Nicholas Doumanis

in Before the Nation

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199547043
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191746215 | DOI:

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This chapter explains how a robust multi-ethnic society was destroyed within a relatively short time frame, which might appear to indicate that communal relations had in fact been tenuous. In fact, the destruction was the result of political violence and not generated by communal differences. The argument forwarded here is that communities were compelled to focus on their differences by ten years of relentless violence perpetrated by agencies (states, politicians, paramilitaries) that were determined created nations as homogenous cultural spaces. The cumulative effect of the violence was to turn Ottomans into Turks and Greeks, although these transformed peoples resisted complete acculturation by maintaining nostalgic memories of a pre-national order of communal harmony. Nostalgia in this case represented a form of resistance.

Keywords: Balkan Wars; First World War; greek-turkish war; nationalism; ethnic conflict; political violence; nostalgia

Chapter.  16351 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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