Thursday, June 7, 2012

More lessons: Europe on the Eve of War

This will be a condensation of the points made by Remak in Chapter 3, "How Deep the Trouble?

1, The existence of the national state, and nationalism.
"Actually, the argument for this point of view suggests, the national state was a relatively novel institution, replacing a feudal system in which differences of class, faith, guild, and estate had, on occasion, mattered far more than national dividing lines."  (p.61)

{INSERT: "But it was not so in the thirteenth century.  There a man of international influence . . . could also be a man of international nationality.  The names of nations and cities and places of origin did not connote that deep division that is the mark of the modern world."
Chesterton, St. Thomas Aquinas, "The Runaway Abbot."
"Nevertheless, there was a queer quality in that time; which, while it was international is also internal and intimate.  War, in the wide modern sense, is possible, is not because more men disagree, but because more men agree.  . . .  In that age men disagreed even about war; and peace might break out anywhere.  Peace was interrupted by feuds, and feuds by pardons."

"An aspect pf things that made this development [of the national state] especially explosive was that the limited kind of warfare that had characterized past ages was becoming a nostalgic memory -- partly because of the advances in technology, but in even larger part, because it was no longer a case of Florence fighting Venice or of Tours having it out with Angoulême.  Instead, it was one nation against another: all of France against all of Italy, with the concomitant release of hatreds and energies that had no equivalent in either the civic rivalries of the middle ages and the Renaissance, or in the comparatively civilized cabinet wars of the age of absolutism.  National passions, oprganized or spontaneous, had entered the scene."

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