Second Mid Term Essay
Johann Gottfried von Herder wrote much about nationalism. John Hobson wrote of imperialism, and Charles Darwin of natural selection and “survival of the fittest.” First I will discuss nationalism from Herder’s perspective. Second, I will discuss imperialism from Hobson’s perspective. Then Hobson writes about how nationalism leads to imperialism. Last, I will discuss the assumption that “nineteenth-century European societies were engaged in a struggle for existence among themselves?” There was a struggle, a great struggle between countries who were nationalist or imperialist. The struggle was because of competition. This is where Charles Darwin and his work of the struggle of existence ties Herder and Hobson’s opinions together.
First I must assume that there was a struggle between societies even though there clearly was between each nation because of the competition, the need for resources, the need to be dominant and victorious, and the need to survive. It is assumed that societies struggle to co-exist with each other in Europe.
Herder says, “Nature has sketched with mountain ranges which she fashioned and with streams which she caused to flow from them the rough but substantial outline of the whole history of man.” “Seas, mountain ranges and rivers are the most natural boundaries not only of lands but also of peoples, customs, languages and empires, and they have been, even in the greatest revolutions in human affairs, the directing lines or limits of world history.” (Herder p.1) These two quotes define nationalism by explaining nature is what makes nations by having natural boundaries such as mountains and rivers. He says nationalism is natural. “Nothing therefore seems more contradictory to the true end of governments than the endless expansion of states, the wild confusion of races and nations under scepter. An empire made up of a hundred peoples and a 120 provinces which have been forced together is a monstrosity, not a...
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