nationalism doesn't develop at all until way in well it's even pushing it to say in the 20s and 30s now there's this huge Belarusian I was ignored in Poland various times I go to Poland there I was there was a huge dinner with all these Bela Russians who were most of them were dissidents and are there to discuss the history of Bela Russia but not in the none of them would be claiming that Bela Russia had an identity had a self-identity before the 1930s but listen we need existed Lewthwaite ii was part of the polish-lithuanian commonwealth which exists basically until the last partition of poland in 1795 when poland gets munched boofie by you know by the great powers but but so who do these people think they were well they think they're polish they consider themselves polish and poles already had a basis for nationalism they had a written language they have heroes show pas there's one Chopin didn't go to Paris by the waiter you know as a refugee from Russian repression he went there to further his musical career but anyway he wrote there lots that had to do with Prussian with a Polish national themes folklore and all of that and so there were dukes there have been dukes of Lithuania grand dukes but they never published didn't accept Lithuanian as a language and if they wanted to get anywhere they tried to pass themselves off as poles pilsudski a name you'll come back to who destroyed the Polish Republic as one after another of European states goes authoritarian in the 1920s and 30s pilsudski who was the hero of the miracle the Vistula River when the Polish army turns back the Red Army you know it you know at the end of World War one and just sort of amazing you know moment till Zeus key himself you know was his son considered himself i–listen sidered self lit he was Lithuanian I but he consider himself polish he was absolutely a Lithuanian but yet there was a Lithuanian language but it was not spoken by the elites so who spoke the lithuanian language it was spoken by the peasants so at the end of the 19th century you suddenly got all these intellectuals these Lithuanian intellectuals and Grand Dukes and priests and various people saying wait a minute we are Lithuanians and happily the Lithuanian peasantry has saved our language from the last Lithuanian Duke who spoke Lithuanian died before Columbus discovered America Tim Snyder informed me so something they say Oh baby these Lithuanian peasants instead of just being we won't treat them anymore as the scum of the earth they have preserved our language for us and suddenly you have poets writing in Lithuanian and it's no longer a disgrace to be seen as a Lithuanian there was a one of these poets a guy called a cootie Raqqah who died in 1899 he recalled when he was in school as a Lithuanian he had a smart Lithuanian kid he says my self-preservation instinct told me not to speak in Lithuanian and to make sure that no one noticed that my father wore a rough peasants coat and could only speak Lithuanian I did my best to speak spoke polish even though I spoke it badly polish it's a terribly difficult language there's all these sort of squiggly things that you know they just it doesn't things don't pronounce like it's supposed to but you think they're supposed to be and I don't do very well at picking in Polish but when my father and other relatives visited me I stayed away from them when I could see that fellow students or gentlemen were watching he was embarrassed to be basically Lithuanian and the son of a Lutheran peasant I only spoke with them at ease when we were alone or outside I saw myself as a pole and thus as a gentleman I had imbibed the Polish spirit but it's only you know by the end of the century he sees himself as a lift away nyan and he is one of these people who is pushing Lithuanian nationalism and it is it is embraced now how does this physically happen I mean how do you don't wake up and say oh well I was polish yesterday and a subject of the Tsar because in Poland is divided between Prussia Austria Hungary and Russia but if you were in the Russian part of what they called Congress Poland and suddenly today I'm listening how does that happen well because Lithuania is next to Germany and this is also something will make you again think of what I said about the Enlightenment is that lots of literature is smuggled in to into Lithuania in Lithuanian and so therefore there's this wilder profusion of Lithuanian literature that comes into that comes into Lithuania which of course as you know what's not was not independent it's part of the Russian Empire and and so there's another reason to which is for the russian imperial secret police the ones that they're really worried about they're worried about the poles because the poles after all of it risen up in 1831 and in 1863 and so they're on the lookout for people or they're say hey i'm polish we want a polish state and it will pay much attention they don't really care about these lithuanian x' who are discovering their own self-identity who are constructing their self-identity now why does it happen in belarus i don't have time to tell you very much about this but the main thing is that belarus is a long way from anywhere at the time there isn't any kind of elite in Belorussia that embraces belarusian any thing and so the language is not seen part of a national self-identity that basically does not exist and would not exist until at least after World War one ah and now you know Lithuanian will look back on their country as if Lithuania it always had to serve self-identity but but you know it was part of the part of the polish-lithuanian Commonwealth and and that was more basically a Polish operation than it was a territorial thing more than any kind of construction of to two peoples participating in this this thing furthermore you know Bella Russians could not allowed to publish in in Belarusian and where Lithuanian priests begin giving sermons in Lithuanian and you've got all the sort of written material coming in in the vernacular the nobody read Belarusian in church there were no priests to to say that this is that this is our language and Bella Russians who were literate could read Polish or Russian or both but in in many cases not what would become Belarusian at all and so by the end of the 19th century when you've got this these other people claim insisting that we're Slovenes and we're this and that Bella Russians speakers call themself Russian if they were Orthodox they called himself that is Orthodox religion they call themself polish if they were Roman Catholic and if they were simply looking out for themselves they just call themselves local they said we are part of we live in the Russian Empire and that's who we are there was no sense of being Belarusian so there are different outcomes in in all of this stuff now having said that yeah this is we're going to get there we're going to get there let me give you another example I want to I want to find this date that'll make you at least you know think realize that you can have a national identity and have more than one one language it's very complex I guess the the interesting case now would be Belgium which I don't have a lot of time to talk about but in Belgium I have a friend who who works in the in the Belgian Ministry of Culture in Brussels in about seven years ago I asked him I said you think you think Belgium will it will exist in ten years and he said I hope not this guy works for the Belgian Ministry of Culture and this reflects the sharp antagonism between between Flemish who basically live in the north and east but above all the northern parts of of Belgium and who are more prosperous and who are more numerous about say fifty five percent of the population and their tensions with the Walloons that is the French speakers you know Liege and and our own in all those places and then and then also in Brussels which is technically part of a part of the flemish zone but because of the bureaucracy and because belgium is of brussels is the most important city has become this sort of third place hotly contested by the flemish and real serious tensions there if you ask in french you know what time the train is – – beluche ah you know they're not going to reply and they know perfectly well and they just simply won't reply and pretend they did it not not all of them but there's a serious tension for a component also by the fact that there's going to be not everybody but the far-right is really is really really tied to Flemish self-identity and the Walloons that is the French many of them want to be attached to French speakers want to be attached to France see their lives is very different also that the Walloon part of Belgium is basically the Rust Belt and that the Flemish part is very very a prosperous in comparison but yet Belgium which didn't exist till 1831 legally didn't exist anyway the revolution in 1830 and 31 is still there by the way there's also 5% tacked on after Versailles around italico you've been who speak German but anyway there we go but Belgium is still there and it's possible when I sit when I'm in Belgium which I am frequently I think that I think now this is really Europe because of the complexity of it and so you can have a national identity without having you know a single dominant language if the two sides are tolerant well let me give you another quick example and then we got a rock and roll onto the aage Empire so Woodrow shortcut no not austria-hungary right guys save time zone aah Empire but what about Switzerland here you've got Switzerland what is it I if I remember correct this correctly statistics I think the French population speaking French population is 22% german-speaking or Swiss annoyed speaking population is about oh maybe 71% or something like that you've all you've got a lien speaking population about 5% you also have another language called Roman – which is spoken only by a few hundred thousand people and so that's that's a one two three languages already plus English because of the international role of Geneva is the fourth major language fourth recognised language in Switzerland but you know in Switzerland where if you think of you know Switzerland now is so prosperous and it was full of chocolate and full of banks and full of watches and and and all that you think everybody yodeling in cows you know running around and everybody's very happy and eating perch out of the other lakes but but you know so but Swiss have to create this sort of sense that that they have always been a nation but of course they haven't and well Switzerland decentralized Federalist nature of Switzerland was always there – during the Reformation to say somebody was turning Swiss method they were rejecting the demands of their Lords their Lords and rejecting the religion imposed by their Lords and turning to Protestantism if they were in a Catholic area or to Catholicism if their own process in the area and and the Swiss were were big time mercenaries ah and and and and big time farmers but Switzerland I fought its last war in early in the 19th century has been neutral and it's very complicated story what happened in Switzerland or two it's very tragic it's which the Swiss did not you know they turn so many Jews back at the frontier and send them back to to the Germany and laundering Nazi money and all that and you know I'm not dumping on the Swiss but it's a complicated story in the case of of their neutrality but um so they decided in 1891 on the sixth hundredth anniversary of what of the Swiss Confederation that Switzerland began in 1291 that a bunch of people got together with between all the cows and eating chocolate and and all that stuff and the day they announced that they were Switzerland and so so here's again what I mean that what Anderson means about this our imagined community that you're inventing a kind of date that you said well we've we've been like that since then and that's all there is to it but if you've got all these different languages and the languages are not as far apart as French and Dutch well in a way they are because Dutch is really what they would not see it that way but is it a German dialect but nonetheless the Swiss are a lot better at learning each other's language then the French speaker certainly are at learning learning Dutch which they view as impossible and don't like the kid they don't like having their kids having to learn it in school and all that it's terribly complicated but so they imagine this community but it exists I mean special exists people have a sense of being Swiss despite these different languages they're not the disparities economic disparities that are there are between urban and rural life but nothing like the disparity between the Flemish parts of Belgium and Belgium and and the French parts of Belgium if you exclude Brucella Brussels in all that now but let me and in the last five minutes and seven seconds that is allotted to me let me end with the counter example which you can read about and I said at the beginning inspired by the sheer horror of the Balkans and some of you aren't old enough to remember you know certainly not my god I am you know all the stuff that happened in the 90s but you are the late nineties you could probably remember all the massacres and stuff like that and I said at the very beginning of the hour or the beginning of the 50 minutes that people now tend to look long way back and they say geez you know the Austrian Empire sure lasted a long time you had 15 major nationalities it was kind of a balancing act you've got becomes the dual monarchy in 1867 where the Hungarians have more or less equal rights the two – you've got Austria you've got a hungry but you've got another 13 peoples at least 13 peoples living within the Empire you've got the cross who have their own nobility and they're kind of given favourable so that they can you know that so this whole thing is sort of balancing like that but how does the place stay together how does austria-hungary stay together I end that one of those chapters that chapter with the this very famous scene from from from the Parliament in Vienna where you've got these different ethnic groups playing drums and singing songs and trying to disrupt the speeches by by people from the other nationalities and you've got all these problems with the South Slavs wanting a at least minimal representation as sort of the third state in quotes between along with austria-hungary how does the things stay together well basically in this way I'm just telling you briefly about things that you that you can read about but I just want to make some sense of it first of all is that the Empire the language of the Empire is German and to get somewhere in the austro-hungarian Empire you need to know German and so learning German becomes a kind of a social mobility the way that learning French becomes for somebody from Gascony a form of social mobility you can get a job in the bureaucracy if you're going to have a huge old humongous Empire you know going all the way to the rugged terrain of bosnia-herzegovina you know you got have you got to have officials in their little hats and their little desks who are going to be running all this stuff and you've got to have a language and so the language of the Empire is German and so this is not me mean that people feel that they're German I mean after all I mean they're not German they're they're they're German speakers within the Austria you're in Empire but it gives them in allegiance to this apparatus secondly the middle class the middle class is German largely German except in Budapest whereas its Hungarian but but still many Germans live in Budapest as well and one of the things that I wish I had time to talk about but you can't talk about everything is that what you've got in these cities and I mentioned this just a reference the other day cities of all of Eastern Europe and Central Europe you have current Athens ation of these cities because all of the cities whether you're talking about Budapest you're talking about war Sawyer you know any we're talking about have even Vilnius you have straw large German populations and also large Jewish populations and in the course of the last decades of the 19th century you have the survival of of peasants estonian peasants and italian of czech peasants in the prague of hungarian peasants into budapest of lithuanian peasants into vilnius etc etc but you still got in the austro-hungarian case you still have even in Budapest you still have a large middle class that is fundamentally German and believes in the Empire next you've got dynastic loyalty you've got this this this old dude Franz Josef who I had who had been there since 1848 you know he lives till 1916 the same guy and and that that makes Victoria seem like she had a short reign and people are you know people have an allegiance to this dynasty I mean the Habsburg dynasty had been you know had been dominant in the central Europe until they can test the Prussians and lose out you know in the in the war of 1866 so you've got this this Franz Josef also you've got the church you've got the Catholic Church now there are lots of Protestants for example in in in in the Czech lands in Bohemia where as Slovakia is almost overwhelmingly Catholic in what would become Czech Czechoslovakia and then divorced in amicably enough in 1990 93 and Croatia is is overwhelmingly Catholic aggressively so and so despite the fact you have these huge Muslim enclaves and in the old what had been the Ottoman Empire you still have this church is a unifying force not for everybody certainly not for the Jews not for the gypsies of who are the Roma who are very many there and not not for Protestants and not for Orthodox Serbs which is part of the tensions there as well because they saw Russia as being their protector you can read more about that but that that's another thing and finally about the army the army is a form of social promotion as well you know the army doesn't have the bad reputation that the French army did for for you know shooting down young girls protesting young women protesting in strikes it doesn't have the reputation that the brutal guard is Sevilla that did in in Spain the army is seen as seen as a useful way of representing the Empire it has a good reputation and German the language German is is is the language of command and so these soldiers are and the soldiers are drawn from all of these nationalities they at least have that in common and so the most of them to conclude the most important question to ask about this Empire particularly in reference to what I've been saying about this whole hour is this to not look at you know why it came apart but to look at how it held together so long and given the horrors perpetuated on Europe by aggressive nationalism from then and even before as during the French Revolution to this very day sometimes and I never thought I'd ever say this about me looking nostalgically back to an empire but it is an interesting and at least food for thought so on that note bon appetit and – see you on Wednesday

Maurice Vega

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