Cosmopolitanism, Patriotism, Nationalism

Siegfried Weichlein

in Unity and Diversity in European Culture c.1800

Published by British Academy

Published in print October 2006 | ISBN: 9780197263822
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734960 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Cosmopolitanism, Patriotism, Nationalism

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With the French Revolution, the ‘nation’ entered a new phase as a model for political order that replaced corporate societies and triggered a large-scale process of emancipation and modernisation in European societies. Until the eighteenth century the political order in central Europe was organised along other lines, such as the state, the Reich, the monarchy, or the republic. That changed dramatically between the Seven Years War and around 1800. Despite its thorough universalism, Enlightenment in Germany combined universalism with patriotism, a rather unlikely combination in the twentieth century. For most educated authors in the age of Enlightenment, cosmopolitanism and patriotism were not opposites, but complementary. How, then, did contemporaries in the late eighteenth century conceptualise cosmopolitanism, patriotism, and nationalism, and relate them? How did they explain the complicity of cosmopolitanism and patriotism? This chapter outlines different answers to these questions relating to the period between the Seven Years War and around 1800.

Keywords: Enlightenment; Germany; cosmopolitanism; patriotism; nationalism; Seven Years War; Europe; universalism; political order

Chapter.  9257 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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