NATIONALISM, the Historical Devel opment of.
No concepts in history, politics or sociology are to-day more important or evident, and, yet, at the same time, more difficult to define than the terms nationality and nation. To the writer it seems that a nation is a culturally homo geneous social group, which is at once con scious and tenacious of its unity of psychic life and expression. Some writers, especially Ernest Renan, have emphasized the °will>) or desire to live together as the essence of a na tion, hut as more profound students, particu larly the sociologists, have made clear, this will to live in, and to preserve the unity of, the group exists only where there is a very high degree of cultural and psychic likeness and unity. The most fundamental basis and char acteristic of a nation, then, is cultural homo geneity, from which the will to exist in conti guity naturally proceeds. If such a group is at the same time politically organized within a given territory it may then be designated a national slate. The term nationality is fre quently used to describe a culturally homogene ous group which has not yet attained complete national and political unity, but it seems that this view only brings a confusion of terms. Rather, the term nationality should be used as a gen eral descriptive and collective expression some what analogous to the broader meaning of the term politics in relation to a study of the state. It is a generic and comprehensive concept which refers to and describes that variable en semble of physical and psychic elements which generate the cultural homogeneity and group self-consciousness and solidarity forming the foundations of a nation. The dynamic ex pression of the cultural and political activities and ambitions of a nation or national state is most usually and logically known as national ism. While frequently used in the invidious sense, indicating political or cultural aggres siveness, such an implication is not essentially involved in the definition, even if it is normally to be observed in the practical operation of nationalism. In the static or analytical sense, nationalism is conventionally used to designate the modern political system or order, based as it is upon the unit of the national state. The history of nationalism then is essentially the tracing of the rise and development of the nation and the national state.
The history of the development of nations and national states is a most complicated prob lem. So difficult is it to determine just when tribal or pre-political society ends and political society begins and so many and deep-seated are the aspects of psychic life and cultural charac teristics which are carried over from the tribal period into the political, that it is well-nigh im possible to say that one can fix any definite period as marking the origin of nations. One can scarcely agree with Israel Zangwill that the tribally organized Jews of ancient Pales tine constituted a national state in the sense in which that term would be used to describe the Germany of Bismarck and Treitschke and Re ventlow, or the Italy of Crispi and Carducci and Sonnino, and, yet, it is not easy to deny the force of his •criticism of those writers who find nations to be wholly a phenomenon of very receut origin. Rather, it is best to agree that modern nations have their constituent psychic elements deeply rooted in the tribal past and that the history of nationalism and of nation building is essentially the tracing of the ex pansion of cultural entities and of the sociolog ical centres of emotional fixation; in other words, the record of the expansion and ration alization of As human society has undergone tremendous transformations in the period from the gradual breakdown of trib al society to the 20th century, there are differ ences of corresponding scope and significance between the nature and the mode of expression of group psychology and culture in tribal society and in the national states of to-day. The most profound and far-reaching of these contrasts are connected with the conversion of the basis of group solidarity, from the standpoint of social control, from blood-kinship, real or assumed, to a definite territorial habitat, and with the development of what is conventionally known as 'political society." The distinctions will ap pear clearly only upon the careful historical analysis of the development of the constituent principles of the nations of to-day. It is this fact that renders such a survey of vital import ance, entirely aside from the specific content of the historical facts enumerated.