Why Nationalism is Sometimes Evil and Sometimes Holy

The Orthosphere

“Towards the east they level their bayonets against nationality, towards the north they level them for nationality.” 

Carl Ferdinand Allen, On Nationality and Language (1848)

Carl Ferdinand Allen was a nationalist historian and a Dane, and in this line he exposes the opportunism of nineteenth-century German attitudes towards nationality.  When Slavs to the east resisted German expansion on the grounds that they were Slavs, the Germans said nationality was a dangerous delusion that must be destroyed; when Germans to the north, in in what was then the Danish duchy of Schleswig, invited German expansion on the grounds that they were Germans, the Germans of Germany said nationality was a sacred compact that must be preserved.

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