“From the empire to the nation-state” is probably the indisputable argument that the post-World War II social science has positioned modern history. In the past two decades, some strange terms have appeared in history and historical social sciences, such as nation-empire, empire of nations, and imperial nationalism, which seem to indicate nationalism. The relationship between nation states, empires and imperialism is not as simple as imagined. In contrast, historical social sciences have seen a shift from studying nation states to studying empires. This “empire turn” is precisely because the study of nation-states and nationalism in classical social sciences can neither deal with the complexity of modern history nor accommodate new issues. As a result, empire studies have emerged at the historic moment since the new century, and nowadays it is a grand view.
Take only three widely cited masterpieces in the field of world history as examples, The Birth of the Modern World by the British historian CABayly (2004), the American scholars Jane Burbank and Cooper (Frederick Cooper), The History of the World Empire (2010), and the German historian Jürgen Osterhammel, The Evolution of the World
(2014), no longer regard the nation-state with a relatively short existence as natural, necessary and necessary. First, the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth century were still the era in which the empire dominated world politics. The nation-state, as a major state organization, did not become a reality until the decolonization movement in the middle of the twentieth century. So far, it has not been more than 70 years. Secondly, at least for modern European empires, state building and empire building are not the same, but two sides: the core nation of the empire is the foundation of the expansion of the empire, and the expansion of the empire has consolidated its national identity. Third, the old empire may not be a nation state (s), but may be a new empire on the old territory, or at least a multi-ethnic state with a strong empire tradition; even if the empire becomes a nation state, the process It is also extremely tortuous, often not caused by the nationalist movement. Finally, the empire and nation-state as two forms of governance are not clear-cut and may be a continuum in concept and practice. In reality, pure nation-states are very rare, and many of them act as empires in the name of nation-states. Many empires have accommodated different ethnic groups over the years. The 2017 Visions of Empire, published by Krishan Kumar, a professor of sociology at the University of Virginia in the United States, is an extension of these views. This outstanding work on empire research won the Blinton Moore Award for Best Writing in 2018 from the American Society of Comparative History and Sociology Branch. The English version is nearly 600 pages in size, thoughtful and brilliant. It examines five geographically modern European empires after the Roman Empire: Ottoman, Habsburg, Russia, the British Empire, and the French Empire. Three of them are classic continental empires and two modern marine empires. In the book, Kumar develops his amazing article in 2010-“The Nation-State as Empire, the Empire as Nation-State: Two Principles, One Practice? “—Think more about the complexity, entanglement, and associated relationships between empires and nation-states.
Ocean Empire: The two ocean empires in the Kumar books of Imperial Nationalism and National Empire-the British Empire and the French Empire-have different trajectories, but in terms of the relationship between the Empire and the nation, they have many similarities. Both maritime empires actually started with the construction of inland (land) empires. The construction of the empire nations became the basis for the expansion of overseas empires, and the expansion of overseas empires in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries strengthened the identity of local nations. Both empires were winners in the geopolitics of the twentieth century, thus delaying the impact of colonial nationalism on the empire. But the two empires are also different: the French empire’s career is not as smooth as Britain’s, but the ebb and flow, and the rise and fall
The interaction and tension between empire and nationalism. Race with the British Empire in the colonies
Different hierarchies, France later incorporated part of the colonies into the French nation. Although this assimilation policy ultimately failed, its efforts to build a “nation-empire” went further than the British Empire.
Both empires have a long history of inland (land) empires. The British Empire was formerly the English Empire on the United Kingdom. This long unification began in the eleventh century, until Scotland was merged in 1707, and merged into Ireland in 1801. With the completion of the “indigenous” merger in England, an “inner empire” centered on England has gradually taken shape. The formation of this “inner empire” promoted the further expansion of the “outer empire” of the ocean. Ireland is also known by scholars as the “first colony” of England, the “laboratory of British colonialism”, or “the other Indian of the English.” That is, “it must be remembered that the English were already an empire before the overseas expansion” (p. 289). Similarly, the French Empire also began in the Inland Empire. It was not until the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries that after numerous wars and peaceful rebellions, this internal empire was formed. And the villagers of the Inner Empire really have the French national identity, according to Eugen Weber, until the end of the nineteenth century.
The national identity of both empires was related to the expansion of overseas empires, although the British Empire was more successful. The former rulers of the English Empire (Welsh, Irish, and Scottish) gradually developed British national identity and served the Empire’s overseas expansion. Here, a historical context from the English Empire to British Nationalism, and then to the British Empire, has become the main line linking internal and external empires. By the nineteenth century, the Scottish and Irish nations had been assimilated by England and became the “headquarters” of the British Empire, rather than the “frontiers” of the “England Empire”. Scottish Adam Smith, David Hume, Irish Edmund Burke, Yeats became the mainstream intellectual and cultural elite in Britain. Further, the Scots and the Irish became leaders of the British colonial cause abroad, contributing about 40% of the colonial officials.
The expansion of the French overseas empire also played an important role in the process of building the local national identity, but the process was more tortuous. As France built its “imperial nation-state” in Europe, it also pioneered France’s first overseas empire in the North Atlantic and competed with Britain. Before and after Britain lost the 13 th North American colonies in the American Revolution, France also lost almost the entire overseas colonies in the tide of war and colonial revolution with Britain in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. At the same time, the French Revolution made France the first modern nation and spawned France’s second inland empire. Napoleon was ambitious and wanted to establish a new Holy Roman Empire. But after its defeat, not only the second inland empire was short-lived, but France also lost the only remaining overseas territory. However, the French Empire did not end in setbacks: France’s second maritime empire began with a long and brutal military conquest of Algeria from 1830 to 1871. Algeria is even more important to France than India is to Britain. Tocqueville, author of On Democracy in the United States, has a passion for conquering Algeria’s empire. In his view, the conquest of Algeria was enough to inspire the national spirit and civic virtues of France. Here in France’s greatest liberals and republicans, nationalism and imperialism blend together. It is worth mentioning that the paradoxical triangle of imperialism, nationalism and liberalism was not uncommon in the nineteenth century. At that time, freedom, democracy, and republicanism were advancing in Europe, but it was also the pinnacle of imperialism. Compared to Tocqueville, Max Weber later made the hidden connection more straightforward: Germany, as a latecomer to the colonial cause, needed to rely on democratic constitutionalism to train political leaders and optimize the decision-making process for the country, so as to be better. To achieve overseas expansion. In other words, liberal democracy can not only help Germany to become a “political nation,” but also contribute to its empire’s grand cause. Back in France, in 1870, the Third French Republic was established in the shadow of the defeat of the Franco-Prussian War and the bloody suppression of the Paris Commune. This republic established in the stormy weather not only completed the national identity of French nationals, but also developed the world’s second largest marine empire in Africa and Southeast Asia from the 1880s to the eve of the First World War. In other words, the Third Republic of France completed the “great work” of nation building and empire building at the same time. Are these two related? Scrub the stigma of the Franco-Prussian war and the glory of establishing an overseas empire,
The neighbour’s resentment and the dignity gained from conquest are thus linked. Only through colonial activities can the wounds of the Franco-Prussian War of 1871 be healed and the self-confidence of the French nation restored. Furthermore, if “the nation with the most colonies is a higher nation” (p.387), then French colonialism shoulders the burden of civilizing “backward” societies, so colonialism has even higher reasons than nationalism. The French nation has thus become the most imperial nation.
Because of this, one of the differences between the British and French empires is that they have very different assimilation colonies. The United Kingdom merged Scotland, Ireland, and Wales to form a British nation. It also implemented assimilation policies in white dominions (Canada, Australia, New Zealand), but its colonies such as India and South Africa never became British nations and obtained citizenship. Why is there such a difference? In addition to the two “natural” reasons of longer assimilation and racism, the British Empire has strengthened its national identity through overseas expansion. The former rulers of the British Empire became part of the British nation in the process of colonizing the British Empire overseas. And by maintaining the divisions and ranks of different colonies and different populations, it is beneficial to consolidate the unity of the imperial nation. Empire and nationalism are combined in this one-sided and two-sided way to form imperial nationalism. Instead, France has invested more energy in assimilating non-European societies, trying to replicate its political structure and civilization in overseas colonies. Instead of establishing an apartheid system like British South Africa in the colonies, it included Algerians into the French nation and granted citizenship. The French Empire is the Greater France; the Empire is the direct expression and natural extension of the French people. Correspondingly, France did not adopt the indirect governance model like Britain, but adopted the centralized direct governance.
If the expansion of the empire can consolidate national identity, the decline of the empire will also bring about the rise of colonial nationalism and the decline of indigenous national identity. It is quite ironic that most of the colonies in the British Empire during the “World War I” did not have a nationalist uprising or separatist movement, but instead were in the Empire’s headquarters. The Irish Easter Uprising broke out in 1916 and eventually led to the Irish 19 Independence in 22 years, withdrew from the Commonwealth in 1949. Although Britain, as a “World War I” victor, acquired new Middle East and East African territories from the defeated Ottoman Empire and Germany, the independence of Ireland showed that the British Empire, the core of the empire, was unavoidably affected by nationalism. It was also the war, especially France’s surrender to the Germans in 1940, and the surrender of Southeast Asian colonies to Japan, which lost the face of the French empire, and launched the decolonization movement and the national self-determination movement. After losing Vietnam and Algeria successively, it lost its motivation to sustain the empire, and France’s second overseas empire was dead.
The story of empire and nationalism does not end with the decolonization movement. Today, at the time of Brexit, the subjects of the former British Empire, the guards of the British Empire, are gradually disengaged. Scottish and Northern Irish nationalism is on the rise, and a referendum on self-determination is in full swing. Looking at the history of their participation in colonization, their reasons for extrication from Britain are barely reluctant, but this also shows that the border between the empire and the nation is blurred and unsteady. If there was an English empire before the British Empire, shouldn’t even the English Empire fall apart when the British Empire disintegrates? Britain has repeatedly played with the tricks of nationalism in its overseas (former) colonies, and now nationalism is eating back at itself and impacting the homeland. It is truly an imperial nation, and an imperial nation. Unlike today’s British internal empire, which has begun to disintegrate, France’s internal empire has transformed into a solid nation-state after several revolutions and founding nations in its modern history, protected from internal nationalism.
Land Empire: Compared with the two maritime empires of Britain and France, the old empire, the new nation and the new empire have encountered the challenges of the rise of nationalism earlier in the second half of the nineteenth century. Cultural, religious, and ethnic diversity and differences were once the advantages of these empires, but in the late empire, tensions between empires and ethnic groups increased. The failure or loss of geopolitical competition also encouraged the rise of nationalism and separatism within the empire. The Ottoman Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire fell apart after the First World War, and the Tsarist Empire was overthrown by the Russian Revolution. The old empires gave way to the new countries. So, at the beginning of the twentieth century, did the nation state become a unique option to replace the empire? Why nationalism has hit the mainland empire more than the ocean empire
Big? Just because they are bigger and more diverse? Or because of their capabilities and resources
Can’t compete with the Ocean Empire? Or is their political model too “backward” and gradually losing political legitimacy, which prevents them from consolidating different ethnic groups?
Specifically, the Ottoman Empire suffered the worst in the three empires. Not only did it lose the “World War I”, the empire fell apart; the Armenian massacre at the end of the empire also became a permanent shadow of Turkey. Even more strangely, if the collapse of other empires was due to nationalist movements of ethnic minorities, the most active nationalist movement in the end of the Ottoman Empire seemed to come from its ruling people, the Turks. Why did the Turks pursue a nation state? Similar to the Ottoman Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire defeated in the First World War fell apart, and the Habsburg dynasty never returned. The traditional view is that since the late 19th century, the old Austro-Hungarian Empire has been unable to cope with the impact of nationalism, and its collapse is inevitable. The failure of the First World War and the post-war national self-determination movement only gave it the final hang . So, is the Austro-Hungarian Empire exhausted and unable to return to heaven? Unlike the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires, Tsarist Russia did not fall apart in the challenges of the early twentieth century, but gained new life and became a new multi-ethnic empire. If the Romanov dynasty has also faced the impact of nationalism since the end of the nineteenth century, why can the new Soviet Union dissolve this tension and build a country that is larger, stronger and more influential than Russia?
Tracing back to their roots, all three empires have a long history, have been glorious for several times, and are representatives of multi-ethnic, multi-religious, and multi-empires. The economy is prosperous, ethnic groups are different, and religion is tolerant. In modern times, the three empires have indeed encountered challenges and crises, but they all have reforms and ZTE. They have tried different paths, and their endings are also full of other historical possibilities. First of all, the Ottoman Empire began to decline since the eighteenth century, but reforms in the early nineteenth century, especially in the Crimean War (1853 to 1856), defeated its main opponent, Russia, into the European club, Seems to see hope for empire revival. The empire soon lost to competition with European powers, losing territory and subjects. However, as a result, the proportion of Muslim population continued to rise. The empire therefore preferred to use Islam to gather its subjects and use it to dispel the impact of nationalism, especially Arab nationalism. If this policy of the Ottoman Empire succeeds, the Ottoman Empire may eventually become a multi-ethnic state under pan-Islamism, instead of being broken down into a multi-ethnic state. A second effort to save the empire came from the Young Ottoman Party and later the Young Turkish Party. Popular claims today are that they are Turkish nationalists fighting for the Turkish Republic. But what they meant was that they aimed to save the empire, not to establish a new state. Their movement is a mix of Turkism, Islam and modernization, not just nationalism.
Similarly, the Austro-Hungarian Empire was problematic in the second half of the nineteenth century. But in Kumar’s view, even for this classic European example of nationalism impacting the empire, it is not necessary to overstate the role of nationalism. Nationalism was indeed a trouble for the empire, but it was not that it overwhelmed the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In the late nineteenth century, the two major ethnic groups—12 million Germans and 10 million Hungarians—that accounted for 42% of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, did not have strong nationalist tendencies, and both supported imperial reforms to meet challenges. Contrary to popular belief,
“In the nineteenth century, Germans were the least nationalistic of all nations.” Most Austrian Germans rejected the pan-German nation-state. Only after the end of the empire, especially after the empire collapsed, did they develop German nationalism and eventually merge with Hitler’s Third German Reich in 1938. For the same reason, the Hungarians also rejected the call of nationalism and advocated that the demands be realized within the framework of the empire. It was for this reason that the two major parts of the empire, Austria and Hungary, reconciled in 1867 and implemented dual monarchy. The political fragmentation of the empire is indeed a problem, but it is also the result of its inclusive ethnic policy. However, the ethnic minorities of the Empire did not pursue the establishment of a nation-state. Despite their dissatisfaction, the Czechs, Slovaks, Croatians, Serbs, Poles, and Romanians believe that they may lose more if the dynasty collapses. Although its policies are often criticized, until the beginning of the twentieth century, the territory of the Empire was the second largest in Europe, the third largest in terms of population, the fourth largest in the world in terms of manufacturing, and the economy was steadily modernized. In short, before the “World War I”, the empire was not in danger of being destroyed.
After the defeat of the Crimean War in the 1850s, Tsarist Russia began to encounter various challenges. The Polish uprising in 1863 first led to the imperial policy of the Empire in Poland, suppressing the Catholic court and forcing the Russian language. The Polish problem was formed. Subsequently, Jews and Muslims also began to develop suspicions with the empire. The counterpart of the Empire is Russification, but Russification is not Russian nationalism, but more political integration and cultural assimilation. This policy lasted a short period of time, and it was constantly reversed. It did not fundamentally change the more tolerant ethnic and religious policies of the empire. Until the end of the empire, most groups remained loyal to the empire, and only Poles and Finns sought independence in the context of the First World War.
Therefore, the real crisis of the three empires was the failure of geopolitical competition and the depletion of national power in the early twentieth century. There are very few options left to the empire after the crisis. In Ottoman, Turkish nationalism has become the final choice, and it has nothing to do with the empire being the defeated country of World War I and being slaughtered in the Treaty of Sephora (1920) led by the Allies. In order to escape the fate of being regulated by the British, Kemal fought back and led the Turkish War of Independence
(1920 to 1923), defeated the Greek, British and French coalition forces and established the Turkish Republic. In this fateful war, Turkish nationalism officially entered the stage of history and became the official ideology. In other words, Turkish nationalism is not intended to replace the empire, but to save the nation; when the empire has no cure, it becomes the basis for the establishment of a new state. After the founding of the People ’s Republic of China, Kemal gradually cleared the influence of Islam and chose a westernization path. Turkey seems to be a model from empire to nation state. However, it is such a model. As two major forces, Islamism and nationalism have checked and balanced each other in their century-old political history, and they are still entangled.
What exactly made the Austro-Hungarian Empire torn apart after 1918? Kumar believes that the mainstream view of imperialism and nationalism is inaccurate, and that ethnic minorities in the “World War I” remained loyal to the Hapsburg Empire; and the inland empire is not necessarily more difficult than the British and French maritime empires. Address ethnic diversity. In the latter part of the war, the Allies did not intend to dismember the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and President Wilson’s principle of national self-determination was only aimed at Ottoman. However, the Austro-Hungarian Empire that lost the war has dried up: “Nationalism or the ethnic conflict between the suzerain state and its dependent states is not the cause of the destruction of the empire. It is the other empires and the empire’s deep-fought war.” Disintegration (p. 205). This seemingly simple reason may explain the disintegration of the 600-year-old empire, even this classic nation
There are other historical possibilities and different interpretations of the example of the state replacing the empire.
For Tsarist Russia, the real challenge also comes from geopolitical pressure and the rise of social revolution. From the defeat of the Russo-Japanese War from 1904 to 1905 to the Russian Revolution of 1905, from the exhaustion of the national power of the First World War to the October 1917 Revolution, the Empire finally ended with competitors and revolutions. By. But it is interesting that the new state created by the revolution successfully established the “empire of nations”, eliminated the threat of nationalism, integrated internal diversity, and provided another possibility in the modern transformation of the empire. . This new form of empire is an anti-imperial empire: the Soviet Union no longer controlled and assimilated minorities through the Greater Russianism it criticized, but surpassed nationalism with a new ideology, providing legitimacy for the new country At the same time, it uses new types of political organizations and affirmative action projects to maintain the balance between the state and the nation, and to relieve the tension of nationalism. Of course, these policies encountered various problems and repetitions in the course of practice, especially in the late Cold War, when they faced domestic and foreign challenges, which eventually led to the collapse of the Soviet Union. However, this also shows that the modern transformation of the empire has many possibilities, and the situation is different in different periods. The relationship between empire and nationalism is not so much over as it is still developing.
Is the history of the Empire really over? Today, Russia’s empire ambitions remain, and the territory after the disintegration of the Soviet Union is far from fixed borders, but is still constantly adjusting (Crimea is an example). The ebb and flow, who can say that the collapse of the Soviet Union is the end of history? Turkish President Erdogan, who blends Islam and nationalism, wants to revive the Ottoman empire in the Middle East after the decline of American influence. Feng Shui turns, and the ending British Empire has to face the predicament of nationalism that Ottoman and Habsburg once experienced: Northern Ireland and Scotland have proposed national self-determination, and the empire national core of the “Empire of England” has been shaken.
As a new political experiment, although the EU led by France and Germany, despite clashes, whether it will eventually lead to a political community that transcends the nation-state, or the European as Empire with old bottles and new wine, is still uncertain. number. Perhaps the key to its success is still the new “European nation” identity and empire building going hand in hand, and even becoming the “first non-imperialist empire” as former president of the European Commission Barroso. It’s just that this time the imperial nation’s construction does not seem to have much room to use force.
Broaden the horizon of history. Although the fate of the European Union or the United Nations regional or international organizations is uncertain, in the eyes of Kumar and the authors of History of the World’s Empire, Burbank, Cooper, etc., the nation-state is not only a flash in the pan, but also because of its The lack of imagination to deal with the global challenges at hand requires the vision of the empire to supplement it. The future is over, the new situation is coming, or it shows that the duo of the empire and nation-state is far from over and will never die.