The Birth of the Language of Nationalism

Maurizio Viroli

in For Love of Country

Published in print October 1997 | ISBN: 9780198293583
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600289 | DOI:
 The Birth of the Language of Nationalism

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Focuses on the emergence of German nationalist theories that prioritized the spiritual and cultural unity of a nation over the political liberty of the ancients. Herder stressed the cultural unity of the Fatherland that transcends political divisions. He prizes the natural and emotional inclinations for the purity of a nation in contrast to rational, political associations. Schlegel, Fichte, and Hegel emphasize the common history of the German people as the source of spiritual unity. For these thinkers, spiritual unity and freedom, though possessing the tendency for exclusiveness, are prior to political relationships of equality.

Keywords: fatherland; Fichte; Germany; Hegel; Herder; nationalism; nature; politics; Schlegel; unity

Chapter.  17559 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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