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Nationhood from Below: Europe in the Long Nineteenth Century
 978-1-349-32324-1,  978-0-230-35535-4

Table of contents :
Front Matter....Pages i-xi
Front Matter....Pages 1-1
General Introduction: Writing the Mass into a Mass Phenomenon....Pages 3-22
What Does It Mean to Say that Nationalism Is ‘Popular’?....Pages 23-43
Front Matter....Pages 45-45
An Inconvenient Nation: Nation-Building and National Identity in Modern Spain. The Historiographical Debate....Pages 47-72
On the Uses and Abuses of Nationalism from Below: A Few Notes on Italy....Pages 73-95
Differentiation or Indifference? Changing Perspectives on National Identification in the Austrian Half of the Habsburg Monarchy....Pages 96-119
Nationhood from Below: Some Historiographic Notes on Great Britain, France and Germany in the Long Nineteenth Century....Pages 120-136
Front Matter....Pages 137-137
The Nation and Its Outsiders: The ‘Gypsy Question’ and Peasant Nationalism in Finland, c. 1863–1900....Pages 139-161
Which Political Nation? Soft Borders and Popular Nationhood in the Rhineland, 1800–1850....Pages 162-189
Between or Without Nations? Multiple Identifications Among Belgian Migrants in Lille, Northern France, 1850–1900....Pages 193-213
‘From the Wound a Flower Grows’: A Re-Examination of French Patriotism in the Face of the Franco-Prussian War....Pages 214-229
‘All the Butter in the Country Belongs to Us, Belgians’: Well-Being and Lower-Class National Identification in Belgium During the First World War....Pages 230-249
General Conclusion: Popular Nationhood — A Companion of European Modernities....Pages 250-260
Back Matter....Pages 261-267

Citation preview

Nationhood from Below Europe in the Long Nineteenth Century Edited by

Maarten Van Ginderachter Marnix Beyen

Nationhood from Below

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Nationhood from Below Europe in the Long Nineteenth Century Edited by

Maarten Van Ginderachter Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Antwerp

Marnix Beyen Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Antwerp

Editorial matter and selection © Maarten Van Ginderachter and Marnix Beyen 2012 All remaining chapters © their respective authors 2012 Softcover reprint of the hardcover 1st edition 2012 978-0-230-27247-7

All rights reserved. No reproduction, copy or transmission of this publication may be made without written permission. No portion of this publication may be reproduced, copied or transmitted save with written permission or in accordance with the provisions of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, or under the terms of any licence permitting limited copying issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency, Saffron House, 6–10 Kirby Street, London EC1N 8TS. Any person who does any unauthorized act in relation to this publication may be liable to criminal prosecution and civil claims for damages. The authors have asserted their rights to be identified as the authors of this work in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. First published 2012 by PALGRAVE MACMILLAN Palgrave Macmillan in the UK is an imprint of Macmillan Publishers Limited, registered in England, company number 785998, of Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 6XS. Palgrave Macmillan in the US is a division of St Martin’s Press LLC, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010. Palgrave Macmillan is the global academic imprint of the above companies and has companies and representatives throughout the world. Palgrave® and Macmillan® are registered trademarks in the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe and other countries. ISBN 978-1-349-32324-1 DOI 10.1057/9780230355354

ISBN 978-0-230-35535-4 (eBook)

This book is printed on paper suitable for recycling and made from fully managed and sustained forest sources. Logging, pulping and manufacturing processes are expected to conform to the environmental regulations of the country of origin. A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. A catalog record for this book is available from the Library of Congress. 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 21 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12


List of Figures




Notes on Contributors


Part I Introductory Section 1 General Introduction: Writing the Mass into a Mass Phenomenon Marnix Beyen and Maarten Van Ginderachter 2 What Does It Mean to Say that Nationalism Is ‘Popular’? John Breuilly

3 23

Part II Historiographic Surveys 3 An Inconvenient Nation: Nation-Building and National Identity in Modern Spain. The Historiographical Debate Fernando Molina and Miguel Cabo Villaverde


4 On the Uses and Abuses of Nationalism from Below: A Few Notes on Italy Ilaria Porciani


5 Differentiation or Indifference? Changing Perspectives on National Identification in the Austrian Half of the Habsburg Monarchy Laurence Cole 6 Nationhood from Below: Some Historiographic Notes on Great Britain, France and Germany in the Long Nineteenth Century Maarten Van Ginderachter v





Part III Case Studies The Domestic Other 7 The Nation and Its Outsiders: The ‘Gypsy Question’ and Peasant Nationalism in Finland, c. 1863–1900 Miika Tervonen


8 Which Political Nation? Soft Borders and Popular Nationhood in the Rhineland, 1800–1850 James M. Brophy


The External Other 9 Between or Without Nations? Multiple Identifications Among Belgian Migrants in Lille, Northern France, 1850–1900 Saartje Vanden Borre and Tom Verschaffel 10 ‘From the Wound a Flower Grows’: A Re-Examination of French Patriotism in the Face of the Franco-Prussian War Jean-François Chanet 11 ‘All the Butter in the Country Belongs to Us, Belgians’: Well-Being and Lower-Class National Identification in Belgium During the First World War Antoon Vrints




12 General Conclusion: Popular Nationhood – A Companion of European Modernities Marnix Beyen and Maarten Van Ginderachter





7.1 Articles referring to the Roma and to the Jews, and the overall volume of publishing in the Finnish press, 1830–1890




This volume emerged from a conference entitled ‘National identification from below. Europe from the late eighteenth century to the end of the First World War’, held in Ghent on 7–8 March 2008. Thanks are due to all the speakers; to the members of the organizing committee: Luc Boeva (ADVN), Thomas Buerman (Ghent University) and Bruno De Wever (Ghent University); to the members of the scientific committee: HeinzGerhard Haupt (European University Institute, Florence), Martyn Lyons (University of New South Wales), Gérard Noiriel (École des hautes études en sciences sociales), Anthony D. Smith (London School of Economics), Niek Van Sas (University of Amsterdam) and Jakob Vogel (Cologne University); and to our sponsors: the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and the Department of History at Ghent University, the Centre for Political History of Antwerp University, the ADVN (Archives and Documentation Center of Flemish nationalism in Antwerp) and the FWO-Vlaanderen (Flemish Research Foundation). This volume offers a selection of papers that were presented at the Ghent conference, which have been extensively reworked for publication. We would like to thank all contributors for writing and rewriting their chapters to our editorial whims. Jim Brophy kindly offered to do the stylistic revision of our introduction and of the chapter by Van Ginderachter. At Palgrave Macmillan, thanks are due to our editor, Michael Strang, to assistant editor Ruth Ireland and to the anonymous referees who offered acute comments on the manuscript.


Notes on Contributors

Marnix Beyen is Associate Professor in the Department of History (Centre for Political History) at Antwerp University. His research deals primarily with the historical, literary and scientific representation of nations and with the history of parliamentary culture in Europe during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Recently, he has refocused his attention on the everyday political practices of citizens and their relationship with ‘professional’ politicians. John Breuilly is Professor of Nationalism and Ethnicity at the London School of Economics. His publications include Nationalism, Power and Modernity in Nineteenth-Century Germany (2007), the Introduction to Ernest Gellner’s Nations and Nationalism (2nd ed., 2006), La formazione dello stato nazionale tedesco (1995) and Nationalismus und moderner Staat. Deutschland und Europa (1999). His current interests include editing the Oxford Handbook of the History of Nationalism, work on modernizing the German lands, and a global history of nationalism. James M. Brophy is Professor of Modern European History at the University of Delaware. Alongside numerous articles on modern German history, he has written Capitalism, Politics, and Railroads in Prussia, 1830–1870 (1998) and Popular Culture and the Public Sphere in the Rhineland, 1800–1850 (2007). In addition, he has co-edited the twovolume Perspectives from the Past: Sources in Western Civilization (4th ed., 2009). Miguel Cabo Villaverde is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Contemporary and American History at the University of Santiago de Compostela. He has published a number of books and has refereed journal articles on Spanish political history, rural associationism and social change in the countryside in Spain between 1874 and the mid-twentieth century. Jean-François Chanet is full Professor at Sciences Po (Institut d’études politiques de Paris), where he teaches nineteenth-century history. He ix


Notes on Contributors

is the author of L’École républicaine et les petites patries (1996) and Vers l’armée nouvelle: République conservatrice et réforme militaire (2006), and he is currently writing a book on the political crisis of 1877 in France. He has contributed to journals such as Paedagogica Historica, Histoire de l’éducation, Le mouvement social, Revue d’histoire moderne et contemporaine and Vingtième siècle. Revue d’histoire. Laurence Cole is Lecturer in Modern European History at the University of East Anglia. He has written Für Gott, Kaiser und Vaterland. Nationale Identität der deutschsprachigen Bevölkerung Tirols 1860–1914 (2000). He has also edited Different Paths to the Nation. National and Regional Identities in Central Europe and Italy, 1830–1870 (2007), The Limits of Loyalty: Imperial Symbolism, Popular Allegiances, and State Patriotism in the Late Habsburg Monarchy (with Daniel L. Unowsky, 2007), and Glanz – Gewalt – Gehorsam. Militär une Gesellschafrt in der Habsburgermonarchie (1800 bis 1918) (with Christa Hämmerle and Martin Scheutz, 2011). He is co-editor of European History Quarterly. Fernando Molina is ‘Ramon y Cajal’ Research Scholar in the Department of Contemporary History at the University of the Basque Country (Bilbao, Spain). His current research focuses on nationalism and political violence in the Spanish transition (1976–1981), and on Basque co-operativism and labour culture during Franco’s dictatorship (1939– 1975). His publications include articles in Social History, Ethnic and Racial Studies, European History Quaterly, Nations and Nationalism and National Identities. Ilaria Porciani is Professor of Modern and Contemporary History and the History of Historiography at the University of Bologna. She has published widely on the history of culture, of the university, of historiography, of nation-building and of education. Her recent publications include the Atlas of European Historiography. The Making of a Profession 1800–2005 (co-edited with Lutz Raphael 2010). She is a member of the board of the interuniversity centre of cultural history (www. and of the editorial board of Passato e Presente. Since 2010 she has coordinated the Bologna unit of ‘EuNaMus’, the Framework 7 European Project on European national museums. Currently she is working on history museums. Miika Tervonen is a doctoral candidate at the European University Institute, Department of History and Civilization. He is currently

Notes on Contributors


working for a national historiography project of the Finnish Roma, and his ongoing doctoral dissertation, supervised by Professor HeinzGerhard Haupt, deals with the position of the Roma and Travellers in Finland and Sweden around 1860–1930. He has previously studied at the University of Helsinki, at the London School of Economics and at the University of Lund (Sweden). He has written a number of articles on ethnic minorities and immigration in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Finland. Saartje Vanden Borre obtained her master’s degree in history at the University of Leuven in 2007. Currently she is affiliated to the Center for the History of Intercultural Relations of the University of Leuven, Campus Kortrijk. She is a member of the interdisciplinary research project ‘Intercultural Identities. Belgian Migration to Northern France (1850– 1914)’. Her research focuses on the socio-cultural life of Belgian migrants in Northern France in the second part of the nineteenth century. Maarten Van Ginderachter is Associate Professor in the Department of History (Centre for Political History) at Antwerp University. He has written and edited four books on the themes of social democracy and national identity and has contributed to journals such as Nations and Nationalism, Social History, the International Review of Social History and the History Workshop Journal. Tom Verschaffel is Associate Professor at the University of Leuven. His main research interests are the historiography and historical culture of the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries, public history and visual representations of the past, cultural nationalism, cultural transfers and the cultural history of migration. Among his publications are Miseen-scène. Keizer Karel en de verbeelding van de negentiende eeuw (with Jo Tollebeek en Robert Hoozee, 1999), Het verderf van Parijs (with Raf de Bont, 2004) and Historism and Cultural Identity in the Rhine-Meuse Region (with Wolfgang Cortjaens en Jan de Maeyer, 2008). Antoon Vrints is a postdoctoral research fellow (FWO-Flanders) in the History Department at the Ghent University – Research Unit Social History after 1750. He has published on violence, social control and both the world wars in Belgium, and he is currently working on a comparative analysis of food politics and social control in Belgium and the Netherlands, 1914–1921.

Part I Introductory Section

1 General Introduction: Writing the Mass into a Mass Phenomenon Marnix Beyen and Maarten Van Ginderachter

By the end of the 1990s, it seemed that virtually everything had been said about the history of nations and nationalism.1 When the dust settled from the fierce disputes between modernists and primordialists, an interpretive consensus seemed to emerge. On the one hand, scholars no longer contested the fundamentally constructed character of nations; yet, on the other, they acknowledged certain limits of such constructivist views. Accordingly, nineteenth-century states and nationalist movements did not invent nations at will and worked with protonational and ethnic identities. Further, nations had histories; indeed, they underwent processes of construction earlier and in a more complex way than die-hard modernists had previously maintained. To use the words of John Breuilly, the genesis of nations relied on a ‘relative construction’ at best (Breuilly, 2002). In a similar vein, the classic dichotomy between ethnic and civic varieties of nationalism turned out to be less clear-cut than formerly posited. Each and every nationalism contained both ethnic – or ethno-cultural – and civic elements, albeit in varying proportions (Dieckhoff, 1996). With core conceptual debates laid to rest or mimicking older polemics, nationalism research seemed to have lost its drive. Social scientists had done their work of conceptualizing nationalism, and historians – or so some believed – could confine themselves to describing nationalisms’ concrete manifestations.

1. A historiographical paradox Yet one crucial question had hardly even been seriously asked: what did the nation mean to ordinary people? In his seminal study on nations and nationalism, Eric Hobsbawm conceded his ignorance on that 3


Introductory Section

matter, as did Miroslav Hroch more recently (Hobsbawm, 1995 [1990], p. 130; Hroch, 2005, pp. 109–110). That precisely these two scholars touched upon the question of popular agency should not be surprising, given their Marxist background and their interest in lower-class mentalities. Yet their Marxist groundings perhaps also account for their apparent inability to answer the question, for left-wing frameworks conventionally interpreted nationalism as a bourgeois invention – hence a form of false consciousness. Marxist historians have consequently singled out those aspects of popular national mentalities that bear witness to the genesis of class consciousness. Overall, the enormously productive ‘history from below’ approach of the new social history and its many innovative ‘offshoots’ have been more interested in the roots of labour, gender and race than in those of the nation – hardly surprising, as they were an important critique of nation-centred historiography. The phrase history from below seems to have been used for the first time in English in 1966 (Thompson, 1966), but in French its credentials go further back. According to Hobsbawm, ‘it was the French tradition of historiography as a whole, steeped in the history not of the French ruling class but the French people, which established most of the themes and even the methods of grassroots history’ (Hobsbawm, 1985, p. 64). The French phrase histoire d’en bas dates back at least to a 1932 essay by Lucien Febvre, one of the founders of the Annales school, whose aim it was to write ‘history of the masses and not of the celebrities, history seen from below and not from above’ (Febvre, 1932). The concepts of mentalité and histoire totale have prompted several Annales historians to look at the past from below. Yet, because the first Annales generation strongly emphasized la longue durée, macro-history and quantification, and had a relative disregard for human agency, history from below is especially associated with the British Marxist history school of the 1950s and 1960s (with E. P. Thompson as its leading figure). From the late 1960s on, Raphael Samuel’s History Workshop Movement and Oral History continued this tradition, but added an important element, namely the desire to reach as broad an audience as possible and to encourage ordinary people to write (their own) history. Outside Europe the legacy of history from below is continued by postcolonial and subaltern studies, which explicitly seek to recover the agency of ordinary people, reading colonial records against the grain (because, for instance, the Indian peasantry has left no written sources of its own – like diaries or letters) (Prakash, 1994, p. 1480). German Alltagsgeschichte (‘history of the everyday’) is indebted to history from below. It developed in the middle of the 1970s, as a reaction

Marnix Beyen and Maarten Van Ginderachter


against the Bielefeld school. Alltag historians wanted to go beyond the Bielefeld structural analysis. They questioned its underlying teleology of modernization, secularization and rationalization since the sixteenth century and rejected the idea that power relations have unequivocal disciplining effects. People are not mere passive recipients of the social conditions around them. They resist and appropriate what is forced onto them. To have a more qualitative insight in daily life, Alltag (‘the everyday’) historians try to study the mental and material world of ordinary people in clearly defined micro-historic environments. As such, Alltagsgeschichte is clearly related to the Italian school of microstoria. As all these from-below approaches generally tend ‘to marginalize issues of national identity’ (Berger, 2005, p. 659), we might ask whether the leading questions in social history can be reconciled with the study of nations and nationalism. This book proposes just that: to view popular sentiments, attitudes, organizations and actions through the prism of nations and nationalism, building on the achievements of the older social history from below, the newer cultural history and postmodernism, while avoiding their epistemological and methodological blind spots. If the constructivist approach to the history of nations and nationalism was partly inspired by Marxism, postmodern scholars extensively developed it. Authors like Bhaba, Brubaker and Chatterjee stressed the (relative) autonomy of cultural and discursive developments (Bhabha, 1990; Brubaker, 1992; Chatterjee, 1993). For them, national identity was not a matter of false consciousness, but rather a powerful way of representing and mentally organizing the world. The views and political cultures of nationalism supported the postmodern claim that society was ruled less by socio-economic relationships than by cultural constructions, whose discursive formations informed, if not constituted, perception and meaning. Historians influenced by this development favoured discourse studies and the idea of fragmented identities over the older methodology of social history and its emphasis on class. In the end, postmodernism at once undermined and justified the category of the nation. It rejected the nation as an essentialist notion, yet underscored its pervasive presence as a cultural construct. Indeed, there was strong evidence for the nation’s ubiquity. Patriotic war enthusiasm in 1914, even among internationalist labour movements, was one powerful reminder of nationalism’s grip on nineteenthcentury society. Similarly, the resurgence of ethnic forms of nationalism after the end of the Cold War seemed to underpin the basic intuition that national identity was an emotion which ambitious elites


Introductory Section

could easily tap into and shape into fanaticism. The underlying assumption that nationalist rulers found a willing audience among the people sparked an immensely rich literature on the way elites ‘imagined’ or ‘narrated’ nations – to invoke some of the metaphors current among constructivist historians (Cubitt, 1998). This approach was undeniably innovative. It transformed nationalism studies into a multidisciplinary project, in which political scientists sided with literary historians, sociologists, art historians, ethnologists, historians of science, social psychologists and historical geographers. Together, they showed how a multitude of cultural artefacts (whether simple flags or stamps; paintings, monuments or national anthems; or complex historical or scientific theories) spun a web of meanings that reinforced the primacy of the nation during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.2 This type of constructivist nationalism research was heavily influenced by the cultural turn or the new cultural history, which in itself was indebted to E. P. Thompson’s re-evaluation of experience, culture and identity in the study of history. In spite of its incontestable innovation and its pertinent criticism of history from below, the cultural turn, in opening up promising research avenues, blocked others. Indeed, the emphasis on culture led some scholars to underestimate the material side of historical explanations. ‘The direction of the arrow of determination shifted from the material to the realm of discourse, culture and language’ (Suny, 2002). This marked the linguistic turn, which in its most extreme form replaced materialist determinism by a linguistic/discursive determinism. For Geoff Eley and Keith Nield, the breakthrough of the cultural and linguistic turns was based on a very partial reading of Foucault and Gramsci. To their mind, Foucault did not study language in isolation, but in relation to social and institutional practices. Power – at least in his later writings – implied resistance. Hence, there can be no such thing as an uncontested homogeneous dominance. Gramsci emphasized that the masses need to be convinced before they reconcile themselves to participate in a particular social order. At the same time, he showed the importance of structural (and not merely linguistic or mental) factors such as the concentration of property in the survival of hegemonies. Eley and Nield claim that many proponents of the turns use ‘an abstract and overgeneralized model of society wide consensus’, thus neglecting the possibilities of resistance to hegemony (Eley and Nield, 2000, p. 14). Insofar as scholars expressed doubts about the paradigm of elitedriven cultural constructivism, they critically engaged its modernist aspects rather than the popular impact of nationalizing policies in the

Marnix Beyen and Maarten Van Ginderachter


nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Some authors showed that national identities had existed long before these strategies had been set to work. Anthony D. Smith famously coined the term ethnies to describe these pre-modern collectivities. To our mind, he has been wrongly attacked for reviving an ethnic and essentialist view of the nation. More accurately, Smith does not reject the notion of construction; rather he considers it a much slower process, which elites could not simply manipulate in the nineteenth century. His approach was less anti-constructivist than anti-modernist (Armstrong, 2004, p. 10). Other sceptics of the modernist approach were less ambiguous in this regard. Adrian Hastings revealingly entitled his reaction to Eric Hobsbawm’s seminal work – on nations and nationalism since 1780 – The Construction of Nationhood (Hastings, 1997). According to Hastings, late medieval and early modern British nationhood was essentially created by the English state. Likewise, Leos Müller and Linas Eriksonas stressed the importance of warfare and propaganda for the genesis of national, and even ethnic identities. In other words, they pointed to the ‘modern’ aspects of pre-modern nation-building (Eriksonas and Müller, 2005). In their attempts to situate the origins of nations further back in time, these sceptics of the orthodox modernist view fundamentally retained the elite perspective of constructivism. By finding traces of premodern nationhood among the literate upper classes, they inferred the existence of national identities among broader sections of the populace. Because in this approach the masses supposedly fall in step with the nation-builders’ agenda, the study of their actual national feelings becomes unnecessary (a research practice perpetuated by the relative scarcity of pre-modern sources). Consequently, a great paradox is left unresolved: on the one hand, the popularity of nationalism research relies on its mass character (it is one of the mass phenomena par excellence in nineteenth- and twentieth-century history), on the other hand, popular publics themselves are largely left out of the picture. It is probably no coincidence that this volume is the initiative of two Belgian historians. Belgian history strikingly shows the limits of an unmitigated top-down approach. When the country gained its independence in 1830, leading elites engaged eagerly and with great optimism in various nation-building activities, which they did not have to create out of thin air since they could draw on processes started up in the eighteenth century (Dubois, 2005). Between the end of the nineteenth century and the 1960s, a prodigious economic growth and two foreign occupations seemingly offered ideal conditions for the dissemination and strengthening of Belgian national feelings. And yet, precisely during


Introductory Section

this period, a Flemish sub-nation developed that eventually threatened the Belgian nation. Of course, one could object that, in Belgium and other countries experiencing centrifugal forces, it was regional elites that created contesting national movements. Yet the question is not whether there were competing elite-driven sub-state nationalisms – evidently there were – but rather why they succeeded where national power groups with a larger reservoir of ‘nationalizing’ resources failed. To answer this question, we at least need a look at the masses themselves. This, however, does not imply a return to an essentialist or ethnic view of nations. We are most emphatically not trying to resuscitate primordial or essentialist theories. The relative strength of the Flemish, Basque or Serbian identities – to name but a few oppositional nationalisms – is not the logical outcome of their supposedly being more ‘real’ or allegedly having developed more organically. These so-called ‘ethnic’ nations are at least as construed as the state-centred nations with which they compete(d). In the Belgian case, one can trace an early modern predecessor of the Belgian nation, but there is no such thing for Flanders. Our critique concerns narrow top-down interpretations of the constructivist paradigm, not constructivism itself. There is no such thing as an identity inherent or natural to ordinary people, but we believe that the latter construe a national identity out of elements that are not always scooped out to them by elites. They might simply accept elite constructions, they might transform, appropriate or invert them, or they might exchange them for their own notions of the nation. We emphasize that the latter (the more ‘indigenous’ worldviews of ordinary people) are also constructions. Hardly the expression of objective realities, they too are subjective interpretations. To conclude this point, if we want to understand why certain forms of nation-building were more successful than others without being trapped in the ethnic or essentialist fallacy, we should abandon the assumption that elite imaginations of the nation automatically trickled down to the people. The top-down approach to national identities should be complemented with a from-below perspective if one is to understand fully the complex dynamics of the (partial) ‘nationalization of the masses’. As such, this volume wants to problematize conventional assumptions concerning collective loyalties. Identification is not a zero-sum game where one identity supplants the other. With regard to the East-European region Galicia, for instance, Laurence Cole remarks in his chapter: ‘Individuals might, for example, define themselves as “German” in opposition to Czechs, Slovenes or Italians

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living in the same province, but would otherwise profess a strong sense of local or regional identity which remained relatively indifferent to the fullest claims of nationalist pressure groups’ (p. 108). Indeed, people do identify with several groups, but the strength and hierarchy of different loyalties depend on the specific context. How group and selfrepresentations influence people’s acts and their political choices both in the short and in the long term is a very difficult question. To chart these variables, research from below is necessary. Thus, the ultimate aim of tapping into national identification processes of ordinary people is not to add a body of anecdotes to the already rich literature on nationalism, but to explore the complexity of identity formation. Clearly, what passes as ‘national’ is often a congeries of other hybrid allegiances (e.g. regional, gender, class, linguistic, ethnic, religious, imperial, transnational) and attending socio-economic contexts.

2. A methodological toolkit When asking the question ‘How was the nation experienced from below?’, we are confronted with definitional and methodological obstacles. ‘Where, exactly is “below” to be located’? (Sharpe, 2001, p. 27) What does ‘from below’ mean? There are of course different interpretations (see in particular the contribution of Van Ginderachter to this volume). It might, for one, refer to a more formal criterion, used to distinguish between research at the national level and research at lower, regional or local levels. If ‘from below’ is interpreted thus, there seems to be no shortage of case studies from all over Europe. There is indeed a wealth of research on how regions negotiated their integration into nations or how some regional movements developed into ‘full-fledged’ independence or nationalist movements. But these studies can be as elite-focused as theoretical macroscopic surveys of nationalism. Does then ‘nationhood from below’ imply that we limit our attention to ‘ordinary people’? And if so, who are they? Evidently, such questions can only be answered in a rather arbitrary way. Most scholars are at a loss for a universal definition of ‘below’ because of the often discontinuous and contingent nature of the material they are working with. They seem to prefer a functional paraphrase: ‘below’ is where traditional historiography has glossed over people. They describe their research interest as diversely as ‘common’, ‘average’ or ‘ordinary people’, ‘commoners’, ‘plebeians’, ‘the lower social strata’, ‘the base of society’, ‘non-elite people’ and so on. We have opted for a functional rather than a sociological criterion: studying national identification from below is paying attention


Introductory Section

to those people who are usually not actively or consciously engaged in concerted, organized nation-building strategies, or who are supposed to play a rather executory role (e.g. lower middle-class bureaucrats) in nationalizing policies designed by others. As such, we want to break with the scholarly belief that the national self is only worth studying when it is instrumentalized in purposive, institutionalized political activity. The latter is certainly critical, but national constructions that do not dovetail with larger ideologies are by no means inconsequential. Arguably these are just as significant in everyday life, although they have been routinely ignored. Although a universal definition of ‘ordinary people’ does not obtain, historians can nonetheless pursue more precise descriptions. The various modalities of the ‘popular’ or ‘ordinary’ can best be schematized and defined through the exploration of concrete experience. Specific case studies based on hard historical contexts can perhaps inflect interpretations of popular nationhood from below with a new analytical sharpness, allowing us to rethink the relational dynamics of identity formation. In other words, the concepts ‘from below’ or ‘ordinary people’ resist neat modelling; their utility derives from case-dependent specificity. If defining the ‘from below’ approach is not unproblematic, it is even harder to describe its application to concrete historical research. Obviously, there is a heuristic problem involved. Ordinary people leave fewer testimonies to posterity than official institutions. Scholars wanting to gauge popular forms of national identification have tried to solve this problem by inferring mass sentiments indirectly from elite, middleclass or institutional sources. For instance, through subscriptions for national monuments, some scholars have tried to fathom the width and depth of emotional involvement in the nation. In his contribution, John Breuilly warns, however, against simply assuming congruency ‘between the motives and values of those making nationalist appeals and those supporting them by voting, volunteering or demonstrating. Rather than congruency the explanation might lie in convergence between different perceptions and actions’ (p. 23). Or, put differently: people might vote for a nationalist party or attend its rallies because of its social and economic programme rather than because of its nationalist agenda. Hence, Breuilly’s recommendation: So the first and most obvious requirement of any project to study ‘popular nationalism’ or ‘nationalism from below’ is an empirical one. Recognize that popular support for nationalist discourse or

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politics does not in itself provide evidence about the role of nationalism in that popular action. Look for sources which will provide the direct evidence needed to probe popular attitudes and motives (p. 24). The heuristic problem may be less insurmountable than is often believed. Indeed, in some fields historians have come particularly close to the national sentiments of the men and women in the street. There is, for instance, a prodigious body of literature on how French revolutionaries expressed a new political culture in songs and rituals. Since the 1970s, scholars of the First World War, too, have refocused their attention on war experience and on issues of grassroots nationhood (because the Great War is considered to be an obvious period of mass nationalism). In the French case, for instance, Jean Jacques Becker’s innovative works on war experience amply used sources such as memoirs, interviews, private correspondence, censorship files, police reports and so on in order to nuance (among other things) the so-called general chauvinist fervour at the outbreak of hostilities (Becker, 1977, 1980). British working-class history might also be called a ‘premature’ field for the study of nationhood from below, as two of its early manifestations, Radicalism and Chartism, had important patriotic dimensions. An obvious example is E. P. Thompson’s analysis of the myth of the free-born Englishman (Thompson, 1966 [1963], pp. 77ff.). Although none of these research domains centred on the emergence of national identities, they did reveal particular national feelings among the rank and file. When interpreting the dynamics of national identification among ordinary people, historians face a central problem: the extensive reach of their field of analysis. The producers and distributors of nationalism who have until now occupied the centre of scholarly interest were – all in all – a relatively small and relatively homogeneous group. The appropriation and consumption of national identity, by contrast, is far more diffuse and diverse. This vastness entails two opposite dangers. The first is homogeneization from lumping ‘the ordinary people’ together as one undifferentiated mass, imposing one overarching sense of national identity on large collectivities. At the opposite end, however, lies the spectre of heterogeneity. Studying concrete national identifications among nonelite groups might easily lead to the conclusion that there are as many national identities as there are individuals. Even if this remark may be true at an ontological level, such nominalism is of little help to the historian analysing collective processes. To understand the mechanics of nationhood, historians must synthesize empirical findings. In doing so, they must identify different varieties of national identification and


Introductory Section

explain why and when they occur. This clearly means connecting micro-historical analyses of concrete case studies to macro-historical explanations of nation-building (the big picture of modernization and industrialization). In this respect, we are critical of earlier incarnations of history from below, or microstoria, that merely juxtaposed alternative descriptions without attempting to explain or to envisage the broader whole. Tackling national identities from below necessitates, therefore, an analytical approach that is at once sufficiently limiting and flexible. We have tried to create such an approach in the form of a set of fairly precise questions, dealing with different aspects of the ‘national identity’ phenomenon. It goes without saying that some questions are informed by the existing top-down and from-below paradigms,3 whereas others focus specifically on the study of non-elite groups. By combining these approaches, we aim to bridge the cleavages between cultural, social and political history, and thus to consider national identities in a more integrated way. The first cluster of questions can be described as phenomenological, in the sense that they aim at a detailed description of everyday national identifications, their form, intensity and content. In line with the more general interest in political culture, nationalism research has strongly focused on the external appearances of nationalism and on its ritual forms: national celebrations, funerals, monuments, the visualization of national history in high- and low-brow culture and so on. The production of these forms is almost by definition restricted to different elites since it implies access to cultural, economic and political resources often denied to ordinary people. The latter were in many cases invited to take part in these practices as users, but they were not able to determine them. At best they could appropriate them and infuse them with new meanings. Or they could simply stay away. Their (non-)participation in these organized and ritualized nation-building efforts is but one of the many responses that can be studied within a from-below perspective. For instance, everyday practices can assume or articulate national meanings, as James Brophy shows in his contribution on the Rhenish borderlands. Brophy points out the paradoxical politicization of several arenas of everyday life between 1815 and 1848 as a result of the official ban on oppositional politics. Similarly, in regard to material culture, people built houses in a style that they deemed national or decorated their home with portraits of national heroes and pictures of national sites or dressed in allegedly national clothes. Patterns of consumption were guided by a national reflex, such as boasting about the culinary

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delights of their fatherland. Finally, leisure practices were also nationally inflected. Mass support for national football teams is one example, which often included the singing of national anthems. In his seminal 1995 book, the British social psychologist Michael Billig coined the phrase banal nationalism for these everyday manifestations of national identity. In Billig’s view, these banal forms of nationalism are brokered primarily through modern media, which transform elitedriven nationalisms into an all-pervasive and constantly reproduced force. While refocusing the attention on less visible aspects of national identification, Billig nonetheless remained within the paradigm of topdown socialization. To be sure, everyday practices are often determined by ideological frameworks within which they are situated. Yet recent anthropological research on eighteenth-century repertoires of dissent has shown that national resistance to transnational changes inhered in the everyday practices of common people. Only afterwards did national elites reorient these repertoires towards nationalizing strategies. In eighteenth-century Madrid, for example, common people cultivated peasant dress as a form of sartorial resistance against the Francophilia of Enlightenment elites. Only at a later stage did the Spanish aristocracy adopt the so-called majo fashion and turn it into an elaborate statement of Spanishness (Noyes, 1998). From these findings, we might conclude that some elements of national traditions were not merely ‘invented’ by elites, but rather taken from popular culture and subsequently organized and homogenized into a national narrative (as is argued in the ethnicity theory of A. D. Smith). The recastings of national identity should not, therefore, be necessarily considered derivative of elite nationalizing strategies. The same holds true for the contents of national identification. Which nation did ordinary people identify with, and for what reasons? Several ‘markers of identity’, such as language, race, memory and a common will to build a future, loom as particularly significant. It has proven hazardous, however, even within ‘traditional’ research, to determine which of these markers were central to which nationalisms. Yet it is even more difficult to measure the degree to which ordinary people merged these different elements of identity into one, more or less meaningful master-narrative about the nation’s past, present and future. Did they know the masternarratives construed by national elites, and if so, did they actually reproduce them? Did they use elements of elite discourses to construct an alternative, and possibly even subversive, national identity – for instance, through parodies of the national anthem? Brophy, for one, shows in his contribution to this volume how ordinary Rhinelanders


Introductory Section

inverted the wording of popular songs to taunt the authorities. Or, alternatively, did ordinary people neglect the national canon as it was presented to them and fashion their own national heroes and narratives? National identification can attach itself as readily to folk heroes as to the painters and composers who are so central to the well-established national myths. Rather than disentangling those various elements, though, the study of nationhood from below should concentrate on the ways in which they fit together in barely premeditated but, for that same reason, all the more forceful national stereotypes. These could concern the characteristics of one’s own nation (autostereotypes) and those of others (heterostereotypes) (Heuberger et al., 1998). By way of hypothesis, it can be expected that, among ordinary people, the latter were generally stronger, or at least more pronounced, than the former. If this is indeed the case, national identity would become manifest primarily in an indirect way, namely as a complement to the construction of ‘otherness’. National identity is indeed a variable and relative concept. Not only does it appear as a complement to alterity, it also has to share the field with other sources of identification such as gender, race, class, region, ethnicity, ideology, religion and transnationality. These alternative sources of identification can in some cases be congruent with national identity – and, therefore, strengthen its case – but in other cases contradict it. Trying to assess the strength of national identification within this larger field of identities also means that questions arise about the intensity of everyday national sentiments. When historians investigate national elites, this question is of secondary importance, since these elites presumably privilege national identity over most other forms of collective loyalty (although not necessarily of course). For those who do not actively and consciously engage in nation-building activities, national identity is mostly an ‘intervening force’ in a complex set of sentiments, often in competition with one another. From a from-below perspective, the importance of national identity within people’s ‘sentimental economy’ should be weighed. Not everyone who fanatically supports his or her national football team is also willing to die for the fatherland. Because the form, context and intensity of national identities are never immutable or universal, our second set of explanatory questions is particularly apposite: it focuses on explaining the full variety and diversity of national identities. And here of course the top-down and modernization paradigms offer valuable explanations involving the role of the state, civil society and the economy, which need to be critically

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assessed in view of their precise impact on ordinary people, as Fernando Molina and Miguel Cabo show in their contribution on Spain. Other explanatory questions that need to be tackled are as follows: which variables account for both the synchronic and the diachronic divergences in the way national sentiments are manifested (e.g. variations between countryside and city, between lower, (lower-)middle and upper-class strata)? In her chapter, Ilaria Porciani refers to specific geographic and social conditions (e.g. the presence of activists, or proximity to larger cities) to explain the ‘leopard-skin pattern with well-defined spots of intensive [nationalist] activity combined with larger areas of silence, immobility and even reaction’ (p. 74). Can we indeed relate these spots in a meaningful manner to sociological determinants such as provenance, profession, wealth, literacy or social capital? Or, are these personal facts ‘overruled’ by external historical circumstances? For example, does national identity become a dominant preoccupation at times of international tension, and does it recede again after the end of conflict – regardless of people’s social profile? To what extent and in what ways do economic conjunctures contribute to fluctuations in national identity? Do people revert to nationalism when their standard of living is threatened? If so, does this challenge the connection that is usually made between national identity and emotion, irrationalism or even mysticism (François et al., 1995)? These two explanatory lines (material self-interest vs. emotion) need not exclude each other. Objective economic cycles may influence the subjective status concerns of groups, which immediately affect their susceptibility towards nationalism, as Antoon Vrints suggests in his contribution to this volume. Having answered these questions, it should be possible to present a ‘retrodictive theory’ of nationalism – to rephrase the formula used by Stanley Payne with regard to fascism (Payne, 1997, pp. 487–495). Such a theory should be able to explain why nationalism became a popular mass affair at certain times, in certain places, within certain groups – and why it did not in other instances. This volume, which focuses on the long nineteenth century, the period during which mass nationalism became an important political factor on the European scene, does not have the ambition to offer such an all-encompassing theory. It is merely a first step towards providing some elements in its construction.

3. Guide to this volume The underlying problem that gives unity to this volume is the critical assessment of the linear sequential narrative present in many theoretical


Introductory Section

and monographic studies of nationalism. Hroch’s ABC model, for instance, describes the growth of ‘small’ nations or national movements from an elite to a mass affair (although some movements are stunted and do not go beyond phase A or B) (Hroch, 2000 (1985)). He distinguishes three phases in their evolution. In phase A, a small group of scholars becomes interested in the folkloric, historical, literary and linguistic patrimony of their community. In phase B, a new generation of patriots campaigns in the public domain for the creation of a completely integrated social structure. This means that, in a language community of peasants, for instance, this new generation will promote the establishment of educated and business classes. If successful, the national movement enters phase C and becomes a mass movement: in all social strata of the population, the nation is accepted as self-evident. In his contribution to this volume, Laurence Cole calls this an implicitly developmental process through which societies eventually nationalize. By looking at Hroch’s model ‘from below’, we might be able to envisage a more dynamic process, involving for instance ‘relapses’. A ‘return’ from phase B to A or from C to B is possible due to profound societal shifts. War, for instance, is a likely candidate for having not only a catalysing but also a decatalysing impact on small national movements. On a similar plane, several contributions explore tensions between elite and popular versions of the nation. Yet we can distinguish two forms of conflict that seem to be different in kind. People may disagree about what the nation is, or even about whether it exists. In other words, the boundaries of the in-group are at issue. Or they may fall out over the question of what the nation’s social and political future should look like. In the latter case, the borders of the nation are not at stake – there is a relative consensus on what counts as a fellow national; rather, the issue is what socio-economic and political programmes the nation should pursue. Do these ostensibly dissimilar forms of national disagreement correspond to different phases in the development of nations? Are they stages along a developmental path? Is, for instance, the former conflict about the nation’s boundaries proof of an uncrystallized stage of nationalist development, which precedes the latter conflict about the nation’s future outlook? It is concerns like these that lie at the basis of this book. This volume does not aspire to be a comprehensive survey of the whole of Europe. Rather we have brought together a number of authors who were willing to tackle the issue of nationhood from below from their particular field of expertise. Although not all European regions are equally represented, the chapters in this volume relate to a host

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of present-day countries in Western, Southern, Northern and Central Europe: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Poland, Slovenia and Spain.4 The contributions fall into three main clusters: an introductory section, a number of historiographical survey chapters and a part with case studies. Besides the present article, the first cluster contains John Breuilly’s contribution, ‘What Does It Mean to Say that Nationalism is “Popular”?’, on the merits and demerits of adapting social history to nationalism studies. Reviewing the literature that addresses the link populace–nation, he proposes a distinction between motivational and structural nationalism to escape the ‘problematic dualism between “history (spontaneous) from below” or “social history” set against “history (manipulation) from above” or “political history” ’ (p. 34). Breuilly’s chapter is followed by historiographic survey articles on Spain, Italy and Imperial Austria and on France, Germany and Great Britain. Fernando Molina and Miguel Cabo’s chapter on Spain focuses on the influential thesis of ‘weak nationalization’, which dominated Spanish historiography until recently and according to which the state failed to turn peasants into Spaniards during the long nineteenth century. New research increasingly takes into account nationalization mechanisms within civil society and the public sphere, the complementarity of regionalism and Spanish nation-building, the blending of different identities and the view from the rural and urban popular classes. Perspectives from below have surfaced in studies of workingclass, peasant and Catholic environments. Through a broad survey of the historiography on the Italian unification movement, Ilaria Porciani critically tackles the issue of non-elite involvement. She warns against the dangers of romanticizing the ‘people’ and against the present-day ideological abuse of history by the political right in Italy. In spite of the difficulty of assessing popular participation through sources such as figures of war volunteers, attendance at national and civic festivals, membership lists of friendly and mutual-aid societies and political onomatology, Porciani sees a number of research opportunities. The most notable of these is the role of (lower-)middle class women as agents of nationalization. Laurence Cole’s contribution, ‘Differentiation or Indifference? Changing Perspectives on National Identification in the Austrian Half of the Habsburg Monarchy’ argues that, in spite of the wealth of studies on nationalism in the lands of Central and East–Central Europe under Habsburg rule, national identification processes of ordinary people have been comparatively neglected. Cole states that ‘it is not only


Introductory Section

a question of accounting for processes of national differentiation but also of explaining seeming indifference to national claims and messages’ (p. 99). New research, increasingly carried out at the regional and local levels, emphasizes the potential fluidity of (multi-layered) national identities, the limited appeal among the masses of overtly national politics and the popular allegiance to the Habsburg dynasty and state. Reviewing the literature on French, British and German nationhood, Maarten Van Ginderachter proposes a three-tier chronology in the way nationalism research developed. During the 1970s and 1980s, when the modernist and constructivist paradigm was elaborated, a top-down vision of nation-building predominated. From the 1990s on, the linear and monolithic version of nation-building was questioned. Attention turned towards the bottom-up view, the fragmentation of national identity and its interlacing with other group loyalties such as class, race, gender or region. In the last ten years, sources originating from ordinary people have been increasingly used in national identity research. The third part of this volume brings together several specific case studies that can be grouped in a number of ways. For the sake of convenience, we have chosen to cluster them into two broadly defined thematic groups: ‘the domestic Other’ and ‘the external Other’. In the former section, the construction of nationhood revolves around the alterity of groups (often minorities) within the nation. In the latter, it focuses on foreigners abroad, the extreme case being the identification processes a war sets in motion. We believe that other thematic subdivisions might valorize categories we want to avoid. It is, for instance, possible to structure the case studies along the lines of ‘appropriation’, ‘rejection’ and ‘competition’ of elite and non-elite notions of the nation. Yet this would give the impression that these processes can be disentangled, while one of the central threads of this volume is that, in practice, they cannot. Nationhood from below is at once about appropriating, challenging, rejecting and amalgamating different imaginations of the nation. This complex reality might get lost if we objectify these divisions in the structure of the book. The current organization of the case studies, while being rather loose, has the advantage of throwing light on the complex contingent reality of identification processes from below. The first section, ‘The Domestic Other’, starts with Miika Tervonen’s ‘The Nation and Its Outsiders: the “Gypsy Question” and Peasant Nationalism in Finland, c. 1863–1900’, in which the author relates the construction of ethnicity to nation-building efforts. Tervonen shows how ethnic differences between Finns and Roma became politicized at the local level in rural communities, prior to the rise of the bourgeois

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fennoman movement. The broader context was the lack of a clear external Other as Finnish political elites were dependent on Russia. In his chapter ‘Which Political Nation? Soft Borders and Popular Nationhood in the Rhineland, 1800–1850’, James Brophy points out how an official ban on oppositional politics unwittingly produced a crypto-public sphere in which popular culture became an intermediary for politics and national identity. Brophy presents a wide array of popular evidence including songs, liberty-tree rituals, charivaris and folk calendars. These sources bear witness to ordinary Rhinelanders’ imagined nation with their ‘claims for freedom, constitutions, and participatory governance’ (p. 176). Brophy also highlights the linguistic, religious and migratory factors that affected their lasting Francophilia and their transnational political affinities within the Rhine basin. At the popular level, in this time period the national Other was not yet clearly articulated in the Rhineland. The fluid mental borders between France and Germany provide a fitting link to the next section, ‘The External Other’. Saartje Vanden Borre and Tom Verschaffel’s contribution, ‘Between or Without Nations? Multiple Identifications among Belgian Migrants in Lille, Northern France, 1850–1900’, uses diverse popular sources (folk songs; police or press reports of demonstrations; and names of pubs and associations) to show how Belgian migrants’ integration was a complex balancing act. In ‘From the Wound a Flower Grows. A Re-Examination of French Patriotism in the face of the Franco-Prussian War’, Jean-François Chanet deals with the effects of the war of 1870–1871 on France’s wounded selfimage. He questions the standard view that the French people’s ‘consent’ to the First World War was facilitated by the majority’s erstwhile support for the Government of National Defence in the Franco-Prussian war. To this end, he examines expressions of popular patriotism in 1870–1871 from a wide variety of sources, including observations of contemporaries, enlistment figures, reports of draft evasion and of popular acts of resistance. He concludes that what was missing among the masses was not patriotism as such, but instead a unitary concept of patriotism able to rally all the different groups in French society. The external German enemy, he argues, was not enough in itself. The last case study of this volume focuses on the First World War. In his chapter ‘Well-Being and Lower Class National Identification in Belgium during the First World War’, Antoon Vrints examines the link between hardship and popular constructions of nationhood. Vrints applies Amartya Sen’s ‘entitlement approach’ (moral and social perceptions of living standards) to the issue of national identity by focusing


Introductory Section

on the concrete significance and function of Belgianness in the particular context of the war. The lower social groups, Vrints concludes, only appropriated a particular form of national identity if it was socially functional to them and after they had adjusted it to their own needs. The volume closes with a general conclusion that brings together the different threads of the chapters and sketches a possible research agenda for the future.

Notes 1. Although conceptually not completely accurate, we will sometimes use the phrase ‘nationalism research’, for stylistic reasons, as shorthand for a wide variety of literature on nationalism, nation-building and national identity. Strictly speaking, we will use nationalism to refer to more organized and institutionalized forms of politicized activity, and national identity to rather unreflected propositions about the national self, not necessarily connected to a purposive agenda (Motyl, 1999, p. 71). National identification, in turn, hints at the more active processes of appropriating national propositions. Fully aware of the critique vented against the concept of national identity (Brubaker and Cooper, 2000), we are nevertheless convinced of its continued usefulness. As Laurence Cole has rightly remarked: ‘the notion of national identity [ . . . ] enables historians better to capture the dynamic process of individual and group identification with a national community, and to comprehend the relationship between ideas of the nation and other social and cultural attributes (regional identity, class, gender, and so on) [ . . . ] [It] allows historians to move away from – while not neglecting – the state and [ . . . ] “high politics”, in order to understand the process of national identification among different social constituencies and institutions’ (Cole, 2007). 2. One of the most important contributions from within the historical field is the lieux de mémoire approach (Nora, 1984–1992). 3. Although we use the conceptual pairs ‘from above–from below’ and ‘topdown–bottom-up’, we do not wish to imply a simple dichotomous relationship between unchanging entities. There are always processes of interaction and appropriation going on between different social circuits. The exchanges are not between the elite and the people, as these categories fall into several subgroups and many intermediate stages exist between top and bottom. 4. The conference that lies at the basis of this volume did feature more cases, but for the sake of consistency only a limited number was retained for this publication.

Bibliography Armstrong, John A. (2004). ‘Definitions, Periodization and Prospects for the longue durée’, in History and National Destiny: Ethnosymbolism and Its Critics, eds M. Montserrat Guibernau i Berdún and John Hutchinson (Oxford: Blackwell), pp. 9–18.

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Becker, Jean-Jacques (1977). 1914, Comment les français sont entrés dans la guerre (Paris: Presses de la Fondation nationale des sciences politiques). Becker, Jean-Jacques (1980). Les Français dans la Grande Guerre (Paris: Editions Robert Laffont). Berger, Stefan (2005). ‘A Return to the National Paradigm? National History Writing in Germany, Italy, France, and Britain from 1945 to the Present’, The Journal of Modern History, 77, 3, 629–678. Bhabha, Homi K. (1990). Nation and Narration (London: Routledge). Breuilly, John (2002). ‘Nationalismus als kulturelle Konstruktion. Einige Überlegungen’, in Die Politik der Nation: Deutscher Nationalismus in Krieg und Krisen, 1760–1960, eds Jörg Echternkamp and Sven Oliver Müller (München: R. Oldenbourg), pp. 247–269. Brubaker, Rogers (1992). Citizenship and Nationhood in France and Germany (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press). Brubaker, Rogers and Cooper, Frederick (2000). ‘Beyond Identity’, Theory and Society, 29, 1, 1–47. Chatterjee, Partha (1993). The Nation and Its Fragments: Colonial and Postcolonial Histories (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press). Cole, L. (2007). ‘Introduction: Re-Examining National Identity in NineteenthCentury Central Europe and Italy’, in Different Paths to the Nation. Regional and National Identities in Central Europe and Italy, 1830–1870, ed. L. Cole (Basingstoke: Palgrave), pp. 1–15. Cubitt, Geoffrey (ed.) (1998). Imagining Nations (Manchester: Manchester University Press). Dieckhoff, Alain (1996). ‘La Déconstruction d’une illusion. L’introuvable opposition entre nationalisme politique et nationalisme culturel’, L’Année sociologique, 46, 1, 43–55. Dubois, Sébastien (2005). L’Invention de la Belgique. Genèse d’un état–nation (Bruxelles: Racine). Eley, Geoff and Nield, Keith (2000). ‘Farewell to the Working Class?’, International Labor and Working-Class History, 57, Spring, 1–30. Eriksonas, Linas and Müller, Leos (2005). ‘Statehood Before and Beyond Ethnicity, 1600–2000’, in Statehood Before and Beyond Ethnicity. Minor States in Northern and Eastern Europe, eds Linas Eriksonas and Leos Müller (New York: Lang), pp. 11–23. Febvre, Lucien (1932). ‘Économistes, historiens, hommes d’action: Albert Mathiez: un tempérament, une éducation’, Annales d’histoire économique et sociale, 4, 18, 573–576. François, Etienne, Siegrist, Hannes and Vogel, Jakob (eds) (1995). Nation und Emotion: Deutschland und Frankreich im Vergleich: 19. Und 20. Jahrhundert (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht). Hastings, Adrian (1997). The Construction of Nationhood: Ethnicity, Religion and Nationalism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). Heuberger, Valeria, Suppan, Arnold and Vyslonzil, Elisabeth (eds) (1998). Das Bild vom Anderen. Identitäten, Mentalitäten, Mythen und Stereotypen in multiethnischen europäischen Regionen (Frankfurt: Peter Lang). Hobsbawm, Eric (1985). ‘History from below. Some Reflections’, in History from Below: Studies in Popular Protest and Popular Ideology in Honour of George Rudé, ed. Frederick Krantz (Montréal: Concordia University), pp. 63–73.


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Hobsbawm, Eric (1995 (1990)). Nations and Nationalism since 1780: Programme, Myth, Reality (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). Hroch, Miroslav (2000 (1985)). Social Preconditions of National Revival in Europe: A Comparative Analysis of the Social Composition of Patriotic Groups among the Smaller European Nations (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). Hroch, Miroslav (2005). Das Europa der Nationen. Die moderne Nationsbildung im europäischen Vergleich (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht). Motyl, Alexander J. (1999). Revolutions, Nations, Empires: Conceptual Limits and Theoretical Possibilities (New York: Columbia University Press). Nora, Pierre (ed.) (1984–1992). Les Lieux de mémoire, 7 vols (Paris: Gallimard). Noyes, Dorothy (1998). ‘La Maja Vestida. Dress as Resistance to Enlightenment in Late 18th Century Madrid’, Journal of American Folklore, 111, 440, 197–217. Payne, Stanley (1997). A History of Fascism, 1914–1945 (London: UCL Press). Prakash, Gyan (1994). ‘Subaltern Studies as Postcolonial Criticism’, American Historical Review, 99, 5, 1475–1490. Sharpe, Jim (2001). ‘History from Below’, in New Perspectives on Historical Writing, ed. Peter Burke (Cambridge: Polity press), pp. 25–42. Suny, R. G. (2002). ‘Back and Beyond: Reversing the Cultural Turn?’, American Historical Review, 107, 5, 1476–1499. Thompson, E. P. (1966). ‘History from Below’, Times Literary Supplement, 7 April. Thompson, E. P. (1966 (1963)). The Making of the English Working Class (New York: Vintage Books).

2 What Does It Mean to Say that Nationalism Is ‘Popular’? John Breuilly

1. Introductory comments The theme of this volume concerns a major deficit in the field of nationalism studies, both historical and contemporary. These studies focus overwhelmingly on either discourse or politics. In the case of discourse, there are many studies of intellectual arguments, literature, art, music, theatre, architecture, ritual and ceremony. In the case of politics, much is published on the propaganda, ideologies, policies and actions of nationalist movements and regimes. Often the two concerns are virtually fused, as when forms of nationalist politics are seen as expressions of mind-sets shaped by discourse, or where the discourse of nationalism is seen as a function of political interests.1 Insofar as nationalism studies consider the popular significance of nationalism – whether in direct forms, as mass support for nationalist opposition movements or nationalist regimes, or in more diffuse forms such as investigations of ‘banal’ nationalism – they usually do so by means of assertive leaps. High turnouts at nationalist festivals and ceremonies, popular backing given to nationalist politicians and national governments or the national imagery deployed in popular media are deemed to indicate agreement between audience and organizer, readership and editors, voters and politicians. However, such agreement requires direct evidence. One cannot assume that ‘positive’ popular responses such as votes for a nationalist party, mass volunteering at the outbreak of war or mass participation in nationalist demonstrations mean congruency between the motives and values of those making nationalist appeals and those supporting them by voting, volunteering or demonstrating. Rather than congruency, the explanation might lie in convergence between different perceptions and actions. 23


Introductory Section

For example, a study of British volunteering for military service in South Africa during the Boer War showed that rates of volunteering were highest in times and places of greatest unemployment (Price, 1972). It might be specific economic and social policies that attract votes, even if the party in question sees itself principally in strongly nationalist terms. People may join demonstrations or the armed forces because an authoritative body (a church, a state) commands them to do so. So the first and most obvious requirement of any project to study ‘popular nationalism’ or ‘nationalism from below’ is an empirical one. Recognize that popular support for nationalist discourse or politics does not in itself provide evidence about the role of nationalism in that popular action. Look for sources that will provide the direct evidence needed to probe popular attitudes and motives. This task is more easily stated than achieved. I will not reiterate obvious points about the paucity of sources for the actions, thoughts and emotions of members of the subordinate classes. Such matters have been explored in detail by social historians and are central to the other chapters of this book. Instead I will focus on the question of whether there are special conceptual problems about the relationship between social history and nationalism, in writing the social history of nationalism, when compared to writing the social history of class and occupation, gender or race. I start with the reasons why ‘social history’ and ‘history from below’, which were practised with such vigour especially in the 1960s and 1970s, have had so little to say about national identity and nationalism.2 In part, this was because nationalism was not a major concern. Nationalism in both the USA and Europe at that time was implicitly seen as dead. Historians focused on internal divisions within nationstates that were taken for granted, divisions such as class and, a little later, gender and race.3 Where nationalism did appear to be both significant and popular, as in liberation movements in colonial territories, this could be explained precisely because there was a class and/or race dimension involved, or simply because imperial rule offended universal norms about human freedom and dignity. Finally, the historians investigating workers, non-whites and women were for the most part hostile to what they thought of as nationalism and tended, therefore, to minimize its intrinsic appeal to the people they studied. So even where nationalism did appear important and in clear contradiction to class, race or gender interests, there was a tendency to explain this away rather than simply to explain. As the editors make clear in their introduction and as is elaborated by Van Ginderlachter in his chapter, the situation did change somewhat in

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the 1990s, when nationalism was again taken seriously. However, this new interest was strongly influenced by concerns with discourse and notions of multiple identity rather than with ideology and its underpinning interests. The problematic of earlier social historians – class or gender or race versus national identity – was displaced. The new historiography did not seek synthesis but stressed fragmentation. Discourse studies took the place of the older techniques of social historians, which were applied to such sources as the local press, police reports and mass data contained in birth, marriage and death certificates and records of migration. Many of the chapters in this book return to those techniques and sources, especially the qualitative ones. They encounter the same problems as those that social historians of industrial workers, Afro-American slaves or lower-class women confronted. However, I will not consider such problems or discuss these chapters in detail, but rather consider conceptual problems about combining the social history of subordinate groups with the study of national identity and nationalism. Before doing that, I will briefly review ways in which earlier social or labour historians actually did deal with nationalism. Some of that work has lessons from which we can learn. It also leads into my consideration of the special problems confronting those who wish to study national identity and nationalism at a popular level. Having done that, I will conclude with some suggestions about the need for explicit concepts and frameworks within which to situate current research. Above all, I will argue that we need to retain macro-frameworks and approaches in order to ensure that popular nationalism is situated within processes like industrialism, modern warfare and nation-state formation, rather than becoming a disconnected series of largely descriptive studies.

2. Earlier social history and the ‘problem’ of nationalism Arguably, the notion that lower-class groups were not only objects of interest but subjects whose ideas and actions actually shaped historical change begins with the emergence of organized radical and labour movements from the mid-nineteenth century on.4 It was given its most explicit analytical shape and methodology by Marx and institutionalized as historical practice in the socialist parties of the later nineteenth century. However, that tradition was shut out of the official practices and arguments of historical study, which in turn were closely linked to nation-state formation and nationalist values. Marxist socialism was internationalist. The problem for Marxist historians was, especially with the outbreak of war in 1914, to explain the ‘irrational’


Introductory Section

appeal of nationalism. That has continued to remain a central problem for historians who assume that class (or gender or race) provides some primary level of identity and interest that conflicts with those posited by nationalism. Nevertheless, it does mean that popular nationalism – when it seems indubitably to exist – is a major concern of these historians. We may criticize how they dealt with the subject, but we cannot say that the subject itself was neglected.5 One way of ‘explaining’ the contradiction is to argue that, instead of treating nationalism as some ‘external’ value system imposed by elites, one should assume that nationalism was ‘always there’ at a popular level. In modern nationalism studies, this is a claim frequently made by ethno-symbolists, who focus on the transmission of myths and memories from one generation to another. I leave this approach aside because in my view the work almost always takes the form of discourse studies, and it does not enter the terrain of the social historians who seriously explore issues of popular reception and meaning.6 Instead, I want to focus on the historical claim that nationalism was ‘always there’ within the early radical and labour movement, because nationalism itself was originally radical and oppositional. James Brophy’s book on popular culture and the public sphere in the Vormärz Rhineland supports this point, for example by showing how German patriotic songs after 1815 targeted German princes rather than other nations – indeed they were often associated with Francophilia rather than Francophobia7 (Brophy, 2007). With the rise of more organized radical movements in the 1830s, nationalism and internationalism were expressed as complementary, not contradictory values. Mid-nineteenthcentury radicals from different lands were in regular contact, often through the experience of exile, providing mutual support and influencing each other’s ideas. We see this in the early internationalist organizations of the 1830s, 1840s and 1850s, and then in the formation of the International Working Men’s Association (First International) in 1864. Such radical nationalism/internationalism was not just about democratization and socialism but evinced a clear pride in particular national cultures and achievements. This radical nationalism was carried through into the formation of national labour parties. The nationalism of the German socialist party was not an imposition from the outside of the values of liberal nationalists or the regime of the Second Empire, but the adaptation of this original democratic nationalism to the new conditions of a German nation-state. Clearly, the mechanics of elite–mass relationships are transformed when the nationalist elite is placed within the popular

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labour movement. This is an insight that was lost in later ‘top-down’ nationalist studies, which either failed to see this radical origin or imagined that nationalism in some way migrated rightwards and upwards before returning in this new form to shape popular nationalism. What Conze and Groh argued in their seminal study of the relationship between the labour and the national movements in Germany was that, faced with the official appropriation of nationalism, socialists felt compelled to express their own patriotism in anti-national terms, but that nationalism continued as a significant force nevertheless and, in 1914, was enabled to come clearly to the surface again (Conze and Groh, 1966). There are some very debatable ideas at work here, but the argument merits serious consideration. A second and linked approach accounts for the rise of popular nationalism in terms of the appropriation of nationalist values, or at least language, to specific class interests. This can be argued in a number of ways: 1. The generalization of the nation-state form throughout Europe established it as the framework within which class interests were pursued. In this process, the labour movement became attached to the very framework within which it acted (Schwarzmantel, 1991). 2. The ultimate aim of such movements was state power. This inoculated a realism into the attitudes of labour movement leaders and much of the rank and file.8 Both longer and shorter-term perspectives were influenced. In the long term, socialists could adapt the Marxist notion that the working class was inexorably growing to the prospect of achieving a parliamentary majority that would force the ruling class either into a desperate coup or into ceding power to that majority. Revisionism questioned the inevitability of a working-class majority, but it argued, in turn, that organized labour needed to bring other exploited classes (peasants, lower middle class, rural labourers) into a popular alliance. For such a politics, the language of populist nationalism was very well fitted. In the short term, for example in the crisis of July/August 1914, we find labour and socialist party leaders calculating the costs and benefits of opposing or supporting war and concluding that the costs of opposition (imprisonment, repression) were too great while there were distinct benefits to be gained by supporting war (involvement in the political process, the concessions that would have to be made by the state in the postwar period). Of course, we may instead explain this as a rationalization of a more instinctively nationalist


Introductory Section

position, either from leaders directly or through the pressure – real or anticipated – exerted upon them from below. 3. Finally, Marxist and non-Marxist labour historians alike developed stage theories of progress.9 These could justify labour and socialist movements in more ‘advanced’ societies defending their nation-state against more backward ones – an argument that was, for example, exploited by the German government to stress the danger posed by Russian military mobilization while downplaying German mobilization against France. But again, an alternative argument was that this attitude rationalized a more instinctive anti-Russian nationalism. In all these cases, two key points are to be stressed. First, the tendencies towards nationalism come from within the labour and radical movement: it is how these interact with other forms of nationalism that requires study – and study rather than assuming nationalism as an external, top-down force. Second, one can hold on to the primacy of class interest in explaining such popular nationalism. However, there are two major problems with this history, which purports to be popular and from below. The first is that exactly the same point applies to the labour and socialist leadership and their degree of popular support as to nationalist elites and popular support: congruency does not directly indicate shared values. Of course, where there is a whole sub-culture of associations, pubs and clubs, newspapers and journals, songs and theatre, one might expect a closer fit, but even that only applies to labour movement culture, and not to working-class culture as a whole. The second problem is as follows. Even if these arguments can be found to command popular understanding and assent, how do we know that they are not forms of rhetoric – the ways in which the activists within the labour movement justify positions through language acceptable to the norms of the movement, rather than using a more unmediated but also genuine language of national emotion? This brings us to the third strand in left-wing or progessive historians’ consideration of the working class–nationalism relationships – one that sees popular nationalism as emotional, irrational and manipulated, contradicting rather than expressing class interests, both material and ideal. There are various ways this argument can be developed. Broadly speaking, before the First World War, socialist historians did not consider that the core of the labour movement could itself be manipulated. Instead, the focus was on how competing interests could develop within the working class.

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The most influential of these accounts was one variant or another of the ‘labour aristocracy’ thesis, whereby a particular segment of the working class and/or labour movement is seen to have had an interest in supporting the nationalist and imperialist values propounded by the regime and ruling classes.10 The segment might be the organizational elite of the labour movement; or a stratum of more skilled, better paid or more upwardly mobile workers; it might even be a whole national working class in an imperial centre. At the other extreme, Marx himself had already coined the term ‘lumpenproletariat’ to pinpoint a low-skilled, semi-employed segment of the working class liable to manipulation from above, an explanation he used in relation to the Garde Mobile deployed to crush the June 1848 insurrection in Paris. This approach was still focusing on socio-economic interests, taking class analysis into the working class and explaining nationalism in terms of this internal sociology. An idea that became more influential after 1918, especially with the rise of populist forms of nationalism, in particular fascist movements, took up Marx’s dictum that the ruling ideas in a society are the ideas of the ruling class to see how workers could come to accept a set of values, usually including nationalism, from outside its class. In their different ways, Gramsci and Lukacs developed this line of analysis. However, the same central problem still remained: congruency does not directly prove agreement, whether this issues are in support for a Marxist–socialist party or for a fascist movement. Agreement also involved some notion of ‘true’ consciousness about the material and ideal interests of a class, which was contrasted with false consciousness. I have so far focused on ‘popular nationalism’ studies based on historians of the left and concerned primarily with labour movement and working-class history simply because this loomed largest in the social history of the time. There are other social groups upon which the study of popular nationalism can focus, above all peasants and the urban lower middle classes. These have been far less the object of organized and institutionally guided historical research than the working class, in particular the urban working class. From the left, one common assumption has been that such groups are open to manipulation from above in a way that is not true of the working class. Again, in response to the failure of the revolution of 1848–1849, which was in part due to popular support for reactionary and counter-revolutionary politics, Marx speculated that the fragmented structure of the peasantry, with its slight capacity for internal communication and collective action, made it vulnerable to authoritarian manipulation. It was not so much


Introductory Section

that peasants were ‘nationalists’ as that a form of authoritarian politics, which recognized specific peasant interests in land and prices, could gain their support, which could then appear like nationalist support if that happened to be the governmental position. This assumption of an authoritarian political style was made by conservative as well as by radical politicians; it underpinned Bismarck’s decision to institute universal manhood suffrage for the Reichstag. The calculation misfired when, for example, it led to mass support for the Centre Party, which opposed official nationalism. But, again, that in itself tells us nothing about the attitudes to nationalism of Catholic peasant or lower middle-class voters. After all, if the Catholic church and Catholic political parties brought themselves behind official nationalism, as in post-1918 Ireland or Poland, the position could appear to have reversed itself. Even more obviously than in the case of working class–nationalism relationships, convergence or divergence cannot be assumed to signify agreement between elite nationalism and popular sentiment. The story is further complicated by scholars who question the image of authoritarian peasant or lower middle-class politics. Historians of the French Revolution of 1848 and of its aftermath have identified the rural areas whose politics in these years anticipated the ‘red France’ of future decades.11 In Germany, there was a vibrantly radical and democratic type of politics in some regions of peasant, or at least small/medium farming agriculture.12 Further afield, writers like Frantz Fanon saw peasant and sub-peasant groups as the bedrock of anti-colonial nationalism and socialism, a line that achieved great influence given the success of the Chinese communists in 1949. And in that context it has been argued that Mao Zedong expressed a strong and populist form of Chinese nationalism. Urban lower middle-class groups – sometimes divided into an old and a new segment – have been seen as key supporters of populist, even radical, nationalism. Studies of agitational politics in the French Third Republic before 1914 and in the German Second Empire have highlighted the role of teachers and clerical workers in organizations such as the Navy League, or artisan and shopkeeper support for anti-semitic and anti-socialist populism. Sociological theories of post-1918 fascism were based on notions such as the ‘extremism of the centre’.13 But, again, the interpretations have been contested. Electoral analysis shows that the German Socialist Party was penetrating lower middleclass constituencies as it moved towards becoming the largest party in the 1912 elections, and later broad progressive movements have drawn on such groups. Indeed some have seen the core of the socialist

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and radical movements in a range of skilled working-class and lower middle-class groups between which there often was more inter-marriage, residential mingling and associational linkage than was the case among those below or above them.14 And, once again, we confront the same problem: convergence on common politics does not mean agreement with the values and ideas expounded by the leadership of the political movement involved. Many who voted for Hitler in July 1932 transferred their support elsewhere in the November election. We cannot take a Nazi vote in July as agreement with the nationalism of Hitler; conversely, we cannot take a different vote in November as disagreement. So far I have discussed what might be called classical forms of social history, which begin by analysing social structure, usually identifying specific classes and their interests, and then they seek to relate those classes and interests to the various kinds of political organizations and appeals operating in their society. What I find interesting about many of the chapters in this book is that they do not work in this way. Rather they begin with collective group concepts that frequently are not concepts of class. In some cases, it is a locality or a town to which one might or might not apply a class analysis. In others, it is a collectivity defined by a special situation, such as a war-struck community. In other cases still, it is a minority (gypsies) and their relation to the majority community. The advantage of this approach is that one is not burdened by a set of assumptions about class interests that initially exclude nationalism, which subsequently has to be fitted into the prior framework. The potential disadvantages are that the ‘group’ in question might well be defined in terms of some contingent situation rather than according to what one might take to be an enduring feature of social organization. Furthermore, a ‘national’ element is often built into this situation – for example, being at war with another nation-state, or being a minority treated as not belonging to the nation. Such situations can change rapidly, for instance with the ending of war. The very choice of the subject can contribute to the insight that identity is multiple and changing.

3. Some distinctions The kind of collectivity one chooses to study will have implications for the study, independently of the particular sources or techniques involved. A shift from ‘working class’ to ‘gypsy’ or ‘front-line soldier’ is not just from one group to another, but to a differently defined group


Introductory Section

and, I think, to different aspects of national identity or nationalism. I would start by making three distinctions. First, there are group definitions in terms of situation or structure. Studies of popular nationalism and peasant, lower middle-class or working-class national identifications or nationalist politics are based on some notion of a structured society in which there are enduring social positions and, presumably, identities and interests. Studies of front-line soldiers or popular responses to the threat or reality of war are based on a situation, a stage of life, in which such notions of enduring identity and interest are less applicable.15 Somewhere in-between these is the study of minorities, who are structured above all by their relationship to what is defined as the ‘majority’. Second, there is a rough, but I think important distinction to be made between nationalism with an internal and nationalism with an external focus, especially in a world of established nation-states. In peacetime, under conditions of stability within a nation-state, the focus is on internal differences within an assumed national consensus, although those differences also involve different conceptions of national interest or identity. By contrast, in times of war, there is often a more explicit, if coerced, consensus, focused on an external enemy. Obviously, the two different ways in which nationalism works within a nation-state overlap, as when an election in peacetime foregrounds concern with external enemies, or when, during war or an international crisis, nationalist arguments figure in domestic political conflict. Even in these cases, however, the distinction is helpful, for example in making judgements about which issues are of prime concern. Finally, there is a distinction to be made between national identification understood as an experience or sentiment, evidence for which is usually found in reflective, often ‘private’ forms of expression such as letters or diaries, and nationalism as collective action, usually expressed in such public forms as voting, demonstrating and fighting. A major problem for the historian is that a sentiment expressed reflectively does not always match up with collective actions and vice versa. The three distinctions tend to different kinds of research. At one extreme, we can look at reflective sentiments expressed in wartime by a situationally defined group of soldiers; at the other extreme, we can look at a routinized peacetime form of popular, class-defined politics. The earlier forms of social history I pointed to, especially emanating from the socialist and labour movement, tended to focus on the second kind of issue; many contemporary studies, including chapters in this book, focus more on the first.

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4. Frameworks for the study of popular nationalism I have identified a number of problems in the various projects seeking to connect the history of subordinate groups to nationalism. The early historiographical attempts to grapple with this issue – above all in the work produced from within the socialist and labour movements, and later in twentieth-century communist historical writing (which I have not had time to discuss) – focused on class as the basis of interest and identity and tended to treat nationalism as an external force, especially once nationalism became associated with nation-state regimes in class divided societies. (The one major exception to this was the deliberate reaction against it in Austro-Marxism, tellingly seeking to operate in a multi-national state with ethno-national distinctions extending into the socialist party and labour movement organizations themselves.)16 In the social history from the 1960s through to the 1980s, nationalism was not so much explained away as ignored, with some notable exceptions both in Western and Eastern Europe. In the revived interest in nationalism after 1990, the shift to discourse studies and treating groups and identities as situational and contingent rather than structural and enduring tended towards a fragmentation of the subject, reporting on reflective and specific, often individual experiences rather than treating nationalism as a political phenomenon linked to enduring social identities and conflicts. It seems as if the very genre ‘social history’ and the historical subject ‘nationalism’ have been so constructed that they pass each other by, like ships in the night. A key element of this is an assumption not just of ‘class’ versus ‘nation’, but also of how the ‘social’ is conceptually related to the ‘national’. An example occurs in revisionist studies of what was once taken to be popular nationalism in the Napoleonic period. On the one hand, there were the myths of nationalist resistance to Napoleon, variously developed in Spain, the German lands and elsewhere, which became the staple material of national views of the past, presented in academic, political and popular forms. In response to that, more recent social historical work stresses, on the other hand, the role of ‘other’ concerns such as material grievance, confessional zeal and desire for social change. Asked to explain the apparent convergence that gave some credibility to the national myths, these historians argue either that elite nationalists tailored their appeals to address these other interests or that there was an almost systematic misunderstanding, elite nationalism and popular action being based on quite different considerations (Planert, 2007).


Introductory Section

I think there is a good deal in such arguments, but there is also a conceptual problem here. Nationalism or national identity is constructed as a distinct but similar kind of subject to that of material grievance or religious belief; conceptually it occupies the same space, and, therefore, one must choose. It may be that the different choices can underpin the same collective response: Napoleon is variously French, godless and ruining our livelihoods, so we can all agree on hating him and on rallying round to defeat him.17 However, an alternative possibility is that nationalism or national identity provides a framework through which interests, whether material or ideal, are perceived or pursued. That is, the concept might refer to a different kind of subject. The nation can be posited as an interest that can conflict with other interests, as the objective of particular actions (what I will later call motivational nationalism), or it can be posited as a cognitive framework within which to perceive interests (what I will call structural nationalism). Another type of situation in which the national is interpreted as a new interest that displaces older ones is the study of popular nationalism seen as a consequence of nation-state formation, the nation as an idea which increasingly penetrates popular (mass) culture and politics and leads to a displacement of class by national concerns.18 Again, we have a prior non-national social history being either subordinated to or converging with a prior non-popular nationalism. These two broad forms of popular nationalism – oppositional nationalism and nationalism oriented to an existing nation-state – can be connected when some ‘peripheral’ area within a nation-state is seen as exploited or discriminated against and mobilizes a popular counternationalism opposed to the central state. There is a great deal of truth in these ways of seeking to combine the ‘social’ and the ‘national’, but we need to go further. Not only do we need historical research focused on the meaning of national(ist) ideas and sentiments at a popular level – seeking the difficult but direct forms of evidence for this; we also need to question this dualism between social and national(ist). It is linked to another problematic dualism: that between ‘history (spontaneous) from below’ or ‘social history’, and ‘history (manipulation) from above’ or ‘political history’, set against it. One way out of this dualism is to distinguish the different roles the appeal to national symbols and motifs can play in popular movements. I suggest making a distinction between ‘motivational’ and ‘structural’ nationalism. In the first situation, I think that the social–national dualism has a certain meaning and that ‘mutual manipulation’ is the typical relationship between elite and popular politics (e.g. in the way the

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national and the land question combined in revolutions in 1848). In the second situation the nation, or rather the nation-state, constitutes a field within which popular movements act rather than functioning as a specific motivation for action. Class or other kinds of conflict, rather than weakening, can now strengthen the popular significance of nationalism. I would also suggest that very often the shift from motivational to structural nationalism links to that from oppositional nationalism to nationalism within the nation-state. Finally, I suggest that the idea that the social and the national are similar and competing works best for the first kind of situation, and the idea of the social as being set within a national ‘field of action’ works better for the second.

5. Motivational and structural nationalism The distinction between motivational and structural nationalism struck me forcibly when writing on Ernest Gellner’s views of nationalism. As others have also pointed out, Gellner has not one, but two distinct theories of nationalism. The first, which I would call structural, is linked to modernization, above all urban industrialism, in which the idea of the national becomes part of everyday culture, a naturalized aspect of life. The second, which I would call motivational, is linked to the envious desire to modernize, taken up by those in the under-developed periphery. Many of the problems in Gellner’s work on nationalism derive from confusion arising from the failure to distinguish clearly between these two different theories.19 In Gellner’s work, it would appear that the structural has priority and that the motivational, peripheral nationalism is a response to the structural. However, I think there is a strong case for arguing that the relationship runs the other way round and that motivational nationalism often develops first within what we retrospectively term ‘developed national states’ – as in the case of Jacobin nationalism. However, I do not intend to propose some general theory here – a vain project – but rather to consider the different features of these two kinds of nationalism and their relation to the ‘popular’ or ‘social’ one. Nationalism as an explicit form of politics is originally oppositional and elitist. Its idioms are new and strange even as they insist that they are old and rooted in their society. We are here dealing with Miroslav Hroch’s stage A and, to some extent, stage B (Hroch, 2000). Such a politics achieve an apparently popular resonance, not through the appeals and arguments of its original elitist proponents, but either because more established structures of authority selectively appropriate it and/or


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because it establishes a pragmatic link with prior popular interests. The various responses to Napoleon support the first point; aspects of the revolutions of 1848 the second. In the case of responses to Napoleon, we can see the very distinct and pragmatic uses of national ideas by Catholic clerics in the Spanish insurrection by Protestant pastors in the north and central German lands and by monarchs who reluctantly appealed to their ‘people’ in lands not currently under their control. Very often there was a scatter-gun character to political propaganda, as those engaged in it had little idea of what would possess popular resonance. And in this pragmatic relationship the ‘national’ can quickly be displaced or repressed, as was the case after 1815. However, the populist tone in such nationalism can continue in an enduring form of oppositional politics, which was central to the radical and labour movements of the mid-nineteenth century. At a later stage – with the shift to ‘structural’ nationalism – nation-state formation and modernization can transform this motivational nationalism into an enduring acceptance of the nation as the frame within which distinct interests and identities are promoted. In that motivational stage, there is always a potential clash of different motives and interests between the national and the social. In the 1848 revolutions, we see this clearly in relation to the land question. Broadly, I would argue, in France, where oppositional nationalism was associated with urban radicalism, there was a peasant reaction linked to concerns with property rights and taxation. In parts of central Europe, notably in the Habsburg Empire, where peasant emancipation was incomplete, both oppositional nationalists and then counter-revolutionary dynasties met peasant demands for firm property rights. The nature of ‘peasant politics’ veered wildly between support for and rejection of oppositional nationalism, precisely because that was not what mattered. The social and the national appear as distinct and competing. We see this again and again, for example in Mazzini’s failure to develop a popular social programme and later in Garibaldi’s failure, when temporarily ruling Sicily, to ground his radical nationalism in enduring social constituencies. However, one can see indications of the development of structural nationalism, above all exemplified in the growth of liberal nationalism in many parts of Western Europe, as nationalism is increasingly articulated with (rather than against) modernizing trends.20 This process comes to a certain stage of maturity within the nation-state. What I call structural nationalism is not based on a shift from Hroch’s stage B to stage C. The problem with that framework is that it sees nationalism

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as something that spreads from top-down and is liable to the criticisms that are at the heart of this book. What is interesting, rather, is that explicit nationalism frequently remains a form of elite politics that encounters sharp rejections, for example in the formation of popular Catholic parties and, as we have already seen, of socialist and labour parties. Instead, it is the growing significance of the national as the field within which these new kinds of politics take shape that matters. The notion of a field actually requires distinct forces acting against one another. What matters is that, increasingly, this field defines and limits what the opposing forces imagine they can do and achieve.21 Within such a field, ‘motivational’ nationalism can appear as divisive. For example, the ultra-nationalists of the pre-1914 French Third Republic disputed the formation of coalition governments with socialist participation, yet arguably it was the politics of Jean Jaurés and not that of Charles Maurras that contributed most to the unity displayed in 1914. Regarding the nation as a distinct set of values, Maurras was not prepared to cooperate with the many Frenchmen who did not share those values. By contrast, Jaurés, who regarded the nation as a frame within which the socialist cause could be advanced, was prepared to cooperate with Frenchmen who did not share his socialist values. Another example is the divisiveness of the politics of pan-Germanism, navy-building and colonialism in the German Second Empire. But the more sharply political groups clashed on the basis of such motivational nationalism and its rejection, the more they silently accepted the nation-state as the field in which conflict took place. It is this, I would suggest, that leads to the ‘naturalization’ of the national, which Gellner saw as a product of industrialism and which underpins Billig’s notion of banal nationalism. Of course, these different kinds of nationalism can co-exist. War in 1914–1918 quickly reactivated motivational nationalism and its rejection, displayed in the growth of war weariness from 1916 on, but now with the added complications of the shared assumptions about structural nationalism. In the form of the nation-state, the national had not merely become naturalized and routinized, but also acquired an institutionalized and legitimate authority that could often achieve tasks less through invoking the national than through its own structural power, whether ideological, economic or coercive. One important criticism that could be levelled at these arguments needs to be considered. Let us assume that structural nationalism can help to explain why all politics within the increasingly nationalized


Introductory Section

nation-state accepts the national as the frame within which conflicting interests are pursued and why, therefore, these conflicting groups can act together when that frame is threatened from the outside, without having to assume that groups with initially non- or anti-national interests have in some way been manipulated by nationalists. However, what this assumption cannot explain is why there should develop counternationalist movements, which reject the existing nation-state in the name of some other nation. The clearest examples are those of separatist nationalisms, which assert the presence of a distinct nation within the territory of an existing state – although there is also a smaller class of unification nationalisms, which identify a separate nation straddling the borders of a number of existing states. (These two forms can also combine, as for example in the claims made by contemporary Kurdish nationalists.) I can only briefly address this problem. I would concede that motivational separatist or unification nationalism can develop within small elites in existing states, whether these states define themselves in national terms or not. The great hurdle to overcome, however, is to move from motivational to structural nationalism. I have argued that there can be pragmatic alliances between nationalists and popular interests, as in 1848, but these are brittle and can quickly be undermined by shifts in interest coalitions, as when dynasties concede peasant emancipation. I am sceptical of the nationalist argument that simply asserts that there is a common national identity and interest, which provides the most basic explanation. Rather I would propose two main lines of explanation. The first is that the existing state actually structures nationality into its own politics. For example, I would suggest that popular Slav nationalism develops much more strongly within the Habsburg Empire by comparison to the Ottoman or Romanov Empires because, certainly in the Western half, the dynasty permits and even encourages a national articulation of politics, starting with local politics – as for example in the towns of Bohemia (King, 2002). As elite local politics came to be structured along national lines, it in turn shaped the political perceptions of new entrants into politics. Thus, although representing distinct interests and often being autonomously organized, labour interests came to organize themselves along German and Czech lines. Of course there are national ‘markers’ (such as language), and these often coincide with conflicts of interests (e.g. between Slav-speaking peasants and Magyaror German-speaking landowners), but there is a distinct political process that can convert pragmatic coalitions behind motivational nationalism into popular structural nationalism.

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The second route involves a combination of state collapse and international intervention. Nation-state formation is not a gradual evolution taking place as each nationalist movement reaches a certain level of development, but rather a sudden process that happens in waves linked to an international crisis, usually when regimes are overturned by some combination of war and revolution (Wimmer and Feinstein, 2010). The three major such waves in the twentieth century came after the two world wars and the collapse of the Soviet Union. In all three situations, for different reasons and in different forms, the nation-state was seen as the proper successor to the failed imperial state. By the last decades of the century, the nation-state was overwhelmingly regarded as the default option for the exercise of sovereign power over a territory and population – in other words, structural nationalism was dominant (Meyer et al., 1997). Finally, one should be aware that these shifts, which I note here, take place at different times, in different places and also within a changing overall context. In many parts of central Europe, even after war broke out in 1914, it appears that the social and the national remained quite distinct, even opposed, and it is rather the effects of war that bring them jarringly together in new ways, with all kinds of implications for the new nation-states formed on the territories of defeated dynasties.

6. Concluding remarks I will confine these remarks to three issues. First, I think this motivational/structural distinction has implications for debates about contemporary nationalism and national identity at a popular level, especially in view of arguments raised about the marginalization of the national in the context of globalization and supra-national institutions such as the European Union. Nationalism, of course, has always had a transnational character and only makes sense in terms of global relationships, even if, as an ideology or sentiment, it conceals or denies this. One can certainly envisage motivational nationalism becoming even stronger in response to some contemporary developments, for example the defence of some ‘essential’ national identity against immigration, low-cost imports or neoliberal efforts to dismantle state welfare provision. Of course, like all such nationalisms, it will encounter internal dissent, often linked to conflicting interests in cheap unskilled labour and products and in reduced taxation. More interesting is whether the nation-state, as the natural ‘field of action’ that contains and underpins such conflicts, will continue to be as important. Much elite politics is already operating


Introductory Section

beyond the nation-state and advocating cosmopolitanism as the next step beyond nationalism. Theorists write about world cities with closer connections to each other than to their national hinterlands. Perhaps the central aspect of populist nationalism will, in fact, be the defence of the nation precisely as the key field of action, the place in which forms of democratic and popular politics have managed to entrench themselves – and such forms are condemned by elite cosmopolitans for precisely that reason. Second, I have not sought to address the specific issues raised by other chapters. In particular, I have said nothing about issues concerning evidences and techniques simply because that is better coming from those engaged in such detailed research, but also in part because this has been a well-covered field since the turn to social history in the 1960s. Finally, my chief concern is that, in pursuing a fresh and important line of research – nationalism or national identity ‘from below’ – we should be clear about the conceptual as well as the empirical problems involved. We should realize that there are different ways of constructing the two subjects of the popular/social and the national, and that these have important implications. I am also concerned that we retain a macro-framework, most importantly to do with modernization and its links to the making of a world of nationstates, as this is necessary to understand the political significance of nationalism.

Notes 1. For different approaches to nationalism, see Ozkirimli (2010). 2. On the shifts from social history to cultural history and then to discourse history, and on their theoretical costs and benefits, see Sewell (2005). 3. I leave aside ‘ethnicity’ because this concept has itself been transformed in modern nationalism studies, shifting from a connotation either of race (in US urban sociology) or of small kinship group (as in European anthropology practised in colonial Africa) into a largely constructivist concept, developed in close relation to that of nation. 4. Conceptually, one could begin with eighteenth-century Enlightenment concepts of a universal human nature, including reason, which mean that in principle the lowest social orders could be understood in the same ways as the superior ones. The argument for peasant emancipation crucially rested on such a shift in assumptions (Gagliardo, 1969). However, the notion of the popular classes as rational agents only becomes politically significant with revolutionary and radical movements at the end of the century. The categories deployed during and immediately after the French Revolution were somewhat vague and often romanticized or demonized in the following decades, although by the 1830s study of the Revolution was deploying

John Breuilly

5. 6.

7. 8.


10. 11.



14. 15.


17. 18.

19. 20.


notions of class and class conflict. Marx was deeply influenced by such work, for example by Guizot’s history of the Revolution (Furet, 1988). On Marxism, Marxist socialism and nationalism, see Cummins (1980), Nimni (1991) and Szporluk (1988). Generally on ethno-symbolism, see chapter 5 of Ozkirimli (2010). For a sophisticated account of the formation and transmission of national stereotypes, see Leerssen (2006). Brophy’s contribution to this book takes up a related but distinct issue, namely the ‘transnational’ character of the Rhineland. This is a central theme in many studies of the largest Marxian socialist party in pre-1914 Europe, the German Socialist Party. For a standard history in English, see Guttsman (1981). The chief theorist of the German Socialist Party, Karl Kautsky, developed just such a theory (Geary, 1987). Slightly different was the idea, taken up by both Marx and Engels from Hegel, of ‘historical’ and ‘non-historical’ nations and used, for example, to insist that Slav peoples could not develop independent nations or independent working-class movements within those nations. That, in turn, was a problem that Marxist socialists in the late Habsburg Empire had to confront and move beyond (Rosdolsky, 1986; Bauer, 2000). See Breuilly (1992), which includes studies of the concept and historiography of labour aristocracy. This approach began with studies of peasant resistance to Louis Napoleon’s coup and then of the electoral success of democratic socialist parties in certain rural regions thereafter. A key study was Margadant (1979). This provoked a lively debate in the German Socialist Party about whether it should seek to tap this constituency or continue to argue for an orthodox of line of movement from large-scale capitalist to collectivized farming (Hussain and Tribe, 1980). The idea of the extremism of the centre, meaning that fascism especially drew its support from radicalized voters in the lower-middle class, was advanced in Lipset (1960), especially in chapter 5. Electoral analysis of the Nazi vote has become very sophisticated; see, for example, Falter (1991). For a study that places this in a comparative framework of fascist studies, see Larsen et al. (1982). On the electoral sociology of pre-1914 Germany, see Sperber (2005). The comment by the great Marxist historian of the French Revolution, Albert Soboul, that being a sans-culotte was three years out of a man’s life captures this disjunction between a contingent and a structural situation. The key work was Otto Bauer’s study, now translated into English as Bauer (2000). For work by the other key theorist, Karl Renner, and for discussions of the Austro-Marxist advocacy of ‘national cultural autonomy’, see Nimni (2005). I consider these questions in some detail in Breuilly (2009). The classic study remains Weber (1976). On the influence of this approach, both as what ‘normally’ happens and as what ‘exceptionally’ does not happen, see Cabo and Molina (2009). I elaborate on this in my introduction to the second (2006) edition of Gellner’s Nations and Nationalism. I develop this argument in detail for the German lands in Breuilly (2007).


Introductory Section

21. I have been especially influenced by the way Reinhard Koselleck elaborated the notion of a field (Koselleck, 2004). The concept was developed also by Pierre Bourdieu (e.g. Bourdieu, 1984, especially pp. 226–256: ‘The dynamics of fields’).

Bibliography Bauer, Otto (2000). The Question of Nationalities and Social Democracy (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press). Bourdieu, Pierre (1984). Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste (London: Routledge). Breuilly, John (1992). Labour and Liberalism in Nineteenth-Century Europe: Essays in Comparative History (Manchester: Manchester University Press). Breuilly, John (2007). Nationalism, Power and Modernity in Nineteenth-Century Germany (London: German Historical Institute London). Breuilly, John (2009). ‘The Response to Napoleon and German Nationalism’, in The Bee and the Eagle: Napoleonic France and the End of the Holy Roman Empire, 1806, A. Forrest and P. H. Wilson, eds (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan), pp. 256–284. Brophy, James M. (2007). Popular Culture and the Public Sphere in the Rhineland, 1800–1850 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). Cabo, M. and Molina, F. (2009). ‘The Long and Winding Road of Nationalization: Eugen Weber’s Peasants into Frenchmen in Modern European History (1976–2006)’, European History Quarterly, 39, 2, 264–286. Conze, Werner and Groh, Dieter (1966). Die Arbeiterbewegung in der nationalen Bewegung. Die deutsche Sozialdemokratie vor, wahrend und nach der Reichsgründung (Stuttgart: Ernst Klett). Cummins, Ian (1980). Marx, Engels and National Movements (London: Croom Helm). Falter, J. (1991). Hitler’s Wähler (Munich: C.H. Beck). Furet, François (1988). Marx and the French Revolution (Chicago: University of Chicago Press). Gagliardo, John G. (1969). From Pariah to Patriot. The Changing Image of the German Peasant, 1770–1840 (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky). Geary, Dick (1987). Karl Kautsky (Manchester: Manchester University Press). Gellner, Ernest (2006). Nations and Nationalism (Oxford: Blackwell). Guttsman, W. L. (1981). The German Social Democratic Party, 1875–1933. From Ghetto to Government (London: Allen & Unwin). Hroch, Miroslav (2000 (1985)). Social Preconditions of National Revival in Europe: A Comparative Analysis of the Social Composition of Patriotic Groups Among the Smaller European Nations (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). Hussain, Athar and Tribe, Keith (1980). Marxism and the Agrarian Question, Vol.1: German Social Democracy and the Peasantry, 1890–1907 (London: Palgrave Macmillan). King, Jeremy (2002). Budweisers into Czechs and Germans: A Local History of Bohemian Politics, 1848–1948 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press). Koselleck, Reinhart (2004). Futures Past: On the Semantics of Historical Time (New York: Columbia University Press).

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Larsen, S. U., Hagtevek, B. and Myklebust, J. P., eds (1982). Who Were the Fascists? Social Roots of European Fascism (Bergen: Universitetsforlaget). Leerssen, Joep (2006). National Thought in Europe. A Cultural History (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press). Lipset, Seymour M. (1960). Political Man: The Social Bases of Politics (New York: Heinemann). Margadant, Ted W. (1979). French Peasants in Revolt: The Insurrection of 1851 (Princeton: Princeton University Press). Meyer, J. W., Boli, J., Thomas, George M. and Ramirez, Francisco O. (1997). ‘World Society and the Nation State’, American Journal of Sociology, 103, 1, 144–181. Nimni, Ephraim (1991). Marxism and Nationalism: Theoretical Origins of a Political Crisis (London: Pluto). Nimni, Ephraim, ed. (2005). National Cultural Autonomy and Its Contemporary Critics (London: Routledge). Ozkirimli, Umut (2010). Theories of Nationalism: A Critical Introduction (2nd edn, extended and updated, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan). Planert, Ute (2007). Der Mythos vom Befreiungskrieg. Frankreichs Kriege und der Deutsche Süden: Alltag, Wahrnehmung, Deutung 1792–1841 (Paderborn: Schöningh). Price, Richard (1972). An Imperial War and the British Working Class: Working-Class Attitudes and Reactions to the Boer War, 1899–1902 (London: Routledge). Rosdolsky, Roman (1986). Engels and the ‘Nonhistoric’ Peoples. The National Question in the Revolution of 1848 (Glasgow: Critique Books). Schwarzmantel, J. J. (1991). Socialism and the Idea of the Nation (London: Harvester). Sewell, William Hamilton Jr (2005). Logics of History: Social Theory and Social Transformation (Chicago: University of Chicago Press). Sperber, Jonathan (2005). The Kaiser’s Voters: Electors and Elections in Imperial Germany (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). Szporluk, Roman (1988). Communism and Nationalism: Karl Marx Versus Friedrich List (New York: Oxford University Press). Weber, Eugen (1976). Peasants into Frenchmen: The Modernization of Rural France, 1870–1914 (Stanford: Stanford University Press). Wimmer, Andreas and Feinstein, Yuval (2010). ‘The Rise of the Nation State across the World, 1816–2001’, American Sociological Review, 74, 4, 764–790.

Part II Historiographic Surveys

3 An Inconvenient Nation: Nation-Building and National Identity in Modern Spain. The Historiographical Debate Fernando Molina and Miguel Cabo Villaverde

During his second term (2000–2004), and with an absolute majority, the Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar set out to personify a new attitude of patriotism sin complejos – without hang-ups.1 Avoiding the actual word nationalist, which was reserved for Spain’s peripheral nationalisms, this conservative leader inspired a new political discourse, focusing on patriotic myths (the conquest of America, the worldwide role of the Spanish language) in an effort to recover national pride and overcome the inhibitions inherited from the transition years after the death of Dictator Francisco Franco. The objective was to see Spain return to the forefront of international politics and rescue it from what Aznar called ‘a remote corner of history’. The turning point of this new patriotic policy was the polemical engagement of Spain in the international coalition that invaded Iraq in 2003. It has recently been disclosed that Aznar secretly called together a group of intellectuals in order to address an overdue assignment in Spanish nationalism, one that had been dragging on for two centuries: setting lyrics to the national anthem.2 It is nothing less than symbolic that these writers were unable to agree amongst themselves and the initiative failed. Another attempt failed again in early 2008; this time it had been fostered by the Spanish Olympic Committee, which hoped to see Spanish athletes proudly singing their country’s anthem, like athletes from other countries. None of the 1,500 texts proposed from all over Spain managed to gain the support of public opinion, which reacted to the winning version with a good deal of sarcasm. Although in itself purely anecdotal, this issue touches on one of the most passionate debates in Spanish historiography, and one 47


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with multiple political connotations. The current territorial framework, designed during the period of transition from Francoism to democracy in the late 1970s, has given rise to comments from various political angles: did the state fail to ‘create Spaniards’ during the ‘long nineteenth century’? Is the evolution of Spain a European (exotic) anomaly, as expressed in the 1960s tourist slogan ‘Spain is different’? This article attempts to examine these questions as comprehensively as possible, but with some limitations: not just those of the authors, but those of Spanish historiography. To date, much has been written about nationalisms, particularly about alternative versions to Spanish nationalism, and about intellectual, political and artistic visions of Spain. Yet little effort has been given to the more complex task of understanding how ordinary Spaniards in the past perceived their own identity. The first section will review the diffusion mechanisms of national identity in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, examining those that were dependent on state action as well as those that originated in civil society and were less controlled by the state. We will then present the historiographical debate generated by the so-called ‘weak nationalization thesis’ and the alternative visions developed in recent years. Subsequently, we will analyse some specific aspects of the debate: the influence of military conflicts in forming the Spanish identity and the role played by three specific collective groups – workers, peasants and Catholics – before presenting the conclusions, which will necessarily be tentative.

1. ‘State-led’ agents of change During the nineteenth century, the deliberate construction of national identity by the state was based on the schools, military service and communications’ triad of ‘agents of change’, as indicated in Eugen Weber’s pioneering study on rural France3 (Weber, 1976). The primary function of schools was to manufacture citizens. In Spain, the political vicissitudes of the first third of the nineteenth century and limited state funds following the loss of the American colonies meant that compulsory education was not established until the Moyano Law of 1857. Even with its rather modest objectives, the actual implementation of this law was very deficient, since education for boys and girls was only compulsory between 6 and 9 years of age (it was only extended to 12 years of age in 1908). The root of the problem was that financial provision for schools was left in the hands of the municipalities, which were chronically short of money. In 1885, only 58 per cent of the school-age

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children were actually attending school. This figure was much lower in peripheral areas like Galicia (41 per cent), where the population was dispersed or rural children were needed in the family enterprise or at home (De Gabriel, 1990, p. 247). Although there are a variety of long-standing explanatory factors such as Catholic attitudes regarding literacy, the deficiencies of the educational system were particularly evident in the persistently high degree of illiteracy: 50 per cent adult literacy was not reached until 1910. These figures are not comparable to those of the economically advanced countries of Central and Western Europe and trail even behind Italy, a country with similar conditioning factors, where in 1911 theoretically only 38 per cent of the adult population could not read and write – although they are ahead of Portugal, where the illiteracy figure was 75 per cent at the time (Núñez Romero, 1992, p. 93). Illiteracy and inadequate socialization limited the capacity of public schools to ‘produce citizens’ by means of a ‘national language’ and a patriotic interpretation of the past. The political factions that controlled state policy throughout the nineteenth century were unable to come to a consensus regarding history and the concept of nation to be disseminated in the classrooms (Boyd, 2000). Still, functional illiteracy was not necessarily an insurmountable obstacle for the diffusion of national identity. It could be overcome through the widespread habit of collective reading, the use of symbols, popular music and various forms of entertainment. Illiteracy was also overcome through chapbooks, which served as a politicizing vehicle in several directions as early as the Napoleonic invasion (Martín, 2007). As a matter of fact, the church had a significant presence in primary and secondary education. Not surprisingly, its agenda only partially overlapped with the objectives of liberal publicly funded schools. Yet, recently, scholars have been contesting the classical argument taken from modernization theories, associating Catholic education with a dubious nationalization agenda.4 It is well known that, alongside their military functions, nineteenthcentury armies also served as the ‘school of the nation’ – as in the French revolutionary model. Codes of conduct, patriotic rituals, epics of the past, an official language and images of the enemy were drilled into each generation of young men, superseding their regional, cultural, religious or social peculiarities, distancing them both physically and mentally from their home town. This was of course an ideal that even in France was not achieved until the Third Republic, as Weber set out in his classic study.


Historiographic Surveys

After the triumph of liberalism, in 1837, the Spanish military followed the general lines of the French conscription model, with the ‘Ley de reemplazo’, implementing conscription quotas for each province and municipality. The young men that would ‘serve the kingdom’ were chosen by lottery, for a period of active service that extended between three and four years, plus time in the reserves. The well-to-do employed several means to arrange for their sons to avoid military duty: by presenting a substitute, by paying a redemption fee, by buying an insurance policy that would pay the redemption fee if their son was chosen in the lottery . . . Not surprisingly, military service was considered an unjust ‘blood tax’ paid by the lowest classes. This was reflected in popular refrains and songs, and subsequently incorporated into republican, socialist and anarchist propaganda. Young men with no financial means could either accept their fate or choose between the two horns of a very risky alternative: self-mutilation or conscription evasion. To Eugen Weber, this alternative was an indication of the level of national sentiment in the various regions of France. However, the two options are very imprecise proxies, since the choice to evade conscription was generally dictated more by personal matters than by the rejection of the idea of national identity in its military form. It is useful to keep in mind that the percentage of those evading conscription was higher in the Spanish coastal provinces, which have a greater tradition of emigration. These were not necessarily areas that were integrated into the nation with greater difficulty. Additionally, while some of the least prosperous provinces had the highest conscription evasion rates, they also had the highest rates of volunteers and civil guards, since these units received enlistment bonuses (Puell, 1996; Jiménez, 2001). Another form of resistance, in this case collective, consisted in call-up revolts, which generally took place during conscription lotteries and were most frequent during periods of perceived state weakness, such as the democratic period of 1868–1874, especially the short First Republic (1873–1874). Literature evoked these revolts in narrative pieces and in dramatic plays. The unjust conscription system and the frequent need to silence civil protests explain why, at the end of the nineteenth century, mass anti-war sentiment and pacifism reached a level that other European countries only witnessed during the interwar period (Balfour, 1999). In spite of this and of the absence of any concerted effort to indoctrinate recruits with a sense of national pride until the military dictatorship of Primo de Rivera (1923–1930), the effects of military service have been underestimated. The impact of calling up some 40,000 young men

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each year, and even more in times of war (90,000 in 1895), cannot be quantified. In the last quarter of the nineteenth century, the recruit who returned home with a sense of superiority became a stock figure in the drama, in literature and in comedy. He was depicted as rejecting farm work, missing the entertainment and luxuries of urban life and snubbing the local vernacular while speaking poor Castilian. These features were also associated with the figure of the returning migrant. Do these literary topoi go beyond anecdote, to indicate a change in thinking and political behaviour? Contemporary anthropological research on peripheral territories such as the Basque Country clearly suggests so.5 In the sphere of communications, Spain was notoriously deficient in infrastructure throughout the nineteenth century, due to its complex geography and lack of capital. Highway networks were dependent on state funds and developed slowly, while the railways followed the French system of concessions, starting with the Barcelona–Mataró line of 1848. By 1896, an 11,500 km railway network was practically complete, radial in structure, with Madrid at the centre. By that time the initial bias towards the centre had been corrected by incorporating the western and north-eastern regions, although the connection between north-western Spain and the centre was only completed in 1883. From the 1860s onwards, a true internal commerce existed, as is evidenced by the levelling of price differentials in grain. During the end of the Isabeline period, both a basic telegraph network and a modern postal service had been established, giving the state an agile instrument for making its presence known throughout the entire country (Bahamonde, 1993). The telegraph lines became the country’s nervous system, along an axis running from the minister of governance to the provincial governors and mayors, used for both administrative and repressive state action. The telegraph also had immediate social effects, such as the circulation of news that fed the press and the appearance of the first Spanish news agency, Nilo Fabra, in 1863. The gradual lowering of costs increased the use of the telegraph for private and business purposes (the number of private telegrams rose from 227,000 in 1860 to 3,200,000 in 1890). In contrast, the development of the telephone network ran into difficulties due to legislative incoherence and an excessive number of small concessionary companies (Otero, 2007, p. 98).

2. Symbolic sphere and political participation Another sphere for top-down nationalization is that of patriotic symbolism. Today’s Spain lacks unanimously accepted and broadly extended formal symbols, including an anthem, flag and civic ceremonies. This is


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due to a number of factors: the multiple political alternatives, each with its own symbolic paraphernalia; the mobilizing lethargy of the Restoration period (1876–1923); and the negative effects of the Francoist military dictatorship (1939–1975) (Balfour and Quiroga, 2007). There were several versions of each symbol and even the Bourbon dynasty could not carry out the construction of unifying symbols like other European monarchies, as was exposed during the national centenary commemoration of the ‘war of independence’ against Napoleon (Moreno, 2007). The legitimacy of the monarch was challenged by traditionalists and republicans and was overthrown on two occasions (1868 and 1931). In fact, until the dictatorship of General Primo de Rivera, it was not even mandatory to have an image of the monarch in schools. The virtually unique and repeated failure to establish official lyrics for the national anthem, the ‘Grenadier’s March’, perfectly illustrates the symbolic deficit of Spanish nationalism. This also extends to the names of streets, which changed regularly according to the political scenario; to monuments, national festivities and the absence of a date that was popularly perceived as the moment of national founding. In fact, no specific date was officially recognized until 1918, and the current date of 12 October has multiple commemorations and, therefore, functions less effectively than 14 July in France or 4 July in the US (Serrano, 1999, pp. 313–329). Another channel for the construction of national identity is political participation, which is a continuous expression of the concept of citizenship. In spite of limited suffrage, which allowed only 5.2 per cent of the total population to vote in 1844, there were informal means of politicization and popular participation in the public sphere during the mid-nineteenth century. These intensified during the democratic period of 1868–1874 through reactive and proactive collective action and other, rather imperfect means of exerting pressure on political representatives in order to defend the interests of the voteless. Political participation was not equivalent to assuming national identity, nor was it limited to voting. During the Restoration of the monarchy (1874), monarchist parties in power had to include in their repertoire not only traditional local patronage methods, but also others, with greater potential for capturing the popular will: associations, the press, ‘collective favours’ such as public centres and infrastructures, party activities outside the electoral periods . . . This adaptation was a response to pressure from those outside the ruling parties and to greater citizen participation in politics, which became ever more intense until the military coup of 1923 (Moreno, 2007).

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Notwithstanding, most Spanish historians have underestimated the potential of local politics to form a political consciousness and, indirectly, a national sentiment. This potential was evident in decisions as to how to use common lands, which inevitably linked municipal politics with national debates and institutions, as did anti-clerical or conscription issues (Garrido, 2007). It is clear that the fin-de-siècle political elite generally lacked a nationalizing zeal, since concerted efforts in that direction would also mobilize the electorate, something the power parties wanted to avoid at all costs. The first top-down nationbuilding offensive – regarding state politicization, commemorations, military service and state education – did not take place until the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera. It was founded on a ‘negative definition of nationhood’, based in turn on contrasting the supposed national traits against those of foreign and domestic foes. This ‘negative nationalization’ favoured the marginalization of peripheral nationalisms and of liberal and left-wing political forces (Quiroga, 2007).

3. ‘Non state-led’ agents of change As the classic studies of nation-building founded on modernization theories argued, there are many other social channels in modern Western societies outside the state that are able to reinforce national identity, usually involuntarily. The first was migration. There were no trustworthy data on internal migration until the mid-nineteenth century, but population movements of considerable size, linked to various labour activities, many of which were temporary (in agriculture, domestic service, construction), did take place (Silvestre, 2002). In the last third of the century, statistics show Barcelona, Madrid and the Basque province of Biscay to be important points of migratory attraction. These internal population movements must have had nationalizing effects, while also fostering reactions in Catalonia and the Basque Country that led to the growth of alternative peripheral movements. From the 1860s on, not only the large capitals but also medium-sized provincial cities developed municipal growth plans to adapt the urban spaces to the arrival of immigrants. The concomitant rise of a powerful middle class and industrial bourgeoisie strengthened the nationalization of public spaces. Statues, buildings and street names reinforced their function as patriotic memory markers. The main example was the ‘Eixample’ of Barcelona (the new urban space outside the medieval city limits, designed by Ildefons Cerdà and inspired by Haussman’s Paris), which was influenced by Catalan Spanish patriotic symbolism (Michonneau, 2007).


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Overseas migration, directed mainly at America, took on massive proportions due to the agricultural crisis in the final years of the century. Paradoxically, the research available provides evidence that the migratory experience favoured Spanish nationalization for several reasons. Immigrants were perceived in the host countries not as Galicians, Canary Islanders or Asturians, but as Spaniards. In their new setting, they had more opportunities to interact with immigrants from other regions of Spain and to socialize in immigrant centres, even though they also belonged to smaller-scale geographical associations. Lower-class immigrants from areas of Spain where Spanish co-existed with another language became interested in learning Spanish, because they needed it in the host countries of America. Immigrant communities felt a greater need to familiarize themselves with the written word in order to maintain contact with families in their places of origin. Immigrant associations carried out an important role in setting up schools back home. They managed to articulate a discourse that incorporated different loyalties, regional identity being subordinate to Spanish identity. This sort of discourse was symbolically evident in celebrations and cultural activities in Buenos Aires, Montevideo or Havana.6 Another frequently underemphasized nationalization channel is that of social relations, which took multiple formal and informal shapes in nineteenth-century Spain. There is still much research to be done on the relationship between collective identities and forms of association such as casinos, cooperatives, religious associations, musical groups, professional organizations, sports clubs and so on. The Restoration legitimized this organizational fervour through the 1887 Law of Associations. Many of these associations adopted an explicitly Spanish identity discourse. In the broad spectrum of groups linked to social Catholicism or to Catholic traditionalism, for instance, local leaders at times used a regionalist discourse to cultivate a Spanish national identity. From the 1880s on, the church deployed a wide range of associational options, with varying degrees of success – weaker among workers and stronger among peasants and women. These were combined with traditional mechanisms of social control through the parish network. With the partial exception of Catalonia and the Basque Country, the church accepted a Spanish national identity that naturally included a strong Catholic component at its core (Boyd, 2002). As stated above, it seems rather simplistic to accept the argument that Spanish Catholicism was an element in weak nationalization (Molina, 2008a, p. 99). According to Eugen Weber (1992, p. 452), the nationalizing role of the press, which during France’s Third Republic advanced in tandem

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with literacy, was a decisive element in shaping a common French identity. The Spanish case is less well known, but two key differences with France can be highlighted: a lower literacy level and the less centralized nature of the press. Well into fin-de-siècle Spain, there was a boom in local, worker and agrarian print ephemera that were accessible even to those segments of the population least familiar with the written word; this literature used stylistic means such as the dialogue and a written language similar to that of the spoken word. Although the number of copies produced was generally small, collective reading practices in taverns and cafés increased the impact of these ephemera considerably. Little research has been done on the effect, on identity, of forms of popular literature such as almanacs, calendars and religious literature, all of which circulated widely.7 There are few substantial studies on the diffusion of new symbols, discourses and practices within popular culture, their interaction with autochthonous cultural expressions and differences in their dissemination across urban and rural milieus.8 A recent attempt to address these questions has clearly set out how in fin-de-siècle Spain vehicles of popular culture were compatible (in their patriotic functionality) to those related to ‘high culture’, such as national histories and patriotic sagas. They shaped the national identification of lower-class urban citizens (Archilés, 2007). The bullfight was the first modern mass entertainment event in Spain. Expanding after the mid-nineteenth century as bullrings were built and the number of spectators increased, it introduced undeniably modern elements such as publicity and advertisements, a specialized press, merchandizing and celebrity worship for the matadors. Labelled the fiesta nacional (‘the national feast’), the bullfight eventually came to symbolize Spanish identity and was considered a first-rate nationalizing instrument, a cutting-edge mechanism for homogenizing popular forms of leisure (Douglass, 1997; Shubert, 1999). At the end of the nineteenth century, organized and regulated mass sporting events began to take the place of more spontaneous, local and informal events. This was followed by the birth of the cinema, initially derived from theatre, the first film projection taking place in 1896. And it was preceded by new forms of popular music with explicit patriotic features, such as the Zarzuela (a popular opera), which became a mobilizing source for the expression of anti-American nationalism during the War of 1898 (Serrano, 1999, pp. 131–159). Although quantifying these changes seems impossible, their progression (and their relationship with a greater sense of common national


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identity) is revealed by an indirect indicator: reactions against the changes in popular culture at the turn of the century. These sprang from folklore and linguistics scholars, many of them linked to regionalist movements, or from ecclesiastics who watched the transformations in popular culture with a wary eye and described them as ‘de-naturalizing’ and ‘homogenizing’. Yet less partial contemporaries, such as returned immigrants and foreign scholars, also noted the changes. In Galicia, observers seeking something typical were disappointed when they visited popular celebrations and local processions to shrines. They found few traditional costumes and discovered that autochthonous music and dance were mixed with popular and variety songs, paso dobles from other parts of Spain and rhythms from across the Atlantic. This shows that the populace was subjected to both ‘Spanish’ and American influences and that it combined elements of varied origins without prejudice (Cabo, 2006, p. 246). The zeal with which the defenders of folklore compiled the repertoire of popular songs and legends speaks of their view of a world threatened by ‘contamination’ from mass culture. In Barcelona, the Catalanists expressed unhappiness that the working class, both immigrant and Catalan, preferred bullfights, zarzuela and flamenco over Catalan theatre, the sardana dance, local folklore and other elements from the repertoire of Catalan identity markers (Smith, 1996). Last but not least, the integration of the Spanish economy contributed to the process of nation-building by creating an effective national market from the middle decades of the nineteenth century onwards. Thus, the foundations were laid for an overriding understanding of the nation not only as an imagined community, but also as the territorial expression of capitalism and economic development. The emergence of a unified national market provoked the decay of traditional textile production due to the dominance of the Catalan cotton industry, which produced almost exclusively for the Spanish and colonial market. Further evidence is provided by the homogenization of grain prices within the Spanish borders: already in the 1840s, before the railways could have any impact, there were only modest differences between supplying and receiving provinces (Gallego, 2005). Although far from impressive, the growth rate of the gross domestic product (GDP) was 1.4 per cent on average for the 1850–1890 period and 2.9 per cent for 1890–1913 (Ocampo and Peribáñez, 2006, p. 220). After a significant time lag, economic growth translated into improved living standards from the last quarter of the century on, as is evidenced by the increased height of the generations born after 1880 (Martínez, 2002).

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4. The historiographical debate In the 1980s and 1990s, most historians supported the theory of nineteenth-century weak nationalization. This model was based on the classic modernist historiography about European nation-building and on the ‘national’ paradigm of the failure of contemporary Spain as a liberal community. During the second half of the twentieth century, it was common to present Spain’s recent history as an abnormality. Indeed, ‘the problem of Spain’, that is, its inability to become a modern country, was the central myth in the intellectual patriotic debate. It echoed prominent early twentieth-century Spanish intellectuals, who deplored the distance between the ‘official nation’ and the ‘real nation’ and characterized the country (following philosopher Ortega y Gasset) as ‘one immense little province’ (Burdiel, 1998; Archilés, 2009). This ‘failure paradigm’ began to develop in the 1960s, while the country was entering an accelerated modernization phase prior to actual democratization. As early as 1972, historian José Antonio Maravall lamented the tendency among his colleagues to write the history of Spain as if it were empty, emphasizing absence: ‘there is no feudalism, there is no bourgeoisie, there is no enlightenment’. Historians, Maravall claimed, preferred to ask ‘What went wrong?’ rather than ‘What happened?’. They saw the dictatorship as material proof of the historical failure of Spaniards to build a modern society in a liberal political system. In so doing, they began with the answer and then asked the question (Ringrose, 1998, p. 23). This examination of the past resulted in a negative evaluation of the nationalization process. Historians saw the nineteenth century as a succession of conservative regimes that, with brief democratic interludes, arrived at Francoism after a traumatic civil war. They contrasted the modernizing and popular character of Catalonia and other ‘peripheral nations’ to the obsolete Spanish state controlled by a centralist elite, unfit for modernity and incapable of generating democratic and symbolic consensus for its national project. The myth of failure generated a positive interpretation of peripheral ethno-nationalisms, which resonated with a political climate of regionalization of the state and with a crisis of Spanish identity (Molina, 2005, pp. 156–157). From the 1970s to the 1990s, the academic discussion of Spanish national identity was especially lively among historians who were interested in peripheral nationalisms. In wider public opinion, the debate was influenced by the nationalist governments of some autonomous peripheral regions. These new elites modelled the collective memory of


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their ‘autonomous communities’ through a public discourse of cultural homogeneity. They denied the intertwining of several collective identities, as well as the very recent origins of the Iberian peripheral nations. To exponents of these nationalist movements, their nations were a natural fact. Nationalist historians unhesitatingly linked the regionalisms of the nineteenth century to the nationalist movements that arose at the end of it, the latter growing organically from the former as direct emanations of the nation. This policy was followed explicitly in Catalonia and more implicitly in the Basque Country and Galicia. In the early 1990s, some historians linked the rise of peripheral nations, not to an age-old, natural substrate of ethnicity, but to the inability of the Spanish state to establish its legitimacy. In Catalonia, many historians rejected the basis of such a debate. They did not believe that the Catalan nation could have originated from the mere historical accident that the Spanish state was weak and incapable of establishing itself there. Supporters of the latter thesis were accused of being ‘Spanish nationalists’ (Balcells, 1994; Núñez, 1997, pp. 508–509; Fradera, 2006, pp. 183–189). In his pioneering formulation of the weak nationalization thesis, Borja de Riquer catalogued the principal variables of the ‘failure paradigm’: (a) the centralist policies of liberal governments neither modernized politics nor organized citizens around political parties or cohesive parliamentary regimes, for fear of their mobilizing potential; (b) the classic nationalizing instruments identified by Eugen Weber were inherently weak: public administration was inefficient, the military unpopular and the clerical educational system impoverished; (c) localism was very tenacious due to the deficient state communication network; (d) the various liberal currents lacked a symbolic consensus on issues of national identity (Riquer, 1994). Riquer’s reasoning was quite clear: the failure of the state to build a nation gave rise to alternative peripheral options. The theoretical background of this thesis was the ‘modernist agenda’ expounded by Van Ginderachter in his contribution to this volume. Accordingly, the idea of weak nationalization offered a ‘classic’ unidirectional, top-down description of nation-building, which followed the ‘Weberian’ model as applied to France. It fitted well with the ‘nationalization’ stages and typology of Miroslav Hroch for the formation of certain separatist nationalisms in central Europe and Scandinavia. Hroch’s model was favourably received by historians of Basque nationalism, who adopted it because it provided a theoretical complement to the weak nationalization thesis. Once again, the popular dimension of nationalism, the essential factor of ‘the people’, remained distant from the sphere of the state (Molina, 2005,

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pp. 221–223; 2007a, pp. 68–69). Thus, the weak nationalization thesis encouraged a complementary understanding of the Basque, Catalan and Galician regionalisms as ‘pre-nationalisms’ or ‘proto-nationalisms’ that announced the ‘national awakening’ in fin-de-siècle Spain.9

5. The ‘local turn’ in the public sphere Historian José Álvarez Junco’s book on nineteenth century Spanish identity, published in 2001, was a final summary of the weak nationalization position, using abundant data and documentation to sanction most of its assumptions. It highlighted the ‘crisis of penetration’ of the state, already described by Linz (1973) in an early ‘classic modernist’ proposal. Álvarez Junco diagnosed that, apart from the state’s weakness in human and economic resources and the endemic political instability of the nineteenth century, Spanish elites demonstrated very little enthusiasm for nation-building (except in the cultural and symbolic area). In his opinion, the problem was the lack of funding for educational, military and civic policies, as well as the indifference of the governing class, mainly consisting of conservative Catholics, for creating a nation of citizens (Álvarez Junco, 2001, pp. 545–550, 593). In his prologue, Álvarez Junco acknowledged that his analysis could not be considered definitive, as it was ‘written from a Spanish perspective, which to a certain extent means from Madrid’. He alluded to the possibilities of examining Spanish nation-building in peripheral regions, convinced as he was that the ‘process developed differently in Barcelona and especially in Bilbao, Valencia, Corunna and Seville, not to mention the rural world’ (Álvarez Junco, 2001, p. 23). At the beginning of the twenty-first century, a new generation of historians started to question the weak nationalization thesis, pointing out its shaky empirical basis and its overly state-oriented theoretical perspective. Clearly, criticizing the top-down modernist conception of ‘nation-building’, these historians argued that the state should not be considered the only possible nationalizing agent, or even the most important one. Other nationalization channels included civil society, popular culture, political debates in the public sphere and even the struggle between church and state over control of the public sphere. Weak nationalization also offered an a-historical understanding of this phenomenon since it attempted to measure nineteenth-century nationalization according to patterns that are only applicable to a mass society which did not appear in Spain until the last decades of the century (Archilés and Martí, 2002, pp. 259–261).


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Thus, at the end of the 1990s, a new historiography of ‘Spanish normality’ emerged, looking for sources not in the realm of the state or the elites, but in civil society and in the peripheral spheres aluded to by Álvarez Junco.10 This historiography is based on approaches that are cultural and social to a greater extent than the older political–ideological perspectives. Indeed, the dwindling of the ‘weakness paradigm’ also resulted from the exhaustion of an old-fashioned historiography, focused on political movements and ideologies and having a strong present-day slant (Núñez, 2007, pp. 106–111). A groundbreaking ‘revisionist’ study by Josep Fradera on Catalan culture sought to establish a more complex understanding of national construction in the ethnic periphery. Using an ‘instrumentalist’ methodology, Fradera examined literature, philology, historiography and religiosity to discover how an autonomous liberal culture developed apart from the state, as a competitor but also as a complement to Spanish nationhood. Catalan intellectual elites developed a ‘language of dual patriotism’ with regional and national patriotic representations taken from symbolic and mythological repertoires, which adapted to the local setting the high national culture invented by liberal and romantic mid-century nationalists (Fradera, 2003, pp. 21–57 – the original Catalan version published in 1992). Fradera’s study reinforced the idea that regionalisms were ‘something more’ than mere precursors to peripheral nationalism. Admittedly, this innovation passed Catalan historians by because of the strong nationalist consensus among them. But it did not fall on deaf ears in autonomous communities like Galicia and Valencia, where no contesting nationalist movement existed despite the presence of significant ethnic singularities. If the ‘weak nationalization’ thesis was true, why had no vigorous nationalist movements arisen in Galicia or Valencia? (Beramendi, 2007, 2007b, pp. 71–169). In an innovative essay, Xosé-Manoel Nuñez (2001) argued that Spanish regionalisms had functioned as nationalization channels. By comparing Spain to other European cases, he demonstrated that this actually fitted the general European trend. Case studies of Valencia (Archilés and Martí, 2001) and of the Basque country (Molina, 2006) supported Nuñez’ view. These studies analysed how regionalist intellectuals and politicians transformed the ethnic singularities of their regions into a channel for representing the nation-state. Committed to promoting their own language, literature, tradition and local memory, the urban elites of these ethnic peripheries constructed region and nation simultaneously.

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The experience of peripheral regionalism as a ‘nationalizing mechanism’ varied widely between regional communities according to their distinctive historical trajectories. In Catalonia, there was political and economic competition between a region that emphasized its own ‘liberal modernity’ and a state that was seen as ‘underdeveloped’. Consequently, the role of regionalism in Catalonia was to promote a national culture autonomous from the state. The Basque case was completely different. In the Basque country, liberalism was a political minority, while regionalism was firmly in the hands of Catholic traditionalists. A small minority of the latter founded Basque nationalism, in response to the huge socio-economic changes at the end of the nineteenth century (industrialization and immigration). Lower levels of economic and social modernization and political differences account for the limited appeal of peripheral nationalism in other regions, for instance Galicia. As regionalism was constructed from within Spanish patriotism, it became a powerful nationalizing channel, despite the reinforcement of the Castilian ethnic element after the crisis of 1898 – that is, Spain’s defeat against the United States and the resulting loss of the last American and Asian colonies (Beramendi, 1998, p. 207). Fradera explained ‘the apparent paradox of a nation that is single but built in multiple fashion’ by the fact that the construction of the Spanish nation and its relationship with the regions ‘did not ultimately or exclusively depend on State initiatives. They depended on a much more complex relationship between civil society and politics in the various Spanish regions’ (Fradera, 2004, p. 25). At present, Spanish historical debates feature the nation as an intersection of very diverse identities. Following the proposal of Martha C. Nussbaum, the language of collective identity could be said to demonstrate the interaction of multiple ‘affective spheres’ (Molina, 2006, p. 185). Thus, the language of the local public spheres in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Spain did not develop a dichotomous dynamic between nation and region. Instead, it integrated other spaces, such as the province or city. All these spaces overlapped in the public sphere, in the press and in pamphlets, in the iconography of illustrated magazines, in the national or local parliament, at the theatre, at political meetings, during public ceremonies celebrating patriotic dates or monuments built with local subscriptions (Núñez, 2007b, p. 215). The yearly popular commemorations of 2 May 1808, the mythical date launching the war of independence from Napoleon’s France, celebrated heroes of the nation who represented the association between


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the local and the national. The great myths of the homeland and its history were adapted and represented according to local memory, so that the patria grande could co-exist with the patria chica, the nation with the region. They were connected to each other in various ways, through the political narratives of traditionalism versus liberalism and Catholicism versus secularism. These cultures disputed ownership of the patriotic canon invented by mid-century romantic nationalism.11

6. The multifaceted dimensions of popular patriotism At the beginning of the twenty-first century, Spanish historians ‘rediscovered’ regionalism and the Church as nationalizing channels. At the same time, they increasingly recovered the ordinary experiences of workers, Catholics, peasants and urban populations in wartime. Indeed, one of the nationalizing factors rediscovered by recent Spanish historiography was war. The dynamic of revolutions and political counterrevolutions in Spain gave the nineteenth century a feel of ‘permanent civil war’. This constant state of conflict has traditionally been one of the main arguments in the weak nationalization paradigm. The opposition between Catholic liberals and Catholic traditionalists, federal republicans and unitary republicans, progressive liberals and conservatives was seen as a symptom of a fragile national identity. Yet, in a convincing early essay, Riquer and Ucelay re-interpreted these conflicts as mobilization and socialization channels for nationhood (Riquer and Ucelay, 1994). This was also suggested in a recent study of the 1936–1939 Civil War (Núñez, 2006). Recent research has demonstrated the weight of Spanish nationalism in these civil wars. For instance, the armed conflict traditionalists waged on the liberal state in the northern provinces between 1872 and 1876 was transformed into a patriotic and mobilizing myth that generated broad popular support. The context of a civil war during the ongoing democratization process between 1868 and 1876 increased patriotic mobilization through marches, donations and other popular actions led by liberal democrats (Molina, 2005c, 2007c). This sort of popular patriotic involvement was not restricted to domestic conflicts, it also occurred in the external colonial wars that took place between 1859 and 1878 (Moroccan war, 1859–1869; expedition to Indo-China, 1858–1863; war with Peru and Chile, 1866; expedition to Mexico, 1861–1864; ‘long’ war in Cuba, 1868–1878) and again from 1893 to 1898 (war of Melilla, 1893; war in Cuba, 1895–1898; Spanish-American War, 1898). The weak nationalization

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historiography underestimated their significance because it compared these modest wars with the great colonial or pan-European wars of that era. A new generation of historians has re-emphasized their patriotic impact (Martínez, 2000; García, 2002; Rodrigo, 2009). Historians have also re-examined working-class patriotic experiences before these came to carry the negative connotations or distrust introduced by Marxism. This popular patriotism was linked to a political process of learning by means of mutinies, barricades and political mobilization in favour of a more democratic and popular system. The ‘plebeian patriotism’ of the Barcelona workers, for instance, was based on an identification with multiple homelands – local, regional and national – and it was political much more than cultural. Nation and homeland were associated with a mythical ‘people’ demanding rights and liberties that the liberal regimes were slow to cede, except in situations of revolutionary pressure (Barnosell, 2004; García, 2009). New research has shown that, in military or revolutionary contexts, the elitist top-down nationalization politics was transformed by popular patriotic media ‘such as theatre, loose-leaf literature, popular songs and public celebrations that up until that time had generated little interest among the politically organized minority’ (García, 2002, p. 55). Illiterate urban working classes demonstrated their affinity with the nation in a language that appealed to patriotic moral values and xenophobic images of rejection, particularly of uncivilized and backward African ‘Moors’. This patriotic discourse and its ostentatious racism had a strong political slant that permitted the association between enemies of the country and enemies of class (García, 2002, pp. 56–63). Young Catalan historians have incorporated the new British social history into the Spanish experience. They have shown how, as in England or Scotland, the construction of ‘class’ was parallel to and interdependent with that of ‘nation’ and of ‘the people’: ‘With the formation of “class”, the “people” adopted a new meaning and profile, becoming nothing less than a pioneering form of nationalization “from below” aimed at giving the national community a less oligarchical and more liberal definition’ (García, 2009, p. 107). Along with the workers’ movement, the new nationalization historiography recovers another social actor neglected by classical studies: the peasants. As they are a collective, it is particularly difficult to study their mindset and develop solid hypotheses. This would require a greater corpus of studies based on direct sources such as diaries or correspondence, which are inherently less abundant among peasants. Although these sources are less numerous, they do permit access to otherwise closed


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questions. There is a gap between political history and rural history, which, when bridged, has revealed signs of politicization of the rural masses as early as the upheaval that marked the end of the ancien régime and the implantation of liberalism (Veiga and Garrido, 2007). Here again, the ethnic periphery has received its fair share of historiographic attention, due to its complex identity and to the weight it carries in today’s Spain. In the Basque country – a predominantly rural region until well into the twentieth century – the nationalization process was slower for peasants than for workers. The traditionalist insurrections of Basque peasants illustrate the lack of any effective nationalization of that group. Military and press reports, memoirs and initiatives launched by the clergy in the early twentieth century to recover the memory of the civil wars reveal heavily localist and xenophobic peasant identities. Apparently, the most significant factor in this ‘nationalization deficit’ was not the state, but civil society and the public sphere. Catholic religiosity acted as an identification channel among this geographically divided peasantry, in which the Basque language was at best a collection of oral dialects. With a few subtle changes, Eugen Weber’s thesis of an autonomous peasantry, untouched by the state’s ideal of a French nation in the 1860s, can be applied to the Basque area and extrapolated to the Spanish case in general (Molina, 2005c, 2008b). However, this scenario began to change in the last third of the nineteenth century. The few studies on popular peasant culture carried out to date (on poetry and poetic improvization, songs and celebrations and so on) reveal that, at the end of the nineteenth century, Basque peasants actually assimilated the patriotic imaginary, especially regarding the War of Cuba and the Spanish-American War. These manifestations of patriotism were imperialist and Catholic, strongly racist regarding the Cuban rebels, who were mostly black former slaves. At the end of the nineteenth century, with the increasing urbanization of rural politics and economies, traditionalism lost its sphere of power and modernized politically, assimilating the main aspects of parliamentarism and liberal associationism. Aided by the church, it became a mass movement that competed with the state in nationalizing the Basque countryside. This competition increased when a separatist ethno-nationalism emerged from this movement and began to challenge its control of the urban and rural Catholic communities (Molina, 2008b, pp. 174–181). This nationalization of the Basque peasantry took place in the midst of a patriotic battle with the liberal state and its dissident movement, republicanism, over the definion of the ‘true Spain’ as Catholic or liberal.

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This confrontation radicalized the secularizing policies and nationalizing efforts of the state in the first years of the twentieth century. Thus, the actual nationalization of many Spaniards, especially peasants from the north, took place in a period of ‘cultural war’. It served as a platform for expressing the conflict between a new mass liberal nationalism and a new Catholic nationalism (Molina, 2008b).

7. Conclusion: an inconvenient nation No phenomenon of the past can be well understood if it is not contextualized within the culture of the historiography that represents it. This is especially true for the nationalization of modern Spain, an issue that has witnessed a substantial change of perspective in barely a decade. Carlo Ginzburg highlighted that ‘one does not always find what one seeks but it is even harder to find what one does not want to seek’. This has been the key problem of interpreting nationhood in modern Spain. The classic historiography on nationalization is limited in its theoretical capabilities and its contemporary functions. A new generation of historians, freed from the ideological and political burdens of prior generations, has recently started to revise the issue of nationalization in modern Spain. In the early 1970s, when nationalism research took off as an academic and scientific discipline in Spain, most scholars had a profoundly negative reading of the nation. Traumatized by Francoist nationalism, they did not view Spain as a nation, since it had not managed to become a modern, democratic and pluralist society. Conversely, they ascribed these qualities to the peripheral communities that had suffered cultural repression. Historians did not question the past, nor did they ask themselves if the concept of ‘nation’ meant the same thing to them as it used to. They simply accepted the non-existence of the Spanish nation in much the same way as previous generations had taken its existence for granted. The new reading of Spanish exceptionality and failure was based on a theoretical model of decline in a context of European modernization and of very deficient knowledge of the national experiences of the rest of the continent. Nation-building and nationalism were thought to be vertical, top-down processes managed by an elite that dominated the state institutions and the means of communication. This historiographic paradigm ran out of steam at the beginning of the present century. The vacuum it created was filled by a torrent of new readings of the various social agents and stages of nation-building. These new studies adhere to a more popular interpretation of national


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identity-building and emphasize the expressions of ordinary people, independent of state action. They all show an extraordinary presence of the ethnic periphery and its complex interaction of collective identities. Spanish historiography on state-instigated nation-building followed the same trajectory as the rest of Europe. Nevertheless, it ran ten years behind the chronology proposed in Van Ginderachter’s contribution. Spanish scholars built on ‘classic modernist’ theory during the late 1980s and 1990s. It was not until the new century that a new generation was able to carry out a theoretical review, highlighting the fragmented nature of national identity and focusing on ordinary experiences of nationhood in Catholic ritual, local traditions, improvised oral peasant poetry, sociability and collective action. So, in just ten years, the historiography of the chronology of Spain’s nation-building has changed substantially. The nation now appears as a catalyst of popular affective and mobilizing loyalty earlier than was thought. Both working- and middle-class urban populations participated in the local public arena, which was created by the liberal revolution in cities and industrial centres and reached the rural areas in the last third of the century. Recent Spanish historiography on nationhood has engaged with European theoretical innovations, but this was not balanced by a similar advance in the understanding of the historical past. Breakthroughs were extremely dependent on path breaking speculative historical essays, and much less on empirical research. Consequently, there are some gaps in our knowledge. We need more empirical studies of the recently recovered lower-class subjects of nationalization, such as workers and peasants, and of the potential diversity of their regional identities. Likewise, more research into the local public spheres and their nationalizing capacity in the context of commemorative, memorial, symbolic, cultural and mobilizing events is necessary. Also lacking are careful and systematic comparisons between regions and localities and with other countries, such as Great Britain or Germany, in order to move beyond the eternal comparison with France. An aspect that warrants closer inspection as well is that of the similarities and exchanges between Spanish and peripheral nationalisms. Such an analysis should recognize that Spanish, Basque and Catalan nationalism were not monoliths. They all shared political cultures and communities of voters that could become involved in one discourse or imagined community or another, depending on the influence of local identity (Ucelay, 2003). For such

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studies to move ahead, we need a true ‘post-nationalization’ of the history of nationalisms in Spain, which is still far from being realized. It is not easy to be optimistic in this respect, given the intense geographic and methodological localism that dominates Spanish historiography since the implementation of the Autonomous Regions after the death of Franco. Today, Spain is an inconvenient nation, at least for a politically significant minority of its citizens. The 40 years of Francoism have associated the national symbols with the extreme right. For historians, too, Spain is an inconvenient nation. They need a better understanding of the multiple mechanisms of collective identification, and ultimately of the variable and contingent nature of the national myth as a cultural construct. Some scholars have understood this, and their message is beginning to reach the political class. After a separatist speech given by the head of the main Catalan nationalist party in Madrid on 11 December 2007, a socialist government leader suggested that Catalan nationalism should remain calm, since ‘all nations are invented, Catalonia as much as Spain’. The Catalan nationalist replied: ‘nations are not an invention; they are a reality and a feeling’.12 Clearly, some Spanish politicians are willing to understand the national phenomenon from a more complex and diverse angle. Nonetheless, there will always be those who prefer to use emotion and ‘feeling’ to explain the past, who had rather not face the ‘inconvenience’ of ‘their’ own beloved nation.

Notes 1. This article stems from research projects HUM2006-10999, HUM2006–13499 and HAR2010-21882 (University of Santiago de Compostela) and HAR20003245/HIST (University of the Basque Country). We appreciate the helpful suggestions of Xosé Manoel Núñez Seixas and John K. Walton. 2. El Diario Vasco (7 June 2007). 3. We have set out the fruitful historical debate generated by Weber’s thesis in Cabo and Molina (2009). 4. The classical ‘modernist’ argument is in Álvarez Junco (2001, 5, pp. 545–550). An alternative argument can be found in Ostolaza (2007). 5. Testimonies from Joxe M. de Barandiaran (the ‘father’ of Basque anthropology) are collected in Molina (2008, p. 79). Recent works demonstrate that the army was a significant channel of nationalization in peripheral territories (Luengo, 2009). 6. The Argentinian case in Moya (2004). 7. A study of Galicia in Cabo (2003). 8. One of the most substantial studies of late nineteenth-century popular culture is that of Uría (2003).


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9. A classical study on Basque identity based on this misconception is Rubio (2003). 10. Even if ‘normality’ is not a completely accepted term among historians who criticize the weak nationalization narrative: see Calatayud et al. (2009, p. 11). 11. This canon is in Álvarez Junco (2001, pp. 187–226). Its local adaptation is in Molina (2007b). 12. The debates between Catalanist Artur Mas and socialist José Bono can be followed in El Periódico de Catalunya, 11 December 2007, and in ABC, 11 December 2007.

Bibliography Álvarez Junco, José (2001). Mater Dolorosa. La idea de España en el siglo XIX (Madrid: Taurus). Archilés, Ferrán (2007). ‘¿Experiencias de nación? Nacionalización e identidades en la España restauracionista (1898–c.1920)’, in Construir España. Nacionalismo español y procesos de nacionalización, J. Moreno, ed. (Madrid: Centro de Estudios Constitucionales), pp. 127–151. Archilés, Ferrán (2009). ‘Narrar la nación fracasada. Narrativas del fracaso e historiografia española contemporánea’, in Mundos de ayer, Encarna Nicolás and Carmen González, eds (Murcia: Universidad de Murcia), pp. 217–248. Archilés, Ferrán and Martí, Manuel (2001). ‘Ethnicity, Region and Nation: Valencian Identity and the Spanish Nation State’, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 24, 5, 779–797. Archilés, Ferrán and Martí, Manuel (2002). ‘Un país tan extraño como cualquier otro: La construcción de la identidad nacional española contemporánea’, in El siglo XX. Historiografía e historia, María Cruz Romeo and Ismael Saz, eds (Valencia: Universitat de València), pp. 245–278. Bahamonde, Ángel ed. (1993). Las comunicaciones en la construcción del Estado contemporáneo en España, 1700–1936 (Madrid: Ministerio de Obras Públicas). Balcells, Albert (1994). L’història de Catalunya a debat: Els textos d’una polèmica (Barcelona: Curial). Balfour, Sebastian (1999). ‘War, Nationalism and the Masses in Spain, 1898– 1936’, in La transición a la política de masas, Edward Acton and Ismael Saz, eds (Valencia: Universitat de València), pp. 75–92. Balfour, Sebastian and Quiroga, Alejandro (2007). The Reinvention of Spain. Nation and Identity Since Democracy (London: Oxford University Press). Barnosell, Genís (2004). ‘Consens i revolució. Poble i nació a la Barcelona de la Revolució Liberal, 1835–1843’, Barcelona Quaderns d’Història, 10, 137–170. Beramendi, Justo (1998), ‘Identidad nacional e identidad regional en España entre la guerra del francés y la guerra civil’, in Los 98 Ibéricos y el mar, vol. 3, Antonio Morales, ed. (Lisbon: Sociedad Estatal Lisboa 98), pp. 187–215. Beramendi, Justo (2007). ‘Algunos aspectos del nation-building español en la Galicia del siglo XIX’, in Construir España. Nacionalismo español y procesos de nacionalización, Javier Moreno, ed. (Madrid: Centro de Estudios Políticos y Constitucionales), pp. 25–57. Beramendi, Justo (2007b). De provincia a nación. Historia do galeguismo politico (Vigo: Xerais).

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Boyd, Carolyn P. (1997). Historia Patria. Politics, History and National Identity in Spain: 1875–1975 (Princeton: Princeton University Press). Boyd, Carolyn P. (2002). ‘The Second Battle of Covadonga: The Politics of Commemoration in Modern Spain’, History and Memory, 14, 1/2, 37–64. Burdiel, Isabel (1998). ‘Myths of Failure, Myths of Success: New Perspectives on Nineteenth-Century Spanish Liberalism’, The Journal of Modern History, 70, 4, 892–912. Cabo, Miguel (2003). Prensa agraria en Galicia (Ourense: Duen de Bux). Cabo, Miguel (2006). ‘Quelle nation dans les campagnes? État et nation-building en Espagne, un débat ouvert’, in Histoire de l’Europe rurale contemporaine. Du village à l’état, Jean-Luc Mayaud and Lutz Raphael, eds (Paris: Armand Colin), pp. 222–248. Cabo, Miguel and Molina, Fernando (2009). ‘The Long and Winding Road of Nationalization: Eugen Weber’s Peasants into Frenchmen in Modern European History (1976–2006)’, European History Quarterly, 39, 2, 264–286. Calatayud, Salvador, Millán, Jesús and Romeo, María Cruz (2009). ‘El Estado en la configuración de la España contemporánea’, in Estado y periferias en la España del siglo XIX, Salvador Calatayud, Jesús Millán, Jesús and María Cruz Romeo, eds (Valencia: Universitat de València), pp. 9–130. De Gabriel, Narciso (1990). Leer, escribir y contar. Escolarización popular y sociedad en Galicia (1875–1900) (Sada: Castro). Douglass, C. B. (1997). Bulls, Bullfighting, and Spanish Identities (Tucson: The University of Arizona Press). Fradera, Josep M. (2003). Cultura nacional en una sociedad dividida, Cataluña, 1838– 1868 (Madrid: Marcial Pons). Fradera, Josep M. (2004). ‘Bajar a la nación del pedestal’, in Quinto encuentro de estudios sobre el Justicia de Aragón, Carlos Forcadell, ed. (Zaragoza: Ediciones del Justicia de Aragón), pp. 15–40. Fradera, Josep M. (2006). ‘La dificultad de describir la nación’, in Del territorio a la nación. Identidades nacionales y construcción nacional, Luis Castells, ed. (Madrid: Biblioteca Nueva), pp. 181–233. Gallego, Domingo. (2005). ‘La formación de los precios del trigo en España (1820–1869): El mercado interior’, Historia Agraria, 36, 263–285. Garcia Balanyà, Albert (2002). ‘Patria, plebe y política en la España isabelina: La guerra de África en Cataluña (1859–1860)’, in Marruecos y el colonialismo español (1859–1912). De la Guerra de África a la “penetración pacífica”, Eloy Martín, ed. (Barcelona: Bellaterra), pp. 13–78. Garcia Balanyà, Albert (2009). ‘Clase, Pueblo y Patria en la España liberal: Comunidades polisémicas y experienciasplebeyas en la Cataluña urbana (1840–1870)’, in Extranjeros en el pasado. Nuevos historiadores de la España contemporánea, Fernando Molina, ed. (Bilbao: UPV), pp. 97–128. Garrido, Luis (2007). ‘Politización del campesinado en los siglos XIX y XX. Comentarios al monográfico “Política y campesinado en España” ’, Historia Agraria, 41, 135–165. Jiménez Guerrero, José (2001). El reclutamiento militar en el siglo XIX: Las quintas en Málaga (1837–1868) (Málaga: Universidad de Málaga). Linz, J.J. (1973). ‘Early State-Building and Late Peripheral Nationalisms Against the State: The Case of Spain’, in Building States and Nations, S. N. Eisenstadt and S. Rokkan, eds (Beverly Hills: Sage), pp. 32–112.


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Luengo, Félix (2009). Servir a la patria. El servicio militar en las provincias vascas (1877–1931) (Madrid: Maia). Martín, Luis (2007). ‘¿Queréis recordar el Dos de Mayo? Estampas populares de la Guerra de la Independencia’, in Sombras de Mayo, Christian Demange, ed. (Madrid: Casa de Velázquez), pp. 321–344. Martínez, Francesc-Andreu (2000). ‘Entre el Himno de Riego y la Marcha Real: La nación en el proceso revolucionario español’, in Revoluciones y revolucionarios en el mundo hispano, Manuel Chust, ed. (Castelló: Universitat Jaume I), pp. 115–172. Martínez, José Miguel, ed. (2002). El nivel de vida de la España rural, siglos XVIII–XX (Alicante: Universidad de Alicante). Michonneau, Stéphane (2007). Barcelona. Mémoire et identité, 1830–1930 (Rennes: PU Rennes). Molina, Fernando (2005). ‘Modernidad e identidad nacional. El nacionalismo español del siglo XIX y su historiografía’, Historia Social, 52, 147–171. Molina, Fernando (2005b). ‘La disputada cronología de la nacionalidad. Fuerismo, identidad vasca y nación en el siglo XIX’, Historia Contemporánea, 30, 219–246. Molina, Fernando (2005c). La tierra del martirio español. El País Vasco y España en el siglo del nacionalismo (Madrid: Centro de Estudios Políticos y Constitucionales). Molina, Fernando (2006). ‘España no era tan diferente. Regionalismo e identidad nacional en el País Vasco (1868–1898)’, Ayer, 64, 179–200. Molina, Fernando (2007a). ‘¿Delenda est Carthago? La nación española y los fueros vascos (1868–1898)’, in El País Vasco y España. Identidades, nacionalismos y Estado, L. Castells, A. Cajal and F. Molina, eds (Bilbao: UPV), pp. 65–84. Molina, Fernando (2007b), ‘La nación en su periferia étnica. La memoria de la Guerra de la Independencia en el País Vasco (1868–1898)’, in Sombras de mayo, Christian Demange, ed. (Madrid: Casa de Velázquez), pp. 237–263. Molina, Fernando (2007c). Una nación en armas contra sí misma. Nacionalismo, ciudadanía y movilización patriótica en España (1868–1876)’, in Construir España. Nacionalismo español y procesos de nacionalización, ed. Javier Moreno (Madrid: Centro de Estudios Políticos y Constitucionales), pp. 81–102. Molina, Fernando (2008a). ‘¿Realmente la nación vino a los campesinos? Peasants into Frenchmen y el “debate Weber” en Francia y España’, Historia Social, 62, 78–102. Molina, Fernando (2008b). ‘De la historia a la memoria. El carlismo y el problema vasco (1868–1978)’, in El carlismo en su tiempo. Geografías de la contrarrevolución (Pamplona: Gobierno de Navarra), pp. 167–204. Moreno, Javier (2007). ‘Fighting for the National Memory: The Commemoration of the Spanish “War of Independence” in 1908–1912’, History and Memory, 19, 1, 68–94. Moreno, Javier (2007b). ‘Political Clientelism, Elites, and Caciquismo in Restoration Spain (1875–1923)’, European History Quarterly, 37, 3, 417–441. Moya, José C. (2004). Primos y extranjeros. La inmigración española en Buenos Aires, 1850–1930 (Buenos Aires: Emecé). Núñez, Xosé Manuel (1997). ‘Los oasis en el desierto. Perspectivas historiográficas sobre el nacionalismo español’, Bulletin d’Histoire Contemporaine de l’Espagne, 26, 483–533.

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Núñez, Xosé Manuel (2001). ‘The Region as Essence of the Fatherland: Regionalist Variants of Spanish Nationalism (1840–1936)’, European History Quarterly, 31, 4, 483–518. Núñez, Xosé Manuel (2006). ¡Fuera el invasor! Nacionalismos y movilización bélica durante la guerra civil española (1936–1939) (Madrid: Marcial Pons). Núñez, Xosé Manuel (2007). ‘La questione nazionale in Spagna: Note sul recente dibattito storiografico’, Mondo contemporaneo, 2, 106–111. Núñez, Xosé Manuel (2007b). ‘De impuras naciones: historiografía reciente y cuestión nacional en España’, Alcores, 4, 211–239. Núñez Romero, Clara Eugenia (1992). La fuente de la riqueza: educación y desarrollo económico en la España contemporánea (Madrid: Alianza). Ocampo, Joaquín and Peribáñez, D. (2006). Historia económica mundial y de España (Oviedo: Universidad de Oviedo). Ostolaza, Maitane (2007). ‘La nación española en el País Vasco, 1857–1931: El papel de la escuela’, in El País Vasco y España: Identidades, Nacionalismos y Estado (siglos XIX–XX), Luis Castells, ed. (Bilbao: UPV), pp. 163–184. Otero, Luis E. (2007). ‘Tradición y modernidad en la España urbana de la Restauración’, in Modernizar España. Proyectos de reforma y apertura internacional (1898–1914), G. Gómez-Ferrer and R. Sánchez, eds (Madrid: Biblioteca Nueva), pp. 79–118. Puell de la Villa, Fernando (1996). El soldado desconocido. De la leva a la mili (1700–1912) (Madrid: Biblioteca Nueva). Quiroga, Alejandro (2007). Making Spaniards. Primo de Rivera and the Nationalization of the Masses, 1923–1930 (London: Palgrave Macmillan). Ringrose, David (1998). Spain, Europe and the “Spanish Miracle”, 1700–1900 (New York: Cambridge University Press). Riquer, Borja de (1994). ‘La débil nacionalización española del siglo XIX’, Historia Social, 20, 97–114. Riquer, Borja de and Ucelay, Enric (1994). ‘An Analysis of Nationalisms in Spain: A Proposal for an Integrated Historical Model’, in Nationalisms in Europe. Past and Present, Justo Beramendi, Ramón Máiz and Xosé Manuel Núñez, eds (Santiago: USC), pp. 275–301. Rodrigo, Martín (2009). ‘Cataluña y el colonialismo español (1868–1899)’, in Estado y periferias en la España del siglo XIX, Salvador Calatayud, Jesús Millán, Jesús and María Cruz Romeo, eds (Valencia: Universitat de València), pp. 315–356. Rubio, Coro (2003). La identidad vasca en el siglo XIX (Madrid: Biblioteca Nueva). Serrano, Carlos (1999). El nacimiento de Carmen. Símbolos, mitos y nación (Madrid: Taurus). Shubert, Adrian (1999). Death and Money in the Afternoon. A History of the Spanish Bullfight (Oxford: Oxford University Press). Silvestre, Javier (2002). ‘Las emigraciones interiores en España durante los siglos XIX y XX: Una revisión bibliográfica’, Ager, 2, 227–248. Smith, Ángel (1996). ‘Sardana, Zarzuela or Cake Walk?’, in Nationalism and the Nation in the Iberian Peninsula. Competing and Conflicting Identities, Clare Mar-Molinero and Ángel Smith, eds (Oxford: Berg), pp. 171–190. Ucelay-Da Cal, Enric (2003). El imperialismo catalán. Prat de la Riva, Cambó, D’Ors y la conquista moral de España (Barcelona: Edhasa).


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Uría, Jorge (2003). La cultura popular en la España contemporánea (Madrid: Biblioteca Nueva). Veiga, Xosé Ramón and Garrido, Aurora (2007). ‘Política y campesinado en España: algunas notas críticas’, Historia Agraria, 41, 167–180. Weber, Eugen (1992, orig.1976). Peasants into Frenchmen. The Modernization of Rural France 1870–1914 (Stanford: Stanford University Press).

4 On the Uses and Abuses of Nationalism from Below: A Few Notes on Italy Ilaria Porciani

These few notes on the issue of nationalism from below focus on the case of Italy. In spite of concentrating on one single country and, therefore, not being comparative at all, they suggest – I hope – hypotheses that might be useful for a broader approach. Recent Italian debates and, more specifically, a new wave of revisionism have shown how historical musings about popular and grass-roots nationalism can be instrumentalized – albeit in a paradoxical way – to suit a present-day political agenda. Therefore, I would like to draw attention, first of all, to the uses as well as to the misuses of nationalism from below in the broad, non-professional, but highly ideological and politicized field of public history. In the last two decades, the historical debate on popular nationalism in Italy has been pursued mostly in non-academic literature and more recently on political websites, in newspaper articles and in letters to the editor. During the last two years, the discussion has intensified in connection with two quite independent yet inextricably linked political and cultural issues: on the one hand, there has been a heightening of tension in the political arena, and on the other a growing interest in the reappropriation of the Risorgimento (the Italian unification movement) caused by the 150th anniversary of Italy’s unification in 2011. Subsequently, I will focus on the old and politically charged question of the relationship between peasantry and nation, starting from the still valid suggestions offered by Antonio Gramsci in his Prison Notebooks. I will then put forward specific moments, milieus and sources to explore in order to detect and understand some forms of popular involvement in the national movement. Two eloquent examples are the events of 1848 and the annexation plebiscites of 1859–1860. In 1848, the invasion of 73


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the Austrian army triggered widespread participation in uprisings and in the defence of cities under siege or attack. Closer analysis, however, will show the multi-vocal and sometimes contradictory approach of the urban middle and lower-middle classes to the question of independence from foreign powers. Next, I will consider the development of sociability and associations, notably of friendly and mutual-aid societies, after the creation of the Italian nation-state in 1861. These form an interesting – though not always satisfactory – testing ground for gauging the participation of the population and the dissemination of national as well as republican thinking. By moving away from larger cities like Brescia, Milan, Bologna or Naples and examining the available literature on mutual help and friendly societies within smaller towns, we gain insight into the attitudes of lower middle- and working-class people. These associations were a powerful means to help people to identify with the nation, even from a critical – that is, republican – perspective. The areas in which these societies were more active are also interesting for the large presence of people named after patriotic or republican heroes and events. The symbolic gesture of giving a name to a newborn is an extremely serious matter, and often revealing. In this respect, I would suggest exploring various types of source in order to determine the extent to which a form of nationalism existed, if not at the lowest reaches of society, at least in the middle and lower-middle classes. One of the possibilities is to gauge the involvement of people in the national and civic festivals that occurred after Italian unification. Finally, I will broach a phenomenon that seems to be to some extent characteristic of the Risorgimento, namely the (highly ambiguous) involvement of women in patriotic demonstrations – encouraged, paradoxically enough, by their habit of taking part in religious processions. To conclude this introduction, I would like to point out that, according to the most recent literature, top-down processes of national identification were generally easier and speedier, but they always coexisted with a persistent inertia. The voices (including those of the lower classes) that express a positive identification with the Italian nation are restricted to specific situations, defined by a geographic as well as by a social demarcation. These are usually situations where the ground has been prepared by influential actors and activists or by a closer contact with the city. The resulting landscape of national consciousness often exhibited a leopardskin pattern with well-defined spots of intensive activity combined with larger areas of silence, immobility and even reaction. In this sense, we

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can only agree with Maurice Agulhon’s thesis and findings that the initial contact of the Republic with the people was anything but idyllic and that it was an uneven process (Agulhon, 1979 and 1995, esp. p. 9). Further comparisons with the cases of France and Germany would probably confirm this pattern.

1. By way of a Prologue: the revisionist public use of history and the thesis of grass-roots insurgents Let us start with a paradox taken from a highly politicized area, namely the revisionist public use that has been made of the Insurgenze, the insurgent peasants’ uprising against the Jacobin republics in the late 1790s. In the last few decades, a new wave of Catholic revisionism has proposed to reinterpret the insurgenze – not innocently – as the first sign of nationalism among the masses. According to this view, hundreds of thousands of people revolted against the Jacobin movement that originated in ‘foreign’ France. The ‘myriad’ of insurrections occurring ‘everywhere’, from the Aosta Valley to Veneto, from Calabria to Tyrol, are represented not as a set of different uprisings but as one collective national movement: the ‘first and perhaps the only popular insurrection of national character’, involving men and women from every social class, including the peasants and lower classes both in the countryside and in the cities. The title of one of these revisionist works dubbed this phenomenon ‘the beginning of the Italian civil war’ (Viglione, 2006, p. 37). These same historians claim to ‘demystify’ lies and omissions of a supposedly mainstream ‘Masonic’ historiography that, in their opinion, has eclipsed the ‘dark side’ of the unification process. Consequently, they concentrate on counter-revolutionary movements (see Pellicciari, 2000). They define these events as ‘the most tragic, heroic as well as mystified page of the history of the Italian people’ (Viglione, 2006, pp. 8–9). For them, the true Italian national experience – involving all social classes – has always been Catholic. Conversely, liberal and democratic ideas originating from the French Revolution as well as Protestant influences are completely foreign to the Italian national character. Last but not least, these historians label Giuseppe Mazzini as a totalitarian (Viglione, 2006, p. 59). In short, the Risorgimento was the creation of a very small liberal elite only. It is, therefore, not surprising that the historians in question also focus on the strong resistance to the unification process in southern Italy in the early 1860s: the so-called Brigantaggio (1860–1870). The brigands are


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presented as proof of a massive anti-national and anti-unitarian orientation, involving 350 ‘bands’, tens of thousands of people, between 20,000 and 70,000 casualties – numbers quoted without precise evidence. These authors use for the most part a group of texts of fascist orientation written in the 1930s with the aim of discrediting the French revolutionary origins of the Risorgimento movement.1 There seems to be very little serious first-hand investigation behind their work, and the statistical evidence they produce is not always well documented. Besides, they sometimes seem to forget that neither the Insurgenze nor the Brigantaggio has been ignored by scholarly literature. Since the 1970s, and especially in the last ten years, scholarly research has not denied the existence of strong opposition to the spread of the Italian ‘sister republics’, which were based on the French model, and to the national movement later. The insurgents against the Jacobins have been investigated in source-based academic works such as Gabriele Turi’s Viva Maria, which deals with the Catholic uprising around the Tuscan city of Arezzo (Turi, 1969, 1999). Moreover, in the wave of studies generated by the bicentennial anniversary, a very careful, solid and balanced analysis was made in publications such as the volume edited by Anna Maria Rao, one of the leading experts on the subject (Rao, 1998, reviewed by Meriggi, 1998 and Recuperati, 1999). Closer scrutiny would suggest that the Insurgenze and the Brigantaggio have to be studied in the long run, by being compared with various types of early modern protest repertoires. Interestingly enough, the revisionist authors do not hide their intention to denounce the origins of the evil of Italian society today: laicism, rationalism and, implicitly, even the roots of the democratic constitution. They claim that ‘the Risorgimento and its consequences, fascism and anti-fascism failed to “make Italians”, thus creating the present evil of our people’. Against those academic scholars who trace the origins of the Risorgimento back to the French Revolution, these mostly nonprofessional historians and politicians describe an opposition between the ‘national’ masses and the ‘foreign’ intellectuals, and they do so by basing their argument solely on secondary literature. This rewriting of history is particularly relevant in the current, deeply divided political climate of Italy, which in some areas of its cultural life is driven by a thorough revisionism (Caffiero, 2007). Professional historians have criticized this revisionism heavily, but it should also be taken seriously on grounds of the public use of history. Indeed, many of the conferences devoted to revisionist commemorations or discussions have been strongly backed by local administrations

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in Lombardy and Veneto. They promoted an ethnic continuity from the revolutionary era until today, as well as a substantial hostility to the unified state. Behind these positions, we may detect the involvement of some right-wing Catholic milieus and of the Lega Nord. Their mutual interest is to sever the cultural and political roots of the Italian Republic, its liberal culture (the philisopher Benedetto Croce being one of the targets of their discourse) and, even more, the democratic, socialist and communist contributions to the republican constitution of 1948. Between 1989 and 1994, Catholic revisionism organized itself, as is lucidly analysed by Massimo Cattaneo (2008, pp. 86–87, 101). In 2001, it found a strong bastion in the then re-established and tellingly named Historical Institute for the Study of the Insurgenze and National Identity. The Institute has been very active publicly, justifying, for instance, the proposals, coming from many local right-wing or Lega Nord administrations, to rename streets and places after Catholic ‘martyrs’ of the insurgenze or of related events. The same circles have also engendered a plethora of websites dedicated to what they call the ‘black legend’ of the Risorgimento.2 Sound scholarly research has proved these revisionist theses wrong while at the same time acknowledging the existence of insurgents’ uprisings in the post-Jacobin years and of brigands in the post-1860 period. But professional historians have pointed out two elements. First of all, these movements were also directed by elites – only of another kind. Second, instead of representing the many faces of one and the same national movement, they were in fact separate, dispersed insurrections of a quite different character. Finally, these movements were very similar to older forms of popular protest. I would, therefore, like to suggest approaching the topic of national identification from below, within the broader context of the mobilization of the masses, without losing sight of the long-term context of early modern Europe. Particularly when looking at rural areas and considering the involvement of peasants, it would certainly be reductive to restrict our perspective to the post-1789 age, in spite of the profound cleavage caused by the French Revolution. The latter did not cancel out other, ‘older’ kinds of involvement of the masses. We know fairly well that different historical times can coexist, even in areas that are very near to one another.

2. Peasants and nation: an old question revisited The issue of the involvement – or rather the non-involvement – of the masses in the Italian unification movement is not new. In the 1930s,


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Antonio Gramsci already posed the question in an extreme, yet effective way, asking who deserved the epithets ‘patriot’ and ‘national’: Admiral Caracciolo, hung by the British for defending revolutionary and republican positions, or the peasant insurgent against the ‘French’. And Gramsci went even further: why should pro-British politics and British money be considered more national than French political ideas? (Gramsci, 1977, p. 68). As the leader of the Italian Communist Party, Gramsci was particularly interested – for political reasons – in understanding where the limits of political control of the national movement lay. In his Prison Notebooks, he wrote: ‘The absence of a popular policy was a disaster: peasants from the Lombard Venetian kingdom fighting with the Austrian troops were one of the most effective instruments to stifle Vienna’s revolution as well as the Italian one; for Lombardo-Venetian peasants, this was in fact a gentlemen’s and students’ revolution’ (Gramsci, 1977, p. 119). Peasants were not likely to become involved in the national movement, and, when they seemed to do so, it was because they misread the situation. Peasants, for instance, participated in feasts around the liberty tree erected by the republicans after Leopold II, the Grand Duke of Tuscany, had fled. Gramsci observed that contemporary right-wing liberals like Ruggero Bonghi attributed this to their faulty grasp of what was going on. They thought that the opposite was happening and, to celebrate the return of the Grand Duke, they started ‘to cheer Leopold II, bring out their flags, wave scarves, shoot and other similar things’ (Bonghi quoted by Gramsci, 1977, p. 193). Frightened by the country folks’ reactionary attitudes, some of the leading figures of the Risorgimento were clearly reluctant to involve the lower classes. The secret society called ‘Esperia’, founded by the Bandiera brothers, was very outspoken about this issue. Contact with the populace [plebe] should not be made or made only with extreme caution, because the populace is imprudent and unwary, and because deprivation (being very poor) creates corruption. One should preferably contact rich, strong, cultivated people, and neglect the poor, the weak and the ignorant. (Quoted in Gramsci, 1977, p. 204) If this was the attitude of some democrats, the Piedmontese elite was even worse. They used ‘the popolo–nazione [the people-nation] merely as an instrument’ (Gramsci, 1977, pp. 122–123).

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In short, Gramsci was very doubtful about popular participation in the Italian unification movement, especially given the peasant question. ‘There is,’ he wrote, ‘a certain tendency to overestimate the lower classes’ contribution to the Risorgimento, insisting especially on the phenomenon of the volunteers.’ The first studies of the subject that were available at the time of Gramsci’s writing pointed out contradictory aspects. On the one hand, emphasizing the suspicious attitude of the Piedmontese authorities towards the volunteers, they tended to limit the role of the latter dramatically. On the other hand, these publications drew on the first empirical enquiries that documented the involvement of city workers and artisans in political activities as well as in independence-oriented and anti-Austrian uprisings. In the very years in which Gramsci was writing, Attilio Monaco was able to produce evidence of the involvement of around 100,000 named people, who were under police surveillance. Monaco was not able to reconstruct the complete list and could only produce more evidence on the 1,000 or so men who were sent to special courts for the severest punishments. However, he succeeded in identifying small traders, small shopkeepers, tailors and carpenters, as well as agricultural day labourers among those on the list (Monaco, 1933, p. 873). Recent scholarship has pointed out the complexity of the phenomenon of volunteers, their very different social background and the size of their number – around 50,000. Anna Maria Isastia proved the presence among them of many lower-class men, such as urban workers of different kinds, and even of some peasants (Isastia, 1990, pp. 261–262 and passim). A few years ago Alberto Mario Banti and Paul Ginsborg took a clear stand against the thesis that the Risorgimento had been an elite phenomenon. With less political intent than Gramsci, they aimed to show the widespread dissemination of a patriotic discourse that highlighted an ethnic sense of national belonging, the hallowed ground and the sacred body of the nation. To Banti and Ginsborg, the Risorgimento was explicitly a mass phenomenon. Yet they also acknowledged that the image of the entire ‘people’ – in Mazzini’s sense of the word – standing up to fight against foreign domination was a stereotype and an apologetic image. Nevertheless, many thousands of people actively participated in the political movement, the outcome of which was the creation of a nation-state in the Italian peninsula. Hundreds of thousands of people were in some way supporters of, or at least sympathetic to, this process. In a largely illiterate society, where even the simplest modes of communication were difficult – before unification


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trains were virtually non-existent, and the only possible transportation was on steamboats or vehicles drawn by horses – participation in uprisings and revolutions is absolutely impressive. And this mass dimension, Banti and Ginsborg claim, merits closer consideration. This, however, begs the question: did this ‘mass participation’ really involve the lower classes? When, where, under what conditions and in what specific situations can one speak about an involvement from below in the national movement? Banti and Ginsborg, in fact, limit their search to the literate middle and upper-middle classes, or at least to people who had an acceptable level of literacy. They develop arguments from the field of cultural studies, but they do not present figures other than the 100,000 already offered by Gramsci. Shortly after unification, Italy was – as is well known – a country of 17 million illiterates and 5 million ‘arcadians’, to use the expression of Pasquale Villari, the well-known author of Southern Letters that discuss the southern question. And the Risorgimento was largely a matter of a literate minority, kindled by their desire to free the fatherland and eventually unify it. The recent argument, put forward by Alberto Banti, concerning the role of the novel as a powerful means of awakening love for the fatherland only confirms this. The 100,000 people actively involved in the Risorgimento in the pre-unification years certainly present a large number, but this has to be read against a general population of about 20 million. Yet, while the initiative may have spread through society from the top-down, identification processes from below did not fail completely. Recent studies have brought new evidence to light and have helped to refocus attention on the problem, with reference to some specific areas and situations. I will illustrate this through two topical, but also extraordinary moments: 1848, the so-called miracle year, and 1859–1860, the period of the plebiscites, of the unification and of the conquest–liberation of the south.

3. The ‘miracle year’ 1848 and the plebiscites of 1859 In 1848, the Austrian army invaded the Italian peninsula, which caused massive uprisings in the cities under siege or attack. Carlo Cattaneo, the leader of the defence of Milan, left this vivid comment: Most of the men killed were workers: barricades and workers go together as a horse and rider. The sacred guild of printers lost 5 men, one of them a bookbinder; then three machine workers, [ . . . ] one

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goldsmith. Not less than 15 workers of iron and bronze died: these strong men were all on the barricades. Shoemakers were also glorious: 13 of them died; 4 were tailors, 3 hatmakers, and there were saddle makers, frame makers, and journeymen whose occupation and name are unknown: sine nomine vulgus.3 Cattaneo wanted to highlight the presence of the lower classes in order to present the Milanese experience of 1848 as a popular action. He even gave a passionate description of the roads into Milan thronging with peasants who came to help. This assertion was a polemic reply to the Allgemeine Zeitung. That Austrian newspaper had minimized the rebellion of the city by describing it as an affair of ‘a few aristocrats, a few individuals from the white race, which oppresses and exploits the brown race indigenous of the Italian country that was under the constant protection and care of the Austrian administrators’ (Cattaneo, 1971). Peasants had no interest in the cause of independence, let alone unification. Recent scholarship has proved that it was in particular the fittavoli, leaseholders renting property from the aristocracy and engaged in modernizing farming, who were at the core of the political protest. They were sending their children to university, had contact with the city and were interested in the new issues of independence, as Maurizio Bertolotti has underlined (Bertolotti, 2008). Yet, most of all, it was the urban dwellers (including lower-class people) who participated in 1848, both in the first wave of the long Italian 1848 and in the passionate defence of the cities under siege. Recent and less recent case studies have helped to support Cattaneo’s arithmetic.4 They have given substance to the impression of popular involvement that arises from the powerful pictures left by contemporary painters and participating soldiers. Paintings like Achille Dovera’s clearly show the presence of lower-class men and women, as well as children.5 Written evidence also confirms the description of rich and poor people embracing and of lower-class patriots being received in elegant houses.6 An Austrian administrator warned that porters and day labourers in Mantua were convinced that the affluent would now help the poor and that it was time to give up the hard work. One well-known worker, whose nickname, Borraccia (‘flask’) hints at his familiarity with wine as well with the osterie – the classical meeting spot for spreading news and disseminating new political ideas – was seen trying to hug and kiss an officer. To the Austrian administrator, ‘this attitude of the lower classes [ . . . ] [was] seriously frightening’. Indeed, in these unusual circumstances subversive fantasies emerged, as Maurizio Bertolotti has recently pointed


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out for the small villages and the countryside around Mantua (Bertolotti, 2008, p. 500). Evidently, the defence of a city under siege mobilizes widespread solidarity. The willingness of the masses to cooperate and fight owes much to the logic of communitarian behaviour, to the point that Mario Isnenghi and Eva Cecchinato have spoken of ‘volunteer cities’. This was the case of Milan in the cinque giornate, the five days of resistance against the Austrians in 1848; of Brescia in the dieci giornate, the ten days that became the symbol of strenuous resistance against the Austrian army; of the Republic of Venice; and finally of the Roman Republic. In all these instances, rebellion and patriotism forged a new ‘us’, which had a strong ecumenic and inclusive character (Isnenghi and Cecchinato, 2007, p. 703; on the 1859 volunteers, see Isastia, 1990). Similar collective participation is noticeable – at least to some extent – in the special atmosphere of the plebiscites of 1859. These have been recently studied, with less attention to the top-down organization of consensus and more to the unanimous, collective rather than individual, almost ritual way of voting. In these ceremonial plebiscites, people felt empowered. They celebrated in the very same forms that had been typical of religious processions for decades, if not for centuries. The act of lining up to vote and the shared experience of simultaneously voting were powerful vehicles of identification. At the 1860 vote over the incorporation of Tuscany – open, like all other annexation plebiscites, to every adult male without regard to class or level of education – an attentive young politician heard a Florentine artisan comment: ‘Today I count as much as a gentleman.’ Remarks of this kind denote not only explicit involvement in the nation-building process. They also betray a strong communitarian and collective consciousness and a proud participation in politics in the strong civic tradition felt by the ruling classes. This was also shared by the lowermiddle classes – at least in Tuscany, where civic identity relied on an underlying ancient pride in the cultural heritage. Yet comments like the craftsman’s are rare, extremely rare, and largely confined to the centre-north – the heart of the Italian city culture, with its deep-seated, long-established civic tradition, which allegedly still left a trace in nineteenth-century social and political behaviour. We also know that in Italy, as all over Europe, political literacy was more advanced among urban artisans than in other classes. It was especially widespread in the urban areas of the north-east, where the 1818 Austrian law on literacy had set up a system of elementary schools (Brambilla, 1984). In Tuscany, however, literacy was much less common, especially

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in smaller towns, and it was virtually absent in the rural areas of the Maremma. In Florence, male literacy rates might have been higher, and, to some extent (possibly literate), lower-class men – joiners, guilders, barbers, tailors, cobblers, firewood sellers – had actively prepared the ground for voting in the plebiscite and for the rise of republican-friendly societies in 1860.

4. Friendly societies and republican milieus in post-unification Italy In his seminal work Making Democracy Work, Robert Putnam (1993) traced contemporary democratic practice and performance and the habit of cooperation in liberal Italy back to older civic and associational cultures. Some of these are rooted in the middle ages but are still crucial in contemporary Italy. After unification, the role of mutual-aid friendly societies inspired by Mazzini, often of a radical and republican slant, was certainly important in enhancing popular participation. This was especially true in some Lombard provinces, and above all in the Romagna, an area where republican feelings paved the way for socialist and, later on, communist loyalties. Often these institutions were founded by middle-class former volunteers, but they succeeded in attracting members from every social class. I would like to concentrate here on a case study of the Società operaia (Workers’ Association) in the small town of Chiavenna in northern Lombardy, which was investigated in depth thanks to its extremely wellpreserved archive (Varni, 1978). The founder of the Società operaia was a small entrepreneur and one of the few local electors in these times of restricted franchise. He was also a patriot, having fought in 1859 against the Austrians and in 1860 with Garibaldi. The Società operaia numbered well over 600 members – a telling figure in a town of merely 3,800 inhabitants. Equally revealing was the state of its finances. In 1865, the economically destitute municipality borrowed money from this wealthy association. In the process, the Società operaia became the focal point of every social group in town and for some years it was in fact its only social centre (lieu de sociabilité). The organizer was relatively wealthy, but the members were decidedly from the lower classes: shoemakers, brewery workers, dairymen, innkeepers, carpenters, carters, workers from the local cotton factory, the local copyist, coopers, shopkeepers, stonecutters, knife-grinders, bakers and millers, leather workers, one customs officer and one saddler, but also grooms, waiters, spinners, one music


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teacher and one tax collector. Members were typically tradesmen deeply involved in village life. Peasants and workers were not completely absent, but they were a minority numbering fifty six. Economic interests and protection in case of illness or death of a breadwinner were certainly powerful reasons for becoming a member. However, this association, like others of its kind, certainly played a relevant role in involving its members in patriotic activities. It spread republican fervour together with a feeling of belonging, not only to the little town, but also to the fatherland at large. Some examples are quite telling. In 1861, the Società operaia adopted Mazzini’s Duties of Man as a handbook of education. In 1863, during the social dinner, three empty chairs headed the long festive table: one for the founder, then absent, and the other two for Garibaldi and Mazzini. Garibaldi’s chair was decorated with a flag bearing the words ‘Fatherland, Freedom, Progress’. As the association’s rituals show, its members shared a deep concern both for democracy and for the nation. They often flew the national flag and celebrated around it. They raised money in support of Garibaldi’s attempts to free Rome, for the liberation of Venice, as well as to build a monument to Mazzini shortly after his death. The members of the Società operaia were not ‘blind’ but ‘constructive’ patriots.7 They moved from military to civic objectives, showing a bellicose form of patriotism – but also a benevolent one, aimed at deep innovation both at the level of ideals and in welfare and local administrative practices. On the one hand, they supported the liberation of Poland, on the other, they helped workers who had lost their jobs, asked for better work conditions in factories and took active steps towards the creation of primary and lower technical schools. Literacy and political alphabetization went hand in hand, and the demand for universal suffrage was given strong priority. Societies offer the opportunity for getting in touch with sister organizations and for circulating ideas. The example of an association of carpenters was soon imported from Genoa to Chiavenna. The inaugural speech made in 1862 explicitly hinted at Mazzini’s mottos and borrowed expressions regularly used for describing unification.8 If one wants to know more about allegiances and political orientations, let alone feelings towards the nation, first names given to children can provide an important clue. Political onomatology is, in fact, very telling, especially in rural contexts, given the lack of other sources. Stefano Pivato has studied this issue in Guastalla and Russi, two little towns of the Romagna, in an area with strong republican and secular

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feelings: in 1907, 80 per cent of funerals were not celebrated in church and 50 per cent of newborns were not baptized. Not surprisingly, republican names such as Avanti, Comunardo, Risveglio, Ribelle and Idea were common, as were Savonarola and Luther (Pivato, 1999). This shows that republicanism – and socialism later – could substitute their own rituals for religious ones. Republican organizations played an important part in this process as they politicized social strata that were still denied the franchise. This becomes clear in the frequency of first names indicating a certain adhesion to the ideals of the Risorgimento. In Russi, were the illiteracy rate was 39 per cent, just a few names recalled liberal leaders such as Cavour or democrats such as Poerio, but most belong to the complex symbolic universe of the republicans (like Garibaldi, his wife Anita and his sons Ricciotti and Menotti). They testify to the persistence of a certain underlying continuity between the heritage of the French Revolution and the Italian democrats (Galante Garrone, 1975). Common names like Aspromontino recalled the experience of Aspromonte, where Garibaldi had been wounded – a topical moment of tension between democrats and monarchists. Nearby, in Guastalla, where the illiteracy rate was 29.72 per cent, the most frequent name at the beginning of the twentieth century was Umberto (name of the Italian King murdered in 1900). Names like Italo or Italina and, around the Libyan War, Afra and Afrina appeared in both communes.

5. National festivals: a litmus test Indisputably, independence and nation-building were top-down processes. How far and how deeply the lower classes were really involved in the struggle for nationhood before 1860, or in the nationalization process after the Kingdom of Italy was formed, is hard to say. For the post-unification period, a good litmus test might be participation in the festival of the nation – one of the key moments of nation-building, if one looks at it from a symbolic viewpoint. In my study on the national Festival of the Statute, I paid close attention to grass-roots responses and to the periphery, relying heavily on case studies (Porciani, 1987). Lacking direct sources precise enough to let us hear lower-class voices or to see their reaction, I had to fall back largely on reports made by police chiefs and city prefects, on newspaper articles and on reactions from the clergy. One important moment of mass involvement, albeit in a top-down setting, was that of distributions of school prizes, which were intended to involve the largest possible number of pupils as well as their families.


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In Milan, 2,000 prizes were distributed in the early 1870s. These were important moments in which, as the journalist and writer Edmondo De Amicis wrote, the poorest children could stand up and be proud of their success in school (De Amicis, 1928, p. 14). Even more extensive, at least in the first decade after unification, was the tradition – adopted from the previous absolutist governments – of distributing charity goods. In Turin, the first capital of Italy, 30,000 tickets that could be exchanged for bread were distributed in the first years. But soon charity was restricted to the families of fallen soldiers: it consisted of dowries for their daughters or sisters. In an attempt to involve poorer people in the south, it was even suggested to provide penniless fishermen with boats. What the bottom-up response to these initiatives was in the outer fringes of the country, by which I mean not only the geographic outback but also the lower levels of citizenship and literacy, is well-nigh impossible to know. It is not merely a question of there being 17 million illiterate people, it also involves the crucial issue of communication. One is forced to ask oneself – in the virtual certainty of not finding an answer – what it is that people knew about the nation in the districts of the extreme periphery, in the south or in the mountain valleys, devoid as they were of roads, waterworks, public lighting, schools, cut off from everything. The first tangible signs of the nation in these regions were the Savoy cross appearing on letterboxes and the rolls of honour bearing the names of those who fell in the First World War. Many questions remain. For instance, was the south more of a silent bystander than other outlying areas? Was this due to the greater fragility of public life than in the north, where public life had sprung up centuries before, with the glorious season of the Communes? Was the lack of monuments and plaques in the south, so often cited as a consequence of the almost absent involvement of the population before 1860, actually so complete? There are at least some remote spots that form an exception. The tiny island of Mozia, just off Trapani on Sicily, has a plaque bearing the words ‘After launching the Marsala motto of Rome or death, Garibaldi came here to rest on 20 July 1862’. Yet we still cannot tell what meaning memorials such as these might have had for people who could only observe their outline and not read the words. Similar questions remain for the post-unification period as well. How, for example, was the national Festival of the Statute celebrated, and by whom – in the municipalities of the Naples hinterland, the 92 communes of the province of Catanzaro, the 60 around Teramo and the 91 in roadless Basilicata? One can only wonder how the festival was

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received and staged in a small centre like Padula near Salerno, amid the prevailing ‘lack of commerce [ . . . ] or ports, and bowed beneath the crippling weight of government taxation and municipal dues’.9 We know the leaders and many members of the Sicilian fasci (leagues or ‘bundles’ of Sicilian workers) in the early 1890s. Among them, were youth, doctors, students, cobblers, blacksmiths, carpenters, carters and artisans of various kinds, but also farmhands, smallholders and unemployed people. We cannot tell their attitude towards the nation, even though – just as under the ancien régime – they might use the king’s portrait to invoke a fairer justice against the oppressive local authorities. And, even here, the voices that come down to us are not those of the common people. The litmus test of the national festival at once raises the problem of the city/country ratio, or the ‘bottom threshold’ for actually noticing rituals of nationhood. In other words, the national festival implied the placing of laurel wreaths on monuments and school prize-giving; but what happened where there were no monuments and the schools were located in stables, both dirty and unattractive? In its initial stages, immediately after 1860, the national festival was not that successful. In large cities, the festival touched the central areas where the notables lived, but the accompanying parades often took place in the piazza d’armi outside the city centre. Usually, only a few spectators attended, to the regret or approbation of local newspapers, depending on their political inclination. From the mid-1870s on, the parade become larger and better attended, but it was only after the turn of the century that it became an important show for the whole city. In the first capital, Turin, the school festival took place in 1905 in a new 40,000 seat stadium (Porciani, 1987, p. 60). Shooting societies, società di tiro, and veterans’ associations also took part in the military parades, but they were never so decisive as in the Kaiserreich. They appeared and disappeared, not always being looked upon favourably by the army and the authorities. However, at the end of the nineteenth century, under Prime Minister Francesco Crispi, they seem to have participated more in national festivals and in special anniversaries celebrating the battle of Castelfidardo in Sicily or the liberation of Milan. In fact, in the post-1882 period, after all illiterate men had been enfranchised and the electorate had increased dramatically, these associations could be extremely useful to control the vote and to offset the influence of socialists. They were present in particular at the anniversaries of 20 September 1870 commemorating the ‘taking’ of Rome – a more secular and often anticlerical occasion, where the


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radical fringes were present and often gave voice to multi-vocal demonstrations. On the eve of the Libyan War in 1911, the parades became a truly popular event, in the new nationalist and colonial context, this time being also supported by the church. If we wish to examine how exactly these festivals and parades influenced lower-class people attending them, we lack more direct sources. A number of case studies on country villages in Tuscany (some of our leopard spots) show that the commemorations of the independence wars and of the participation of Tuscan volunteers were quite widely attended in the countryside – at least in villages and boroughs, as Gilles Pécout (2005) has pointed out. Yet what this exactly means to the national consciousness of the people involved is far from clear. While we do have information on peasants taking part in the more pleasurable side of the festivals (pole climbing, bingo, rifle competitions), we know little about their active participation in the more political parts of the commemorations. Undoubtedly, the festivals were moments of social integration, but this was hardly a new function, as they were clearly linked to much older communitarian customs. Only exceptionally do we have more information to rely on, as in the case of Davide Lazzeretti, a prophet of the poor, himself born in a poverty-stricken area of the Amiata mountains south of Siena (Pazzagli, 1981). This carter, ill with malaria and suffering from religious hallucinations, left his wife and small children behind to follow Garibaldi. He had a horse and fought in Castelfidardo. Eight years later he had more visions. The Virgin Mary was said to have appeared to him and he started to organize a religious community, both utopian and socialist. In 1878, he was killed by carabinieri while he was coming down from a mountain with a procession. In the case of Lazzeretti, patriotism, heroism, and utopian thinking oriented towards ancient millenarian movements, commingled in a region that seemed to belong to another historical time, supporting our theory of the leopard-spot pattern.

6. Women Particularly in northern and central Italy, the involvement in the Italian nation of lower social strata, including urban middle-class and lower middle-class women, was spurred by two factors: the form in which patriotism was expressed – the emotional idea of building a national family; and the tenor of the patriotic demonstrations of 1846–1847, which even the national clergy had joined in and which had often taken the form of processions such as women were used to taking part in.

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In the first phase of Risorgimento historiography, published shortly after the struggle for unification, women were not completely absent. As mothers, spouses or lovers of the patriots, and in some exceptional cases as heroines of the battles, they had been to some extent celebrated on public occasions, and their stories had not completely disappeared from the narrative. This was true for Adelaide Cairoli and Giuditta Tavani Arquati. As a wealthy lady from Brescia and mother of several heroes, Cairoli was the symbolic, exemplary mother of the nation, decorated with a gold medal and inducted into the national pantheon. Arquati was the daughter of a Roman wool manufactureowner who was killed in 1867 by the pope’s army, while she herself was conspiring with her husband and other republican friends. Both women soon became icons for the moderate and the republican tradition. But the scientific literature at the beginning of the century lost interest in these figures, as it was essentially political or oriented towards a histoire-bataille interpretation. For decades, the master narrative of Risorgimento history concentrated on big events, politics, state life, economics and institutions. Or it focused on the ‘masses’, basically composed of men. Historians did not notice women. Small wonder, since even in important, innovative contributions proclaiming an in-depth study of society – such as in Le Roy Ladurie’s works – women never (or very seldom) appeared (Hufton, 1989, p. 141). In recent literature, though, women occupy a prominent place. On the one hand, this is part of a broader trend in historical research to focus on gender and women. On the other, the presence of women in national history, especially in 1848, seems to be highly peculiar to the Italian situation. Simonetta Soldani (2007) has pointed out the specific role of Italian women in 1848, and not only from intellectual elites – like the ‘eccentrics’ who had danced the carmagnole around the liberty trees in the Jacobin Republics of the late 1790s. Middle-class women, too, were active in the ‘regeneration’ and ‘moralization’ of the larger national family. The strong correlation between the ‘resurrection of women’ and the ‘resurrection of the nation’ (Soldani, 2007) went hand in hand with the construction of a religious language of the nation in which the Catholic and the biblical model were essential. In 1846–1847, in the run-up to 1848, the lower clergy marched together with the patriots. The cross of the Savoy dynastic arms was like an emblem that could unite and identify religious and patriotic beliefs and practices. The overwhelming experiences of civic processions and spontaneous festivals, Te Deums and public illuminations reminiscent of those


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dedicated to patron saints, parish feasts or the opera – one should not forget the far-reaching influence of the opera on large sectors of society, or its political role – helped to involve large groups of women. They were indeed participating en masse, as was evident in the street demonstrations of the autumn of 1847 as well as in the hundreds of ceremonies and thousands of masses said for the Lombard victims of the Austrian soldiers. And if the constitution was considered the expression of a mutual pact between the king and the people, women were also welcome and involved in the general, collective jubilation. Lower-class women struggled for the defence of their cities in the north and were part of the delirious crowds acclaiming the red shirts of Garibaldi’s troops. As the writer Enrichetta Caracciolo put it, it was a kind of ‘Christian palingenesis’ (1864, pp. 289–290). In her study of the Tuscan case, Soldani (1988) called it the metaphoric translation of a holistic myth. Iconographic evidence also suggests the presence of lower-class women on the scene of public events. The later paintings by Napoleone Nani (The Liberation of Daniele Manin and Niccolò Tommaseo from Prison, 1876), Bernardo Dario Querci (The Proclamation of the Constitution at the Capitol or Mazzini Enters the Capitol, 1881) and Umberto Coromaldi (Red Shirts, 1898) all feature women. Yet they bear witness less to immediate and veracious documentation than to the conscious and apologetic construction of a historical memory of the events. These paintings might very well result from the wish to focus on the strong link between family and nation on the one side, and to tell a good story about the body of the nation participating as a whole in its liberation on the other. Therefore, they present a rather pedagogical top-down discourse, a well-constructed narrative. But other paintings, by democrat volunteers – ‘soldier-painters’ such as Gerolamo Induno – painted shortly after the events, include women in a different and more integrated way. One only needs to bring to mind The Descent from Aspromonte (1863). Garibaldi was wounded by the Piedmontese army while he was trying to liberate Rome. The painting shows his supporters carrying him in their arms. Peasant women come and bring water, in a show of popular support to the general. The same is true of paintings like George Housman’s, Garibaldi and the Siege of Rome (painted in 1854, five years after the events). Even more strongly, the Barricades at Porta Tosa in Milan by Carlo Canella depicts women actively engaged in street battle. Francesco Netti’s Palermo scene of an interior stripped of furniture features a wife loading her husband’s rifle (Gall, 1998, pp. 96–97). In other European countries, too, women were depicted in the 1848 street fights and barricades.10

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These suggestions gathered from paintings can in some cases be complemented with more precise evidence. Angelo Varni’s work on the friendly society of Chiavenna, on which I have already drawn extensively, gives a clear hint as to the presence of women. The leader and founder of the association was in favour of women’s education and participation, and so were some people near Mazzini. One should not forget that the first Italian emancipationist, Anna Maria Mozzoni, was a Mazzini supporter. She based her struggle for women’s franchise on nationalist arguments. The Chiavenna association soon had a women’s section too, with 152 members, of whom 104 were casalinghe – meaning that they looked after the house and had no independent jobs – 24 were tailors, 9 were primary school teachers and 6 were laundresses (Varni, 1978, p. 297). The presence of school teachers on this list points to the need to reconsider their role, especially in the countryside. After unification, the process of building a national secular school system got under way. For the first time, and for various reasons, many women from the urban middle and lower-middle classes took part, originally as pupils of the scuole normali (teacher training schools) and subsequently as elementary teachers themselves. Their positive response can be linked to the rise of a discourse of family and nation (Porciani, 2002). The large number of women from the lower-middle classes who, after the 1880s, entered the poor, not prestigious and extremely unattractive profession of school teacher, especially in the countryside, tells us something about identification from below. Schools are a typical vehicle of top-down nationalization. But its agents and intermediaries – especially in this case – can be regarded as an integral part of the ‘below’ area of society, which identified with the nation and at the same time worked for its implementation.

7. Conclusion By way of conclusion, I would like to stress the following elements, which cross and connect the previous sections of this chapter. In a Catholic country like Italy, nationalism borrowed both the language and the ritual forms of religion. This aspect is extremely important for an understanding of the participation of lower-class people, especially women, as well as for the occasional participation of peasants. Robert Putnam’s thesis about civic traditions dating back to the medieval communes in northern and central Italy can, by and large, be subscribed to. Where those traditions and civic habits were deeply


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rooted, there was also a more widespread involvement with the nation from the lower-middle classes of society. However, deep differences are to be noticed in cities, in villages and in the country. A leopard-skin type of pattern arises. There was not only a broad north–south divide: differences are probably observable in a much more general sense as well. The penetration of Mazzinian, social and republican nationalism was crucial in some areas of the peninsula (especially in the Romagna) in involving people, not only from the lower-middle classes but also from the lower classes. The action of individual local leaders was elemental too, and it can explain some of the ‘hot spots’ in our ‘leopard-skin pattern’, while the religious and messianic attitude of Mazzini also played a role in this process. The situation of the south is more complex: the deep involvement of lower-class volunteers who joined Garibaldi’s army can be explained both through his charismatic character and through the exceptional nature of the situation. However, this commitment had more of a shortterm and emotional character. Soon the protest against taxation and a deep diffidence took over. In some specific areas and situations, such as in the plebiscites in Naples, illiterate women – especially influential in the camorra of the old city (Fruci, 2007) – seemed to have a leading role in joining the nation and promoting it. Again, these are ‘hot spots’ in our leopard-skin pattern. Festivals, commemorations, charity and school prizes were ways of attracting and involving the lower classes. However, it is – and it will always be – difficult, if not impossible, to measure their response. Nevertheless, it is worth considering the role of middle-class – and in some cases lower middle-class – women as agents of nationalization, not only in the traditional perspective of a top-down process, but also for their response to the new emotional and ideal message of the nation, which they, in turn, disseminated as teachers.

Notes 1. For a critical survey of these works, see Cattaneo (2008, especially p. 82). 2. See e.g. article&sid=334; http://www. Accessed September 2010. 3. Carlo Cattaneo, ‘Registro mortuario delle barricate’, in Italia del popolo, Milan, 9 July 1848. 4. E.g. Montale (1979). Montale acknowledges the presence of porters, boatmen and hair-dressers, as well as typographers, tailors, shopkeepers, clerks,

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6. 7.


9. 10.


commissioners. For a general survey of the relevant literature, see Banti and Ginsborg (2007). See also the many paintings that were shown in the large Garibaldi Exhibition in Genova in 2007–2008. Recent works on Garibaldi are countless. I will just mention here Mazzocca (2008) and Ryall (2007). I am grateful to Maurizio Bertolotti for this suggestion. See also Bertolotti (2008). ‘Blind patriotism’ is defined as an unquestioningly positive and staunch allegiance to the fatherland and as an intolerance of criticism; constructive patriotism is characterized as being open to the kind of questioning and criticism of current group practices that are intended to result in a positive change (Schatz et al., 1999). ‘Only then we will be united in that Roman fascio which will then become unbreakable. Coordinated in a single family we will soon conquer the Fatherland’s emancipation and we will then work further in order to emancipate ourselves from the yoke of the wages’ (quoted in Varni, 1978, p. 44). The mayor of Padula to the prefetto of Salerno, quoted in Aliberti (1987, p. 133). See for instance ‘Verteidigung der Barrikade Neue Königstrasse und Alexanderplatz in der nacht vom 18 zum 19 Marz 1848, Kolorierte lithographie’ (Gall, 1998, p. 121).

Bibliography Agulhon, Maurice (1979). Marianne au combat. L’imagerie et la symbolique républicaines de 1789 à 1880 (Paris: Flammarion). Agulhon, Maurice (1995). ‘Présentation’, in Maurice Agulhon, ed. Cultures et Folklores républicains (Paris, Editons du Comité des travaux historiques et scientifiques), pp. 5–15. Aliberti, G. (1987). Potere e società locale nel Mezzogiorno dell’800 (Roma–Bari: Laterza). Banti, Alberto Mario and Ginsborg, Paul, eds (2007). Il Risorgimento (Turin: Einaudi). Bertolotti, Maurizio (2008). ‘Piazze e barricate del Quarantotto in Gli italiani in guerra. Conflitti, identità, memorie dal Risorgimento ai nostri giorni, Mario Isnenghi, ed., in Fare l’Italia: Unità e disunità nel Risorgimento, vol. I., Mario Isnenghi and Eva Cecchinato, eds (Turin: Utet), pp. 499–539. Brambilla, Elena (1984). ‘La misura dell’alfabetizzazione nella Lombardia del primo Ottocento: Primi risultati e prospettive di ricerca’, Archivio Storico Lombardo, 110, 366–374. Caffiero, Marina (2007). Miracoli e storia Supplement to Micromega, November, 126–133. Caracciolo, Enrichetta (1864). Misteri del chiostro napoletano. Memoria (Florence: Barbera). Cattaneo, Carlo (1971). Il 1848 in Italia. Scritti 1848–1851, in Opere scelte, vol. 3 (Turin: Einaudi), pp. 10–283.


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Cattaneo, Massimo (2008). ‘Insorgenze controrivoluzionarie e antinapoleoniche in Italia’, Passato e Presente, 74, 81–107. De Amicis, Edmondo (1928). Una distribuzione di premi in Ricordi del 1870–71 (Milan: Treves). Fruci, Gian Luca (2006). ‘Cittadine senza cittadinanza. La mobilitazione femminile nei plebisciti del Risorgimento (1848–1870)’, Genesis, 5, 2, 21–55. Fruci, Gian Luca (2007). ‘Il sacramento dell’unità nazionale. Linguaggi, iconografia e politiche dei plebisciti risorgimentali’, in Storia d’Italia. Annali. Il Risorgimento, Alberto Mario Banti and Paul Ginsborg, eds (Turin: Einaudi), pp. 567–605. Galante Garrone, Alessandro (1975). Filippo Buonarroti e i rivoluzionari italiani dell’Ottocento (1828–1837) (Turin: Einaudi). Gall, Lothar, ed. (1998). 1848. Aufbruch zur Freiheit. Eine Ausstellung des deutschen historischen Museums (Frankfurt: Nicolaische Verlag). Gramsci, Antonio (1977). Il Risorgimento (Roma: Editori Riuniti). Hufton, Olwen (1989). ‘Women and History’, in Patriotism: The Making and Unmaking of British National Identity, vol. 3: National Fictions, Raphael Samuel, ed. (London: Routledge). Isastia, Anna Maria (1990). Il volontariato militare nel Risorgimento. La partecipazione alla guerra del 1859 (Roma: Ufficio storico SME). Isnenghi, Mario and Cecchinato, Eva. (2007). ‘La nazione volontaria’, in Storia d’Italia. Annali, 22, Il Risorgimento, Alberto Banti and Paul Ginsborg, eds (Turin: Einaudi), pp. 697–720. Mazzocca, F. (2008). Garibaldi. Il mito. Da Lega a Guttuso (Florence: Giunti). Meriggi, Marco (1998). ‘Insorgenze popolari. Meriggi legge Rao e altri. [Review]’, Storica, 12, 4, 143–150. Monaco, Attilio (1933). I galeotti politici napoletani dopo il Quarantotto (Roma: Libreria internazionale Treves – Treccani – Tumminelli). Montale, Bianca (1979). ‘I democratici alla vigilia del 1859’, in Bollettino della Domus Mazziniana, vol. I (Pisa: Domus Mazziniana), pp. 5–19. Pazzagli, Carlo, ed. (1981). Davide Lazzaretti e il Monte Amiata: Protesta sociale e rinnovamento religioso (Florence: Nuova Guaraldi). Pécout, Gilles (2005). ‘La modernisation des campagnes italiennes (de 1830 aux années 1920)’, in Campagnes et sociétés en Europe: France, Allemagne, Espagne, Italie, 1830–1930, Michel Pigenet and Gilles Pécout, eds (Paris: Editions de l’Atelier), pp. 5–16. Pellicciari, Angela (2000). Risorgimento da riscrivere. Liberali e massoni contro la Chiesa (Milan: Ares). Pivato, Stefano (1999). Il nome e la storia. Onomastica e religioni politiche nell’Italia contemporanea (Bologna: Il Mulino). Porciani, Ilaria (1987). La festa della nazione. Rappresentazione dello stato e spazi sociali nell’Italia unita (Bologna: Il Mulino). Porciani, Ilaria (2002). ‘Famiglia e nazione nel lungo Ottocento’, in Famiglia, Stato, Società civile, Special Issue of Passato e Presente, 57, pp. 11–39. Putnam, Robert (1993). Making Democracy Work. Civic Traditions in Modern Italy (Princeton: Princeton University Press). Rao, Anna Maria, ed. (1998). Folle controrivoluzionarie. Le insorgenze popolari nell’Italia giacobina e napoleonica (Rome: Carocci).

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Recuperati, Giuseppe (1999). ‘Insorgenze popolari. Meriggi legge Rao e altri. [Review]’, Rivista Storica Italiana, 111, 2, 667–675. Ryall, Lucy (2007). Garibaldi. L’invenzione di un eroe (Roma–Bari: Laterza). Schatz, Robert, Staub, Erwin and Lavine, Howard (1999). ‘On the Varieties of National Attachment: Blind Versus Constructive Patriotism’, Political Psychology, 20, 1, 151–174. Soldani, Simonetta (1988). ‘Vita quotidiana e vita di società in un centro industrioso’, in Prato. Storia di una città, vol. 3, Part II: Il tempo dell’industria (1815–1943), Giorgio Mori, ed. (Florence: Le Monnier), pp. 713–719. Soldani, Simonetta (2007). ‘Il Risorgimento delle donne’, in Storia d’Italia. Annali. Il Risorgimento, Alberto Mario Banti and Paul Ginsborg, eds (Turin: Einaudi), pp. 183–224. Turi, Gabriele (1969). Viva Maria. La reazione alle riforme leopoldine (1790–1799) (Florence: Olschki). Turi, Gabriele (1999). Riforme, Rivoluizoni e Insorgenze in Toscana (179–1799) (Bologna: Il Mulino). Varni, Angelo (1978). Associazionismo mazziniano e questione operaia:Iil caso della Società democratica operaia di Chiavenna: 1862–1876 (Pisa: Nitri-Lischi). Viglione, Massimo (2006). L’identità ferita. Il Risorgimento come Rivoluzione e la Guerra civile italiana (Città di Castello: Ares).

5 Differentiation or Indifference? Changing Perspectives on National Identification in the Austrian Half of the Habsburg Monarchy Laurence Cole

On 27 July 1916, a group of Italian-speaking Austro-Hungarian prisoners of war in Russia ceremonially blessed the Italian flag. Giuseppe Bresciani, a young barber from Riva del Garda, a town at the northern end of Lake Garda in the Italian-speaking part of Habsburg Tyrol, described the event in his war diary. At six o’clock in the evening, in the festively decorated largest square of the Kirsanov prison camp, the Italian tricolour was lined up alongside the banners of the ‘unredeemed’ territories of Trento, Trieste, Fiume, Istria, Dalmatia and Friuli. For Bresciani, it was a symbolic moment for the affirmation of his own sense of national belonging: Behind that large and splendid standard of Italy, I, as first-born son, saw follow the banner of Trentino and the applause, the cries of ‘Long Live Trentino’ echoed from 3,000 breasts – my eyes moistened. On foreign soil, it fell to me to see the Trentine banner alongside the tricolour saluted by the cry of long live Italy, long live Trento. Four days later, he gratefully recorded: ‘at last, I can also take off the Austrian uniform for ever and put on the Russian one’, thus being able to fight against the power that held his homeland under oppression (Fait, 1991, p. 185). Bresciani came from a nationalist family that had already displayed its pro-Italian credentials in 1866, when two of his uncles had volunteered to fight with Garibaldi’s free shooters against Austria. His story would seem to confirm the argument long put forward by scholars that 96

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nationalism in modern Europe developed from an elite phenomenon into a mass movement during the course of the nineteenth century, with the Habsburg monarchy eventually succumbing to the process of nationalization across central and east-central European society (for overviews of changing approaches to nationalism in Habsburg-ruled Europe, see, among others, Remak, 1969; Sked, 1981; Cohen, 1998). After all, there were others like Bresciani. Fioravante Gottardi was a peasant from Cazzano, on a high plain between Lake Garda and the border town of Ala, who had spent a number of years in the USA prior to the war. Enlisted in 1914 into the Austro-Hungarian army, he was obliged ‘to swear loyalty to the fatherland’, although – as he stated in his war memoirs – this was ‘a fatherland not mine’. Having been captured in action, he likewise spent a lengthy period in prisoner of war camps in Russia, not returning to his ‘poor Trentino’ until 1920. Gottardi’s memoirs mirror Bresciani’s diary in the construction of a narrative that followed the Risorgimento-inspired view of Trentino being naturally a part of Italy, waiting for its assured redemption: ‘As for me, I do not want to be Austrian any longer, but Italian, as I was already and will be’ (Antonelli, 1995, pp. 135, 140–141, 175). The life stories of Giuseppe Bresciani and Fioravante Gottardi fit perfectly into the scenario depicted by post-1918 nationalist historiography in Italy, particularly in Trentino itself, of the Habsburg monarchy having been the proverbial ‘prison of peoples’. Yet an increasing amount of work published since the 1980s has substantially modified such a view. Certainly, the activities of those members of Trentine youth, most often from liberal bourgeois households, who volunteered for the Italian army before or after the outbreak of hostilities continue to attract attention (Dogliani et al., 2006; Rasera and Zadra, 2008). Overall, however, there is an emerging consensus that most of the Trentine population saw the war as a burden, one that was met with greater or lesser degrees of acceptance but was not interpreted within the positive, nationalist framework of ‘redemption’ and ‘liberation’ (on this, see most recently Antonelli, 2008). This shift in emphasis is reflected in greater scholarly interest in the majority of conscripts who fulfilled their obligations to fight in the ranks of the Habsburg army and in the place occupied by those who fought on the ‘wrong’ side (the losing, Austro-Hungarian side) in the memorialization of the war after 1918 (compare Isola, 1997; Marchesoni and Martignoni, 1998; and Sørensen, 2006). Closer investigation of the experiences of ordinary soldiers and civilians has indicated that many remained indifferent to the Italian national message. Giacinto Giacomolli, for instance, a peasant from Saccone (just a few kilometres


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away from Gottardi’s Cazzano), saw action in Galicia right at the start of the war. Having accepted his duty to fight for Austria–Hungary, Giacomolli likewise spent a considerable period in captivity, but on several occasions, he purposefully rejected the chance to join legionary units that were recruited by the Italian army in Russia (Antonelli, 1995, pp. 119–120, 124–126). There were also those – like Giovanni Pederzolli, a carpenter from the commercial town of Rovereto – who retained a positive attitude towards the Habsburg state, despite personal sufferings and the tribulations experienced by their homeland. Pederzolli’s own homeland formed part of the front line after Italy’s entry into the war in May 1915 (Fait, 2002, pp. 237, 243). These examples, drawn from the south-western periphery of Austria– Hungary, are illustrative in three respects for the central theme of this volume in general, and for Habsburg-ruled central and east-central Europe in particular. Most basically, of course, they confirm the impact that the First World War had on the daily lives of the population, an impact also demonstrated by the massive increase in the production of documentary sources, both administrative records and ego-documents. Indeed, the availability of these sources for the period of the First World War underlines the relative paucity of such material for the period before 1914, with the ensuing difficulties for historians when examining patterns of national identification among the general population (Moritsch, 1991, pp. 9–43). Secondly, these examples indicate that questions of national identity ‘from below’ have been comparatively neglected in the historiography of the Habsburg monarchy. While it may at first sight seem paradoxical to make such a claim of a historiography long dominated by the ‘nationalities’ question’, closer inspection of the literature suggests that only relatively recently have historians sought to probe more deeply into national identification processes of ‘ordinary people’. In practice, much of the previous literature has been concerned with ‘elite’ social groups of one form or another (whether ‘traditional’, noble elites or modern, bourgeois elites). Much less is known about the sense of national belonging among the masses (see also Hobsbawm, 1990, p. 130). If, as Miroslav Hroch has suggested, one makes the necessary distinctions in the terminology used to describe phenomena connected to the concept of the nation (Hroch, 2005, pp. 26–35), then it is fair to say that historians have for the most part concentrated on tracing the history of ‘national awakening’ and nation-building in the Habsburg lands, on the emergence of national movements and on the unfolding of political conflicts caused or influenced by nationalist activities – where nationalism is understood

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as a specific political programme or ideology, usually involving some form of claim to autonomy or independence (see also Cole, 2007a). Finally, the case of the Trentine soldiers raises important questions for historians as to how to account for, and assess, the variety of attitudes expressed towards nationality and the significance to be attributed to varying forms of territorial (nation, province, town, village, valley) and other spheres of identification (class, gender, family, generation). As historians have probed further into processes of ethnic differentiation and national identification, it is expressions of regional and local identity that have come to the fore. Scholars have also begun to question previous assumptions – firstly, about the relationship between ethnicity and nationality, and, secondly, about the general effectiveness of national forms of politics (Judson, 2008). In other words, as well as accounting for processes of national differentiation, historians also need to acknowledge and explain seeming indifference to national claims and messages. In surveying, in necessarily selective fashion, the question of national identification ‘from below’ in the Habsburg monarchy, the discussion here will focus on its western half, Austria (or Cisleithania, as it was informally referred to after the creation of the dualist state of Austria– Hungary in 1867). Taking into account the shifting historiographical emphases of the last few decades, the aim is to sketch out key aspects of the subject, taking account of factors contributing to its neglect and indicating how historians have sought to deal with the practical and theoretical problems encountered.

1. Moving away from ‘the national key’ In the early historiography of the Habsburg monarchy, the topos of ‘national awakening’ took centre-stage, being reinforced by ‘the deep links between history-writing and national politics in the region during the nineteenth century, as well as the national nature of the societies within which historians have lived more recently’ (King, 2002, p. 8). As Gary Cohen has stated, this meant that deeply entrenched Central European nationalist narratives [ . . . ] saw the development of the nationalist political causes as the core issue in late nineteenth-century popular politics and as simply counterposed to the absolutist traditions and institutions of the Habsburg dynastic state. In this view, the political history of the period was the story of the heroic struggle of the national movements to develop against the

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powerful opposition of the state and other nationalities and to triumph ultimately in 1918 with the creation of independent national states. (Cohen, 2007, pp. 244–245) Cohen goes on to assert that these nationalist narratives still have an important influence, particularly among historians working in central and east-central Europe, although the questioning of such narratives became increasingly overt from the 1980s onwards. Taking the example of the Bohemian lands, which have traditionally been seen as the locus classicus of national conflict in imperial Austria, major works by Jiˇrí Koˇralka and Otto Urban started to revise monolithic conceptions of ‘Czech national history’ by identifying different poles of orientation within Czech society (Urban, 1994). In particular, Koˇralka pointed to manifold spheres of identification, whereby ‘Czechness’ co-existed with greater or lesser degrees of ‘Austrianness’, ‘Bohemianness’ (Bohemia being understood as a bi-national territory, even if such a concept faded in importance) and ‘Slavness’ (Koˇralka, 1991, esp. pp. 23–75). While devoting considerable space to social and economic developments, particularly with regard to education and schooling, in terms of chronology and methodology these works maintained an otherwise fairly conventional emphasis, placing the main focus on political developments in the Bohemian Diet and on the imperial Austrian Parliament. Without doubt, these were path breaking studies in their time, but they offered less in the way of local detail and maintained the emphasis on nationalist thinkers and developments at the level of institutionalized politics. These were traditional concerns of ‘history writing in a national key’ (Berger, 2005, p. 631). In the case of Miroslav Hroch’s pioneering comparative work on the social foundations of the Czech national movement in its early stages, the frame of reference was primarily the national level (Hroch, 1985). The objective was to explain nation-building as a general phenomenon arising from particular social and economic conditions, which implicitly meant interpreting it as a developmental process, which would eventually nationalize society as a whole. In short, the shift towards a social historical approach began to question the assumptions of traditional nationalist historiography, as well as those of post-1945 Marxist orthodoxies. Yet this approach reached certain limits in investigating patterns of identification at lower levels of society and in local contexts. Nevertheless, the great merit of the work of Hroch and other historians influenced by him has been to shift the emphasis firmly towards society and the social actors involved in national activities – and herein lies

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the continuing relevance of this approach (Hroch, 2005, pp. 109–110). Rather than looking at nationalism as the product of impersonal historical forces, in the style of a Benedict Anderson or Ernest Gellner, historians increasingly sought to give nationalism a firm social profile, if not always an individual ‘human face’. Since the 1980s, it has become a commonplace for scholars of European nationalisms to argue for the contingent and complex nature of national identification processes. Yet, for a variety of practical reasons related to political changes, access to resources and the complicated nature of the areas under study, it took somewhat longer for research on Habsburg-ruled central and east-central Europe to yield similar results (for a useful discussion of work on Europe as a whole, see Weichlein, 2006). In the literature on the Habsburg monarchy, few pieces have been as influential in working against the long-standing tendency to treat nationality as a given as Gary Cohen’s study of ‘the politics of ethnic survival’ among the German-speaking community in Prague in the second half of the nineteenth century (Cohen, 1981). Questioning the nationalist teleologies inherent in the previous literature, Cohen argued that socio-economic standing accounted better than ethnicity for how residents became national, either as Czechs or as Germans. Additionally, he provided a model for conducting a detailed local study at the urban level. Cohen thus turned the focus away from the arena of state politics and looked at identification processes among different social groups, albeit the focus was in this instance primarily on the bourgeoisie. Nevertheless, it took a long time for others to follow up on Cohen’s work and, as Mark Cornwall has observed, much still needs to be learnt about the development of national identification across the Bohemian territories, despite a growing number of studies of urban areas in northern Bohemia in particular (Cornwall, 2007; compare King, 2002). Though not always receiving the attention it deserved by scholars of other European countries, Cohen’s work on Prague signalled a wider shift in interest towards the history of the middle classes. In terms of analysing questions of national identity, however, research on the bourgeoisie in the Habsburg lands proved less substantial than elsewhere until the 1990s, when a series of publications coordinated by Ernst Bruckmüller and Hannes Stekl began to appear (Bruckmüller and Stekl, 1990; Stekl et al., 1992; Haas und Stekl, 1996). On balance, such work consolidated the move away from nationalist narratives: in the case of Trieste, studies by Angelo Ara (1997), Marina Cattaruzza (1995), Anna Millo (1989) and Tullia Catalan (2000) contributed to a new emphasis on the ‘cosmopolitan’ aspects of the city’s economic elite until the

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period around 1870. The development of a nationalist politics thereafter was now interpreted as a struggle for preserving local hegemony in the face of an increasingly vocal Slovene national movement rather than as a struggle against the state. The study of the bourgeoisie contributed to a more varied approach to processes of national identification, as well as starting to push the analytical focus further down the social scale, away from traditional elites. Scholars looked more closely at sections of the population whose national orientation had been taken for granted, and they researched more intensely civil society and national associations that subsequently gained mass membership. While recent research has affirmed the contingent nature of national affiliation, it has nonetheless proven more difficult to explain why this happened in individual cases. Claire Nolte’s study of the most important Czech national mass organization, the Sokol (‘Falcon’) gymnastic association, provides insights at the level of its leading members (Nolte, 2002). The driving force behind the Sokol was Miroslav Tyrš, an aspiring academic who became the club’s gymnastic director and major ideologue, although it was Jindˇrich Fügner who became the president of the first Sokol group in Prague. Nolte suggests that the life stories of these two individuals demonstrate the potential malleability of the relationship between a language-based ethnicity and nationality: Tyrš had been born Friedrich Emanuel Tirsch in the German-speaking borderlands of Bohemia, while Fügner’s original first name was Heinrich. The former was brought to Prague as a child, before adopting a Czech identity; he did this as a young man, after studying at Prague University and becoming involved in publications connected to the Czech national movement. The latter – Fügner – is an even more interesting case, given that he never mastered the Czech language. Fügner’s decision to adopt a political and national identity as a Czech derived from a strong sense of his local identity as a ‘Praguer’ and from disenchantment with the social pretensions of the German elite in Prague and in northern Bohemia, where his family was involved in industry (see Nolte, 2007).

2. The ‘reframing agenda’ and national indifference Recent work has broadened our understanding of the activities of nationalist militants, cultural movements and the intricate, contested nature of national identification processes. Increasingly, there have been attempts to overcome the formerly standard practice of writing ethnically separate histories, often uninterested in each other, of a

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particular area of the Habsburg monarchy. In older studies, the point of reference was neither the crownland/province studied nor the Habsburg state, but the future nation-state that came into being after 1918. Certainly, work on particular ethnic groups will continue to have its value, especially when these have been understudied, as is the case with German speakers in the Alpine hereditary lands (compare here Judson, 1996; Cole 2000; Kirchhoff, 2001; Zettelbauer, 2005; Schmid, 2009). In general, though, the more historians have begun to explore both sides of the seemingly impenetrable ethnic divide, the more the older assumptions have been tested. The likes of Urban and Koˇralka already displayed greater willingness to include both national groups in their studies; but it was Jan Kˇren’s long-range analysis of the ‘conflictual community’ between Czechs and Germans in the Bohemian lands that helped to establish this kind of approach as mainstream (Kˇren, 1996, pp. 17ff.; for a comparable account of Germans and Slovenes in Styria, see Moll, 2007). In this vein, Nancy Wingfield has sought to explain ‘how the Bohemian lands became Czech’ by describing how social and cultural activities became politicized, for example through contestation between German and Czech speakers over the meaning of monuments dedicated to Joseph II: Germans saw in the centralizing, reformist emperor a guarantee of the unitary state under German leadership, and they succeeded in appropriating a figure who had exercized attraction for Czechs as an emancipator of the peasantry (Wingfield, 2007). At the same time, however, the fact that the peasantry was barely involved in contestations like those surrounding the Badeni language ordinances of 1897 (which foresaw the equal status of German and Czech in public administration) seems to confirm earlier hypotheses about the particular relevance of national politics to modern social elites (Hroch, 1970). Thus, the question remains as to the extent to which there was genuinely popular involvement in the process of national differentiation, and this has encouraged some scholars to explore other possible avenues of identification. Robert Luft has investigated the ‘intermediate’ identities among those who remained linguistically ‘utraquistic’ – resolutely bilingual in Czech and German – at the end of the nineteenth century (Luft, 1996). From a different direction, ˇ Jeremy King’s study of the southern Bohemian town of Budweis/Ceské Budˇejovice has sought to explore ‘what might be termed a nonnational or more-than-national category of Budweisers’ (King, 2002, p. 1). In one sense, confirming Cohen’s earlier findings that, as often as not, Czech speakers might become nationally German, or vice-versa, King

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aims to take the argument much further. He pursues Rogers Brubaker’s suggestion that historians should not assume an automatic, smooth progression from ‘ethnic’ to ‘national’ identities and that there was not necessarily a pre-national ‘ethnic’ core out of which national identities were then constructed (King, 2002, pp. 8–9). Another US-based historian, Pieter Judson, has likewise taken particular inspiration from Brubaker’s exhortation that nationalism can and should be understood without invoking ‘nations’ as substantive entities. Instead of focusing on nations as real groups, we should focus on nationhood and nationness, on ‘nation’ as practical category, institutionalized form and contingent event. ‘Nation’ is a category of practice, not (in the first instance) a category of analysis. (Brubaker, 1996, p. 7) Understanding the nation as an event, not an entity to be reified, Judson’s study of national activists on the language frontiers of imperial Austria uses the notion of ‘national indifference’ to explain how ‘nationalists succeeded brilliantly in nationalizing perceptions of the rural language frontier by 1914 but largely failed to nationalize its population’ (Judson, 2006, p. 5). One of the few historians to compare the activities of national activists across a series of Austrian provinces (principally Bohemia and Styria, with some attention to Tyrol as well), Judson focuses on pressure groups such as the German League for the Bohemian Woods (Deutscher Böhmerwaldbund), the German School Association (Deutscher Schulverein) and the Association of the Southern March (Verein Südmark), all of which were run by members of the lower-middle class or bourgeoisie. The Deutscher Schulverein, for example, became highly active in promoting the construction of German schools in ‘endangered’ areas along the language frontier. Yet, if parents did now send their children to such schools, they often did so for practical rather than national reasons. Non-German speakers might want their children to know German because that would open up new social and economic possibilities for them; but they still practised bilingualism, or perhaps even registered a language other than German in the official censuses. This picture of practical failure but rhetorical success is one that Judson sees repeated in other spheres, be they the attempts by the Südmark to construct new colonies of German speakers in ‘vulnerable’ areas like St Egydi/Sv. Ilj in southern Styria or the activities of the Deutscher Böhmerwaldbund in trying to promote tourism in the region (Judson, 2006, pp. 100–170). A similar conclusion is reached

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by Tara Zahra in her innovative examination of children’s upbringing and education as the object of nationalist activism in the Bohemian lands. Suggesting that ‘indifference to nationalism was not simply a relic of a premodern age’ but ‘was itself a driving force behind escalating nationalist radicalism’, Zahra concentrates on those who did not fit neatly into one or the other of the available national categories – the bilingual, the ‘national hermaphrodites’ or the nationally indifferent (Zahra, 2008, p. 5). Such people caused much headache for nationalist organizations, which sought to impose the monolingual pedagogical orthodoxy of the day. Czech and German nationalists were incentivized alike by the Austrian census, which only allowed for the naming of one mother-tongue, and more particularly by the stipulations of the Moravian compromise of 1905. Article 20 of that agreement, known as the Lex Perek, stipulated that children might only be accepted into an elementary school if they were proficient in the language of instruction. By looking at those unswayed by nationalist arguments, Zahra aims to set up a different reading of nationalism in the region: it was not the success of nationalism that led to nationalist movements becoming extreme, but rather their relative failure. Hence, the general thrust of these highly stimulating efforts to re-frame how historians deal with processes of national identification is twofold: on the one hand, the aim is to shift the analytical focus from national differentiation to national indifference; on the other hand, it is postulated that nationalism lacked the social and cultural resonance often attributed to it (Zahra, 2010). Judson, for one, does not agree with the ‘many historians [who] view the first decade of the twentieth century as the moment when processes of modernization finally transformed the Austrian countryside, bringing ideas about nationalism in their wake and wiping out rural indifference to or ignorance of the idea of the nation’. Judson infers that individuals or groups who did not sign up to the full national programme propagated by activists rejected a ‘nationalist identity’ and were ‘nonnational’ or bilingual, ‘side-switchers’ or even ‘national hermaphrodites’ (2006, p. 255). In making these claims, Judson and others have undoubtedly re-invigorated a debate about the functions and effectiveness of nationalism in the Habsburg monarchy, which – as with nationalism studies more generally – seems to have been in danger of stagnating around constructivist approaches and the cultural turn (on this point, see also the general introduction to this volume). Yet, if historians have thus been encouraged to re-evaluate some of their own assumptions and methods, there remain some problems

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with what might be termed the ‘reframing agenda’, although not all of them can be discussed in extenso here (for a fuller discussion of Judson’s work, see the contributions to a discussion forum in Quaderni Storici, 2008). In terms of theoretical approach, firstly, Brubaker’s starting point derives from a somewhat artificial separation between nation as concept and nation as social practice, which makes it difficult to explain why, in certain circumstances and at certain times, nationalism could have such powerful consequences (compare Smith, 1998, pp. 76–77). Interestingly, when moving – together with Jon Fox, Margit Feischmidt and Liana Grancea – from theory to a lengthier empirical study of Cluj/Kolozsvár/Klausenburg, Brubaker does seem to acknowledge implicitly that ‘nationness’ acts more like a ‘real’ – as well as imaginary – category, while national actions such as the erection of monuments do constitute social facts (Brubaker et al., 2006). Secondly, the significance to be attributed to instances of ‘national indifference’ is open to debate. It is a salutary corrective to be reminded that nationalist propaganda was by no means always successful, as several contributions to the present volume indicate. Other historians have already pointed to the fact that nationalist groups relied on a cadre of active middle-class professionals, who were hard put to expand membership lower down the social scale (e.g. Zaffi, 1995). Nationalization, in short, was not an automatic process, rolling irresistibly forward. Hence, it is important to look at the indifferent or ‘nationally ambivalent’, even if the bilingual population in the Bohemian lands represented a minority. However, as an explanatory tool, it seems unlikely that ‘national indifference’ can fully explain what Zahra refers to as the ‘nagging question’ about ‘how we get from this world of national ambivalence and ambiguity in 1900 to the violent homogenization of Eastern Europe through ethnic cleansing during and after World War II’ (Zahra, 2008, p. 11). Arguably, this can only be answered if one examines the changing role of the state in central/east-central Europe and the acceptance of nationalist paradigms by political and social elites, as well as by considerable sections of the ordinary population, if never by all of them. Thirdly, the argument about national indifference is, in the case of Judson’s study, constructed more through inference from nationalist sources (complaints voiced in annual reports, pamphlets and so on) than through detailed reconstruction of local histories ‘from below’. In other words, it is indeed plausible to suggest that aggressive nationalism was often unpopular in the countryside. Yet it cannot necessarily be assumed that, because committed national activists were often disappointed at the response to their campaigns, the ordinary population

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was simply ‘nonnational’. This relates back to the problem John Breuilly describes in his chapter about the difference between congruency and convergence. If a positive response to a particular nationalist political position need not imply complete congruency of motives and values, divergent political outcomes similarly do not result automatically from total incongruency. In practice, the ‘reframing agenda’ implies a clearly judgemental position: if we look to sources beyond those created by the nationalists, if we dissociate ourselves rigorously from nationalist assumptions, and if we attempt to hear what we can of the experience of the populations of those regions, we may perhaps liberate ourselves from the unnecessary discursive prisons that nationalists around us continue to re-create. (Judson, 2006, p. 255) As well as underplaying the emancipatory potential that nationalism undoubtedly contained in the nineteenth century (Hroch, 2005, pp. 80–88), this overly restricts the interpretation to either ‘national’ or ‘nonnational’ modes of identification. While stimulating the debate and advancing our knowledge of nationalist activities, the ‘reframing agenda’ still leaves open a number of issues regarding how processes of national identification meshed or clashed with other forms of social, political and economic mobilization among the population as a whole.

3. Territories and loyalties: mobilizing multiple identities Aside from the intellectual impulse to scholarship, the ‘reframing agenda’ will hopefully encourage historians, firstly, to broaden the empirical foundation to study national identification from below in imperial Austria, and, secondly, to continue experimenting with other lenses for viewing the question. For example, accepting the validity of recent criticisms of previous approaches, the Austrian historian Peter Haslinger (2010) has argued for the use of the concept of ‘territoriality’ to understand nodes of identification with different kinds of community (national, regional, local). Haslinger and other historians have also begun to focus more on the concept of ‘loyalties’ in the study of changing patterns of allegiance and senses of belonging, without privileging the concept of the ‘nation’ (Haslinger and von Puttkamer, 2007; Buschmann and Murr, 2008). Taken together, these approaches offer

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alternative ways of analysing the problem, not least because they feed into a range of studies looking at other aspects of identification processes and the role of the nation in relation to them. In deconstructing received narratives of national mobilization and in examining the contested nature of national discourses, scholars have drawn greater attention to local and regional spheres of identification. Again, Cohen’s study opened up a trail in this respect by taking one city as the area of research, albeit its main concern was with national ˇ rather than local identification. Jeremy King’s study of Budweis/Ceské Budˇejovice gives voice to a ‘municipalist’ identity, much as Eleonora Babejová’s less noticed work on Pressburg/Poszony/Prešporok (the later Bratislava), in the Hungarian half of the Habsburg state, devotes space to the city as a source of identity politics and not just as a site where national differentiation took place (Babejová, 2003, esp. pp. 85–90). In the same vein, recent works by Markian Prokopovych on Lwów/Lemberg/L’viv and by Nathaniel Wood on Cracow have argued for the compelling relevance of the urban ‘imagined community’ to local populations. Even as national politics gained ground, local and ‘cosmopolitan’ facets formed part of the emerging modern ‘selfhood’ (Prokopovych, 2008; Wood, 2010). By understanding territories both as physical spaces (marked for example by provincial, administrative boundaries) and as ‘imagined communities’ onto which ideas or ‘fantasies’ were projected, as Larry Wolff (2010) suggests with regard to Galicia (the ‘place as an idea’), it becomes possible to distinguish between frameworks of reference among ‘national’ groups. Individuals might, for example, define themselves as ‘German’, in contrast to the Czechs, Slovenes or Italians living in the same province, but they might otherwise profess a strong sense of local or regional identity, which remained relatively indifferent to the fullest claims of nationalist pressure groups. In the case of Tyrol, for example, the region in many ways constituted the primary nexus of identification for German speakers (Cole, 2000). Under the leadership of the Catholic–Conservative Party, which comprised an alliance of clergy, nobility and property-owning farmers, a concerted campaign was unfolded to mobilize the province’s German-speaking population behind a Catholic, particularist agenda. This programme developed in opposition to the liberal challenge against the Church and the centralizing aims of the Vienna government, as well as against the claims of the liberal-dominated national movement in Italian-Tyrol/Trentino (where the ‘small fatherland’ of Trentino likewise constituted an important level of identity) (Götz, 2001).

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In German-speaking Tyrol, this mobilization was achieved in three main ways: firstly, a more organized form of Catholic politics emerged, facilitated by the instrumentalization of the popular religious cult of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (which had a special status in Tyrol because the Estates had sworn allegiance to it in 1796, when faced with the threat of French invasion). Secondly, a sense of local patriotism was encouraged, which was embodied in the glorification of Andreas Hofer, leader of an uprising in 1809 against the French-backed Bavarian occupation. Thirdly and lastly, the Catholic conservatives tried to stimulate stronger feelings of dynastic and imperial loyalty through the distribution of subsidies to sharp-shooting companies (Schützenvereine). Here, there was an obvious initial drive from above, but peasants increasingly laid claim to the national agenda: in addition to accepting the patriotic master-narrative based around Andreas Hofer as the German-Tyrolean national hero, numerous localities in the province set up monuments or commemorative tablets to their own heroes from 1809; the expansion of the sharp-shooting associations and the construction of shooting ranges sometimes ran ahead of the authorities’ wishes; and, above all, in the 1909 centenary celebration of Hofer’s uprising, the ordinary population laid claim to the event as a ‘peasant uprising’. The peasant interest even forced the conservative elite to re-schedule the celebration so as to make it coincide with the tourist season and harvest period (Cole, 2000, pp. 395–409). This parallels the findings of Keely Stauter-Halsted’s analysis of ‘the nation in the village’, which shows how the Polishspeaking peasantry became increasingly involved in the organization of national festivities in Galicia. On the occasion of the Ko´sciuszko centennial in 1894, for example, peasants asserted their interests against those of the aristocracy and local notables. Agrarian issues and questions of social reform were here placed at the forefront of national festivities and played a greater role than political issues (Stauter-Halsted, 2001; compare Struve, 2005). At the same time, the ethnically exclusive nature of the mobilization process in Tyrol was evident: the cult of Andreas Hofer and the sharp-shooting movement had an overtly anti-French and anti-Italian direction, even if the state and provincial authorities made greater efforts after 1900 to integrate the Italian-speaking peasantry into this agenda (Cole, 2001b). In short, this Tyrolean regional identity was also manifestly a German identity, but one that did not correspond to the programmes of German nationalist pressure groups. Moreover, it was also a firmly Austrian–German identity with regard to its positive identification with the Habsburg state.

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Moving the focus from ‘nations’ to ‘territories’, therefore, helps to highlight the relationship between regional and national spheres in imperial Austria. Scholars such as Robert Luft and Jiˇrí Malíˇr have differentiated the landscape of Czech-German relations by focusing on the situation in Moravia, although it is also clear that some regions had greater purchase than others when comparisons are made across the multinational state (Malíˇr, 1996; Luft, 1999; see also Glasl, 1986; Sprengnagel, 1999). Work by Konrad Clewing and Dominique Reill on the multinational region of Dalmatia in the early to mid-nineteenth century likewise posits the importance of regionalist conceptions of Dalmatian identity – although these were to be increasingly eroded by the end of the century and had in any case been most prominently expressed by Italian-speaking urban elites (Clewing, 2001; Reill, 2007; see also Monzali, 2009). Allied to the notion of ‘loyalties’, the concept of ‘territories’ also enables historians to address the issue of how precisely the state fitted into the overall matrix of identities at the level of individuals or social groups. Much research on the Habsburg monarchy has, consciously or not, followed the distinction made by Hungarian sociologist and former Liberal politician Oscar Jászi between ‘centrifugal’ forces (chiefly nationalism) and ‘centripetal’ forces (which include dynasty, army, Church, economy), but historians have generally been less interested in the latter (for further discussion, see Cole and Unowsky, 2007). Just as importantly, perhaps, even less scholarship has explicitly questioned the assumption of an inherent opposition between national consciousness and imperial loyalty, which lies at the heart of Jászi’s division. As Daniel Unowsky has shown, the history of the late Habsburg monarchy cannot just be reduced to a narrative of rising nationalism and diminishing state unity, for the spread of national movements was accompanied by an expansion in forms of monarchical self-representation and dynastic political rituals that aimed to promote a ‘supranational’ patriotism. Above all, national politicians sought to appropriate imperial symbols and the rhetoric of dynastic loyalty so as to bolster their claims to hegemony in a particular region (Unowsky, 2005). Closer research into the issue of loyalties suggests that – for considerable sections of the population in imperial Austria – the dynasty and state offered a source of identification alongside, or perhaps instead of, nationality. This is evidenced, for example, in the substantial growth of military veterans’ associations in the last third of the nineteenth century (universal conscription having been introduced in 1868). By 1890, there were already about 1,700 veterans’ associations in imperial Austria,

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and further expansion down to 1912 saw an official figure of around 2,250 military veterans’ associations, comprising a membership of several hundred thousand (Cole, 2007b). Veterans proved to be important mediators of dynastic loyalty and pro-Habsburg sentiment across imperial Austria, and in this sense one can speak of a form of ‘structural patriotism’ developing contemporaneously with national mobilization. As such, the patriotic message propagated by the veterans’ groups corresponded for the most part with the goals of the Habsburg authorities. Yet it would be incorrect to see this development as being simply one of ‘manipulation from above’. In the first place, the initial growth of the movement had been due to its practical function – of mutual insurance against ill-health and of cover for funeral costs. Initially the state, in the form of the army, had been somewhat ambivalent in its welcoming of this phenomenon, but it came increasingly to subsidize and support it because of its patriotic usefulness. And when the authorities did do so by trying to set up an Austrian-wide umbrella organization – the Imperial–Royal Austrian Veterans’ Association (kaiserlicher und königlicher österreichischer Kriegerkorps-Verein) – large numbers of individual associations were reluctant to join, either because they feared the loss of independent control over their activities or because they wanted to concentrate on the primary purpose of mutual assistance. Secondly, it is clear that official efforts to control and channel the veterans’ movement in an ‘Austrian patriotic direction’ did not mean that the national component was considered unimportant. In other words, groups of ordinary ex-soldiers still asserted their national identity within the framework of this movement. For example, Czech veterans estabˇ lished their own newspaper in 1887, while in the town of Budweis/Ceské Budˇejovice a separate Czech-speaking veterans’ association was formed in 1884, having broken away from the original bi-national association.

4. Concluding reflections The above examples suggest the need for further reflection and research not only on different spheres of loyalty, but also on the political and social mobilization that accompanied the construction of national identities at the ground level. Zahra’s study of the ‘battle for children’ indicates that some families remained nationally indifferent out of habit, some out of conviction – but rarely, it seems, out of ‘ignorance’, even if that is sometimes what frustrated middle-class nationalists thought (Zahra, 2008, p. 11). However, indifference to nationalist politics as represented by liberal, middle-class associations did not necessarily mean

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indifference to all politics, or the renunciation of a different understanding of national belonging. At the ground level, popular expressions of national identity could be mediated through ideological content different from that of the bourgeois-dominated national pressure groups, as the links between popular religiosity and national discourse in the German-speaking part of Tyrol suggest (Cole, 2001a). Above all, the work of John-Paul Himka on the mobilization of the Ruthenian peasantry demonstrates the major role of the clergy and of religion in the construction of national identity, producing also a basic sympathy for the Austrian state and dynasty as protector of the church (Himka, 1999). Likewise, Andreas Moritsch’s careful analysis of national differentiation in southern Carinthia points to the fact that the role of ideological conflict over legislation on the Church was decisive for establishing dividing lines between Catholic-based Slovene and German, liberal-oriented national movements (Moritsch, 1991; Moritsch and Baumgartner, 1993). Alongside a more consistent integration of the religious dimension into the analysis, it is clear that the limits of often overly descriptive cultural–historical approaches to national identification in the Habsburg monarchy can be overcome by restoring greater weight to social historical aspects. To date, the focus on national–political conflict has dominated the research agenda to such an extent that the gender dimension to national mobilization has been neglected, save from individual articles or the recent study by Heidrun Zettelbauer (2005). Moreover, processes of national identification amongst urban and industrial workers have also received too little attention, in spite of Sabine Rutar’s (2004) work on Trieste. Rutar comes to the significant conclusion that the international labour movement based on class politics was incapable of overcoming national differences, because national identification and class antagonism between the Italian middle classes and Slovene workers and peasants were too intertwined in the city to be separated. While further studies in this direction are needed, there is enough evidence to suggest that, even if overtly nationalist politics often had a limited appeal, many of those who rejected ‘bourgeois’ nationalism expressed a sense of national identity in other ways and in combination with other social, economic and political ideas. Prior to 1914, national identities included – for the majority of the population – acceptance of the Habsburg state, and often positive endorsement. This allegiance was not immediately or automatically altered by the experience of war, but for the most part there was a significant grassroots shift in terms of the relationship between people

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and state, as was evident in the south Slav territories (Cornwall, 2011). Although the Habsburg military machine kept fighting for longer than some observers might have expected, it was on the home front more than anywhere else that Austria–Hungary lost ‘the battle for hearts and minds’ (Cornwall, 2000; Healy, 2004). The cautious process, before 1914, of power being re-distributed away from dominant groups and the political centre, due to pressure from civil society and the political activity of national movements, was now reversed. The government strengthened central authority, administered the state on a military–bureaucratic basis without parliament, distinguished crudely between allegedly ‘loyal’ and ‘disloyal’ nationalities and even endorsed ‘Germanizing’ policies in certain areas (Überegger, 2002; Moll, 2007; Svoljšak, 2009). From late 1917 onwards, this placed the state in a major crisis of legitimacy, while the political leadership lacked the ability and conviction to make anything like the necessary concessions; most significantly, the monarchy’s populations no longer believed that the government should still be given the chance to do so. Nevertheless, it remains a subject for ongoing discussion how far this development resulted from a strong nationalist dynamic from below, when placed within the context of other social, economic and political factors. The Hungarian historian Peter Hanák’s pioneering work on censored letters in the First World War argued for the importance of social revolutionary factors being as great as, if not greater than, that of national motivations behind the break with Habsburg government (Hanák, 1998). Rachamimov’s recent in-depth study of the experience of Austro-Hungarian prisoners of war on the Eastern Front likewise substantially modifies the weight to be placed on national motivations when compared to welfare and other social issues. Indeed, Rachamimov suggests that, by neglecting its duty of care towards its subjects held prisoner, the state was the one that abandoned its peoples, rather than the other way round (Rachamimov, 2002). Together with questions of congruence and convergence between other (ideological, social, economic) agendas and national programmes, it is the emotional intensity of national identification processes from below that require further comparative investigation across the territories of the Habsburg monarchy. As Hanák commented, the peasant letters ‘speak not of loyalty to the Monarch, but of loyalty to the spouse; and not of love of the fatherland, but rather of a yearning for brotherhood and peace’ (Hanák, 1998, p. 190). The analysis of national identification must take account of such familial and spiritual coordinates, wherein the potential for ‘national indifference’ may lie alongside

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the broader political, economic and ideological currents that could foster – or demand – a response to questions of loyalty and national allegiance. In turn, such an analysis must pay attention to the precise situational dynamics of national identification, for disillusionment with the Habsburg state did not necessarily lead to an enthusiastic desire for the new alternative. As the Italian General Cantore remarked upon occupying the small border town of Avio: ‘You Trentines are all Austrophiles [austriacanti] [ . . . ]. My soldiers are convinced that they are conducting a war of liberation, not occupation, and woe betide you, if they learn that you are not content to be liberated from Austria’ (cited after Antonelli, 2008, p. 39). Here one sees, too, expressed in miniature, some of the key questions that historians need to consider further: the clash of expectations between elite and popular conceptions of national identity; the role of internal and external perceptions, as the Trentine population seemed too ‘Italian’ for Austria–Hungary, but still too ‘Austrian’ for Italy; and the place of territory as an analytical category for accessing popular discourses on national identification.

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Clewing, K. (2001). Staatlichkeit und nationale Identitätsbildung. Dalmatien in Vormärz und Revolution (Munich: Oldenbourg). Cohen, G. B. (1981). The Politics of Ethnic Survival: Germans in Prague 1861–1914 (Princeton: Princeton University Press). Cohen, G. B. (1998). ‘Neither Absolutism nor Anarchy: New Narratives on Society and Government in Late Imperial Austria’, Austrian History Yearbook, 29, 37–61. Cohen, G. B. (2007). ‘Nationalist Politics and the Dynamics of State and Civil Society in the Habsburg Monarchy, 1867–1914’, Central European History, 40, 241–278. Cole, L. (2000). ‘Für Gott, Kaiser und Vaterland’. Nationale Identität der deutschsprachigen Bevölkerung Tirols 1860–1914 (Frankfurt am Main: Campus). Cole, L. (2001a). ‘Nationale Identität eines “auserwählten Volkes”: zur Bedeutung des Herz Jesu-Kultes unter der deutschsprachigen Bevölkerung Tirols 1859–96’, in Nation und Religion in der deutschen Geschichte, H.-G. Haupt and D. Langewiesche, eds (Frankfurt am Main: Campus), pp. 480–515. Cole, L. (2001b). ‘Patriotic Celebrations in Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century Tirol’, in Staging the Past. The Politics of Commemoration in Habsburg Central Europe, 1848 to the Present, M. Bucur and N. Wingfield, eds (West Lafayette: Purdue University Press), pp. 75–111. Cole, L. (2007a). ‘Introduction: Re-Examining National Identity in NineteenthCentury Central Europe and Italy’, in Different Paths to the Nation. Regional and National Identities in Central Europe and Italy, 1830–1870, L. Cole, ed. (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan), pp. 1–15. Cole, L. (2007b). ‘Military Veterans and Popular Patriotism in Imperial Austria, 1870–1914’, in The Limits of Loyalty: Imperial Symbolism, Popular Allegiances, and State Patriotism in the Late Habsburg Monarchy, L. Cole and D. L. Unowsky, eds (New York-Oxford: Berghahn Books), pp. 36–61. Cole, L. and Unowsky, D. L. (2007). ‘Introduction: Imperial Loyalty and Popular Allegiances in the Late Habsburg Monarchy’, in The Limits of Loyalty: Imperial Symbolism, Popular Allegiances, and State Patriotism in the Late Habsburg Monarchy, L. Cole and D. L. Unowsky, eds (New York-Oxford: Berghahn Books), pp. 1–10. Cornwall, M. (2000). The Undermining of Austria–Hungary. The Battle for Hearts and Minds (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan). Cornwall, M. (2007). ‘The Construction of National Identities in the Northern Bohemian Borderland, 1848–71’, in Different Paths to the Nation. Regional and National Identities in Central Europe and Italy, 1830–1870, L. Cole, ed. (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan), pp. 144–156. Cornwall, M. (2011). ‘The Great War and the Yugoslav Grassroots. Popular Mobilization in the Habsburg Monarchy’, in New Perspectives on Yugoslavia. Key Issues and Controversies, D. Djoki´c and J. Ker-Lindsay, eds (London: Routledge), pp. 27–45. Dogliani, P., Pécout, G. and Quercioli, F. (2006). La scelta della patria. Giovani volontari nella Grande Guerra (Rovereto: Museo storico italiano della guerra). Fait, G. (ed.) (1991). Una generazione di confine. Cultura nazionale e Grande Guerra negli scritti di un barbiere rivano (Trento: Museo Storico in Trento). Fait, G. (ed.) (2002). Rodolfo Bolner – Giovanni Pederzolli – Francesco Laich. Scritture di Guerra 10 (Trento: Museo Storico in Trento).

116 Historiographic Surveys Glasl, H. (1986). ‘Mährisches Landesbewußtsein am Beispiel eines historischen Vereines’, in Vereinswesen und Geschichtspflege in den böhmischen Ländern, F. Seibt, ed. (Munich: Oldenbourg), pp. 61–70. Götz, T. (2001). Bürgertum und Liberalismus in Tirol 1840–1873. Zwischen Stadt und ‘Region’, Staat und Nation (Cologne: SH-Verlag). Haas, H. and Stekl, H. (eds.) (1996). Bürgerliche Selbstdarstellung. Städtebau, Architektur und Denkmäler. Bürgertum in der Habsburgermonarchie IV (Vienna: Böhlau). Hanák, P. (ed.) (1998). ‘Vox populi: Intercepted Letters in the First World War’, The Garden and the Workshop. Essays on the Cultural History of Vienna and Budapest (Princeton: Princeton University Press), pp. 179–212. (Hungarian original of this article published 1973). Haslinger, P. (2010). Nation und Territorium im tschechischen politischen Diskurs 1880–1938 (Munich: Oldenbourg). Haslinger, P. and von Puttkamer, J. (2007). ‘Staatsmacht, Minderheit, Loyalität – konzeptionelle Grundlagen am Beispiel Ostmittel- und Südosteuropas in der Zwischenkriegszeit’, in Staat, Loyalität und Minderheiten in Ostmittel- und Südosteuropa 1918–1941, P. Haslinger and J. von Puttkamer, eds (Munich: Oldenbourg), pp. 1–16. Healy, M. (2004). Vienna and the Fall of the Habsburg Empire. Total War and Everyday Life in World War I (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). Himka, J.-P. (1999). Religion and Nationality in Western Ukraine. The Greek Catholic Church and the Ruthenian National Movement in Galicia, 1867–1900 (MontrealKingston: McGill-Queen’s Press). Hobsbawm, E. J. (1990). Nations and Nationalism. Programme, Myth and Reality Since 1780 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). Hroch, M. (1970). ‘The Social Composition of the Czech Patriots in Bohemia, 1827–1848’, in The Czech Renascence of the Nineteenth Century, P. Brock and H. G. Skilling, eds (Toronto: University of Toronto Press), pp. 33–52. Hroch, M. (1985). Social Preconditions of National Revival in Europe: A Comparative Analysis of the Social Composition of Patriotic Groups Among the Smaller European Nations (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). (German original 1968). Hroch, M. (2005). Das Europa Der Nationen. Die Moderne Nationsbildung im europäischen Vergleich (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht). Isola, G. (ed.) (1997). La memoria pia. I monumenti ai caduti della 1. guerra mondiale nell’area trentino tirolese (Trento: Università di Trento). Judson, P. (1996). Exclusive Revolutionaries. Liberal Politics, Social Experience and National Identity in the Austrian Empire, 1848–1918 (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press). Judson, P. (2006). Guardians of the Nation. Activists on the Language Frontiers of Imperial Austria (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press). Judson, P. (2008). ‘L’Autriche-Hongrie: Était-elle un empire?’, Annales. Histoire, Sciences Sociales, 63, 563–596. King, J. (2002). Budweisers into Czechs and Germans: A Local History of Bohemian Politics, 1848–1948 (Princeton: Princeton University Press). Kirchhoff, J. (2001). Die Deutschen in der österreichisch-ungarischen Monarchie: Ihr Verhältnis zum Staat, zur deutschen Nation und ihr kollektives Selbstverständnis (1866/67–1918) (Berlin: Logos).

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Koˇralka, J. (1991). Tschechen im Habsburgerreich und in Europa 1815– 1914: Sozialgeschichtliche Zusammenhänge der neuzeitlichen Nationsbildung und der Nationalitätenfrage in den böhmischen Ländern (Vienna and Munich: Oldenbourg). Kˇren, J. (1996). Die Konfliktgemeinschaft. Tschechen und Deutschen 1780–1918 (Munich: Oldenbourg). [Czech original 1989/1990]. Luft, R. (1996). ‘Nationale Utraquisten in Böhmen. Zur Problematik “nationaler Zwischenstellungen” am Ende des 19. Jahrhunderts’, in Allemands, Juifs et Tchèques à Prague de 1890 à 1924, M. Godé, ed. (Montpellier: Université Paul-Valéry), pp. 37–51. Luft, R. (1999). ‘Politische Kultur und Regionalismus in einer Zentrallandschaft zweiten Grades: das Beispiel Mähren im späten 19. Jahrhundert’, in Politische Kultur in Ostmittel- und Südosteuropa, W. Branke, ed. (Leipzig: Leipziger Universitätsverlag), pp. 125–160. Malíˇr, J. (1996). Od spolku˚ k moderním politickým stranám. Vývoj politických stran na Morav˘e v letech 1848–1914 (Brno: Filozofická fakulta Masarykovy univerzity v Brnˇe). Marchesoni, P. and Martignoni, M. (eds) (1998). Monumenti della grande guerra: Progetti e realizzazioni in Trentino 1916–1935 (Trento: Museo storico in Trento). Millo, A. (1989). L’élite del potere a Trieste. Una biografia collettiva 1891–1938 (Milan: Angeli). Moll, M. (2007). Kein Burgfrieden. Der deutsch–slowenische Nationalitätenkonflikt in der Steiermark 1900–1918 (Innsbruck–Vienna: Studienverlag). Monzali, L. (2009). The Italians of Dalmatia. From Italian Unification to World War I (Toronto: University of Toronto Press). [Italian original 2004]. Moritsch, A. (ed.) (1991). Vom Ethnos zur Nationalität: Der nationale Differenzierungsprozess am Beispiel ausgewählter Orte in Kärnten und im Burgenland (Munich: Oldenbourg). Moritsch, A. and Baumgartner, G. (1993). ‘The Process of National Differentiation within Rural Communities in Southern Carinthia and Southern Burgenland, 1850–1940’, in Roots of Rural Ethnic Mobilisation. Comparative Studies on Governments and Non-dominant Ethnic Groups in Europe, 1850–1940, vol. 7, D. Howell, ed. (Dartmouth, New York: New York University Press), pp. 99–144. Nolte, C. (2002). The Sokol in the Czech Lands to 1914: Training for the Nation (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan). Nolte, C. (2007). Voluntary Associations and Nation-Building in NineteenthCentury Prague’, in Different Paths to the Nation. Regional and National Identities in Central Europe and Italy, 1830–1870, L. Cole, ed. (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan), pp. 82–99. Prokopovych, M. (2008). Habsburg Lemberg. Architecture, Politics, and Public Space in the Galician Capital, 1774–1914 (West Lafayette: Purdue University Press). ‘A proposito di “Guardians of the Nation” di Pieter M. Judson: L. Cole, “Alla ricerca della frontiera linguistica: Nazionalismo e identità nazionale nell’Austria imperiale”, and P. Thaler, “Una nazione non è fatta solo di nazionalisti” ’, Quaderni Storici, 43, 2 (2008, August), pp. 501–526. Rachamimov, A. (2002), POWs and the Great War. Captivity on the Eastern Front (New York and Oxford: Berg). Rasera, F. and Zadra, C. (eds) (2008). Volontari Italiani nella Grande Guerra (Rovereto: Museo storico italiano della guerra).

118 Historiographic Surveys Reill, D. (2007). ‘A Mission of Mediation: Dalmatia’s Multi-National Regionalism from the 1830s–1860s’, in Different Paths to the Nation. Regional and National Identities in Central Europe and Italy, 1830–1870, L. Cole, ed. (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan), pp. 16–36. Remak, J. (1969). ‘The Healthy Invalid: How Doomed the Habsburg Monarchy?’, Journal of Modern History, 41, 2, 127–143. Rutar, S. (2004). Kultur – Nation – Milieu. Sozialdemokratie in Triest vor dem Ersten Weltkrieg (Essen: Klartext Verlag). Schmid, J. (2009). Kampf um das Deutschtum. Radikaler Nationalismus in Österreich und dem Deutschen Reich 1890–1914 (Frankfurt am Main: Campus). Sked, A. (1981). ‘Historians, the Nationality Question and the Downfall of the Habsburg Empire’, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 31, 175–193. Smith, Anthony D. (1998). Nationalism and Modernism. A Critical Survey of Recent Theories of Nations and Nationalism (London: Routledge). Sørensen, N.A. (2006). ‘Zwischen regionaler und nationaler Erinnerung. Erster Weltkrieg und Erinnerungskultur im Trentino der Zwischenkriegszeit’, in Der Erste Weltkrieg im Alpenraum. Erfahrung, Deutung, Erinnerung/La Grande Guerra nell’arco alpino. Esperienza e memoria, H. Kuprian and O. Überegger, eds (Innsbruck: Wagner), pp. 397–411. Sprengnagel, G. (1999). ‘Nationale Kultur und die Selbsterschaffung des Bürgertums. Am Beispiel der Stadt Prost˘ejov in Mähren 1848–1865’, Österreichische Zeitschrift für Geschichtswissenschaften, 10, 260–291. Stauter-Halsted, K. (2001). The Nation in the Village. The Genesis of Peasant National Identity in Austrian Poland 1848–1914 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press). Stekl, H., Urbanitsch, P. and Bruckmüller, E. (eds) (1992). ‘Durch Arbeit, Besitz, Wissen und Gerechtigkeit. Bürgertum in der Habsburgermonarchie II (Vienna: Böhlau). Struve, K. (2005). Bauern und Nation in Galizien. Über Zugehörigkeit und sozialer Emanzipation im 19. Jahrhundert (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht). Svoljšak, P. (2009). ‘The Social History of the Soˇca/Isonzo Region in the First World War’, in Sozialgeschichte und soziale Bewegungen in Slowenien (Social History and Social Movements in Slovenia), S. Rutar and R. Wörsdorfer, eds (Essen: Klartext Verlag), pp. 89–110. Überegger, O. (2002). Der andere Krieg. Die Tiroler Militärgerichtsbarkeit im Ersten Weltkrieg (Innsbruck: Universitätsverlag Wagner). Unowsky, D. (2005). The Pomp and Politics of Patriotism: Imperial Celebrations in Habsburg Austria, 1848–1916 (West Lafayette: Purdue University Press). Urban, O. (1994). Die tschechische Gesellschaft 1848 bis 1918 (Vienna: Böhlau). (Czech original 1982). Weichlein, S. (2006). ‘Nationalismus und Nationalstaat und Europa. Ein Forschungsüberblick’, Neue Politische Literatur, 51, 2/3, 265–351. Wingfield, N. M. (2007). Flag Wars and Stone Saints. How the Bohemian Lands Became Czech (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press). Wolff, L. (2010). The Idea of Galicia: History and Fantasy in Habsburg Political Culture (Stanford: Stanford University Press). Wood, N. D. (2010). Becoming Metropolitan: Urban Selfhood and the Making of Modern Cracow (DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press). Zaffi, D. (1995). ‘Le associazioni di difesa nazionale tedesche in Tirolo e nel Litorale’, in Regioni di frontiera nell’epoca dei nazionalismi. Alsazia e

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Lorena/Trento e Trieste 1870–1914, A. Ara and E. Kolb, eds (Bologna: Il mulino), pp. 157–193. Zahra, T. (2008). Kidnapped Souls. National Indifference and the Battle for Children in the Bohemian Lands 1900–1948 (Ithaca and New York: Cornell University Press). Zahra, T. (2010), Imagined Non-Communities: National Indifference as a Category of Analysis, Slavic Review, 69, 93–119. Zettelbauer, H. (2005). “Die Liebe sei Euer Heldentum”. Geschlecht und Nation in völkischen Vereinen der Habsburgermonarchie (Frankfurt am Main: Campus).

6 Nationhood from Below: Some Historiographic Notes on Great Britain, France and Germany in the Long Nineteenth Century Maarten Van Ginderachter

On 12 February 1888, Georges Defuisseaux, a socialist politician from the Belgian town of Jemappes, received a compelling letter from Thomas Dumonceau, a French-speaking supporter from Wallonia, the Francophone southern half of Belgium.1 In the rambling, unpunctuated phonetic scrawl of the semi-literate, Dumonceau complained about a devastating change in his daily life. The Catholic government, so he claimed, had had the nerve to tamper with the Belgian coins and replace the national motto L’union fait la force (‘United We Stand Strong’) with a German text! [W]e miss on the coin of ten centimes [L]’union fait la force because the [B]elgian goverment saw that the people want to understand it and use it[.] [T]hey say that to prove to the [B]elgian people that he [= king Leopold II] is [G]erman he has marked it in [G]erman on all our coins and money[.] [B]ut we have too much red blood in our veins to be [G]erman[.] [N]o never will the [P]russians govern us.2 In the late 1880s, there was some anti-German prejudice among Walloon socialists. Some feared that the loathed Kaiserreich would use the labour unrest in Belgium as a pretext to occupy the country, arguing that it could no longer vouchsafe for its own independence and neutrality. Leopold II, who was of German descent, and the whole Belgian establishment were suspected of having concluded secret treaties with Bismarck to surrender the country. Dumonceau was clearly under the spell of these rumours. But what had really happened? 120

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Dumonceau was unaware of it, but a royal decree of 29 March 1886 had put an end to the exclusive use of French on coins. This was one of the language measures that had been issued since 1873 to grant some protection to the mother tongue of the 60 per cent of Belgians who spoke a Flemish-Dutch dialect. As of 1886, exclusively Dutch coins – beside the French – began to circulate in the country. In early 1888, Dumonceau had probably held such a coin for the first time in his life and mistook the Dutch motto Eendracht maakt macht for German. This incident underscores the strength of banal Belgian nationalism (Billig, 1995). The omnipresence of coins and banknotes, with their national symbols, contributed to the penetration of the nation in daily life, thus ensuring its self-evident existence. As such, the smallest deviation from routine (in this case, one Flemish coin where there used to be only French) activates an otherwise unspoken identification with the fatherland. To a French-speaking Belgian such as Dumonceau, the idea of Belgium as a bilingual nation did not hold much appeal. It was so selfevident to him that he lived in a Francophone country that he suspected the Flemish coins to be a foreign machination against his nationality. Dumonceau’s letter gives us a more direct view on how national identification worked in everyday life. Sources such as these and, more generally, studies exploring national identity from below have been underrepresented in research on nationalism in Western Europe. Scholars have been slow to examine the nationhood of non-elite people and its construction in concrete circumstances at an everyday, personal level. Popular conceptions have been less problematized than the role of elites. Top-down processes are assumed as axiomatic, thus producing little interest in exploring forms of plebeian agency. The underrepresentation of ordinary people in research on nationalism has at least three sides, parallel to three different interpretations we might ascribe to the concept of history from below.3 First, it might refer to a methodological shift in perspective, from a bird’s-eye view to a ground-level perspective. Practically, this often means the study of national identification in specific, concrete micro-cases at the local level, using a host of different institutional, public and private sources that shed light on how nationhood is reproduced in everyday life; an eloquent example is Colley (1992). Second, it may pertain to a more conceptual approach, of writing history from the experience of people rather than inferring it from their surroundings or from the discourses that are addressed to them. This latter practice is problematic. The American historian Jonathan Rose gives the example of radio publicity in the interwar United States. Some scholars have inferred from sexist

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radio advertisments that female listeners adopted conservative gender roles, but others have remarked that housewives saw these radio messages for what they really were: ‘as just another sales pitch’. The point, Rose concludes, is that ‘there is as much hard evidence for any of these readings [ . . . ], which is to say none at all; and we will get no closer to answering these questions unless we shift our attention from the text to the audience’ (Rose, 2002 [2001], pp. 5–6). To address this issue, we might invoke a third form of history from below, one that is based on a more restricted heuristic interpretation and involves histories that use qualitative sources actually produced by ordinary people. These three forms may coincide or overlap, but this is not necessarily the case. For example, a study from below of a local patriotic pageant does not have to be based on the experience of the people involved. It can, for instance, solely be founded on a reconstruction of the material environment: the number of spectators, the depicted scenes, the invested funds and so on. Or it can rely on a reading against the grain of newspaper or police reports to deduce the mental world of the pageant’s participants and of bystanders. This, however, involves a certain risk: how can we reliably infer from external stimuli how people reacted in concrete real life situations? What was the impact on those attending a patriotic pageant and how did that influence their identifications both in the short and in the long run? To answer this question, we can turn to history from below in its second sense. The experience of local dignitaries, for instance, might offer insights into the construction of national identity at an everyday level. But then again, this is not necessarily history from below in its third sense. For that we need autobiographical documents from non-elite people from the lower middle or working classes, or from peasant milieus. Some scholars object to this last approach, because it supposedly overestimates autobiographical documents as a ‘mirror of the soul’, as an access to the ‘true’ and ‘authentic’ masses. Are materials written by ordinary people (such as pauper letters, requests to the authorities, naturalization applications, emigrants’ or soldiers’ correspondence) anything but highly ritualized or bureaucratized forms of writing in which the requisites of the genre completely overshadow the personal element? Do semi-literate people have something of interest to tell, or are the words they have committed to paper prompted by public writers or middle-class supporters? Indeed, the phrase ‘nationhood from below’ tends to elicit polemical reactions because some historians use it in a dichotomous sense. They see it as part of an absolute antithesis between chimeras created from above and conceptions authentically grown from below and, similarly, between deceptive elite sources about

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the masses and genuine statements by ordinary people. It goes without saying that my argument does not rest on such idealized notions. Sources produced by commoners are certainly not unmediated voices. Yet neither are they more problematic than sources from other social circles. Admittedly, commoners did not always wield the pen themselves, but rather let other people write down their concerns. Moreover, they often tended to adapt their language when writing to the authorities or their superiors. Yet, in autobiographical documents from higher milieus, opportunism, conventionality and accommodation may also obscure deeper motives and views. Source criticism and a clear contextualization of one’s records within their historic background are a must in every case. To exceed the merely anecdotal or illustrative level, autobiographical sources of ordinary people should not be used in isolation (just like their elite counterparts, for that matter). Ideally, they are part of a broad array of other sources, giving (a direct or indirect) insight into these people’s mentality, and their analysis is firmly embedded within, or takes issue with, the well-known macro-historical frameworks explaining the rise of nations and nationalism (industrialization and modernization). This in effect constitutes one of the central messages of this volume. In the adoption of the three types of history from below to nationalism research, we can roughly distinguish a three-stage chronology. I will substantiate this argument by comparing the historiographies of Great Britain, France and Germany. In what we might call the ‘classic’ era of modern nationalism research, from the 1970s to the early 1990s, the dominant theoretical framework hinged on socialization, disciplining and indoctrination. In general, there was too strong an emphasis on construction ex nihilo. A whole array of nationalizing media at the disposal of states and elites (such as the military and the educational system) were thought to indoctrinate the masses to the extent that other loyalties (to region, city, class and so on) disappeared. Many studies overemphasized the production of national discourses in middle-class or elite sources, to the neglect of interpreting their popular reception and appropriation. The concurrent impact of the cultural and linguistic turns contributed to this research practice (see the introduction, p. 6). In the 1990s, this rather monolithic and (uni)linear version of nationbuilding was questioned. Against the background of the Soviet implosion, ongoing European integration and globalization processes and the growing impact of subaltern and postcolonial studies, attention turned towards conflict, resistance, unintended consequences of governmental strategies and multiple identifications. Scholars began to focus on the experience of the masses (often through micro-case studies at the

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local level). The fragmentation of national identity and its interlacing with other group loyalties such as class, gender, religious, regional and (most recently) transnational identities became major concerns. Finally, in the last ten years some scholars have turned towards autobiographical documents from ordinary people to study nationhood from below. When surveying such a rapidly expanding and wide-ranging field as the study of nations and nationalism, any reviewer who tries to chart the directions in which hundreds of scholars have meandered is likely to be rapped over the knuckles for overlooking specific contributions. A comprehensive survey is impossible; but, in any attempt to capture the general gist, peculiarities and idiosyncrasies are subordinated to the bird’s-eye view. The periodization I propose is a mere structuring tool tailored to the question at hand, not a procrustean bed on which the complex evolution of all nationalism research since the 1970s can be tied down. There are, of course, exceptions to this temporal framework. Research on war enthusiasm and on the British working classes, for instance, has studied nationhood from below well before the 1990s (see the Introduction, p. 11).

1. The classic modernist era: the 1970s and 1980s Common people were largely absent from nationalism research in the 1970s and 1980s. Hobsbawm acknowledged in 1990 ‘that we still know very little about what national consciousness meant to the mass of the nationalities concerned’ (Hobsbawm, 1995 (1990), p. 130). The causes for this neglect can be traced back to the origins of ‘modern’ nationalism research, roughly the period between the publication of Elie Kedourie’s Nationalism in Asia and Africa (1971) and Rogers Brubaker’s Citizenship and Nationhood in France and Germany (1992). The theoretical framework, developed by the likes of Kedourie, Brubaker, Hobsbawm, Ernest Gellner, Tom Nairn, Michael Hechter, Anthony Giddens, Michael Mann, Benedict Anderson and Miroslav Hroch, relied on the assumption that nations are ‘cultural construct[s], forged and engineered by various elites’ since the eighteenth century at earliest (Smith, 1998, p. 4). This paradigm emphasized top-down socialization and the superseding of old obsolete allegiances (to town, guild, region, religion and so on) by an overarching national identity. It often overstated the homogenizing impact of industrialization, bureaucratization and state formation, heavily relying on quantitative sources (figures on conscription, schooling, literacy, press circulation, transport revolutions and the like) and on testimonies from government officials, journalists, army

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reports, language censuses or travel accounts. The classical example is Eugen Weber’s Peasants into Frenchmen (1977), a brilliant tour de force, but with a heavy emphasis on top-down nation-builders such as the army and the school.4 (Weber, 1977) The general overinsistence on topdown processes and indoctrination led several scholars to impose the nationalist rhetoric of elites and states onto the mentalities of the masses they addressed. In other words, the discourses of middle- or upper-class actors took on the status of shorthand referents for larger social groups’ consumption and appropriation of nationalist attitudes.5 The groundbreaking oeuvre of the Czech historian Miroslav Hroch, for instance, is vulnerable to the critique of overlooking ordinary people. Hroch compared a number of ‘small’ national movements in nineteenth-century Europe (such as the Finnish in Russia, the Danish in Schleswig and the Flemish in Belgium). Using biographical data of the most active members of such groups, he described an evolution in which some of these movements developed from phase A (folkloric interest), through B (political agitation), to become a mass affair in their last stage C. This mass phase remains a vague concept, as Hroch has not really elaborated on it. In his recent book Das Europa der Nationen, he pointed out the need to analyse ‘people’, but he called his own answers partial, contradictory and hypothetical generalizations (Hroch, 2005, pp. 109–110). A similar critique applies to Pierre Nora’s seminal multi-volume work Les Lieux de mémoire (1984–1992). Nora stressed the imagining of the Realms of Memory (as the English translation goes; Nora, 1984, p. xxxiv), but neither he nor any of the other contributing authors answered the questions: who does the imagining, who invests the realms with symbolic meaning and how does it work in practice? With the exception of the article on the Vendée peasant rising of 1793–1796 – which referred to popular vehicles of memory such as folkore, street names, oral traditions and commercialized souvenirs (Martin, 1984) – the contributors offered a political and symbolic history of shifting lieu-de-mémoire interpretations rather than a social history of their appropriation. For instance, the section on pédagogie, which studied the popularization of history and patriotism through school manuals and vulgarized histories, did not examine the reception of these books by the public at large, nor their effects on the reader or their practical use in schools.6 The logical corollary of the top-down paradigm was the implicit assumption of a high degree of congruence between state and nation. During the 1980s, nation-state history was again on the rise in France and Germany. French scholars tended towards ‘the personification, and

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reification, of the concept of “the nation” as a sort of eternal representational given’, which resulted in ‘the “indissociability” of state and nation in French history’ (Englund, 1992, p. 311). Fernand Braudel’s L’Identité de la France (1986), for instance, ‘naturalized the external borders of France erected in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries’ (Berger, 2005, p. 655). In Germany, too, historians were deeply influenced by the view that ‘the historical evolution necessarily has to culminate in the foundation of the nation-state’ (Berger, 2005, p. 650) – especially so during the 1980s, when the centre-right government of Helmut Kohl stimulated the ‘renationalization’ of history to bolster national identity (Haupt, 1995, p. 47). In the British case, the ‘Whig interpretation of history’ with its unproblematic acceptance of Englishness/Britishness was seriously questioned in the 1970s as a result of Celtic, European and postcolonial challenges (Kearney, 2003, pp. 251–252). Yet this did not immediately lead to a more prominent place of ordinary people in the scholarly narrative of nation-building. Tom Nairn and Michael Hechter, for instance, linked resistance against the thrust of Britishness in the Celtic fringe to uneven capitalist development, but both were only concerned with analysing the behaviour of nationalist intelligentsia and peripheral elites (Hechter, 1999 [1975]; Nairn, 1977). Even studies with telling titles such as Imperialism and Popular Culture (1986) did not fully address ordinary appropriations, as they mainly examined external phenomena like public school propaganda and the strategies of the Empire Marketing Board (Mackenzie, 1986, p. 2). The resurrection of patriotic historiography during the Thatcher years prompted a reaction from within the (Marxist–feminist) History Workshop Movement that anticipated trends of the 1990s. In 1989, Raphael Samuel published his three-volume Patriotism: The Making and Unmaking of British National Identity, which was the result of a series of workshops held in response to the Falklands War. Samuel broke with the left-wing tradition of studying national identity as a bourgeois contrivance used for social control, criticizing the overbearing influence of ‘Gramscian notions of hegemony [. . .]; Weberian notions of “social domination” (rule by bureaucracies of élites); and sociological theories of “social control” ’. He was also weary of the historian’s reliance ‘on the self-conscious purveyors of patriotic sentiment at the expense of those more molecular processes in which national identity, like other personal attachments, are formed’ (Samuel, 1989, pp. xvii and xi). Samuel’s volumes introduced previously disregarded subjects, such as the role of women and minorities. Several contributions inferred popular attitudes from papers,

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plays, prints, paintings, pamphlets, printed political literature, sermons, caricatures, novels and suchlike. Some also relied on interviews, readers’ letters and memoirs.

2. The fragmentation of nationhood: the 1990s After the theoretical field had been largely mapped by the broad explanatory surveys of the 1980s, the next decade witnessed a steep increase of case studies in the culturalist vein. Scholars scrutinized the discourses, myths, symbols and rituals of the most diverse nations and nationalist movements. Attention increasingly turned towards monuments, paintings, ceremonies, stamps, statues and so on. The top-down paradigm often remained the subtext of these studies. Yet several scholars began to question the narrative of top-down nationalization and the idea of a monolithic national identity, ousting all other allegiances – of region, religion, class, gender. Underlying these developments was the end of the Cold War, which led to a requestioning of the national past. At the same time, it became clear that the Soviet Union’s attempts at Russification had not annihilated ethnic peculiarities. There was also the EU’s post-Maastricht promotion of a common European heritage transcending national differences, which prompted research of transnational regions and identities (Berger, 2005, pp. 660–661; Langewiesche, 1995, pp. 190–191). Meanwhile, the growing impact of subaltern studies – which in itself was a reaction to the crisis of the nation-state in India – made itself felt. Its critique of received Eurocentric notions of nationhood and its insistence on the hybridity of identities were particularly salient (Prakash, 1994). As a result, it was increasingly acknowledged that, while national identity is undoubtedly a construct, it is not an arbitrary invention independent of society. Some refer to this insight through the concept of ‘relative construction’: there are structural historical, political and social limits to a construction ex nihilo by conniving elites and manipulative rulers (Breuilly, 2002, p. 248). No matter how much energy is invested, not all constructions are successful. Some fail or remain second-rate because they connect insufficiently to popular notions, values and needs, because they fit uneasily with the dominant trends in a given society or because they ignore the presence of older, pre-modern ethnic elements (see A. D. Smith’s ethno-symbolism). Scholars increasingly recognized that conflicting loyalties, regional variations and diverse contexts do indeed fragment nationhood, or support it in more complex ways than previously envisaged. These developments led various

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scholars to emphasize bottom-up processes, to read well-known or wellused records against the grain and to study nationalization processes at a local or regional level. In Great Britain, the 1990s saw the rise – in Berger’s words – of a new British history, ‘that is, a history that would give due attention to the different parts of the British Isles and end the long domination of English over Celtic narratives’. Postcolonial challenges further undermined monolithic notions of Britishness (Berger, 2005, pp. 670–671). The increased interest in regional differentiation and the co-existence of multiple identities was lucidly expressed in Linda Colley’s often quoted dictum: ‘Identities are not like hats.’ People can and do wear more than one at a time.7 Colley’s influential monograph Britons. Forging the Nation (1992) rejected the notion that Great Britain had forced cultural uniformity and Englishness onto its Celtic peripheries. There had never been ‘an integration and homogenisation of disparate cultures. Instead, Britishness was superimposed over an array of internal differences’ (Colley, 1992, p. 6). Colley reached this conclusion by assessing a wide array of print matter – almanacs, sermons, religious literature, songsheets, war-volunteer lists – that shaped popular attitudes. In French historiography, the monolithic nation view became fragmented as well, a phenomenon witnessed most visibly in the growing disagreement on Vichy, the Algerian War and immigration (Berger, 2005, pp. 668–669). Concomitantly, scholars nuanced the linear politicization of the French countryside and Weber’s thesis of peasants into Frenchmen (Barral, 1998). Centralization, they increasingly argued, did not simply erase regional identities and local languages. Jean-François Chanet, for instance, showed that primary school teachers, who were for a long time regarded as supreme instruments of homogenization in the name of the Republic, were not intent on erasing their pupils’ mother tongue and love of their petite patrie. The celebration of local identities was quite compatible with the creation of French patriotism (Chanet, 1996; compare Baycroft, 1995; Ford, 1993; Thiesse, 1997; Gerson, 2003). Under the influence of Michel de Certeau and Roger Chartier, and in answer to the critique that scholars insufficiently addressed the popular appropriation of political innovations, the classic political and socioeconomic view on nation-building was supplemented by a more cultural, historical–anthropological approach. Experience, self-perception and appropriation became key concepts. Gérard Noiriel, the foremost historian of France’s immigrant past who harshly criticized nationalist

Maarten Van Ginderachter


tendencies within French historiography, stressed the importance of mediation and agency when accounting for mechanisms of national integration (Noiriel, 1988). Similarly, peasants were no longer exclusively regarded as objects or victims of modernization, but also as actors with a voice of their own (Corbin, 1993; Hüser, 2001). Or in Christophe Charle’s words: ‘No more schools or barracks as tools of formation and taming [. . .], or as channels of a “civilizing process” [. . .] but as bargaining places, as translation processes [. . .] as places of transfers and contacts, positive or negative’ (Charle, 2003, p. 63). Other studies taking a cultural and/or ethnographic view focused on monuments, museums, stamps, tourism and national festivities (Corbin et al., 1994; Ihl, 1996; Truesdell, 1997; Ben-Amos, 2000). In German nationalism research, the 1990s saw a growing concern for regional differentiation and for the question of which social groups shaped national identity (the soziale Trägerschichten; Applegate, 1990; Confino, 1997; Green, 2001; Weichlein, 2004). Also in this period one of the last vestiges of the Sonderweg theory (the presumed continuity of German exceptionalism between 1871 and 1945) came under critical scrutiny, namely Sozialmilitarismus: the pervasive reverence for army and authority in German society. Scholars took into account top-down manipulation, but also the susceptibility of the lower classes as a possible explanation of militarization. This shift was particularly evident in Ute Frevert’s work. In 1997, she still emphasized Jacobin socialization ‘from above’, von oben, through the army, yet four years later she highlighted the emancipatory possibilities of the ‘nation-in-arms’ concept (Frevert, 1997, 2001). Nonetheless, she stated that ‘it is impossible to say what impressions army service left on men from the lower classes’, given the lack of surviving testimonies (Frevert, 2004, p. 87). More generally, several scholars of nationalism began to doubt the efficacy of nationalizing institutions. Haupt and Tacke, for instance, emphasized how little influence official measures, political propaganda and printed material exerted on the masses during the nineteenth century (1996, p. 262). Heuristically, most attempts from the 1990s to study nationhood from below relied on figures of draft evasion, membership of veteran leagues and attendance to national festivals, the dissemination of patriotic print ephemera, the wearing of cockades in the national colours, patriotic paintings, national tourism and, finally, the German sports and body culture, including military exercises in schools (Confino, 1997, p. 4; Vogel, 1997). Increasingly, though, private writings would be used.

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3. ‘Ordinary records’: the early twenty-first century In recent years, ever more scholars have critically reflected on the need to engage in a social history of national identity construction. In 2002, for instance, the German historian Benjamin Ziemann called for a systematic and broadly based qualitative source investigation of how individuals construct national identity (Ziemann, 2002). Walker Connor too criticized the overdependence, in nationalism research, on ‘the opinions and assertions of the literate elite, whose generalizations concerning the existence of national consciousness are often highly suspect’. Taking the perspective from below, Connor argued, ‘will require a reordering of primary interest in ascertaining the view of group–self held by elites to that held by the people writ large. [ . . . ] If the nation is a mass phenomenon, then our priority should be to render the mass intelligible’ (Connor, 2004, pp. 44–45). An increasing number of nationalism scholars express an interest in the everyday aspects of national identity (Thiesse, 1999, pp. 227–279; Yoshino, 1999; Colls, 2002, p. 6; Echternkamp and Müller, 2002, pp. 17–18). Ever more studies tap with undeniable ingenuity into popular mentalities (Heathorn, 2000; Colls, 2002; Roynette, 2004; Hall and Rose, 2006; Melman, 2006; Brophy, 2007). Concurrently, a heuristic shift has occurred as more scholars are using qualitative sources from ordinary people. This is particularly evident in the areas of labour, empire, gender and plebeian lives. Historians of labour have increasingly turned towards published and unpublished working-class autobiographies. Berger, for instance, has used these texts to study personal narratives of class and nation. He showed how ‘experiences of internationalism are often intertwined with a reconfirmation of national belonging’. International labour meetings did not necessarily reinforce the internationalist belief that workers are the same all over the world. Those contacts could, for instance, foster a clearer sense of national character because they cast light on striking (subjective) differences (Berger, 2000, p. 283; see also Lyons, 2001; Rose, 2002 [2001]; Silbey, 2005). Yet published memoirs do have a downside. Ziemann has warned against the uncritical use of (a limited sample of) published autobiographies that are questionable in their post-factum reconstruction of working-class attitudes, especially if they were written by later party bureaucrats (Ziemann, 2002). The common view has also been adopted in studies of empire, for instance by Linda Colley. She used autobiographical narratives of ordinary Britons who were taken captive overseas. Her intention was one

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of ‘individual recovery and of imperial revision’, with the explicit aim to counterbalance the historiographic practice that ‘reconstructed – and over-homogenized’ British attitudes towards empire ‘on the slender basis of testimonies by a few conspicuous actors in positions of power or notoriety’ (Colley, 2002, pp. 3, 15).8 Research on gender, masculinities and nationhood has also looked into average materials such as Mass-Observation interviews, readers’ letters to the press, statements of conscientious objectors, front letters and diaries (Funck, 2002; Roper, 2004; Rose, 2004). In the past decade, the study of plebeian lives has opened up a number of promising paths. Social historians who have tried to reintroduce individual experience in poverty research have used sources such as almshouse admission interviews, petitions, pension applications, court records of interrogations and the like. Laura Tabili, for instance, has examined applications for naturalization to gain access to lower-class immigrants’ sense of Britishness. She showed ‘that British nationality was not simply a hegemonic imposition obliterating local identities, but instead formed in asymmetrical dialogue between local and national, migrants and natives, state and society’ (Tabili, 2005, p. 379). Requests or pauper letters, in which the poor (whether through mediation of public scribes or not) turn to an official institution to receive help (poorrelief officers, local dignitaries, provincial governors, the royal family and so on), have also attracted increasing attention over the last few years.9 In conclusion, we can safely posit that in recent years scholars have been tapping into previously underused or unknown sources to study nationhood from below. However, the use of ‘fresh’ sources in itself does not constitute innovative research into the complexities of national identification. One of the central messages of this volume bears reminding: it is absolutely crucial that ‘ordinary records’ are clearly framed within their historic context, that they are supplemented with a wide range of additional source materials and that their analysis is linked to broader macro-historical developments. Only then would the study of nationhood from below prove fruitful.

Notes 1. Thanks are due to John Breuilly, David Blackbourn and James Brophy for their comments on earlier versions of this article. All views expressed in this chapter are, of course, the author’s sole responsibility. 2. ‘on ne manque sur les piece de dix centimes que lunion fait la force par ce que le gouvernemant belge a vu que le peuple voulai le conprendre est sent servir

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3. 4. 5. 6. 7.



[= et s’en servir] il on dit pour prouver au peuple belge qu il etait alleman qu il a loi marque en alleman sur toute nos piece de monai et dargen mai nous avont trop de sans [= sang] rouge dans les vains pour être alleman non jamais les prusiens ne viendrons nous gouverner’. Thomas Dumonceau to Georges Defuisseaux, 12 February 1888 [original spelling mistakes] (Archives of the Université Libre de Bruxelles. Fonds Defuisseaux. 312C). All translations are the author’s. See the introduction on the development of the field of history from below (p. 4). The same can be said of other classic works on nationhood such as Mosse (1991 [1975]). For examples in German historiography, see Langewiesche (1995, pp. 210–214). The same can be said of the German equivalent of the Lieux de mémoire: François and Schulze (2002, 3rd ed.). The sartorial metaphor is a popular one: ‘Men and women did not choose collective identification as they chose shoes, knowing that one could only put on one pair at a time’ (Hobsbawm, 1995 [1990], p. 123). James Epstein and Bernard Porter too have used autobiographical sources to gauge the popular resonance of British imperialism (Porter, 2004; Epstein, 2006, p. 268). See the special issue on petitions of the International Review of Social History, Vol. 46 (2001, December); the special issue on ‘Pratiques d’écriture’ of the Annales. Histoire, sciences sociales, 56, 4–5 (2001, July–October); Fabre (1997); Lyons (2007); Sokoll (2001); Van Ginderachter (2006).

Bibliography Applegate, Celia (1990). A Nation of Provincials. The German Idea of Heimat (Berkeley: University of California Press). Barral, Pierre (1998). ‘Depuis quand les paysans se sentent-ils français?’ Ruralia. Revue de l’Association des Ruralistes Français, 3, 7–21. Baycroft, Timothy (1995). ‘Peasants into Frenchmen? The Case of the Flemish in the North of France 1860–1914’, European Review of History/Revue Européenne d’Histoire, 2, 1, 31–44. Ben-Amos, Avner (2000). Funerals, Politics, and Memory in Modern France, 1789– 1996 (Oxford: Oxford University Press). Berger, Stefan (2000). ‘In the Fangs of Social Patriotism: The Construction of Nation and Class in Autobiographies of British and German Social Democrats in the Inter-War Period’, Archiv für Sozialgeschichte, 40, 259–287. Berger, Stefan (2005). ‘A Return to the National Paradigm? National History Writing in Germany, Italy, France, and Britain from 1945 to the Present’, The Journal of Modern History, 77, 3, 629–678. Billig, Michael (1995). Banal Nationalism (London: Sage). Breuilly, John (2002). ‘Nationalismus als kulturelle Konstruktion. Einige Überlegungen’, in Die Politik der Nation: deutscher Nationalismus in Krieg und Krisen, 1760–1960, Jörg Echternkamp and Sven Oliver Müller, eds (Munich: R. Oldenbourg), pp. 247–269. Brophy, James M. (2007). Popular Culture and the Public Sphere in the Rhineland, 1800–1850 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).

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Brubaker, Rogers, Feischmidt, Margit, Fox, Jon and Grancea, Liana (2006). Nationalist Politics and Everyday Ethnicity in a Transylvanian Town (Princeton: Princeton University Press). Chanet, Jean-François (1996). L’École républicaine et les petites patries (Paris: Aubier). Charle, Christophe (2003). ‘Contemporary French Social History: Crisis or Hidden Renewal?’, Journal of Social History, 37, 1, 57–68. Colley, Linda (1992). Britons: Forging the Nation, 1707–1837 (New Haven: Yale University Press). Colley, Linda (2002). Captives. Britain, Empire and the World, 1600–1850 (London: Jonathan Cape). Colls, Robert (2002). Identity of England (Oxford: Oxford University Press). Confino, Alon (1997). The Nation as a Local Metaphor: Württemberg, Imperial Germany, and National Memory, 1871–1918 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press). Connor, Walker (2004). ‘The Timelessness of Nations’, Nations and Nationalism, 10, 1–2, 35–47. Corbin, Alain (1993). ‘La Violence rurale dans la France du XIXe siècle et son dépérissement: L’évolution de l’interprétation politique’, Cultures et Conflits, 9–10, 61–73. Corbin, Alain, Gérôme, Noëlle and Tartakowsky, Danielle (1994). Les Usages politiques des fetes aux XIXe–XXe siecles (Paris: Publications de la Sorbonne). Echternkamp, Jörg and Müller, Sven Oliver (2002). ‘Perspektiven einer Politik- und Kulturgeschichtlichen Nationalismusforschung. Einleitung’, in Die Politik der Nation: Deutscher Nationalismus in Krieg und Krisen, 1760–1960, Jörg Echternkamp and Sven Oliver Müller, eds (Munich: R. Oldenbourg), pp. 1–24. Englund, Steven (1992). ‘The Ghost of Nation Past’, The Journal of Modern History, 64, 2, 299–320. Epstein, James (2006). ‘Taking Class Notes on Empire ‘, in At Home with the Empire: Metropolitan Culture and the Imperial World, Catherine Hall and Sonya O. Rose, eds (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), pp. 251–274. Fabre, Daniel (ed.) (1997). Par écrit. Ethnologie des écritures quotidiennes (Paris: Éditions de la Maison des sciences de l’homme). Ford, Caroline (1993). Creating the Nation in Provincial France: Religion and Political Identity in Brittany (Princeton: Princeton University Press). François, Etienne and Schulze, Hagen (eds) (2002). Deutsche Erinnerungsorte, vols 1–3, 3rd ed. (Munich: Beck). Frevert, Ute (1997). ‘Das Jakobinische Modell: Allgemeine Wehrpflicht und Nationsbildung in Preußen-Deutschland’, in Militär und Gesellschaft im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert, Ute Frevert, ed. (Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta), pp. 17–47. Frevert, Ute (2001). Die kasernierte Nation. Militärdienst und Zivilgesellschaft in Deutschland (Munich: Beck). Frevert, Ute (2004). A Nation in Barracks. Modern Germany, Military Conscription and Civil Society (Oxford and New York: Berg). Funck, Marcu (2002). ‘Conceptions of Military Manliness in the Prusso-German Officer Corps before the First World War’, in Home/Front. The Military, War, and Gender in Twentieth-Century Germany, Karen Hagemann and Stefanie SchülerSpringorum, eds (Oxford: Berg), pp. 43–68.

134 Historiographic Surveys Gerson, Stéphane (2003). The Pride of Place: Local Memories and Political Culture in Nineteenth-Century France (Ithaca, NY: Cornell university press). Green, Abigail (2001). Fatherlands. State-Building and Nationhood in NineteenthCentury Germany (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). Hall, Catherine and Rose, Sonya O. (eds) (2006). At Home with the Empire. Metropolitan Culture and the Imperial World (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). Haupt, Heinz-Gerhard (1995). ‘Der Nationalismus in der neueren deutschen und französischen Geschichtswissenschaft’, in Nation und Emotion: Deutschland und Frankreich im Vergleich 19. und 20. Jahrhundert, Etienne François, Hannes Siegrist and Jakob Vogel, eds (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht), pp. 39–55. Haupt, Heinz-Gerhard and Tacke, Charlotte (1996). ‘Die Kultur des Nationalen. Sozial- und kulturgeschichtliche Ansätze bei der Erforschung des europäischen Nationalismus im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert’, in Kulturgeschichte Heute, Wolfgang Hardtwig and Hans-Ulrich Wehler, eds (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht), pp. 255–283. Heathorn, Stephen (2000). For Home, Country, and Race: Constructing Gender, Class, and Englishness in the Elementary School, 1884–1914 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press). Hechter, Michael (1999 [1975]). Internal Colonialism: The Celtic Fringe in British National Development (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction publishers). Hobsbawm, Eric (1995 (1990)). Nations and Nationalism Since 1780: Programme, Myth, Reality (Cambridge: Cambridge University press). Hroch, Miroslav (2005). Das Europa der Nationen. Die moderne Nationsbildung im europäischen Vergleich (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht). Hüser, Dietmar (2001). ‘Bauern und Franzosen, Integration und Eigensinn. Zur ländlichen Politisierung und kulturellen Nationsbildung im Frankreich des 19. Jahrhunderts’, Archiv für Sozialgeschichte, 41, 409–431. Ihl, Olivier (1996). La Fête républicaine (Paris: Gallimard). Kearney, Hugh (2003). ‘Myths of Englishness’, History Workshop Journal, 56, 1, 251–257. Langewiesche, Dieter (1995). ‘Nation, Nationalismus, Nationalstaat: Forschungsstand und Forschungsperspektiven’, Neue Politische Literatur, 40, 2, 190–236. Lyons, Martyn (2001). ‘La Culture littéraire des travailleurs. Autobiographies ouvrières dans l’europe du XIXè siècle’, Annales. Histoire, Sciences Sociales, 56, 4–5, 927–946. Lyons, Martyn (ed.) (2007). Ordinary Writings, Personal Narratives (Bern: Peter Lang). Mackenzie, John M. (1986). ‘Introduction’, in Imperialism and Popular Culture, John M. Mackenzie, ed. (Manchester: Manchester University Press), pp. 1–16. Martin, Jean-Clément (1984). ‘La Vendée, région–mémoire. Bleus et blancs’, in Les Lieux de mémoire, vol. 1: La République, Pierre Nora, ed. (Paris: Gallimard), pp. 596–617. Melman, Billie (2006). The Culture of History: English Uses of the Past, 1800–1953 (Oxford: Oxford University Press). Mosse, George L. (1991 [1975]). The Nationalization of the Masses: Political Symbolism and Mass Movements in Germany from the Napoleonic Wars Through the Third Reich (Ithaca, NY: Cornell university press).

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Nairn, Tom (1977). The Break-Up of Britain: Crisis and Neo-Nationalism (London: NLB). Noiriel, Gérard (1988). Le Creuset français: Histoire de l’immigration XIXe-XXe siècle (Paris: Seuil). Nora, Pierre (1984). ‘Entre mémoire et histoire. La problématique des lieux’, in Les Lieux de mémoire, vol. 1: La République, Pierre Nora, ed. (Paris: Gallimard), pp. xv–xlii. Porter, Bernard (2004). The Absent-Minded Imperialists: Empire, Society and Culture in Britain. What the British Really Thought About Empire (Oxford: Oxford University Press). Prakash, Gyan (1994). ‘Subaltern Studies as Postcolonial Criticism’, American Historical Review, 99, 5, 1475–1490. Roper, Michael (2004). ‘Maternal Relations: Moral Manliness and Emotional Survival in Letters Home During the First World War’, in Masculinities in Politics and War: Gendering Modern History, Stefan Dudink, Karen Hagemann and John Tosh, eds (Manchester: Manchester University Press), pp. 295–315. Rose, Jonathan E. (2002 [2001]). The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes (New Haven: Yale University Press). Rose, Sonya O. (2004). ‘Temperate Heroes: Concepts of Masculinity in Second World War Britain’, in Masculinities in Politics and War: Gendering Modern History, Stefan Dudink, Karen Hagemann and John Tosh, eds (Manchester: Manchester University Press), pp. 177–195. Roynette, Odile (2004). Les Mots des soldats (Paris: Belin). Samuel, Raphael (1989). ‘Preface’, in Patriotism: The Making and Unmaking of British National Identity, vol. 1: History and Politics, Raphael Samuel, ed. (London: Routledge), pp. x–xvii. Silbey, David (2005). The British Working Class and Enthusiasm for War, 1914–1916 (London: Frank Cass). Smith, Anthony D. (1998). Nationalism and Modernism. A Critical Survey of Recent Theories of Nations and Nationalism (London: Routledge). Sokoll, Thomas (2001). Essex Pauper Letters, 1731–1837 (Oxford: Oxford University Press). Tabili, Laura (2005). ‘ “Having Lived Close Beside Them All the Time”. Negotiating National Identities through Personal Networks’, Journal of Social History, 39, 2, 369–387. Thiesse, Anne-Marie (1997). Ils apprenaient la France. L’exaltation des régions dans le discours patriotique (Paris: Éditions de la Maison des sciences de l’homme). Thiesse, Anne-Marie (1999). La Création des identités nationales: Europe XVIIIe–XXe siècle (Paris: Seuil). Truesdell, Matthew (1997). Spectacular Politics: Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte and the Fête Impériale, 1849–1870 (Oxford: Oxford University Press). Van Ginderachter, Maarten (2006). ‘Public Transcripts of Royalism. Pauper Letters to the Belgian Royal Family (1880–1940)’, in Mystifying the Monarch. Studies on Discourse, Power and History, Gita Deneckere and Jeroen Deploige, eds (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press), pp. 223–234. Vogel, Jakob (1997). Nationen im Gleichschritt: der Kult der ‘Nation in Waffen’ in Deutschland und Frankreich, 1871–1914 (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht). Weber, Eugen (1977). Peasants into Frenchmen: The Modernization of Rural France, 1870–1914 (London: Chatto and Windus).

136 Historiographic Surveys Weichlein, Siegfried (2004). Nation Und Region. Integrationsprozesse Im BismarckReich (Düsseldorf: Droste Verlag). Yoshino, Kosaku (ed.) (1999). Consuming Ethnicity and Nationalism: Asian Experiences (Richmond: Curzon). Ziemann, Benjamin (2002). ‘Sozialmilitarismus und militärische Sozialisation im deutschen Kaiserreich 1870–1914. Ergebnisse und Desiderate in der Revision eines Geschichtsbildes’, Geschichte in Wissenschaft und Unterricht, 53, 148–164.

Part III Case Studies The Domestic Other

7 The Nation and Its Outsiders: The ‘Gypsy Question’ and Peasant Nationalism in Finland, c. 1863–1900 Miika Tervonen

This chapter discusses the emergence of the so-called ‘Gypsy question’ in late nineteenth-century Finland. This aggressive problematization of a tiny minority can be seen as an example of how nationalist mobilization resulted in an unprecedented politicization of ethnicity, both at the level of national politics and at the micro-level – in a situation in which active mobilization against an outward ‘Other’ was politically unfeasible. However, the Gypsy question was perceived differently at each level of society. It became an arena of contestation between the bourgeois elite, the freeholding landowners and the petty peasantry, the latter often being engaged in economic exchange with the Roma. This contribution argues that the debates on the Gypsy question revealed a particular form of freeholder peasant nationalism, tied to conceptions of shared ethnicity and communal social control, which was parallel with, and often hostile towards, more liberal forms of elite nationalism.

1. Finnish nationalism and the Gypsy question For several decades, historians, anthropologists, sociologists and political scientists have been engaged in the so-called ‘nationalism debate’. This discussion centers on the question how the ‘nation-state’ came into being and became a dominant societal structure and how it relates to its historical components of ‘nation’, ‘ethnicity’ and ‘nationalism’. According to Anthony D. Smith and John Hutchinson, ethnicity is in this equation something relatively solid and ‘fixed’; they argue that ethnicity has ‘always constituted one of the basic modes of human association 139

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and community’ (Hutchinson and Smith, 1996, p. 3). It is a relatively unchanging phenomenon and, most importantly, it forms the historical ‘root’ of modern nations. Put crudely, the argument is that pre-modern ethnic ‘cores’ precede modern nation-states. This stance raises a number of questions. Not only can one ask whether the Smithian view hides an essentialist conception of the nation behind the notion of ethnicity; there is also a question of chronology. Do ethnic communities give rise to nations and nationalisms – or could it be the other way around? Without implying that this would be a question of either/or, the point here is to ask whether the phenomenon of ethnicity itself has been transformed by the emergence of modern nation-states. This is indeed what some modernist researchers on ethnicity have argued. In their view, nationalism and nation-state building have, since the nineteenth century, profoundly reinforced ethnic boundaries – particularly between what in this process came to be seen as ‘majorities’ and ‘minorities’. In this perspective, nationalism involves a homogenization process, which creates a notion of shared culture or commonality and, at the same time, renders visible all those who supposedly lack those shared characteristics, giving unprecedented social and political significance to difference. As the argument goes, clearly demarcated, self-conscious ethnic groupings have been the end product rather than the precondition of nation-building processes.1 This connects directly to the notions of alterity and of boundaries of the in-group, discussed by Marnix Beyen and Maarten Van Ginderachter in the introduction of this volume. What is the role of an internal ‘Other’ such as the Roma in the formation of nationalist sentiments at different levels of society? What can ethnic relations between inand out-groups reveal about the nature and social dynamics of ‘popular’ national sentiments? When one looks into the politicization of ethnicity in tandem with nation-state formation, nineteenth-century Finnish history can be read, at least on the surface, as supporting the modernist thesis outlined above. As the emerging Finnish nation-state was drawing its internal and external boundaries, matters of identity became increasingly politicized and publicized. Beside the so-called ‘language question’ concerning the position of the powerful Swedish speakers in the emerging nation, the questions of Jewish and Roma populations and, later, of Russian refugees were successively debated in the Finnish press and Diet. To contextualize the aggressive problematization of the Roma in late nineteenth-century Finland – and the politicization of identities more

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generally – it is necessary to broach the position of the Finnish Grand Duchy within the Russian Empire. Finland gained formal independence shortly after the collapse of Tsarist Russia, on 6 December 1917. However, the institutional and ideological emergence of the Finnish nation-state had already been a century-long process by then: it had begun with the separation of mainly Finnish-speaking provinces from the Swedish kingdom after the Russian conquest in 1808. In 1809, these provinces were granted a position as an administratively separate Grand Duchy within the Russian Empire. Under imperial supervision, the local elite was put in charge of the day-to-day running of the new administrative unit. In contrast to other Russian conquests – such as the Baltic states, Poland and Bessarabia – the Grand Duchy of Finland was socially stable, had a strong freeholding peasantry and lacked memories of a national golden age that could inspire resistance to Russian rule. The Finnish elite, thus, faced a comparatively easy task of maintaining order in the empire’s northern borderland and became an exceptionally loyal administrative force for the tsar, on whom their newly gained position depended (Alapuro, 1990). Peripheral and peaceful Finland was given relatively much leeway for most of the nineteenth century. Gradually, the Grand Duchy began to resemble a separate state in its own right. Concomitantly, a Finnish national ideology, the so-called ‘Fennoman movement’, emerged. However, it was nothing like the contemporaneous nationalism of Poland, for example, which aggressively defined itself against Russian rule. Instead, the Fennoman movement began as a conservative, romantic cultural project, advocated mainly by members of a university educated urban gentry, most of whom were native Swedish speakers. Organizations such as the Finnish Literature Society (founded in 1831) functioned within officially sanctioned forms. Until the 1840s, they were even supported by the Russian authorities, who saw the promotion of Finnish national sentiment as a means of distancing the Grand Duchy from its former Swedish rulers. However, attempts by the academic Fennoman elite to connect to ‘the people’ were quickly subdued by the authorities (Liikanen, 1995, pp. 90–97). From 1870s onwards, the Fennoman movement developed a more ambitious political agenda, in conjunction to the rise of representative politics, civil society and a national press. The movement began to widen its social base, gradually evolving into an ideological alliance between the town-based gentry and the Finnish-speaking freeholding peasantry. By connecting old elites with rising new classes, the Fennoman movement gave stability and ideological legitimacy to a state

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that had, de facto, already emerged. Yet the paradox of Finnish nationalism was that, right until the end of the nineteenth century, it was not aimed against foreign Russian rule in any significant way. Before the first ‘Russification’ policies of 1889, the Finnish ruling classes and intellectual circles remained remarkably loyal to the tsar. They even acquired an attitude of self-censorship in order not to provoke imperial reactions that would only jeopardize their relative freedom (Alapuro, 1990; Liikanen, 1995, pp. 89–90). It was in this situation, of a nationalist movement lacking the political incentive and the practical possibility to define itself explicitly against the most obvious external Other, that the Finnish national question turned inwards, towards matters of linguistic and ethnic difference. By far the most significant of these was the so-called ‘language question’, aimed at challenging the prevalence of the Swedish language and Swedish-speaking elite in society. And other deviations from the new ideal of national unity also came to be seen as increasingly problematic. From 1860s onwards, the position of the tiny Roma population in Finland started to receive a political and public attention that was disproportional to its practical significance in society. The Finnish Kale Roma (from kàlo, meaning ‘black’) had been present in Finland for centuries. They originated from groups that had arrived through Sweden as early as the sixteenth century and had subsequently been strengthened by a trickle of newcomers from Scandinavia, the Baltic countries, Russia and Central Europe. By the late nineteenth century, they numbered around 1,000–2,000 persons, spread across the countryside in itinerant yet locally based family groups (Häkkinen and Tervonen, 2004). The Gypsy question – that is, the issue of the status and position of the Roma, who were making up less than one part per mill of the total Finnish population2 – was debated on 6 of the 11 sessions of the Diet of Finland during the late nineteenth century (1863–1864, 1872, 1877– 1878, 1888, 1894 and 1897). Each of the four social estates represented in the Diet – nobility, bourgeoisie, clergy and peasantry – had its own line on the issue, the last two showing most interest. The basic ingredients of the problem were seen to be the moral, economic and physical hazard allegedly presented by the Roma, many of whom were itinerant, ‘masterless men’, outside the reach of the church and the state. They were seen as lazy, unlawful and prone to crime in the countryside. Suggested ‘solutions’ varied from missionary activities to forced settlement and confiscation of the Roma children (Vehmas, 1961, pp. 58–61; Pulma, 2006). The most aggressive proposals came from the peasantry – or, more precisely, from a conglomeration of landowners and rural merchants

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represented by the 60 peasant delegates at the Diet of Finland.3 The core of this group was formed by the freeholding peasants, who experienced a social as well as a political rise during the latter half of the nineteenth century. After a reform of the municipal laws in 1865, they gradually gained power in most rural councils. Moreover, the increasing predominance of nationalist ideas empowered them in national politics. As the only estate represented in the Diet that consisted predominantly of Finnish-speakers from outside the ranks of the town-based gentry, the freeholding peasants could fashion themselves as the most legitimate representatives of ‘the people’ and its ‘will’. Although far from being unanimous politically, the peasants’ political leaders thus became ardent Fennomans, active in reforms designed to enfranchise wider segments of the rural population, and a driving force in the political struggles over issues of language and nationality (Jutikkala, 1958, pp. 400, 405, 413). As the peasant delegates repeatedly took up the Gypsy question in the Diet, they claimed to convey the grievances of ‘the people of Finland’. As I shall argue below, this was only partially correct. In any case, the freeholding peasants also had interests of their own in the issue. As the most important employers and taxpayers in the rural parishes, they had a strong incentive to defend old paternalistic vagrancy laws, which had for centuries tied the landless population to the landowners, thus providing the latter with cheap labour forces. At a time when the landless population was rapidly growing, it was also important for the freeholding peasantry to keep potentially costly itinerant people – including the Roma – out of ‘their’ parishes. Yet the peasantry was a relatively weak and divided estate in the Diet (Peltonen, 1992, p. 273). Blunt proposals by peasant delegates, such as the confiscation of all Roma horses met outside Roma’s home parishes in 1872, failed to pass even within their own ranks4 (Virolainen, 1994, p. 39; Pulma, 2006, p. 79). Despite a number of setbacks suffered by the peasant representatives on the Gypsy question, a relative consensus emerged in the Diet concerning the need to measure the extent of the ‘problem’, that is, to produce reliable knowledge on the number, nature and position of the Roma population in Finland. Accordingly, national Gypsy surveys were carried out in 1863–1865 and in 1895, first by parish priests and in 1895 by county bailiffs. The number of Roma identified rose from around 700 in 1865 to 1551 in 1895; on both accounts, the real figure was estimated to be at least one-fourth higher as a consequence of incomplete registration. After the surveys had been completed, attempts at prohibitive legislation followed. Regardless of disagreements on the significance of the

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Gypsy question and the proper measures to tackle the issue, the goal of assimilating the Roma was more or less shared across the political spectrum. Especially, the proposals of the so-called Gypsy committee, published in 1900 following the 1895 survey, aimed explicitly at the eradication of the Roma culture. This was to be done through forced assimilation, with a special focus on the Romani language and way of life. For example, the committee recommended public custody and obligatory reform schools for the children, a special police register for the adults and targeted criminalization of many of the Roma’s trades. On the surface, nineteenth-century debates on the Gypsy question in the Finnish Diet were not nationalist, in the sense that they did not explicitly question the citizenship rights and national belonging of the Roma. It was acknowledged that Finland had had a Roma population for centuries (citizenship was much more an issue for the few hundred Jews, most of whom had arrived only in the latter half of the nineteenth century). Nevertheless, it can be argued that what ultimately gave such urgency and legitimacy to the Gypsy question in the Diet was a growing, if tacit, expectation of a new kind of national future, in which the Roma were seen as ill-fitted. Beneath the surface, the question was how to integrate what was seen as an archaic and non-national group into the emerging modern, unified nation-state. Almost invariably, the answer involved dissolution of the Roma as a separate group. The only ones seen as potentially fit for a ‘national life’ were the Roma youth, as was argued in 1864 by Tapio, a provincial Fennoman paper: if they [the Gypsy youth] could be separated from their parents, it should be tried through Christian faith and education to mend the inborn brutality of their minds and thus to bring out the tendencies and demands, which regular and peaceful national life [kansakunnallinen elämä] produces.5 As this quotation makes clear, conceptions of the Roma as inherently inferior (‘inborn brutality’) as much as ‘non-national’ were already firmly in place during the early stages of the debate. However, towards the end of the century, the Gypsy question became more explicitly racialized, concurring with new scientific ideas. Although racial research on the Gypsies never emerged in Finland, the influx of racial theories was visible in the official statements, committee memoranda and the like, which associated various negative traits with the Roma, defined

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them as inborn qualities and explained social problems as their natural outcome. The language used to describe the Gypsy question was biologized; in 1894, a special committee described the Roma as a ‘disease in the body of society’, whose ‘quality and nature’ had to be thoroughly understood in order to ‘expunge’ the ‘illness’.6 However, there was also a steady opposition to ethnically specific legislation by a small but influential number of state officials, lawyers, members of parliament (MPs) and university professors, all of whom conceived of the state in universalist rather than ethnic terms.7 The Statistical Central Office, for example, declared, in response to the memorandum of the so-called Gypsy committee in 1900, that ‘special legislation for the country’s own Gypsies [ . . . ] would certainly only strengthen the Gypsies’ separateness and make it more difficult for them to join in with the rest of the population’. Another reason for the Central Office’s scepticism was a recognition – rare in relation to the Finnish Gypsies – of the complexity of ethnic boundaries. For diligent statisticians, it was hard to avoid the fact that ‘it would in many cases be difficult to decide who should rightly be placed under the title “Gypsy” ’.8 In the end, however, this kind of subtle critique played much less of a role in the failure to ‘solve’ the Gypsy question than two concrete obstacles did. Firstly, the restrictive proposals aiming to tighten the authorities’ control over the Roma ran into the problem that mobility in the late nineteenth-century Finnish countryside was both growing and increasingly sanctioned by the new, economically liberal legislation. The political weakness of the peasants in the Diet became apparent in this respect. Regardless of their vehement opposition to allowing more manoeuvring room for the itinerant Roma, it was beyond their means to single out the latter in legislation at a time when the tide of politics had turned towards liberalization of the countryside. Secondly, there was a dramatic shift in the political agenda in the last decade of the nineteenth century, brought about by the increasingly open confrontation with Russian imperial rule. The hostility of Russian nationalist circles towards Finnish autonomy started to gain political weight from the 1880s onwards, particularly during the reign of Nikolai II (1894–1917). After early warnings, such as the 1889 extension of the Russian state police force to Finland and the unilateral ordinance on the reorganization of postal services in 1890, the Russian authorities launched a full Russification programme in 1899, aiming at eliminating the institutional separateness of the Grand Duchy. Eventually, the unification programmes failed as the tzarist state broke down during the latter part of the First World War. By then, it had

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already become clear that the heavy-handed Russian attempts to rein in the Grand Duchy were counterproductive. The so-called ‘oppression years’ were felt as a shock throughout Finnish society, politicizing it to an unprecedented degree. The attacks on Finnish autonomy finally turned the core of the elite against Russian rule, as well as providing mass support for the Finnish nationalist movement, even in the face of increasingly sharp class tensions. Paradoxically, while the open political confrontation with Russian rule seems to have reinforced the ethno-nationalist undercurrents in the Fennoman movement, it also turned political priorities decidedly away from the Gypsy question. The latter appeared insignificant in comparison with the all too real threats posed to the Finnish nation by autocratic Russian rule. The dawning prospect of independence also brought with it concerns on other, much wider societal questions; some, such as the position of the rapidly growing landless population, had explosive potential for the nation in the making. In this situation, there was little political motivation for realizing proactive Roma policies – or the resources were too few. It appears to be more than coincidental that, once the confrontation between the Finnish nationalist movement and the Russian ruling power became increasingly open, the internal nationalities’ issue, and particularly the Gypsy question, lost much of their political weight. The latter also proved highly elusive to straightforward political solutions. Thus, shortly after the memorandum of the so-called Gypsy committee was published in 1900, the Gypsy question largely disappeared from the national agenda (re-emerging only in the 1950s, in the context of post-war reconstruction and the forced urbanization of the Roma population).

2. The Gypsy question and the press The opening up of the new, nationalist horizon of expectations in Finnish politics was intertwined with the rise of what Benedict Anderson (1983) has called ‘print-capitalism’, that is, a commercial press publishing on a local and national scale. This new public sphere was also central to the emergence of the Gypsy question, and, as can be seen from Figure 7.1, discourses on the Roma grew in pace with the expansion of the press. From scattered articles published once or twice a year in the first part of the nineteenth century, the matter had turned into almost daily publishing by the 1890s, the average yearly number of articles going from around 1.5 between 1830–1835 to 114.5 between

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160,000 1000

140,000 850




650 573


80,000 60,000


200 8 15 12



60 14



70 44

266 210 144 115 85 108 90 94


40,000 20,000

References to the Roma












0 1830–35


Published pages in the press database



Articles referring to Roma and Jews/5 years


References to the Jews

Published pages in database

Figure 7.1 Articles referring to the Roma and to the Jews, and the overall volume of publishing in the Finnish press, 1830–18909

1886–1890. The rise was fast and constant; only the harvest catastrophes of 1867–1868 and 1881 momentarily diverted the attention of the press from the Gypsy question, which immediately returned, even more strongly, in the following years. This graph indicates two things that qualify the growth in the volume of writing about the Roma. Firstly, as already mentioned, the late nineteenth century marked the birth of the modern public sphere in Finland, and the overall volume of newspaper writing increased almost tenfold between 1840 and 1890. In relative terms, then, the growth in the volume of writing on the Roma is perhaps not all that surprising. Secondly, the public rise of the ‘nationalities question’ was clearly not confined to the Roma. Instead, it included all those who, for various reasons, were difficult to fit into the new ideal of ‘one language, one mind’, as advocated by J. V. Snellman – a student of Hegel’s philosophy and one of the most influential proponents of the Fennoman movement. Particularly, the position of the Jews was heavily debated from

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1870 onwards. Parallel to the rise in the volume of writings about the Roma, there was an even stronger growth of references to the Jewish question, with intense debates on whether to grant Jewish residents citizenship rights. Some of these polemics were directly linked to the Gypsy question. In 1872, for instance, an editorial of the Swedish-language Helsingfors Dagblad opposed an initiative to exclude Jewish residents from full Finnish citizenship: It is a completely new view in our state law to take race and origins into consideration when deciding who shall be a Finnish citizen [medborgare] and who not. None of our laws have previously posed such a condition. Never has a certain origin been seen as excluding from citizenship right. A Negro, a mulatto, a Gypsy, a Lapp etc. can be a Finnish citizen as much as those who can show a most genuine Finnish origin. [ . . . ] And now, persons would be excluded from this right on the grounds that they are the heirs of Abraham, Isak, Jacob and his twelve sons [ . . . ].10 Ultimately, what was at stake in debates such as this one was how nationality and citizenship were to be understood in the emerging Finnish state. This question concerned not just the theoretical ‘mulatto’ or ‘Negro’ citizens, or the tiny populations of Jews and Roma. It was, above all, crucially important for the Swedish-speaking political and social elite, which remained a key group in the press and in government – and, to a large extent, also in the Fennoman movement. The high stakes of the citizenship issue for the future of this group guaranteed a high visibility to the nationality question throughout the period. In any case, even considering the growth of publishing and the political centrality of the nationality question, it remains remarkable that the Roma were given such high public exposure in the latter part of the nineteenth century. In a time of profound societal transformations and recurrent economic crises, there was no natural or self-evident reason why the tiny population of Roma should have received such constant and intensive attention. As the volume of reporting on the Roma grew, its content also changed. In the first half of the nineteenth century, the scattered articles on the Roma were often folklorist and historical accounts popularizing basic notions of Grellmannian ‘Gypsology’11 or curiosity pieces describing the strange habits of foreign Roma groups visiting Finnish towns. Translations of plays and novels featuring the romantic figure of

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the Gypsy were also frequently published, particularly in the largest bourgeois newspapers. From the 1860s onwards, however, the emphasis shifted firmly to crime reporting. For the latter part of the century, stories about alleged property crimes, violence, arrests, escapes and chases, together with general complaints about Roma criminality, made up as much as 60 per cent to 80 per cent of all writing related to the Roma. The few known cases in which one or more Roma were involved in the death of a peasant could become objects of downright moral panic, receiving wide publicity in all the major papers. One such case, in which a fight between a group of Roma and villagers led to the death of a peasant in 1862, not only gained nation-wide press attention, but was also cited among the motivations given for the first survey of the Gypsy problem in 1863. The growing emphasis on crime was connected to a more general rise of hostility towards the Roma in the press. Until the 1860s, the press was dominated by university-educated Fennoman intellectuals and bourgeois writers influenced by ideas of political enlightenment as much as of national romanticism (Salokangas and Tommila, 1998). An open interpretation of national belonging was indispensable for this group, whose members often did not speak Finnish and whose ties with ‘the people’ they claimed to represent were feeble to say the least. Accordingly, many urban and moderately nationalist papers still understood the Roma and other minorities from a ‘civic nationalist’ perspective, as part of the nation, sharing equal citizenship rights (even as their culture might have been seen as inferior). Thus Suometar, a major Fennoman paper based in Helsinki, wrote in 1859: Everyone can understand that the Lapps, Russians, Germans, Gypsies and the Swedes, as much as every other permanent inhabitant, are members of this common fatherland, Finland, and have a full right to call themselves its citizens, which they indeed are.12 But not everyone understood or supported such a perspective. In fact, well before the dissemination of the intellectual Fennoman version of Finnish nationalism, the debates on the Gypsies had already brought out very different kinds of interpretations of the Finnish nation, revealing a distinctly popular notion of ethnicity- and work-based nationhood. In 1835, for example, the east Finnish newspaper Sanan saattaja Wiipurista published the following poem by a self-taught folk poet Paavo Korhonen, in which the Gypsies were unambiguously excluded from the rest of the nation (kansakunda):

150 Case Studies: The Domestic Other A poem on the Gypsies The black family of Gypsies, Who have that strange language, Unknown to all the people, Which is not taught in schools, Nor known in classrooms, That they chubbily speak Shamelessly grunt. The black family of Gypsies, A people without work, wandering, Which does not sow nor plough, Nor reap, nor lay, Eats their bread like a lazy dog, [...] I have wondered all my life, It is strange to me, How long will the nation, Tolerate that family [ . . . ].

Runo Mustalaisista Suku musta, Mustalainen, Jolla on se outo kieli, Kansan kaiken tuntematon, Jot’ ei kouluissa kysytä, Oppihuoneissa osata, Siitä pulskasti puhuwat, Röyhkeästi röykyttääwät. Suku musta, Mustalainen, Kansa työtön, kulkewainen, Jok’ ei kylwä, eikä kynnä, Eikä niitä, eikä laita, Leiwän syö kuin laiska koira, Ihme on ikäni ollut, Minun kumma mielestäni, kuinka kauwan kansakunda, Sietääpi sitä sukua, [...].13

While the universalist view on citizenship never disappeared from debates relating to the Gypsy question, the exclusive ethno-nationalism represented by Korhonen’s poem – combined with a kind of vernacular racial thinking14 – gained increasing prominence during the latter half of the nineteenth century, and particularly from 1860 onwards. This coincided with a shift in the social composition of the newspaper writers. The expansion of the Finnish-language provincial press and the new practice of using ordinary rural inhabitants as local correspondents introduced a growing number of popular voices in the Finnish public sphere (Salokangas and Tommila, 1998). The new correspondents often originated from a freeholding peasant background. Consequently, their views tended to reflect the tougher line on the Roma demanded by the peasant delegates in the Finnish Diet. They could be openly critical towards what they saw as overly lenient liberal elites. Thus, when the local correspondent of Tampereen Sanomat wrote about a series of household thefts on the central Finnish countryside in 1866, the rhetoric was not aimed only against the Roma – dubbed as ‘beasts on two legs’: Humanists, particularly educated folks, feel pity for this unfortunate people, and indeed they are pitiful; and yet it is certain that this people, which in its never-ending vagrancy has gotten itself used to complete dishonesty and deception, is an outright nuisance to communities, as flocks of them roam around from one house to the next throughout the year, together with their horses and other beasts [ . . . ].15

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Beside the rural correspondents, secular and religious authorities, professional journalists, intellectuals, scholars and amateur writers of all stripes wrote texts on the Roma. While the context and tone of writing varied, what was usually common was the Roma’s role as ‘abnormal’ objects, culprits, suspects or curiosities. There are very few news articles in which the Roma are presented neutrally, as one kind of actors among others. After the turn of the century, ingrained anti-Gypsyism was increasingly expressed in banal slurs and insults, in which casual references to Gypsies served as a shared code signifying bad or dishonourable behaviour. What several decades of newspaper writing on the Roma both reflected and accentuated was a sharpening sense of cultural separateness, a growing significance of ethnic boundaries and an automatic assumption of mutual hostility. The barrier between the Gypsies and the rest of the Finns came to be seen as insurmountable. The Roma could be compared to ‘drops of oil stirred into water’, which are divided into small, almost invisible parts and disappear into the water; but they do not merge with it, because oil and water are completely different, alien to each other and hostile elements.16 The predominance of non-elite local correspondents in evocations of the Gypsy question after the 1870s shows that the construction of the Roma as a fundamental Other was not a top-down process. Without any intentional nationalist programme aimed against the Roma, it seems that a certain dualistic logic, ingrained in a nationalist perception of social reality, ‘naturalized’ the Roma as anomalous outsiders, as part of an exotic Indian diaspora rather than of the Finnish polity. Despite their centuries-long presence in Finland, the Roma were presented as ‘not our own countrymen, even though they stay here [Finland] as if in their own home’.17 As the Roma were rhetorically demarcated from the rest of the population, time and time again, it was implicitly affirmed that a single national entity existed as the positive counterpart of such alterity: the Finnish people.

3. The Gypsy question and the peasants From the mid-nineteenth century onwards, the Roma began to serve as a negative counterpart in Finnish nationalist discourses. In this, the vocabulary drew on older popular anti-Gypsy sentiments as much as on later Fennoman rhetoric. Yet the Gypsy question revealed a political gap between the two most important constituent groups in the Fennoman

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movement: the urban bourgeoisie and gentry on one hand and the upperand middling landowning peasantry on the other. This political division was reflected in a difference of tone and content in nation-wide bourgeois papers and small regional newspapers, the latter being clearly less willing to conceive of the Roma (or of Jews and Swedish speakers) as a potential part of ‘the nation’. However, this was not the only dividing line: at the local level, the Gypsy question also highlighted divergence between different echelons of the peasantry. To understand the deeply divided view on the Roma in rural parishes, a brief digression on the basic conditions of the latter’s livelihood is necessary.18 The most basic fact structuring the life of the itinerant Roma in nineteenth-century Finland was their absolute economic dependency on exchange with the peasants. Living in a cold and poor country and being overwhelmingly without houses or land, they constantly needed the sedentary population to provide food and shelter for them. To meet this need, the Roma relied on regular exchange networks with the peasants along routes they routinely travelled. Despite images of random ‘wandering’, a Roma family’s travels were typically confined to an area of two to three parishes. Exchanges with the peasants were based on a variety of low-capital trade and services, such as horse-trade, peddling handcrafts, tinkering, gelding, healing livestock, fortune-telling, housework and seasonal fieldwork. The ties between the Roma and their hosts/customers could be surprisingly durable, and they could even be ‘inherited’ as a kind of social capital, as particular Roma families visited the same ‘familiar houses’ from generation to generation. It was these local networks of reciprocity and trust that prompted the peasant delegates’ complaint, in the parliamentary debates in 1877, that ‘[t]he Gypsies are considered as better than the municipality’s bailiff, and perhaps even the priest, and that has given them an easy livelihood, as they are given food, even clothes, not to mention a bed for the night’.19 Within particular villages, a strict division was typically established between those who hosted itinerant Roma and those who did not. Frequently, the former were smallholding peasants, tenant farmers, cottagers and workers – for whom the exchange with the Roma had clear economic significance (and who were well accustomed to itinerant visitors in general). Conversely, the economically independent freeholding peasants often saw itinerant Roma unequivocally as a nuisance. This division was linked to deepening class-based animosities in the countryside and could result in bitter and aggressive reproaches. Those who

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refused to shelter passing Roma were accused of being heartless and pretentious, breaking the unwritten rules of communal solidarity and Christian decency by sending poor homeless people ‘out in the cold winter night’. However, the inverse stigmatization seems to have been more prevalent. Particularly, amongst the wealthier landowners, appearing to ‘favour’ the Roma could be very damaging to a household’s reputation. The houses hosting them were labelled ‘Gypsies’ nests’ that kept ‘all the pets smaller than a squirrel: lice, bugs and cockroaches’.20 Moreover, the Roma’s dependency on food and shelter provided by the sedentary population made the relation frequently unbalanced, even with ‘friendly houses’. The situation grew worse during economic crises. Especially after harvest failures, there was little of equal worth that the Roma could offer the peasants to compensate for basic necessities. The Roma were at times forced into non-reciprocal means to survive: begging, sometimes backed by magical threats, or stealing. Against this background, it is hardly surprising that the verbal attacks against the Roma by provincial journals grew increasingly fierce in the immediate aftermath of the catastrophic famine years of 1867–1868. Perhaps more remarkable is that the language used by the rural correspondents to express their hostility became explicitly, even radically ethno-nationalist. In 1869, for instance, Kansan Lehti (literally the Magazine of the People) called for the ‘extermination’ of the ‘destroyers’ of the ‘fatherland’. The local correspondent from Keuruu (in the Province of Waasa in Western Finland) wrote: How long can those destroyers of the land, the Gypsies, wander in our beloved fatherland; wouldn’t the authorities have some way to exterminate them; for they start appearing again and their numbers increase constantly. It is dubious, whether they are of much use to the peasants who keep them in their houses, and often even sign them up as members of their household. It would be highly desirable if they drove such folks from their houses; for they only damage the residents of the municipality.21 As this quotation implies, the presence of the Roma brought out divisions within rural communities. Provincial papers frequently published similar condemnations of those engaged in economic activities with the Roma. Strong criticism was levelled particularly at the households that offered the Roma legitimate nominal status by registering them as farmhands, maids or tenants, thus protecting them from the vagrancy statutes. When appeals of this sort were launched to such ‘collaborators’,

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a notion of the legitimate residents of the municipality (kuntalaiset) as a community with shared interests was invoked and used side by side with the nationalist idea of the fatherland (isänmaa). However, the ideal of a natural, exclusive peasant community ran against the divergent interests of different layers of the peasantry. Between 1868 and 1899, attempts were made in numerous rural municipalities to impose relatively heavy fines on peasants accommodating the Roma.22 These had the potential of increasing class tensions within rural communities, which towards the end of the nineteenth century were already under heavy stress. As mentioned above, the proposed statutes mostly targeted smallholding peasants and tenant farmers, who were the more likely ones to harbour Roma. Meanwhile, as the delegates to the municipal meetings were selected according to property and the amount of land owned, those passing the new statutes belonged overwhelmingly to the wealthiest freeholding peasants. While the voice of the smallholder peasantry and tenant farmers was missing from the municipal meetings, the few office-holding burghers and gentlefolk in rural communities did make themselves heard. It seems that at times they opposed the landowning peasants’ anti-Gypsy proposals, although the reasons for their opposition must have been political rather than economic in nature. In the border parish of Rautua in Eastern Finland, for example, the municipal meeting agreed on a fine in 1878, but not without the dissidence of ‘a couple of gentlemen’: 4§. On the request of a certain landed peasant (‘talollinen’), different means to limit the lodging of Gypsies in our community were discussed. There was a lively debate on the issue, in which it could be seen that all of the numerous peasants present wanted to impose a fine; only a couple of gentlemen (‘herrasmies’) fervently opposed this. Subsequently the community ordered a twenty marks fine on all those who give shelter to the Gypsies.23 The case of Rautua also points to the connection between the local Gypsy issue and the nationalist Fennoman agenda as it was conceived by the Finnish-speaking freeholding peasants. One year later, the municipal meeting of Rautua officially abolished the use of Swedish in its official documents and assemblies.24 Rautua is also emblematic in the sense that many of the municipalities seeking to restrict the movement of Roma were passing-through areas rather than places with large,

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established Roma communities. Rautua was one of the few parishes in the province of Karelia not to have any registered Roma residents. However, it was situated on the Russian border, halfway between the metropolis of St Petersburg and the relatively large Karelian Roma ‘settlements’ of Sakkola, Viipuri and Säkkijarvi, which were likely to have been using Rautua as a passing-through route. In the end, head-on conflicts between different layers of the peasantry over the Roma issue usually did not materialize. The fines proposed in Rautua and in numerous other communities did not get the approval of provincial governors, because they conflicted with the existing laws on vagrancy. This undoubtedly added to the peasant delegates’ irritation over their repeated failures to pass prohibitive measures in the Diet of Finland. Throughout the late nineteenth century, then, the gentle criticism of the ‘educated folk’ by the provincial papers took on a more bitter tone: ‘The gentlefolk do not know of the plight, which that lazy people [the Roma] afflicts on the Finnish peasant. At least, they [the gentelfolk] do not know its true extent, since the gypsy usually avoids going to the gentry’s mansions, even in the countryside.’25 The political frustration went hand in hand with expressions of extreme hostility towards the Roma. In 1875, for example, a Tapio correspondent from Lapinlahti (in the province of Kuopio, in east-central Finland) compared the relationship between the Roma and the rest of the rural population with an outright war fought against ‘internal enemies’. His critique of the ineffective authorities and oblivious townfolk sounded equally familiar and bitter: Could our dear authorities not come up with some new, more effective means to wipe out such enemies! The people of Finland are ready to defend their country against external enemies; surely also against internal ones! Yet the cries for help from the heartlands do not always reach the towns, and when they do, they do not sway those who enjoy sweet peace. – ‘Peace’, I suppose, means a life, in which everyone’s life and property are safe; but war – and even worse – is when one doesn’t know when one’s belongings and life will be taken away.26 Was there, then, a war going on in the countryside? Does the heated rhetoric reflect a real situation of increasing physical conflicts, attacks and robberies between the Roma and the peasants – in short, an ethnic conflict? It seems clear that the Roma as a group were disproportionately

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involved in certain kinds of crimes, especially household and horse thefts. Still, an analysis of late nineteenth-century court records in the provinces of Waasa and Viipuri27 – the two areas with the largest Roma populations – gives no indication of high levels of violence between the Roma and the peasants. On the contrary, between 1865 and 1900 it seems that cases of inter-ethnic violence were extremely rare and there was no significant change throughout this period. Only in a few known instances did these cases conform to the widespread horror stories of house intrusions, forced accommodations or violent robberies. In the meantime, violence within both groups was rising, and there was a general surge of homicidal violence in Finland between 1870 and 1890. But why, then, the language of warfare? Some of the socio-economic factors behind the peasants’ deep-seated hostility towards the Roma have already been mentioned. The political background has already been touched upon too. The top segments of the Finnish-speaking freeholder peasantry had risen in wealth, influence, level of education and self-esteem during the nineteenth century. They were formally equal with the other social estates in the Diet; they held power in most municipal councils; they were vocal in the provincial press; and they could make the most authentic claim to representing ‘the people’ within the Fennoman movement. Yet the Gypsy question was among the issues that made the limits of the peasantry’s power painfully clear, both on the national and the local level. There were also troubling challenges to the freeholding peasants’ newly achieved local power position. The late nineteenth century was a period of transformation, politicization and uncertainty in the countryside. There was a rapid increase of landless population, a loosening of the legislation that controlled their movement, a drop in commercial farming revenues, increasing violence and rising class tensions. Repeated rumours of radical equalitarian land reform even hinted at revolutionary undercurrents among the tenant farmers and landless population. Where the previous means of social control within communities seemed to be slipping from the middling peasants’ hands, the presence of itinerant Roma could be singled out as the most visible symptom of a more general turbulence. The connection between the Gypsy question and more existential anxieties felt by the peasants was sometimes plainly exposed. In 1899, for instance, in Jurva in the Province of Waasa in Western Finland, the municipal council imposed a 50-mark fine on ‘peddlers, vagabonds, gypsies and the spreaders of false rumours about the partitioning of land’.28

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4. Conclusion While the so-called Gypsy question was only a marginal issue in the history of Finnish nationalism, it nevertheless seems to offer novel insights into its social and political dynamics. I have argued in this chapter that the rise of the Gypsy question was itself the result of a new, nationalist way of conceptualizing and organizing society, which both politicized and sharpened the boundary between the national in-group and out-groups, between the Roma and the rest of the Finns. At the same time, the Gypsy question seems to qualify both the traditional top-down interpretation of Finnish nationalism and the modernist thesis postulating a straightforward correlation between modern nation-making and the entrenchment of ethnic identities. Instead, the Gypsy question brings to surface deep-seated ethnic animosities, based on the structural imbalance between the Roma and the peasants, as well as a popular notion of ‘the nation’, which clearly preceded any topdown dissemination of nationalism in Finland (which only started to have an impact roughly from the 1870s onwards). Of course, we cannot be sure how, for example, the folk poet Paavo Korhonen understood the word ‘nation’ (kansakunda) in 1835, or what the anonymous local correspondent of Kansan Lehti meant with his reference to ‘our beloved fatherland’ (rakas isänmaamme) in 1869. But what is clear in both cases is that their notions unambiguously excluded the Roma and were defined in opposition to them. Perhaps, it was indeed easier for members of non-elite groups to articulate a national self-image around a heterostereotype (a stereotype concerning other people), as suggested by Beyen and Van Ginderachter in the introductory chapter. The Finnish-speaking freeholding peasants were a group that mediated between the ‘popular classes’ and the ‘elite’. They interpreted the Fennoman ideas as awarding them a central place in the emerging nation and were, thus, eager to appropriate the nationalist ideals as the Fennoman movement began to widen its social basis in the last decades of the nineteenth century. However, the freeholding peasants seem to have had their own conceptions of ‘nationhood’ already before the gentry-based Fennoman movement began to reach out to them, and these affected the way in which a peasant version of modern nationalism developed. In the context of political setbacks and social turmoil, the freeholding peasants accommodated the Fennoman ideology to a localized view of hierarchy and order. Their conception of the ‘nation’ revolved around shared language and ethnicity (or even ‘race’),

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economic self-sufficiency and patriarchal peasant communality. In some ways, this is reminiscent of what Eric Hobsbawn (1999, pp. 363–364) has called ‘local nationalism’, with its ‘attempts to erect barricades to keep at bay the forces of the modern world’. But, while saying this would overstate the backward-looking nature of this mentality, the Gypsy question, nevertheless, shows that the freeholding peasants’ nationalism co-existed in an uneasy alliance with the more liberal bourgeois version of the Fennoman ideology. Various groups in society were in any case able to project varieties of worries and aspirations into the Gypsy question. In the context of a nationalist movement without external counterparts, the tiny but highly visible Roma population offered one of the few clear Others for the Fennoman movement as it struggled to define the boundaries of the national in-group. This might, at least partly, explain the sudden attention that the tiny group of Roma started to receive from 1860 onwards, an attention at times little short of an obsession.

Notes 1. A clear and profound explication of this argument has been made by Katherine Verdery (1996), drawing on the anthropologist Fredrik Barth and the subsequent historical critique levelled at his classic introduction (Barth, 1969; see also e.g. Bayly, 2004, pp. 219–227 and Jacquin-Berdal, 2002, p. 76). 2. Based on estimates given by Pulma (2006) and Jutikkala et al. (1980, p. 367). 3. Only landowning men, about 4.5 per cent of the rural heads of households at the turn of the twentieth century, were entitled to vote in the indirect elections, by selecting 70 representatives (or 60 at an earlier stage) on a municipal basis (Jutikkala, 1958, p. 404; Paloposki, 1961). 4. In fact, the proposal to confiscate the Roma’s horses received even scorn in the provincial press, being treated a decade later as an archetype of a dim-witted legislative initiative (Pohjois-Suomi no 6, 22 January 1881). 5. Tapio, no. 29, 16 July 1864. 6. Vehmas (1961, p. 61); Proceedings of the Diet (1894), V, Appeal Committee Report no: 16. 7. Numerous ‘universalist’ (or civic nationalist) arguments in the debate on the Gypsy question are dealt with by Virolainen (1994, pp. 40–41). Apparently, the opposition to ethnically specific legislation was partly associated with the Svekoman movement. This liberal circle, defending the position of the Swedish language, countered the Fennoman ideal of ‘one people, one mind’ with the catch-phrase ‘two languages, two people.’ 8. Senate’s Economic department/Ea 3927 (KD 10/375 1900). NA. 9. The graph is based on a survey of the Finnish digital press database as it stood in 2008, available at main.html?language= en, accessed 2nd September 2008, which includes

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10. 11.

12. 13. 14.

15. 16. 17. 18.

19. 20. 21. 22.

23. 24.


most but not absolutely all of the newspapers published in Finland between 1771 and 1890. The references to Roma represent a listing of the individual newspaper articles in which there is at least one explicit reference. The digital database search, which is based on keywords, might naturally omit some cases. The number of published pages is estimated on the basis of all the material in the digital press database given by the Finnish National Library. Helsingfors Dagblad, no. 94, 8 April 1872. The idea of the various Gypsies of Europe as a single people originating from India was developed in late eighteenth century and presented most influentially by the German historian Heinrich Moritz Gottlieb Grellmann (1753–1804) in 1783. See for example Willems (1998, p. 20). Suometar, no. 47, 2 December 1859. Sanan saattaja Wiipurista, no. 7, 14 February 1835. As the Roma and the rest of the Finnish rural population had little, if any, contact with scientific discourses of racism before the twentieth century, sources such as Korhonen’s poem can be seen as expressions of ‘vernacular’ racial and cultural categorizations. Both the Roma and the non-Roma in Finland were keenly aware of phenotypical differences, as is evidenced by vernacular terminology. The Finnish word for ‘Gypsy’ is mustalainen, literally ‘one who is black’. Its strong emphasis on absolute physical difference had no parallel in other languages. Tampereen Sanomat, no. 35, 28 August 1866. Turun Lehti, no. 137, 23 November 1886 (my italics). Tampereen Uutiset, no. 24, 3 February 1900. The following sections are based on a synthesis of a number of different research materials, the most important of which include oral histories of the Roma (Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura, Rom-SF muistitietoaineisto), written reminiscences (Museovirasto, Keruuarkisto, 1971 A17: 1–17, Kiertävät mustalaiset) and material connected to the Gypsy surveys conducted in 1863–1865 and 1895. For the sake of succinctness, I shall not always specify these in the text below. As cited by Pulma (2006, p. 79); Vehmas (1961, p. 61). Museovirasto, Keruuarkisto (1971, A17: 1–17), Kiertävät mustalaiset, 115. Kansan Lehti, no. 32, 14 August 1869. Thus far I have been able to identify 15 cases in which the municipal community proposed statutes aiming at the restriction of the Roma’s movements and their accommodation: Haapavesi (1868), Rautu (1878), Lappajärvi (1879), Kortesjärvi et al. (1881), Viitasaari (1887), Kuusamo and Impilahti (1888), Saloinen (1889), Keuruu, Pielisjärvi and Juuka (1890), Jurva (1899). Proposals of anti-Gypsy statutes seem to have been particularly popular in the province of Waasa, a western coastal area with a relatively large Roma population, in which attitudes had hardened against all kinds of itinerant, begging and peddling people since the great famine years 1867– 1868. This was also a region where many of the violent conflicts between the Roma and peasants took place. Minutes of the Rautua municipal meeting, 18 May 1878. Provincial archive of Mikkeli. Minutes of the Rautua municipal meeting, 3 June 1879. Provincial archive of Mikkeli.

160 Case Studies: The Domestic Other 25. Suomalainen Virallinen Lehti, no. 144, 4 December 1875. 26. Tapio, no. 36, 4 September 1875. 27. On the basis of a survey of 6,940 criminal cases submitted to the Appeal Court of Viipuri between 1865 and 1901 and 1,310 cases submitted to the Appeal Court of Waasa between 1885 and 1895. Viipurin hovioikeuden arkisto, Mikkelin maakunta-arkisto; Waasan hovioikeuden arkisto, Vaasan maakunta-arkisto. 28. Pohjalainen, 12 May 1899.

Bibliography Alapuro, Risto (1990). ‘Valta ja Valtio – miksi vallasta tuli ongelma 1900-luvun vaihteessa?’, in Talous, valta ja valtio: tutkimuksia 1800-luvun Suomesta, Pertti Haapala, ed. (Tampere: Vastapaino), pp. 221–237. Anderson, Benedict (1983). Imagined Communities. Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (London: Verso). Barth, Fredrik (1969). ‘Ethnic Groups and Boundaries. The Social Organization of Culture Difference (Bergen: Universitetsforslaget). Bayly, Christopher Allan (2004). The Birth of the Modern World, 1780–1914. Global Connections and Comparisons (Oxford: Blackwell). Häkkinen, Antti and Tervonen, Miika (2004). ‘Ethnicity, Marginalization and Poverty in 20th Century Finland’, in New Challenges for the Welfare Society, Vesa Puuronen, eds (Joensuu: University Press of Joensuu), pp. 22–39. Hobsbawn, Eric (1999). ‘Nationalism in the Late Twentieth Century’, in The Nationalism Reader, Omar Dahbour and Micheline R. Ishay, eds (New Jersey: Humanities Press), pp. 362–371. Hutchinson, John and Smith, Anthony D. (1996). ‘Introduction’, in Ethnicity, John Hutchinson and Anthony D. Smith, eds (Oxford: University Press), pp. 3–14. Jacquin-Berdal, Dominique (2002). Nationalism and Ethnicity in the Horn of Africa: A Critique of the Ethnic Interpretation (New York: Edwin Mellen Press). Jutikkala, Eino (1958). Suomen talonpojan historia (Helsinki: Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura). Jutikkala, Eino, Kaukiainen, Yrjö and Åström, Sven-Erik, eds (1980). Suomen taloushistoria 1. Agraarinen Suomi (Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Tammi).Liikanen, Ilkka (1995). Fennomania ja kansa. Joukkojärjestäytymisen läpimurto ja Suomalaisen puolueen synty (Helsinki: Suomen Historiallinen Seura). Paloposki, Toivo J. (1961). Suomen talonpoikaissäädyn valtiopäiväedustus vapaudenajalla (Helsinki: Suomen historiallinen seura). Peltonen, Matti (1992). Talolliset ja torpparit. Vuosisadan vaihteen maatalouskysymys Suomessa (Helsinki: Suomen Historiallinen Seura). Pulma, Panu (2006). Suljetut ovet. Pohjoismaiden romanipolitiikka 1500-luvulta EUaikaan (Jyväskylä: Gummerus Kirjapaino OY). Salokangas, Raimo and Tommila, Päiviö (1998). Sanomia kaikille: Suomen lehdistön historia (Helsinki: Edita). Vehmas, Raino (1961). Suomen romaniväestön ryhmäluonne ja akkulturoituminen (Turku: Turun yliopiston julkaisuja).

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Verdery, Katherine (1996). ‘Ethnicity, Nationalism and State-Making’, in The Anthropology of Ethnicity. Beyond ‘Ethnic Groups and Boundaries’, Hans Vermeulen and Cora Govers, eds (Amsterdam: Het Spinhuis), pp. 33–58. Virolainen, Kari (1994). Kansallisvaltioideologia ja romanipolitiikka Suomessa vuosina 1860–1980 (Oulu: Oulun yliopisto, Licentiate degree thesis). Willems, Wim (1998). ‘Ethnicity as a Death-Trap: The History of Gypsy Studies’, in Gypsies and Other Itinerant Groups. A Socio-Historical Approach, Leo Lucassen, Wim Willems and Annemarie Cottaar, eds (Basingstoke: Macmillan), pp. 17–34.

8 Which Political Nation? Soft Borders and Popular Nationhood in the Rhineland, 1800–1850 James M. Brophy

On 22 May 1838, Aachen residents “from the lowest classes” crossed a porous border to nearby Vaels in Belgium to participate in national political rites. They erected a liberty tree, waved the Belgian tricolor, and sang revolutionary songs. On the way home, this crowd, estimated at between 100 and 200 persons, also taunted Prussian custom officials at the border. A week earlier a similar incident had taken place; residents from the same town attempted to hang a Belgian flag from the local church. When prevented by the pastor, they displayed the tricolor from a tavern window to provoke town residents. A similar number of Aachen residents witnessed this former event, too, which raises the question: why exactly were there hundreds of Prussian subjects on hand to witness and participate in these events? Happenstance or design? As is often the case, the documentation is scant. Of particular interest for Prussian officials was the direct involvement of one Franz Huber Nacken, a carpenter’s apprentice from Aachen, who had a record of stirring up trouble on both sides of the border.1 Viewed separately, these small incidents mean little. Collectively, though, they form a chain of popular agitation for Belgian statehood in the Limburg area during 1838–1839, years when Catholic residents of the confessionally mixed Limburg province protested the region’s return to Holland. But this political theater further illuminates the region’s political culture and its transnational elements. Such incidents point to the soft borders of northwestern Europe: Prussian subjects crossed borders and mixed freely with Dutch, Belgians, and French for work, play, and prayer.2 Popular communication and opinion formation had not yet hardened along distinct national lines. On the contrary, the Lebenswelt of the Rhinelanders living in the western border regions 162

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had significant ties to Belgian, Dutch and French culture. Although staged for a Dutch-Belgian political dispute, this liberty tree ceremony also involved Aachen residents, whose presence caused concern for Prussian officials. Rhinelanders exhibited interest, if not engagement, in constitutional nationhood and were conversant with the symbols and vocabulary of the revolutionary tradition. For an anthology re-assessing what nationhood meant to ordinary Europeans, the experience of the Rhineland in the early nineteenth century reaffirms the importance of distinguishing popular nationhood from bourgeois national identity and exploring their reciprocal influences. Rhinelanders lacked a fixed political identity, national or otherwise. The long-standing ecclesiastical territories, to which common Rhinelanders might have expressed allegiance, irretrievably disappeared during the revolutionary era. The territorial divisions inherited from the medieval period further splintered customs, dialects, markets, and mentalities, thus militating against any deep-seated regional identity as “Rhinelander” (Engelbrecht, 2003). Only during the French era did the Rhineland reorganize itself into larger administrative and political units, which fostered a regional consciousness (Rowe, 2003). Because Rhinelanders perceived French, Prussian, and Bavarian governors largely as foreign powers (in spite of Prussia’s dynastic ties in Kleve, Geldern, and Moers), the alterity between governors and the governed contributed to the growth of a modern regional identity (Lademacher, 2001; Mölich, 2003; Herres, 2006). In short, there were no “primordial,” essentialist claims of Rhenish identity, and this absence complicated the construction of a federated German national identity, the conventional state–nation relationship of this period (Gruner, 1995; Green, 2001). Yet German nationalism surged as a cultural and political formation in the first half of the nineteenth century, a movement promoted initially by princes and governments but ultimately sustained as an idée fixe by middle-class constituencies. Their journals, newspapers, pamphlets, song sheets, insignia, demonstrations, festivals, monuments, and associations shaped the national identities of bourgeois political culture. But the imagined community of German bourgeois nationhood did not always correspond to Rhenish popular conceptions. To be sure, there are many overlapping characteristics, but the former is still a poor proxy for the latter. To pry apart popular nationhood from its dominant bourgeois strains, one must first disentangle the practice of citizenship from that of nationhood. Citizenship ideals during the first half of the nineteenth century circulated as a transnational phenomenon in western Germany, without any definite state moorings. National ambiguity reigned in both

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bourgeois and popular classes. In the period 1794 to 1830, ordinary Rhinelanders encountered rights-bearing citizenship ideals as a portable skill set. Compared with the restricted and elitist connotations of Bürger, the universal political liberties of citoyen appealed to non-elites, whose collective memory of French and Napoleonic rule on the western banks of the Rhine tended to commemorate rather than scorn French influence. Although Francophobia was a powerful engine of differentiation and identity formation in many German regions, the connections with Western Europe were far more complex in the western borderlands, especially among ordinary people. To emphasize the intercultural syncretism of Rhenish popular culture, this chapter will look at the economic, linguistic, and religious dimensions of Rhenish border culture, which framed and conditioned its political development. In the spirit of the volume’s introduction, this essay skeptically questions whether ordinary Rhinelanders – farmers, artisans, laborers, factory hands – embraced the German nation the same way students, intellectuals, civil servants, and the free professional classes did. Instead, it assesses the “situational cognition” of Rhinelanders, especially those living in the borderlands in the first half of the nineteenth century (Brubaker, 2004, p. 69). This approach privileges the face-to-face social experience of daily life, which informed political views more than the communicative networks of elite print culture – newspapers, journals, theater, and belles lettres. Accordingly, the chapter sketches the region’s transnational patterns of work, language, and culture to underscore its status as a crossroad of Western European influence. In doing so, it does not overlook the affinities between popular and bourgeois political culture; post-revolutionary bourgeois political ideas demonstratively bled into popular culture. Rather it characterizes acculturation as a selective process, whereby the popular classes embraced certain ideals, yet remained indifferent to others. Although social historians have not ignored the culture and politics of the Rhineland and of its borderlands, recent research on civil society, the public sphere, and political nationhood has occluded the role of common people (Brophy, 2007, pp. 7–11).

1. Border economies There was no one economy in Western or Central Europe, least of all a German economy. For economic historians, the multinational regionalism of economic development in early modern and modern Europe is commonplace, yet it is worth transposing this research onto

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current discussions of identity formation. If economic historians have made a persuasive case for economic development as a regional phenomenon, which corresponds poorly with political frontiers, how does this argument affect the polities that constitute such work forces? How do Germany’s pre-national material foundations affect other spheres of public life? The transnational economic networks of the Rhine and Northwestern Europe in the early modern period framed and conditioned the transition to political modernity. Early modern Rhenish prosperity depended not only on trade and commerce with the river’s metropoles (Strasbourg, Speyer, Worms, Koblenz, Cologne, and Düsseldorf), but especially on the ability of the region to deliver goods (raw, finished, and transshipped) to Flanders, Brabant, Holland, and points west, as well as on Hanseatic trade links in the Baltic through Bremen and Hamburg (Febvre, 1994). Rhenish merchants trafficked as much with Bruges, Louvain, Antwerp, Amsterdam, and Leiden as they did with Frankfurt, Bremen, or Berlin. The dependency on Flanders and Brabant’s markets became all the more acute during the relative decline of Rhenish handicrafts and commerce (owing to stagnating guild systems and degraded river trade) in the seventeenth and eighteenth century (Looz-Corswarem, 2007, pp. 13–36). In fact, the region of Flanders, Holland, France, and the lower Rhineland embodied a comprehensive economic unit in the early modern period, a Wirtschaftsgrossraum (a large integrated economic space) that absorbed a disproportionate amount of Aachen’s, Cologne’s and Düsseldorf’s goods and services (Ebeling and Nagel, 1997, pp. 184ff.). Alongside shared Catholic and Calvinist heritages, the Rhineland’s integration with the flourishing merchant trade routes of the North Sea basin (and of the Atlantic) prepared the Rhineland’s common basis of development with Western Europe in the era of proto-industrial and industrial development (Engelbrecht, 2000a, 2000b). By the eighteenth-century, the enmeshed proto-industrial textile activity of the Brabant, Flanders, and lower Rhine regions was an established social formation. Krefeld’s silk production, the flax cultivation and linen weaving in the Erkelenz-Geldern flatlands, the woolen production of Aachen, Eupen, and Monschau, and the highly diversified linen, silk, and cotton production of Barmen and Elberfeld were all critical for the greater Rhine region – and all developed important ties to its northern neighbors for finance, markets, and labor pools. For all textiles, but especially flax and linen, Holland and France were leading markets (Hansen, 1906, pp. 2ff.). As early as the sixteenth century, Antwerp’s textile centers pulled the cities of the lower Rhine into its

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commercial hinterland (Kisch, 1989, p. 99). In the eighteenth century, the merchant capitalists of these borderland regions deployed a putting-out system that employed thousands of spinners, weavers, and finishers. Yet the rise of Eupen, Monschau, and Aachen woolen sectors in the modern era cannot be understood without linking these towns’ contiguous proximity and intimate economic relationship with the Verviers-Liège belt of textile production. The region’s Verlagssystem (“putting-out system”) fanned out over the Limburg and Brabant countryside, using the region’s farmers to spin wool thread and to weave the region’s high-quality woolen fabrics. These production networks overlapped, as merchants employed spinners and weavers from the same regions and villages. Limburg, Rhenish, Flemish, and Walloon rural weavers worked for elite circles of merchant–capitalists, who used the same looms and payment procedures (Gutmann, 1988). For a weaver or spinner in the late eighteenth-century, work in Eupen, Verviers, or Aachen was virtually identical. Because Flemish-, Walloon-, Dutch-, Niederdeutsch-, and Germanspeaking rural villagers practiced the same skills as finishers, shearers, carders, dyers, bleachers, spinners, and weavers, they received similar wages and endured similar work conditions. This international pool of skilled laborers in the period 1750–1850 presents a multinational collectivity of workers whose cross-cultural influence is demonstrable, if also woefully under-researched (Ruland, 1988; Schöttler, 1995; Engelbrecht, 1997). Moreover, because this area mechanized very early, the amalgamation of these workers in the factories of Verviers, Eupen, and Aachen shaped the region’s popular political culture. The social cohesion of textile workers in the Limburg–Brabant–lower Rhine areas is further comprehensible as a legacy of the French era. The French Revolution only encouraged greater assimilation, insofar as France’s absorption of the west bank-oriented merchants and industrialists on the Rhine toward western markets even more. Regions on the western bank of the Rhine generally benefited from the new markets of la grande nation, meeting its demand for cloth, once supplied by England. The economic experience of regions east of the Rhine is, of course, more complex and varied in its negative effects. Constrained under the Rhenish Confederation as a client state to supply materiel and tribute while suffering under onerous duties, such industrial centers as Düsseldorf, Dehrendorf, Elberfeld, Barmen, Solingen, and Remscheid underwent a rough period of transition. Westphalian manufactures suffered no less. Western Rhenish market centers, on the other hand, had little difficulty adapting to the French imperium. The region thus sustained, if not strengthened, its

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economic orientation with France and Northern Europe (Kisch, 1962). As Manfred Koltes has argued, French aims to integrate this region into France’s national political economy were ultimately successful (Koltes, 1992, p. 330). This would explain Friedrich Freiherr Carl von Müffling’s view. As a Prussian officer who re-occupied the Rhineland in 1814, he disapprovingly noted: With the residents on the western bank of the Rhine we found a blunt indifference toward Germany, principally directed against its language and customs. All interests were turned toward France. Trade relations with Germany were almost entirely broken; certainly the tariff frontier of the Rhine, and the difficulty of crossing it, played a role [ . . . ]. Moreover, the German language nearly perished. In 1814 one found few natives on the western bank who could speak or write correctly. None knew German works that had appeared during the revolutionary years, regardless of their epochal status. This was the fruit of nearly twenty years of French possession. (Müffling, 1851, pp. 204–205) The hyperbole of this judgment notwithstanding, it reminds historians to weigh the region’s dependency on French markets, commercial codes, and Francophone trade networks over a quarter century and the extent to which the altered economic practices changed their outlook. Thus, the Rhineland manifested the syncretism of a frontier zone, absorbing and domesticating elements of neighboring cultures into its own idioms. During the French era, Rhinelanders deployed shrewd self-interest and earlier political traditions to effect favorable settlements with French officials; colonization does not accurately capture the relationship (Müller, 1998; Rowe, 2003). Hence, the region’s abiding affection for the legal, administrative, and economic legacies of the French era, which Rhinelanders subsequently embraced as “Rhenish Institutions.” The Rhenish defense of French law against the threatened introduction of Prussia’s Allgemeines Landrecht served as a touchstone for solidifying its new regional identity (Herres, 2007). For the immediate decades after 1815, cultural and material forces fused together to create a transnational economic space. Whether in Liège, Aachen, Eupen, Verviers, or Krefeld, migrational weavers and spinners spoke a mixture of the region’s dialects and communicated with one another (Cornelissen, 2000, pp. 393–405; Elspass, 2000, p. 259; Friedrichs, 2000, pp. 169–172). These multilinguistic border-crossing workforces bear significantly on opinion formation and political

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identity. During the machine-breaking tumults in Eupen in April 1821, hundreds of textiles workers from Liège descended upon the Prussian border town, offering solidarity to factory workers breaking machinery and demonstrating against factory owners.3 A multinational public gathered, manifesting the ability of the region’s workers to communicate and fraternize. The incident was neither isolated nor insignificant. Aachen’s three days of riots in August 1830 stemmed primarily from local economic grievances (machinery, lowered wages), but historians have not satisfactorily weighed the oral communication between factory workers in the Aachen–Burtscheid–Verviers region during July 1830. Over 6,000 subjects from Malmedy and Eupen reportedly participated in the rebellion in Verviers on 29 August (Haase, 2000, p. 58). Not surprisingly, oral news about France and newly constituted Belgium produced tricolor flags and political slogans during the tumult in Aachen (Brophy, 2007, pp. 229–230). Although the government ostensibly required stamped permission to cross borders after 1835, migratory workers continued to populate Aachen in the Vormärz period.4 In 1840, Aachen’s police director registered a “floating population” of 3,100 migrant workers, a social group that the government deliberately excluded from electoral rolls in 1848. By using an earlier census and by further distinguishing “genuine” from “actual” residents, the government disenfranchised this transnational element of the city’s population (Herres, 2000, pp. 187, 193). Only after February 1848 did the Prussian government use soldiers to seal the border and contain revolution.5 In sum, the transfer and flow of people and of their opinions are demonstrable facts. The dual revolutions of industrialization and French rule did not dismantle, but rather promoted the multinational character of the region’s labor pools. How these eighteenth-century social formations affected the political identities of borderland Rhinelanders is, then, a valid question. The enduring socioeconomic structures arguably affected outlooks and identities more than political frontiers did. For many border dwellers, the French-Prussian border in 1814 was an arbitrary arrangement; the village of Bellevaux near Malmedy, for example, was split in half, so that farmers’ pastures and fields spanned two countries.6 These economic formations that encouraged border-crossing also promoted other forms of fraternization. It is perhaps not surprising that military desertion in these border regions of Prussia surfaced in 1816 and endured into the 1830s.7 For Prussian officials, foreign soldiers and their contact with domestic recruits in border regions remained a sustained concern. Belgian and French soldiers crossed borders and socialized in

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German taverns; in one incident in Heinsberg, 13 Belgian soldiers drank with tavern crowds wearing their Brabant cockades.8 Conversely, the Landrat from Saarlouis reported in 1832 that many young men from his region had crossed into France to sign up for French military service after the July Revolution.9 In 1833, soldiers from Aachen and Heinsberg also deserted.10 In Bitburg, men reportedly incited youths at markets and in taverns to join the Belgian Free Corps and distributed inflammatory proclamations.11 Officials further worried about the effect of French and Belgian military deserters in border regions, especially when violent clashes between Rhenish civilians and Prussian soldiers generated an atmosphere of colonial administration.12 The presence of foreign civilians also worried governments. The steady flow of Strasbourg citizens into the border town of Korb reportedly attracted other Germans to the area, “whose political sensibilities do not correspond with the precepts of an order-loving government.”13 In Cologne, Prince Wilhelm carped about “unemployed Belgian factory workers hanging around and establishing connections with the domestic rabble,” and he further disapproved of the “lax behavior” of the authorities to prevent it.14 Other incidents reveal moments of Franco-Rhenish civilian solidarity against officialdom, such as when Grossrosseln residents (near Saarbrücken) attacked Prussian officials to free a French wood thief, an action that prompted forestry officials to demand armed assistance for all future actions.15 To be sure, one must neither exaggerate the “subversive influence” of foreigners nor mistake the skittish mood of Prussian officials during the 1830s for an accurate reflection of their experience. But even the persistent state surveillance of suspicious activity created its own effect.16 Whether rumor or fact, officials’ inclination to believe in a Rhenish susceptibility for political agitation contributed to the perception of regional difference.

2. Language Language was arguably a formidable constraint that excluded common Rhinelanders from the broader communicative networks of Western Europe. As Benedict Anderson has famously averred, “human linguistic diversity” constituted a “fatality”; it promoted cultural isolation of vernacular print capitalisms, whose cognitive mapping shaped national consciousness (Anderson, 1991, p. 43). As compelling as the assertion may be, the linguistic diversity of European communities belie such schemas. Europeans have long lived and trafficked with foreign tongues (Burke, 2009). For the modern era, Pieter Judson, Jeremy King, and

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Tara Zahra have shown that nineteenth-century Habsburg towns and regions prospered in bilingual, multiethnic communities with little concern for national difference. Friction and discord arose when external nationalist agitators increasingly judged the coexistence of languages and ethnicities as unnatural for the national body politic (King, 2002; Judson, 2006; Zahra, 2008). The mixed response of Czech and Austrian locals to the ideologies of bourgeois nationalists is instructive, and one can find similar conditions in the Rhenish borderlands, where linguistic borders and political frontiers did not correspond with one another in the Malmedy, Geldern, and Kleve regions (Cornelissen, 1986). Although the intercultural exchange between Germany and France is an established research field, microhistorical analysis of political and cultural exchanges in border communities still awaits (Espagne and Werner, 1988; Höhn and Füllner, 2002). Rhinelanders were certainly not polyglots, yet the overlapping coexistence of multiple dialects and languages encouraged mixed language use. Prussia, for example, after absorbing the Stablo-Malmedy Reichsabtei region in 1815, governed its Walloon-speaking population of about 12,000. This regional government conducted its business in French Walloon; in fact, the Malmedy civil courts were the only chambers in Prussia to speak and write French as the official language. Whether Prussian Walloons professed loyalty or opposition to Prussian governance here is not important; rather, these people easily communicated with Western Europeans (Pabst, 1999, p. 73). More generally, scholars judge the capacity of other Rhinelanders to speak French as ranging from good to non-existent, though linguistic historians concede that “German-French linguistic relations [after 1800] in the sphere of public and private everyday life is as good as not researched’ (Elspass, 2000, p. 259). For bourgeois strata and above, the region was proficient, both before and after the Napoleonic era (Spillner, 1997). The linguist Stephan Elspass judges the Rhenish bourgeoisie as diglossic in French and German (Elspass, 2000, p. 260). Buttressing this view was Aachen’s Le Nouvelliste, a French paper published between 1817 and the late 1820s.17 For ordinary Rhinelanders, however, bilingualism never took root, in spite of the imposed introduction of French as the official language after 1798. Juried courts deliberated in German to render justice, just as administrative districts printed edicts and decrees in two languages to ensure comprehension (Grilli, 1993). Even German Jacobins debated and sang in German (Pabst, 1997, p. 138). The Napoleonic Empire failed to bring about genuine linguistic change at the lower levels of society.

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Yet French language use in the Rhineland was not without its influence. For one, as Klaus Pabst notes, Rhenish courts and governmental offices shed their older, obsequious idioms of courtly deference and introduced a cleaner, bolder style of “revolutionary German,” which integrated the Revolution’s political phraseology into Rhenish parlance. Rhenish vernacular accordingly appropriated such terms as “brotherhood,” “equality,” “freedom,” and “citizen” (Pabst, 1997, p. 137). And one must also consider the economic realities of the Rhineland’s integration into la grande nation. The region’s dependency on French markets, commercial codes, and Francophone trade networks forced Rhinelanders at many social levels to negotiate with the French language. Conducting industry, commerce, and petty trades in a foreign language does not amount to bilingualism, but daily contact with the French economy domesticated foreign words and practice (Koltes, 1992, p. 330). Since the early modern period, Rhenish dialects absorbed French phrases and words, some of which were mediated through Flemish and Niederdeutsch tongues (Cornelissen, 1988). Moreover, if the definition of “text” includes bilingual street signs, French coins and banknotes, as well as bilingual almanacs, calendars, handbills, broadsheets, decrees, and, finally, a quarter century of Franco-Rhenish words and phrases, then such “city reading” and its impact on the Rhenish habitus have not been adequately explored (Henkin, 1998). In this regard, Michael Billig’s notion of “banal nationalism” is not a trivial subject. How everyday objects and living habits assimilated ordinary citizens into nationhood remains a critical research program. How material and social needs imbricated local and national communities is a question pertinent to the approaches of Alltagsgeschichte or microstoria. At this local, faceto-face social level, a combination of material, social, and cultural circumstances come into focus that manifests the Rhineland’s frontier syncretism that absorbed and domesticated elements of neighboring cultures into its own vernacular. Northern Rhinelanders also spoke Dutch. When examining schooling in the Geldern and Kleve region, one finds that village schools taught children principally in Dutch; German was only introduced as a foreign language in higher classes, to pupils who regarded Dutch or Niederdeutsch, or Plattdeutsch, as their native tongue (Friedrichs, 2000, pp. 169–172). Linking Dutch and High German in the Lower Rhine region are a variety of Plattdeutsch dialects. Linguists have meticulously demonstrated that the gradations from Niederländisch, to Niederdeutsch, to Niederrheinisch are gradual, overlapping, and difficult to differentiate. Although studies map the region differently, all agree that political

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frontiers do not correspond to language borders and, further, that regions in the Lower Rhine area were bilingual. The areas around Kleve, Geldern, Viersen, Rees, and Rheinberg combined Dutch and German; and in the older Prussian territories of Kleve and Geldern, Dutch dominated (Cornelissen, 1986, 2000, pp. 393–405). A German Platt, such as Aachen’s, also borrowed from Dutch and Flemish dialects to produce its rich sing-song expressions (Hermanns, 1970). It is perhaps telling that, when Aachen’s Bishop Marc Antoine Berdolet published the new imperial catechism of 1806 for his diocese, he had it translated into German and into Flemish Dutch (Elspass, 2000, p. 259). In these regions, diglossia only diminished over the 1860s and 1870s (Cornelissen, 1986). By clouding the linguistic waters of the Rhineland, one can view popular political culture in a new transnational light. When Dutch Bänkelsänger (street singers) in Rhenish markets sang ballads in Dutch that criticized the Prussian government during the Cologne Troubles, one can assume that the balladeer was not foolish; his audience understood Dutch lyrics and bought his songsheets.18 French and Belgian peddlers hawking French-language Napoleonic almanacs and memorabilia in Prussian borderland towns also knew that enough Rhinelanders understood their cries to buy their wares.19 (Implicit in these vending circuits is the connection between Liège printers and German border towns through Belgian and French colporteurs.) When advocates of Belgian constitutionalism recited odes and sang chansons before tavern crowds in Trier, Malmedy, and Aachen, the worry of government officials was perhaps warranted, for crowds comprehended them and reportedly sang along.20 French, Belgians, and Rhinelanders smuggled and traded contraband with one another and further drank and fraternized in each other’s taverns. In view of the French era and long-standing economic structures, such multilingual manifestations in popular culture make plausible the region’s status as a middle ground for exchanging, contesting, rejecting, and melding ideas and practices of plebeian politics.

3. Religion When examining popular publics beyond borders, Catholicism plays a particularly important role. Catholic communities did not correspond to the new political frontiers of 1815, thus making the much older pilgrimages, prayer processions, and other forms of popular piety a problem of security and social order in border regions. The pilgrimage destinations of Kevelaer and Moresnet are probably the best-known border

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problems, but Catholic publics placing religious traditions before the demands of secular authorities were a problem in the region throughout the century (Dohms, 1993; Margry and te Velde, 2003). Church officials, too, prohibited them, which in turn produced “private” or “wild” pilgrimages of the laity. Hundreds of such independently organized processions took place in the 1820s and 1830s. These Catholic publics were political insofar as they exerted the power to organize citizens for events that neither the Church nor the State promoted. The authority of political frontiers to hinder older religious traditions was noticeably lacking. For clergy and laity, prominent strains of Catholic ambiguity toward post-Napoleonic state-building stood out – a position of fluidity and multivalence that James Bjork has also recognized in twentieth-century Silesia. In many European regions, Catholicism operated outside national contexts (Bjork, 2008). The impact of Belgian statehood on Rhenish opinion formation is particularly overlooked. The secession of Catholic Belgians from the Protestant Netherlands held out an intriguing model: conservative Catholics cooperating with liberals to forge a constitutional state that guaranteed religious freedom. And certainly Belgian and Prussian clerics sought to establish communicative links. Between 1830 and 1834, the Courier of Liège – Bishop van Bommel’s semi-official newspaper, to which many Rhenish priests subscribed – systematically upheld Rhenish ultramontane positions on mixed marriages and the ultramontane critique of Bonn’s liberal seminaries. After 1834, both the Journal historique et littéraire and the Beiträge zur Kirchengeschichte des 19. Jahrhunderts took over the role of exporting Belgian viewpoints, promoting religious freedom and independent confessional politics while inveighing against the Prussian state. The journals’ target audience was the clergy, which, in turn, used the pulpit to disseminate these ideas orally (Brophy, 2007, pp. 280–293). But sermons were not the only medium for popular opinion; Belgian presses also smuggled in pamphlet material. The Winterabendunterhaltungen einiger Leute am warmen Ofen is one example.21 Printed in the border town of Sittard in the early 1830s, this “chapbook” used a popular genre to offer a condensed version of the Beiträge zur Kirchengeschichte des 19. Jahrhunderts, thus stressing the impropriety of a Protestant state governing so many Catholics. However harmless the title of the booklet appeared to be, in its impact, noted Minister Rochow, it was “more harmful than a hundred bad newspaper articles” (Keinemann, 1974, p. 54). Because of such publishing efforts, Prussian officials viewed Belgian clerics as a “party of revolution.”

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The arrest of Cologne’s Archbishop Clemens August von Droste zu Vischering in November 1837, which unleashed the “Cologne Troubles,” produced enormous problems for Prussia, because it mobilized popular Catholic opinion against the state. In numerous towns, placards appeared, declaring the innocence of the bishop and the need to “gather weapons” and to “drive out the king and his bloodhounds.”22 Catholics harassed Protestants publicly, slandered their faith, and further damaged their property.23 And, of course, tavern talk produced copious “punishable utterances” against king and government.24 In Kempen, a town west of Krefeld, citizens defaced the Prussian eagle and re-inscribed it with a tribute to the bishop.25 Songs were sung, ranging from impromptu ditties to parodies of Heil Dir im Siegerkranz to printed pamphlets by angry Catholics explicitly arousing animus against Prussian governance.26 In Cologne, three civilian attacks on soldiers in November 1837 provoked the government to arm military watches with ammunition on their rounds.27 In the countryside, too, rumors of government suppression of the Catholic Church affected villages. For example, following a polemical sermon by a vicar in December 1838, men from neighboring hamlets of Geilenkirchen (a town not far from the province of Limburg) amassed a crowd by going door to door with the claim that they needed to protect the vicar from arrest. Armed with staffs and spears, the crowd marched into the town square, where they issued “threats against officials.” The state interpreted the incident as an armed rebellion; leaders of the tumult, agrarian day laborers, received two–three months in prison; other participants, 14–28 days.28 Overall, the region’s support for its government remained a question. Two months later, in February 1839, residents of Neuss rioted at a mustering of reserve soldiers, crying “Don’t march Reservists! Not to Belgium! They’re our brothers and good Catholics.” For good reason, Prussian officials questioned Rhenish and Westphalian loyalty during this crisis, a doubt that lingered throughout the nineteenth century (Clark, 2006, p. 684). Because the Cologne Troubles marked the beginning of political Catholicism in the Rhineland, this period remains a significant moment in popular political culture. For socially conservative Catholics, the attack on the Catholic church aroused interest in the constitutional right of religious freedom – a political valence that further complicated their affinities with the state and their national allegiances.

4. Popular politics and borders The abbreviated discussions above on economy, language, and religion offer broader contexts for situating a discussion of popular political

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culture. If one grasps the deep-seated economic links to Western and Northestern Europe, the self-evident nature of coexisting dialects and bilingualism, and the pre-national cultural practices of popular piety, then the Rhenish uses and reception of post-revolutionary political culture make greater sense. As with other Western European polities of this era, common Rhinelanders lived with the revolutionary political landscape and formed opinions about it. Such conversancy constituted a new political epoch and a new political consciousness in this region (Müller, 1998). Three reasons for this political literacy stand out: a quarter century of French rule; literacy rates and market economies that promoted communication; and, after 1814, the constricted political settlement of the Restoration, which invited popular culture to serve as a surrogate conduit for political deliberation. The last point is especially important for understanding the course of popular culture in the first half of the nineteenth century. The German Confederation’s bans on oppositional politics in 1819 and again in 1832 unintentionally politicized manifold areas of everyday life, thus creating a crypto-public sphere, in which popular culture absorbed and re-packaged ideological choice in the fledgling civil society. A wealth of material can document the politicization of both popular print matter and public spaces of markets, fairs, and festivals; but gauging the views of ordinary Germans remains difficult interpretive work. Lacking the ego documents that privilege research on bourgeois nationalism, historians of popular politics must instead deduce meaning from the patterns, contexts, and adaptation of oral and performed political practices. Popular song is one component of political communication in this era, a medium that cuts across class, gender, and private/public divides. Because there are so few conventional source materials – letters, diaries, chronicles, state paper – that throw light on plebeian political sentiments, the ephemerality or endurance of political singing becomes a particularly important yardstick for measuring sustained political affinities. Songs of the French Revolution, Napoleon, the wars of liberation, Greek emancipation, the Polish insurgency, and other genres of the Freiheitslieder (“freedom songs”) number in the hundreds. Yet not all earn the pedigree of folk song. The most reliable form of gauging a song’s authentic popularity is to track the oral transmission of lyrics across time and space. Whether more than one generation sang the song and whether collective memory altered the lyrics with numerous variations are leading criteria for assessing influence.29 Of the 1,200 new songs printed during the French Revolution, only a few dozen traveled across the Rhine, and only a handful of these endured as multigenerational (Coy, 1978; Mason, 1996).

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Archival evidence shows, however, that ordinary Rhinelanders sang frequently about the political world after the French Revolution. They publicly sang the Ça ira and the Marseillaise from memory, and they did so throughout 1848 – often in performative taunts against officialdom.30 The regional reception of songs about Napoleon is particularly noteworthy. For northern and eastern regions of Germany, the legacy is decidedly Francophobic; in the south, it is less so (Hagemann, 2002; Planert, 2007). In the Rhineland, though, many pro-Napoleonic songs persisted throughout the wars of liberation and the periods of Restoration, being followed by a second wave of Napoleon songs in the 1820s and 1840s. Typifying Rhenish exceptionalism about Napoleon were so-called “Napoleon Singers,” balladeers at markets and fairs who specialized in (mostly approving) songs about Napoleon (Klein, 1934). “Bertrands Abschied,” a German marching song of Napoleon’s army, was also a staple of Rhenish colporteurs and Bänkelsänger (street singers), who in the 1830s transcribed it into a Polish freedom song, “Leb wohl du teueres Land, das mich geboren” (Live well my beloved country that gave me life) (Steinitz, 1979, pp. 76–77; Koolmann, 1990, pp. 53, 166). The metamorphosis of this song, like that of others, evinces a mature culture of politicized singing among common Rhinelanders.31 The documented textual variations and multigenerational transmission of such liberal–national songs as those for Karl Sand or the Polish Insurgency, and of Freiheitslieder in general, speak to popular culture’s imagined nation and its claims for constitutions, participatory governance, and “freedom,” all of which can be ascribed to the universal liberalism of revolutionary France. But ordinary Rhinelanders also embraced the bourgeois liberal themes of German national unity and its promise of rights and liberties. Ordinary Rhinelanders, thus, sang German freedom songs and the French Marseillaise in the same spirit, believing they espoused similar visions of nationhood. The Hambach Festival (1832), Germany’s first mass political demonstration, typified this tendency by including in its official booklet songs embracing French, Polish, and German nationhood. Yet meanings of the German political nation did diverge, most visibly with the Rhine Crisis of 1840. One prominent example is the well-known song of 1840, “Sie sollen ihn nicht haben, den freien deutschen Rhein” (“They will not possess it, the free German Rhein”), Nikolaus Becker’s rousing response to France’s expansionist designs for the western bank. In the period 1840–1844, newspapers and journals endlessly reprinted the song, often with different melodies. Performances of the song in theaters and other middle-class venues during this short period were legion;

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liberal–nationalist circles embraced it, as did the Prussian and Bavarian kings, who bestowed prizes upon Becker (Deetjen, 1920). Such clamor marked a sea change in bourgeois political culture: a turning away from French liberalism toward a German national liberalism, focused on its own nation-building process. Yet, strikingly, common singers rejected the song. They ceased to sing it spontaneously after 1841, and collective memory did not transmit it to the next generation. Whereas songs of the French Revolution, Napoleon, Karl Sand, and Polish freedom survived for three and four generations, archives offer no evidence that Becker’s “Rheinlied” became a folk song in the second half of the nineteenth century – an astonishing silence (Brophy, 2007, pp. 90–96). In sum, the political nation about which ordinary Rhinelanders sang did not endorse these bellicose words against France. The Rheinliedbewegung (“Rhine song movement”) of 1840, thus, helps historians locate and trace divergent processes of identity formation. Whereas bourgeois sectors embraced a bellicose differentiation between France and Germany in 1813 and again in 1840, ordinary Germans on the western borders only embraced such chauvinism in the era of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–1871. The delayed embrace of national chauvinism in Rhenish popular culture confirms Anthony Smith’s point, noted in the introduction, that constructionist projects of identity formation take hold far slower than elites wish. The bourgeois trope of the Rhineland as a defense fortress of the fatherland, evoked in 1813, 1840, and 1870, does not obtain for ordinary Rhinelanders. The multigenerational life of political rituals also tells us much about popular political identities. Liberty trees are one good example. Imported from Jacobin France, the first ceremonies in the 1790s were forced affairs with a decidedly mixed reception; indeed, some villages cut them down, in a show of opposition to the French (Molitor, 1980). The rite, however, re-emerged after 1830, with the spontaneous indigenous plantings of liberty trees. Some 50 plantings in the Bavarian Palatinate took place in the spring and summer of 1832, before and after the Hambach Festival. These ceremonies mixed constitutional slogans and national symbols with such local concerns as taxation, bread prices, and communal self-governance (Schieder, 1978; Sperber, 1989). Others occurred elsewhere in the Rhineland, for instance in St. Wendel in Lichtenberg, a territory ruled by the Duke of Saxe-Coburg. When the residents of St Wendel physically defied the mayor’s order to take down the tree in May 1832, and furthermore resisted the gendarmes enforcing the order, the province’s governor requested military assistance from its mighty neighbor, Prussia. After restoring order and withdrawing, the

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Prussian army returned again for a prolonged occupation, because the residents erected a second liberty tree in the town square, smashed the windows of the governor’s residence, and circulated fliers with liberal– democratic themes. The second tumult set diplomatic negotiations in motion, which ultimately transferred territorial sovereignty to Prussia in 1834 (Huber, 1960, pp. 149–151; Brophy, 2007, pp. 105–108). This episode of popular politics literally re-mapped Germany; furthermore, it marks the processual dynamic by which Rhinelanders adopted this custom as their own. Accordingly, in 1848, when villagers in the Mosel and Eifel regions sought to endorse constitutional liberty and freedom, they erected dozens of Freiheitsbäume (“liberty trees”) to commemorate their formal induction into the political nation (Sperber, 1991; Rummel, 1998a, 1998b). This political practice attests popular initiative; it did not belong to the political culture of such Rhenish liberals as David Hansemann, Gustav Mevissen, and Ludolf Camphausen. If one follows this practice over the course of a half-century, one sees a foreign symbol transformed fluidly into a local idiom: an indigenous assertion of political independence. Collectively, its manifestations trace a political grammar annunciating claims for political participation. The tradition of the charivari (mock or rough serenading) offers another window onto the dialogue between bourgeois and popular political cultures. Once a village-shaming rite designed to punish transgressions of communal mores, the charivari took on political accents throughout the first half of the nineteenth century. It was not just a socially conservative custom aimed only at cuckolded husbands, re-married widows, or interconfessional marriages; both villages and towns deployed the scolding rite against state officials, whose tax collections, forestry restrictions, billeting burdens, and failures to attend local demands were deemed punishable. Such acts were more than parochial mischief; the issues provoking them addressed the material underpinnings to changing conceptions of citizenship (Sperber, 1991; Rummel, 1998 a, b, 2007). In many instances, they provided a ritual through which villages and towns articulated new kinds of complaints, which, in turn, amounted to claim-making acts of communal self-governance (Brophy, 2007, pp. 138–145). Threatening letters and rumors offer the social historian similar forms of localized communications that evince criticism of political structures beyond the village church spire. By the 1830s, state officials used the phrase “political charivari” to signify popular grievances against economic and political conditions. Charivaris in March 1832 and November 1833 in Homburg serve as examples: hundreds of people hectoring state officials, surrounding their

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houses, taunting them with chants, singing Freiheitslieder, and shouting “the king will hang” and “the princes will burn.”32 Urban charivaris against police chiefs, factory owners, and customs officials, which took place in major Rhenish cities in the 1830s, also fall under this rubric (Brophy, 2007, pp. 228–230). In 1841, during the Cologne Troubles, Catholics threatened Provincial Diet Deputies with charivaris if they did not vote for the return of the archbishop.33 Adopting this vicious ritual to hold deputies accountable to the wishes of their constituents was not unique. Indeed, charivaris emerged as one of the principal ways by which common publics partook in political dialogue in 1848/1849.34 The initial revolutionary tumults in March 1848 in Cologne, Aachen, Elbersfeld, and Krefeld – as well as in the non-Rhenish towns of Frankfurt, Breslau, Hamburg, and Dresden – all resembled charivaris.35 In this rite, one sees folkways promoting the incipient development of modern political publics. The orality of song and the accessibility of public space greatly facilitated the agency of popular classes in articulating independent opinions about their polity. But what about print culture: how did popular reading audiences, or popular readership, affect the circuit of communication with printed matter? Here, too, one sees influences. First, there is ample evidence of ordinary Rhinelanders reading newspapers in taverns as well as harboring and circulating contraband literature. Popular reading audiences welcomed, and even purchased, political reportage and critical commentary (Brophy, 2007, pp. 158–161, 297). Yet documentary traces of this kind of print matter do not necessarily point to a mass phenomenon. More persuasive was the folk calendar, a genre of popular literature that plugged most common readers into political circuits. Every farmhouse needed a record of time, and the print matter appended to these calendars often counted as the sole secular literature in the household. During the French era, Rhenish calendar printers lost their monopoly on regional sales. Faced with competition, printers improved the stories, anecdotes, chronicles, and reportage that accompanied the calendar information. Responding to readers’ demands, printers updated calendar literature. Accordingly, calendars jettisoned the schoolmaster’s voice of the popular enlightenment and treated the reader as an intelligent equal, a reasoning citizen. With this shift in voice, came a shift in function. Not just a compendium of timeless diversions, calendars now served as political primers for the current times. Folk calendars reported on revolution, constitutions, Latin American republics, North American politics, Greek emancipation, and Polish insurgents. Closer to home, readers encountered news

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of hunger, emigration, artisanal suffering, the July Revolution, the Hambach Festival, German disunity, comparative constitutionalism, the Silesian Uprising, and more. There is much to unpack with these points, but foremost among them is the common reader affecting the content of calendars and almanacs. By demanding intelligent texts and choosing calendars with critical reportage of politics, readers forced printers to meet new demands in popular taste. And, once the ideas of the bourgeois public sphere seep into common readerships, one sees a far more broadly informed citizenship than previously thought (Brophy, 2004a). The popular readership for liberal and democratic programs in 1848– 1849 reflects a political dialogue that evolved over decades. Indeed, when one traces the incipient forms of political subjectivity from the ephemera of the eighteenth-century popular enlightenment to the partisan popular literature in the Vormärz decades, the trend becomes even clearer (Böning, 1990). These examples cannot convey the full breadth and depth of popular opinion formation in this era, but they point to a key theme: the self-recognition of non-elite publics as political actors. Equally crucial, such agency redefined political sovereignty. However rudimentary a political song, a liberty tree, a crowd taunting an official, or political reportage in calendars may seem, these communicative acts challenged the role of passive citizenship that neo-absolutist governance scripted for them. These claim-making actions provided the pressure of mass movement that heightened urgency for reform and altered the terms of a dialogue about nationhood and citizenship. Not only did these claims necessitate that conservative elites pass reactive laws that rendered visible a heretofore marginalized agent, but also liberal elites were forced to acknowledge popular politics, and hence to accommodate demands for participatory democracy. Indeed, Rhenish popular publics accented political discourse in the 1840s with demotic demands couched in liberal, radical, and conservative terms. John Breuilly rightly cautions historians to look beyond surface congruence and examine deeper motives that may explain popular “national” affinities (see Breuilly’s contribution to this volume). Certainly, the evidence adduced in this chapter invites such concern. With the singing of freedom songs or French anthems, for example, one should not assume that singers identified themselves as informed patriots or liberals. In many instances, public singing was a performative gesture, intended to register opposition to state authorities. Mocking authority with melody and lyrics might evince contumacy, but obdurate rebellion does not necessarily reflect ideological action. In a similar

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vein, the oppositional behavior of many ordinary rural Rhinelanders mixed libertarianism with liberalism or radicalism: a local resistance to the increased disciplinary presence of the state in villages, which began with the French but continued with greater consistency and success under the Prussians. The state’s penetration into rural communities in the early nineteenth century partially explains the heightened trend of civilian violence against soldiers and custom officials in this era at parish festivals, in taverns, and in the street. But even such sullen, inarticulate resistance evolved over time. In 1848, the popular demand for civil militias stemmed from a long history of persistent civilian violence against soldiers (Brophy, 2004b). Similarly, the multigenerational transmission of Freiheitslieder attests more than just accidental correspondence, and the re-adapted rite of liberty trees and tricolors in the 1830s and again in 1848–1849 speaks to a conscious embrace of nationalism and constitutionalism. Certainly, the substantial and broadbased political engagement of ordinary Rhinelanders with the imperial constitution in 1849 confirms the degree of agency that they exhibited over the course of the 1848 Revolution. As Jonathan Sperber and Walter Rummel have persuasively demonstrated, bourgeois revolutionaries overlooked the large well of support among farmers, field hands, and village artisans for the constitutional cause. Although liberals and democrats – with a few exceptions – failed to mobilize the countryside in the critical opening months of the revolution, farmers in the Eifel, Mosel, Palatinate, and Baden regions defended the revolution in 1849. Their engagement was not a surprise. Farmers and lower middle-class artisans participated in Rhenish petition drives in 1817/1818, in 1833, and again in the 1840s; used news of the July Revolution to protest local grievances throughout the Rhineland; formed the mass crowds that fêted deputies of the Provincial and United Diet in the streets in the 1830s, thus buttressing liberal claims to popular leadership; and, finally, participated actively and widely in the Revolution of 1848/1849. Popular citizenship and its vision of the nation radicalized and deepened the participatory politics of Vormärz Germany. To conclude, this chapter offers the following programmatic points for the volume’s larger discussion: 1. Popular conceptions of nationhood are distinct and merit independent analysis. Although popular and bourgeois nationalisms overlap conceptually, the Rhenish experience shows marked differences. Whereas scholarship has stressed the dominant role of bourgeois nationhood in shaping popular identities, one should also see how

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popular publics reconfigured bourgeois nationhood in the 1840s, assigning urgency and mass support to the democratic, libertarian, and socialist movements in 1848–1849. 2. The practice of nationhood and citizenship are entwined, but the two concepts are not coterminous at the popular level. Ordinary Rhinelanders acquired ideals about liberties, rights, and participatory government before definite alternatives for German nationhood crystallized. If ordinary Rhinelanders joined the political nation in the 1830s and 1840s, they did so with citizenship ideals forged from transnational contexts. These qualities share affinities with the liberal nationalism of bourgeois polities, but they also possess their own specific intercultural history. This point played a role in the region’s democractic movement as well as within early political Catholicism. 3. Scholarship needs to pay greater heed to the cultural hybridity of popular citizenship and nationhood in Western, Northwestern, and Central Europe. In re-constructing such hybridities, scholars should not only look toward the transnational print culture of bourgeois nationalists, but also toward the intercultural arenas of work, language, religion, festivity, and other material and cultural elements that structured the localized frameworks of plebeian life. The Rhenish borderlands offer compelling evidence for re-thinking the fundamental transnational dimensions to opinion formation among popular classes. 4. Positing the cultural flow and transfer of ideas and practices during the revolutionary era should not be reduced to a viewpoint that ordinary Rhinelanders were uncritical mimics of French, Belgian, or Dutch citizenry. At issue is how European cultures acquired, vernacularized, localized, and creolized the symbols, idioms, and ideals of the “age of the democratic revolution.” The national ambiguities with which ordinary Rhinelanders raised tricolors, sang the Marseillaise and tributes to Napoleon, planted liberty trees, and sang and acted in solidarity with Belgian Catholics have not been satisfactorily interpreted. The comparative multinational process by which Rhenish artisans, laborers, and farmers constructed their claims to citizenship is a story that encompasses Europe, not merely Germany. Finally, the remit of “history from below” should not be confined to subaltern forms of political and social agency. Re-covering and interpreting the experience that drove ordinary Europeans to join their political nations, assert their claims, and alter the course of political modernity is furthermore crucial for the grand narratives of modern

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European history. For historians of all stripes, the significance of popular nationhood abides.

Notes 1. Landesarchiv Nordrhein-Westfalen (Hereafter LNRW), Reg. Aachen Pr., Nr. 643, pp. 1–9, 21, 28, 35–36. 2. I thank Professor Celia Applegate, whose paper “The Soft Boundaries of Musical Nations,” presented at the German Studies Association’s 2007 conference, provided me with the apt term of “soft borders.” 3. 13 April 1821, LNRW, Reg. Aachen, Nr. 231, pp. 34–43. 4. LNRW, Reg. Aachen Pr., Nr. 527, pp. 79–80, 83. 5. LNRW, Reg. Aachen Pr., Nr. 527, pp. 95ff. 6. LNRW, Reg. Aachen, Nr. 22938, p. 40. 7. LNRW, Reg. Aachen, Nr. 1438, unpag. 8. 5 September 1832, Geheimes Staatsarchiv preussischer Kulturbesitz Dahlem (Hereafter GStAPK), Rep. 77, Tit. 505, Nr. 6, Bd. III, p. 169; 18 and 24 April 1831, General Landesarchiv Karlsruhe (Hereafter GLA), Best. 236, Nr. 8166, pp. 9–13; LNRW, Reg. Aachen, Nr. 204, Bd. II, p. 417. For the incident of French citizens crossing the border to attack Prussian soldiers in 1816, see Landeshauptarchiv Koblenz (hereafter LHAK), Best. 442, Nr. 17. For Heinsberg incident of 30 May 1831, see LNRW, Reg. Aachen, Nr. 205, pp. 36ff. 9. 13 September 1832, GStAPK, Rep. 77, Tit. 505, Nr. 5, Bd. I, pp. 234. 10. GStAPK, Rep. 77, Tit. 505, Nr. 6, Bd. II, pp. 171, 193; Bd. III, pp. 112, 204. 11. LHAK, Best. 403, Nr. 2056, pp. 13–15; GStAPK, Rep. 77, Tit. 505, Nr. 5, Bd. I, pp. 92–93; GStAPK, Rep. 77, Tit. 505, Nr. 5, Bd. I, p. 81. 12. Ibid.; GStAPK, Rep. 77, Tit. 505, Nr. 6, Bd. III, p. 113; LNRW, Reg. Aachen Pr., Nr. 643, p. 21; LHAK, Best. 403, Nr. 2483, passim; LHAK, Best. 403, Nr. 2076, pp. 1–2; LNRW, Reg. Aachen, Nr. 204, Bd. II, p. 278. For Prussia’s “colonial governance” in the Rhineland, see Herres (2006). For the high incidence of tumult between soldiers and civilians in the Rhenish Vormärz, see Brophy (2007, chap. 5). 13. 10 May 1834, GLA, Best. 236, Nr. 8776, unpag. 14. 14 December 1831, LNRW, Reg. Aachen, Nr. 242, p. 5. 15. LHAK, Best. 403, Nr. 2451, pp. 33–39. 16. For documentation concerning tracts and fliers, as well as suspicion of foreign masons, Cabetists, and student fraternities, see GStAPK, Rep. 77, Tit. 505, Nr. 1, Bd. I, pp. 144, 155, 170, passim; for the surveillance of the Aachen border after 1819, see LNRW, Reg. Aachen Pr., Nr. 525, passim; 12 October 1834, LNRW, Reg. Aachen Pr., Nr. 642, pp. 7ff. For an account, in February 1835, about Belgian and Rhenish republicans from Liège planning a regional uprising, see LNRW, Reg. Aachen Pr., Nr. 542, pp. 56–57. For surveillance of French “emissaries,” see LHAK, Best. 403, Nr. 2422; GStAPK, Rep. 77, Tit. 500, Nr. 10. 17. Archiv des Erzbistum Kölns, CR 17.1,1. 18. 23 March 1838, LNRW, Reg. Aachen Pr., Nr. 2235, p. 128. 19. LNRW, Reg. Aachen Pr., Nr. 542, p. 92, 170, 177, 180; Nr. 526, p. 87.

184 Case Studies: The Domestic Other 20. LNRW, Reg. Aachen, Nr. 205, p. 13; Landeshauptarchiv Koblenz, Best. 403, Nr. 2473, pp. 47ff. 21. G.D. Saffenreuter’s Der apostolische Gefangene Clemens August Erzbishof von Cöln (1839) and Der Catholische Bruder- und Schwesterbund zu einer rein katholischen Ehe (1838) are two additional examples. The Dutch town of Sittard stood under Belgian sovereignty between 1830 and 1839. 22. For a poster of 2 December 1837 in Goch calling the king a tyrant, see LNRW, Reg. Düss. Pr., Nr. 856, p. 71; for a ridiculing illustration of the bishop’s affair outside Düsseldorf church, 4 January 1839, see LNRW, Reg. Düss. Pr., Nr. 857, p. 179; for the angry crowd in Heinsberg over an allegedly insulting display of the bishop’s portrait, 26 February 1839, see LNRW, Reg. Aachen Pr., Nr. 632, Bd. I, p. 105; for a Krefeld poster written by the “Executive Committee of Revolutionaries,” 30 December 1837, see LNRW, Reg. Düss. Pr., Nr. 856, pp. 139, 151; for another caricature in Krefeld, ibid., p. 179; for fliers on Clemens August distributed during a royal visit in Aachen during June 1839, see LNRW, Reg. Aachen Pr., Nr. 633, p. 42; Keinemann (1974, pp. 103ff.). 23. For Good Friday disturbances against Protestants, 15 April 1839, see GStAPK, Rep. 77, Tit. 505, Nr. 4, Bd. III, p. 14; for harassment of pastor and wife, see LNRW, Reg. Düss. Pr., Nr. 857, pp. 71–72; for molestation of Protestant houses, 7 December 1837, see LNRW, Reg. Düss. Pr., Nr. 856, pp. 78–79; for charivaris over mixed-marriage wedding on 15 August and 26 September 1839, see LNRW, Reg. Aachen Pr., Nr. 633, p. 233, and Nr. 1195, p. 29; for fanatical speeches against Protestants, October 1837, see LNRW, Reg. Aachen Pr., Nr. 620, p. 86; for insult about “Calvinist nation,” 23 April 1838, see LNRW, Reg. Düss. Pr., Nr. 857, p. 143. For tavern fight in Neukirchen over religion, 2 January 1838, see LNRW, Reg. Düss. Pr., Nr. 856, pp. 187ff.; for outburst about Rhinelanders being fired and replaced with “Calvinists,” 9 April 1839, see LNRW, Reg. Aachen Pr., Nr. 631, Teil II, p. 331; for the tavern keeper Molls in Gladbach, who harassed Protestants and used a carnival celebration in 1839 to have Catholics beat up Protestants, see LNRW, Reg. Düss. Pr., Nr. 809, pp. 8ff.; for poster on Protestant church in Cologne declaring “Burn down the pig sty,” see ibid., 105. 24. 17 May 1837, LNRW, Reg. Aachen Pr., Nr. 1211, pp. 85–86; 22 May 1838, LNRW, Reg. Düss Pr., Nr. 857, p. 167; 26 January 1838, LNRW, Reg. Düss. Pr., Nr. 857, p. 77; January 1838, LNRW, Reg. Aachen Pr., Nr. 2235, p. 20; March 1839, LNRW, Reg. Aachen Pr., Nr. 632, Teil II, pp. 330–331; 2 January 1839, LNRW, Reg. Düss. Pr., Nr. 809, p. 15; for sträfliche Äußerungen (“punishable utterances”), 30 March 1839, see GStAPK, Rep. 77, Tit. 505, Nr. 2, Bd. II, p. 126. 25. LNRW, Reg. Düss. Pr., Nr. 856, p. 180. 26. For drunken ditty in Wickrath, 26 December 1837, see LNRW, Reg. Düss. Pr., Nr. 856, p. 203; for a parody of Heil Dir, see LHAK, Best. 403, Nr. 4845, pp. 17ff.; for printed song pamphlets, see Historisches Archiv der Stadt Köln, Best. 1006, Nr. 392; for Spottlied with vivat for archbishop, see GStAPK, Rep. 77, Tit. 505, Nr. 2, Bd. II, p. 107. 27. 6 November 1838, LNRW, Reg. Köln, Nr. 62, pp. 26ff.; 14 November 1838, LHAK, Best. 403, Nr. 2527, pp. 65, 73; 14/15 November 1838, GStAPK, Rep. 77, Tit. 505, Nr. 1, Bd. 1, p. 304.

James M. Brophy 185 28. LNRW, Reg. Aachen, Nr. 638, pp. 6–12; LNRW, Reg. Aachen Pr., Nr. 632, Teil II, p. 492. 29. This is a method institutionalized by the Deutsches Volksliedarchiv in Freiburg im Breisgau – an indispensable research institute for social historians. 30. Rhinelanders sang the Ça ira and the Marseillaise in the 1790s, enshrined them at the Hambach Festival of 1832, and reapplied the songs and their knock-offs prior to and during the Revolution of 1848: Conrady (1922, p. 79); 11 July 1847, GStAPK, Rep. 77, Tit. 499, Nr. 24, p. 19; Sperber (1998, p. 65). 31. To be sure, Rhenish popular publics also sang francophobic and antiNapoleonic songs, but their Francophilia is more pronounced, especially when compared with that of other German regions. For Francophobic songs in the Rhineland, see Conrady (1922, p. 115). 32. 3 March 1832, GStAPK, Rep. 77, Tit. 505, Nr. 5, Bd. I; 9 March 1832, Landesarchiv Speyer, Best. H1, Nr. 1039, p. 9; Georg Eck to Rhenish-Bavarian government, 10 November 1833, Landesarchiv Speyer, Best. H1, Nr. 1036. 33. GStAPK, Rep. 77, Tit. 505, Nr. 2, Bd. 2, pp. 207–210. 34. Charivaris against Ludolf Camphausen and August von der Heydt in 1848, which registered popular disapproval of the notables’ moderate liberal positions, are two examples among many. 35. Gailus (1990, pp. 462–463); Sperber (1991, pp. 220–223). For an 1848 flysheet on the use and abuses of political charivaris, see Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library, Revolution 1848–1849, Ex Oversize 1580 184.763 e, no. 95.

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186 Case Studies: The Domestic Other Conrady, Alexander (1922). Die Rheinlande in der Franzosenzeit 1750–1815 (Stuttgart: Dietz). Cornelissen, Georg (1986). Das Niederländische im preußischen Gelderland und seine Ablösung durch das Deutsche. Untersuchung zur niederrheinische Sprachgeschichte der Jahre 1770–1870 (Bonn: Ludwig Röhrscheid). Cornelissen, Georg (1988). ‘Fassong, Filu, Pavei, Plafong. Über die Franzosenzeit und die französischen Lehnwörter in den rheinischen Mundarten’, Volkskultur am Rhein und Maase, 7, 31–37. Cornelissen, Georg (2000). ‘Kleve, Köln und die Uerdinger Zone auf Dialektarten’, in Köln und die Niederlande in ihren historischen Raumbeziehungen (15.–20. Jahrhundert), ed. Dieter Geuenich (Pulheim: Rheinland-Verlag), pp. 393–405. Coy, Adelheid (1978). Die Musik der Französischen Revolution. Zur Funktionsbestimmung von Lied und Hymne (Munich: Musikverlag Katzbichler). Deetjen, Werner (1920). Sie sollen ihn nich haben! Tatsachen und Stimmungen aus dem Jahre 1840 (Weimar: Böhlau). Dohms, Peter (1993). Rheinische Katholiken unter preussischen Herrschaft. Die Geschichte der Kevelaer-Wallfahrt im Kreis Neuss (Meerbusch: Neusser Jahrbuch). Dufraisse, Roger (1973). ‘La contrabande dans les departements reunis de la rive gauche du Rhin a l’époque napoléonienne’, Francia, 1, 508–536. Ebeling, Dietrich, and Jürgen Nagel (1997). ‘Frühindustrialisierung zwischen Rhein und Maas. Überlegungen zu einer neuen Wirtschaftskarte der nördlichen Rheinlande um 1812’, Rheinische Vierteljahrsblätter 61, 175–204. Elspass, Stephan (2000). ‘Rheinische Sprachgeschichte von 1700 bis 1900’, in Rheinisch-Westfälische Sprachgeschichte, Jürgen Macha, Elmar Neuss, Robert Peters, eds (Cologne: Böhlau), pp. 247–276. Engelbrecht, Jörg (1997). Räume und Grenzen in historischer Perspektive:Die Entwicklung der deutsch-niederländisch Grenze im Wandel der Jahrhunderte (Viersen: Müser). Engelbrecht, Jörg (2000a). ‘Konfessionsbedingte Migrationsund Kommuniktationsprozesse im nordwesteuropäischen Raum vom 16. zum 18. Jahrhundert: Köln, Antwerpen, Amsterdam’, Blätter für deutsche Geschichte, 137, 1–15. Engelbrecht, Jörg (2000b). ‘Verkehrs- und Kommunikationsbeziehungen zwischen Köln und dem Niederrhein’, in Köln und die Niederlande in ihren historischen Raumbeziehungen (15.-20. Jahrhundert), Dieter Geuenich, ed. (Pulheim: Rheinland-Verlag), pp. 239–255. Engelbrecht, Jörg (2003). ‘Das Rheinland und Rheinländer. Struktur und Identität des Nordrheinlandes und seiner Menschen’, in Rheingold. Menschen und Mentalitäten im Rheinland. Eine Landeskunde, Jörg Engelbrecht, Norbert Kühn, Georg Mülich, Thomas Otten and Karl Peter Wiemer, eds (Cologne: Böhlau), pp. 1–50. Engelbrecht, Jörg, Norbert Kühn, Georg Mülich, Thomas Otten and Karl Peter Wiemer, eds (2003). Rheingold. Menschen und Mentalitäten im Rheinland. Eine Landeskunde (Cologne: Böhlau). Espagne, Michel and Michael Werner (1988). Transferts. Les relations interculturelles dans l’espace franco-allemand (XVIIIe et XIX siècle) (Paris: Éditions recherche sur les civilisations). Febvre, Lucien (1994). Der Rhein und seine Geschichte, Peter Schöttler trans. (Frankfurt am Main: Campus).

James M. Brophy 187 Friedrichs, Otto (2000). Das niedere Schulwesen im linksrheinischen Herzogtum Kleve 1614–1816. Ein Beitrag zur Regionalgeschichte der Elementarschulen in Brandenburg-Preussen (Bielefeld: Verlag für Regionalgeschichte). Gailus, Manfred (1990). Strasse und Brot. Sozialer Protest in den deutschen Staaten unter besonderer Berücksichtigung Preussens, 1847–1849 (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht). Green, Abigail (2001). Fatherlands: State-Building and Nationhood in Germany (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). Grilli, Antonio (1993). ‘Sprache und Recht in den französischen Rheinlanden. Die Einführung des Französischen als Gerichtssprache im Saardepartement 1798’, Rheinische Vierteljahrsblätter, 57, 227–252. Gruner, Wolf D. (1995). Die deutsche Frage. Ein Problem der deutschen Geschichte seit 1800 (Munich: Beck). Gutmann, Myron P. (1988). Toward the Modern Economy: Early Industry in Europe, 1500–1800 (New York: Knopf). Haase, Anne-Marie (2000). “Das “Unruhige Dreieck” Aachen-Stolberg, Verviers und Eupen im Vormärz’, in Aachen, die westlichen Rheinlanden und die Revolution 1848/49, Guido Müller and Jürgen Herres, eds (Aachen: Shaker Verlag), pp. 55–70. Hagemann, Karen (2002). ‘Mannlicher Muth und Teutsche Ehre’. Nation, Militär und Geschlecht zur Zeit der Antinapoleonischen Kriege Preussens (Paderborn: F. Schöningh). Hansen, Joseph (1906). Gustav von Mevissen. Ein Rheinisches Lebensbild, vol. 1 (Berlin: Riemer). Henkin, David M. (1998). City Reading: Written Words and Public Spaces in Antebellum New York (New York: Columbia University Press). Hermanns, Will (1970). Aachener Sprachschatz. Wörterbuch der Aachener Mundart (Aachen: Mayer). Herres, Jürgen (2000). “Wer ging am 1. Mai 1848 in Aachen zur ersten demokratischen Wahl?’, in Aachen, die westlichen Rheinlande und die Revolution 1848/49, Guido Müller and Jürgen Herrres, eds (Aachen: Shaker Verlag), pp. 183–196. Herres, Jürgen (2006). ‘ “Und nenne Euch Preussen!” Die Anfänge preussischer Herrschaft am Rhein im 19. Jahrhundert,’ in Fremde Herrscher – fremdes Volk, Helga Schnabel-Schüle and Andreas Gestrich, eds (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Land), pp. 107–137. Herres, Jürgen (2007). “Rhein-Preussen. Eine deutsch-deutsche Beziehungsgeschichte im 19. Jahrhundert’, in Die Rheinlande und das Reich, Manfred Groten, ed. (Düsseldorf: Droste), pp. 159–202. Höhn, Gerhard and Bernd Füllner, eds (2002). Deutsch-französischer Ideentransfer im Vormärz. Forum Vormärz Forschung 8 (Bielefeld: Aisthesis). Huber, Ernst Rudolf (1960). Deutsche Verfassungsgeschichte seit 1789, vol. 2: Der Kampf um Einheit und Freiheit (Stuttgart: Klett). Judson, Pieter M. (2006). Guardians of the Nation: Activists of the Language Frontiers of Imperial Austria (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press). Keinemann, Friedrich (1974). Das Kölner Ereignis, sein Widerhall in der Rheinprovinz und in Westfalen. Teil 2, Quellen (Münster: Aschendorff). King, Jeremy (2002). Budweisers into Czechs and Germans: A Local History of Bohemian Politics (Princeton: Princeton University Press).

188 Case Studies: The Domestic Other Kisch, Herbert (1962/1963). ‘The Impact of the French Revolution on the Lower Rhine Textile Districts: Some Comments on Economic Development and Social Change’, The Economic History Review, 2nd series, 15, 304–327. Kisch, Herbert (1989). From Domestic Manufacture to Industrial Revolution: The Case of the Rhineland Textile Districts (Oxford: Oxford University Press). Klein, Walther (1934). Der Napoleonkult in der Pfalz (Munich: Beck). Koltes, Manfred (1992). Das Rheinland zwischen Frankreich und Preussen. Studiesn zu Kontinuität und Wandel am Beginn der preussischen Herrschaft (1814–1822) (Cologne: Böhlau). Koolman, Egbert, ed. (1990). Bänkellieder und Jahrmarktdrucke (Oldenburg: Holzberg). Lademacher, Horst (2001). Der europäische Nordwesten. Historische Prägungen und Beziehungen: Ausgewählte Aufsätze (Münster: Waxmann). Looz-Corswarem, Clemens von (2007). ‘Der Rhein als Verkehrsweg im 18. Jahrhundert’, in Der Rhein als Verkehrsweg. Politik, Rechts und Wirtschaft seit dem 18. Jahrhundert, ed. Clemens von Looz-Corswarenm and Georg Mölich (Bottrop: Peter Pomp), pp. 13–36. Margry, Peter Jan, and Henk te Velde (2003). ‘Contested Rituals and the Battle for Public Space: the Netherlands’, in Culture Wars: Secular Conflict in NineteenthCentury Europe, Christopher Clark and Wolfram Kaiser, eds (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), pp. 129–151. Mason, Laura (1996). Singing the French Revolution: Popular Culture and Politics, 1787–1799 (Ithaca: Cornel University Press). Mölich, Georg, ed. (2003). Preussens schwieriger Westen. Rheinisch-preußische Beziehungen, Konflikte und Wechselwirkungen (Duisburg: Mercator-Verlag). Molitor, Hansgeorg (1980). Vom Untertan zum Administré. Studien zur französischen Herrschaft und zum Verhalten der Bevölkerung im Rhein-Mosel-Raum von den Revolutionskriegen bis zum Ende der napoleonischen Zeit (Wiesbaden: F. Steiner). Müffling, Friedrich Carl Freiherr von (1851). Aus meinem Leben (Berlin: Mittler). Müller, Jürgen (1998). ‘1798. Das Jahr des Umbruches im Rheinland’, Rheinische Vierteljahrsblätter, 62, 205–237. Pabst, Klaus (1997). ‘Französisch in Verwaltung und Schule des linken Rheinufers 1792/94 bis 1814’, in Französische Sprache in Deutschland im Zeitalter der Französischen Revolution, Bernd Spillner, ed. (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang), pp. 133–154. Pabst, Klaus (1999). ‘Die preussischen Wallonen – Eine staatstreue Minderheit im Westen’, in Nationale Minderheiten und staatliche Minderheitenpolitik in Deutschland im 19. Jahrhundert, Hans Henning Hahn and Peter Kunze, eds (Berlin: Akademie Verlag), pp. 71–79. Planert, Ute (2007). Der Mythos vom Befreiungskrieg. Frankreichs Kriege und der deutsche Süden: Alltag – Wahrnehmung – Deutung 1792–1841 (Paderborn: F. Schöningh). Rowe, Michael (2003). From Reich to State: The Rhineland in the Revolutionary Age, 1780–1830 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). Ruland, Herbert, ed. (1988). ‘Gott segne die Arbeit.’ Ein Lesebuch zur Geschichte der Eupener Arbeitschaft in französischer und preussischer Zeit (Aachen: Alano). Rummel, Walter (1998a). ‘Gegen Burokratie, Steuerlast und Bevormundung durch den Staat. Anliegen und Aktionen der ländlichen Gebiete der Rheinprovinz während der Revolution 1848/49’, in Revolution im Rheinland.

James M. Brophy 189 Veränderungen der politischen Kultur 1848/49, Stephan Lennartz and Georg Mölich, eds (Bielefeld: Verlag für Regionalgeschichte), pp. 109–162. Rummel, Walter (1998b). ‘Kanonen gegen Winzer – Kolonnen gegen Bauern. Die Revolution von 1848/49 in den ländlichen Gebieten des Saar-Mosel-Raumes’, Jahrbuch für westdeutsche Landesgeschichte, 24, 305–328. Rummel, Walter (2007). ‘Taxes and Other Burdens: State-Building in the Prussian Rhine Province, 1815–1850’, in Taxation, State, and Civil Society in Germany and the United States from the 18th to 20th Century, Alexander Nutznadel and Christoph Strupp, eds (Baden-Baden: Nomos), pp. 141–152. Schieder, Wolfgang (1978). ‘Der Rheinpfälzische Liberalismus von 1832 als politische Protestbewegung’, in Vom Staat des ancien regime zum modernen Parteienstaat, ed. Helmut Berding et al. (Munich: Oldenbourg), pp. 169–195. Schöttler, Peter (1995). ‘The Rhine as an Object of Historical Controversy in the Inter-war Years. Towards a History of Frontier Mentalities’, History Workshop Journal, 39, 1–21. Sperber, Jonathan (1989). ‘Echoes of the French Revolution in the Rhineland, 1830–1849’, Central European History, 22, 200–217. Sperber, Jonathan (1991). Rhineland Radicals. The Democratic Movement and the Revolution of 1848/49 (Princeton: Princeton University Press). Sperber, Jonathan (1998). ‘Germania mit Phyrgiermütze. Zur politischen Symbolik der Revolution von 1848/49 in den Rheinlanden’, in 1848/49 und der Mythos der Französischen Revolution, ed. Irmtraud Götz von Olenhusen (Göttingen: Vandenhoek und Ruprecht), pp. 63–80. Spillner, Bernd (1997). ‘ “Der gefällige Souffleur”. Der französische Sprache und französischer Sprachunterricht im Rheinland,’ in Französische Sprache in Deutschland im Zeitalter der Französischen Revolution, Bernd Spillner, ed. (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang), pp. 71–105. Steinitz, Wolfgang (1979). Deutsche Volkslieder demokratischen Charakters aus sechs Jahrhunderten, vols 1–2 (Frankfurt an Main: Zweitausendeins). Zahra, Tara (2008). Kidnapped Souls: National Indifference and the Battle for Children in the Bohemian Lands, 1900–1948 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press).

The External Other

9 Between or Without Nations? Multiple Identifications Among Belgian Migrants in Lille, Northern France, 1850–1900 Saartje Vanden Borre and Tom Verschaffel

In the spring of 1889, the city of Lille in Northern France witnessed the birth of a new association, named Société Philanthropique des Belges (the Philanthropic Association of Belgians). Like every other association, it had to motivate its very existence in statutes deposited at the prefecture. Its first article stated: An association has been created in Lille with the name: Société Philanthropique des Belges. Its aim is to provide the Belgian colony with possibilities to show its utility for France. [ . . . ] In short, to do everything which would enhance the recognition of Belgians living in France and to enhance the sympathy that exists between French and Belgian subjects.1 The prefect of Lille granted the association’s right of existence on 20 May 1889. Four days later, the republican newspaper L’Écho du Nord published a small announcement: We are entreated to inform whom it may concern that all information about obtaining the French naturalization will be given for free every Sunday from ten until noon at the seat of the Société Philanthropique des Belges, at the Café Gambrinus, 12, Grande-Place.2 Although both quotations emanate from the same group, they seem to send out a somewhat different message. The statutes of the association seem to bear witness to national consciousness and pride, and, thus, to the implied will to cultivate the migrants’ Belgian nationality whereas the newspaper announcement, addressing the Belgian ‘colony’ 193

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in Lille, aims at facilitating the naturalization of individual migrants, and, thus, implicitly it recommends giving up one’s Belgian nationality for the French. Apparently, the Société used this initiative to attract the attention of the migrant community. What did it really hope to achieve, and why did it focus on the nationality issue? Why did it think this issue mattered? Hitherto migrant studies seem to have paid more attention than nationalism studies to the question how national identity was interiorized by people. This study, too, considers migrants, their associations and manifestations, as a means to analyse and to understand what nationality meant, what role it played and thus what impact it had on the everyday life of ordinary people within a specific historical context. More than others, migrants were confronted with the implications of nationality. They were questioned on this point, sometimes forced to consider their national loyalty and to take decisions about naturalization. Because the Belgians in Lille in the second half of the nineteenth century were mostly factory workers (in textile industries), evidence that explicitly bears witness to their national identification is and remains scarce. Ego-documents, for instance, have hardly been found. Yet the specificity of their situation and of the historical context of their migration provides a particular material and social environment of structures and infrastructures, which can be studied as signifiers, also in terms of nationality and identification.

1. Large numbers The nineteenth century brought huge changes for great parts of Europe, and the newly founded kingdom of Belgium did not escape the general trends. While the agricultural sector in Europe generally turned more capitalist by mechanizing production processes and increasing crop yields, most Belgian peasants were unable to do so due to a lack of financial means. Their own small plot of land proved not even enough to sustain their family. Natality was traditionally high in many parts of Belgium. One-third of the rural population worked full-time in domestic textile production to complete the family income. Due to the mechanization of the spinning and weaving process in England and France, Belgian peasants saw their earnings diminish. A structural crisis spread over Belgium’s northern region, Flanders and some parts of the southern Walloon region from the 1850s onwards. Only advanced mechanized industries in some cities, for example the textile mills in Ghent, and in mining areas in the Walloon region could keep up economically.

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As in many European regions struck by economic crises, migration proved to be a very useful survival strategy for Belgians too. Many farmers left to be seasonal workers on greater, mechanized farms in Wallonia, in France, or even across the Atlantic. They brought their wages home in winter time to leave again in spring. Others left permanently for job opportunities in the Americas, for the mines in the Walloon region or just across the border in Northern France or for the flourishing industries in Paris and the textile triangle of Lille, Roubaix and Tourcoing. As a neighbouring country, France hosted some 500,000 Belgian migrants during the second half of the nineteenth century (Dupâquier, 1991, p. 341). During that same period, the share of foreigners in the population of Lille increased from 16.12 per cent in 1861 (93.3 per cent of them being of Belgian origin) up to 28.7 per cent in 1889 (96.7 per cent Belgians).3 In 1895, an official letter to the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the Belgian population in Roubaix, the adjacent municipality, consisted of about 18,000 French-speaking Walloons and 47,000 Dutch-speaking Flemings (27.7 per cent and 72.3 per cent, respectively of the Belgian migrant population).4 We may assume that, in Lille, the proportion Flemish/Walloon was similar to that in Roubaix. Because of the preponderance of this Flemish Belgian population in the whole of Northern France, the term belge (Belgian) became to a certain extent interchangeable with flamand or flamind (Flemish), although it appears that the latter had a more negative connotation. One often finds insults as sale flamind (“filthy Fleming”) in the source material, but not sale belge (“filthy Belgian”) (Landrecies, 2001). While the extraordinary growth of Lille and of neighbouring cities like Tourcoing and Roubaix (where in the second half of the century more than half of the inhabitants were Belgian) implies that many migrants settled in their new environment, Leslie Page Moch warns us that ‘this masked a greater volume of turnover and temporary movement’, as is characteristic for all migrations (2003, p. 134). By the end of the century, however, temporary movements increased even more, at the expense of permanent settlement, because workers had more means to commute between their home in Belgium and their jobs across the border. This enhanced the local population’s perception of Belgian migrants as profiteers: they took the place of French people in the factories and funneled French money off to their own country, without participating in the local economy (Lentacker, 1974, pp. 266–275). The daily or weekly movement and the locals’ perceptions made the situation of this specific Belgian group of workers very distinct from that of the permanently settled Belgians in Lille and elsewhere in le Nord. Therefore, we limit our

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scope to the settled Belgian migrant community in Lille in Northern France. Research into Belgian migration in France has benefitted from a revived interest in French migration history in general, which was brought about by the publication of Gérard Noiriel’s Creuset français in 1988. While the most important works in the 1970s were Lentacker (1974) and Reardon (1977), from the 1990s onwards Belgian migration received far more attention (Dupâquier, 1991; Strikwerda, 1993; Pooley, 2004; Petillon, 2006). In general, it is agreed that Belgian migrants have gone through a ‘normal’ integration process, which means that, while their arrival was initially contested in various ways, already from the second generation the descendants of these migrants quickly adapted to French society. However, this notion of French society is rarely specified. What did it mean, in an environment where almost half of the people had the same origin? And what did Belgian nationality and origin mean to the Belgian migrants in Northern France in the second half of the nineteenth century? Belgium as an independent state may have been relatively young (it was founded in 1830), but large parts of the Franco-Belgian border had been in existence since the seventeenth century, and already during the eighteenth century there were signs of the development of a certain ‘Belgian awareness’ at the Belgian side of the border (Koll, 2003, pp. 379–391). Previous research states that a sense of Belgianness did not trickle down through society until the end of the nineteenth century (Caestecker, 1999; Stengers and Gubin, 2002, p. 33). However, we might wonder if this was the case for Belgian migrants in Northern France. During times of economic decline, they were often confronted with hostile French workers demanding jobs to be reserved for French citizens. To some extent, at least, these migrants had to be aware that they were not French (Perrot, 1974, pp. 164–179). Still, the rather quick assimilation of Belgians into Northern French society cannot be denied: the sources even indicate that they showed remarkably great interest in French nationality. Why, then, did the Société Philanthropique des Belges bother? Why did it, at once, rouse Belgian pride and facilitate the migrants’ conversion to French nationality?

2. Peculiar or invisible? In 1858, Lille expanded its territory by annexing the neighbouring municipalities of Wazemmes, Moulins, Esquermes – and later on also Fives. The cheap, small and unhealthy housing in the areas (the so-called courées) attracted many migrants. Soon enough, Wazemmes,

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Moulins and Fives were as crowded as the inner city of Lille. In his depiction of the picturesque Nord of 1888, Henri Cons stated that, in Lille, ‘entire quarters consist of, so to say, housing for workers only. Of these workers, many are of Belgian origin; in some parts of Wazemmes they constitute the majority of the inhabitans’ (Cons, 1888, p. 182). Wazemmes, which hosted about 17,287 Belgians (40 per cent of its population) already in 1872, was in fact referred to as ‘la petite Belgique’ (Pierrard, 1965, p. 115). The concentration of Belgian migrants between Rue de Juliers, Rue d’Iéna and Rue des Rogations in Wazemmes was noticed also by the religious authorities, who worried about the spiritual conditions of these Dutch-speaking Flemish. From 1868 onwards, the Werk der Vlamingen or Oeuvre des Flamands (Work of the Flemish), run by Flemish Franciscans, started its activities in the neighbourhood. According to Alfred Salembier, a local priest–historian who wrote a history of Wazemmes at the beginning of the twentieth century, they had the advantage of knowing the language and the customs of the numerous foreigners who lived next to the convent, in Rue Mazagran (Salembier, 1912, pp. 409–411). Wazemmes gained a very bad reputation with the local population of Lille. Around the turn of the century, the state university of Lille declined the proposal of the city’s Catholic university to use the Hôpital Sainte-Charité in Wazemmes as training center for their students, because that hospital will especially be visited by the Flemish quarter of Wazemmes and the medical attention given to subjects who do not understand a word of our language and are for the majority brutes is almost unworkable. That is veterinary medecine, not human medecine! (cited in Musschoot, 2008, p. 42) In his Promenades lilloises, historian and school-teacher François Chon described a stroll through Wazemmes as a real venture or even sheer madness. Hardly anyone visited these peculiar places: Of all [these streets], the rue de Juliers certainly is the most characteristic. There is no mistake possible; you are in the middle of Flemish speaking Flandre.5 The ia, ia [yes, yes] can be heard at every moment and if you ask someone a question he will answer you with that typical accent which gives, coming from the mouth of a Fleming, such a particular charm to the French language. (Chon, 1888, p. 86)

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For Chon, the strange language was the most obvious feature of this immigrant population. In his opinion, Belgian migrants belonged to the same low social class as the French workers in (e.g.) Saint-Sauveur, Lille’s poorest city quarter within the ancient walls. Being an intellectual, influenced by the opinions of the day, Chon of course paid attention to the national identity of the Belgian migrants in his town. While walking through the streets of Wazemmes, he was struck by what he perceived as patriotism, or the loyalty of the inhabitants to their Belgian background. Our good neighbours, transplanted to Lille, have remained fervent patriots, loyal subjects of Leopold [second king of Belgium (1865– 1909)], and loving towards their birth ground. No sign can be seen that is not an echo of an indestructible national sentiment: ‘At the King of the Belgians’, ‘At the Queen of the Belgians’, ‘At the Belgian Lion’6 , ‘In Little Brussels’, ‘In Saint-Gudula’ [popular ‘Belgian’ saint], ‘At the Tower of Malines’, ‘At the slope of Ypres’, etcetera, etcetera. They stay in France under the force of circumstances, their soul is still there, at the other side of the border. (Chon, 1888, p. 86) Chon may have been echoing popular stereotypes of Belgian migrants in Lille, but how did they actually behave and organize social life in their neighbourhoods? The northern department of France was known for its vast sociocultural landscape, which revolved around the estaminet or cabaret. From 1880 onwards, opening up a cabaret no longer required a complex administrative procedure, and this simplification resulted in the proliferation of little cabarets in the streets. In 1882, Lille had one café for 80 inhabitants. By 1914, this number had risen to one for 55 (Lalouette, 1982, p. 131). Every potential client in town could pick out the exact café in which he or she felt at ease; at the same time, cafés had to stand out to attract customers (Scott Haine, 1992, pp. 609–610). Studies confirm that migrants tend to take advantage of their roots by foregrounding them in their commercial activities. Customers who frequent ‘ethnic businesses’, be they a shop or a café, mainly do this because they are at ease in the specific ‘ethnic’ environment. All participants in these commercial transactions express some of their identity by simply taking part in them (Noiriel, 1988, p. 178). In a town such as Lille, with one out of five inhabitants coming from Belgium, a café with a name referring to Belgium would certainly draw the attention of many potential clients. Our own research into the migrant profile of cafés, however,

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carried out when studying the socio-cultural associations established in Lille does not indicate that all Belgian businesses stated their origins publicly, as Chon suggests. Many pubs run by Belgians were named after California and – as we shall see – Mulhouse, rather than after Ghent or Belgium. Many established cafés already had well-known names, which the innkeepers left unchanged when taking over business.7 Yet the fact that estaminets did not explicitly refer to a migrant or Belgian background does not automatically imply that they did not have a Belgian mark, a Belgian innkeeper or a largely Belgian clientele, or that they did not host either Belgian or mixed societies. On the contrary, in neighbourhoods with large numbers of Belgian migrants the Belgian character of these meeting places was so obvious that it would be superfluous or pointless to state it explicitly. Anyhow, cafés did, in fact, play a leading part in the social life of these neighbourhoods. Often the regular visitors decided to start an association in order to gather players of a certain popular game, or to participate at local feasts, such as carnival. In 1883, Constant Van Aerde applied with the prefect of Lille for the authorization of a newly founded association, Les vrais belges (The Real Belgians), in the café La Ville de Mulhouse (The City of Mulhouse), run by Jean Vandekerkhove, in order to participate in processions and to be eligible for the prices awarded each year by the municipality.8 While the name of the café did not betray any link to Belgium, the association did. The members of the club used their Belgian origin as a trademark whenever they appeared in public. This conscious choice is by far a better indication of emotional attachment to Belgian origins than the names of the cafés are. Unlike what one would expect in a city with a massive migrant population, there were very few migrant organizations in Lille that, like Les vrais belges, stated the national origin of their members explicitly. The Archives Départementales du Nord preserve a file for every association that applied for authorization between 1852 and 1901. During this period, some 1,469 clubs were registered. The city’s social life undoubtedly counted many more little clubs in popular cafés, as registration was compulsory only for organizations with more than 20 members. Of the 1,469 associations, of which the file is kept in the Archives, not more than 34 explicitly referred to Belgium in their name, by mentioning a town, region or the country itself, or by using a symbol linked to the country (the national motto L’union fait la force, or Artevelde, the famous medieval hero of Ghent).9 Most of these 33 associations were sports and game clubs: small gatherings of friends having fun by drinking, singing and playing

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games. About half of the organizations with an explicit Belgian profile dated from the 1870s. This chronology reflects the overall increase of Belgian migrants in Northern France as well as the composition of this migrant population: the originally young and male movement gradually changed into a migration of families, which formed a less volatile community in the French cities (Lentacker, 1975, p. 173). The topography of the associations was not surprising: 16 of the ‘explicit’ migrant associations were established in Wazemmes. Many of them had their seat in Rue de Juliers, which was known as the busiest migrant street in the district. Popular songs proudly mention the street as the place to pick up bargains. In his song ‘L’pus bielle rue d’ Lille’ (‘The Prettiest Street in Lille’), Jean de Roef sang in the local patois: Mais faut payer au comptant/Car on vind trop bon marqué./Pour trouver l’ meyieurre boutique/Et pou n’ point ête orpassé/Faut aller au Progrès Belge,/Quarante-quatre, dins l’ rue d’ Juliers [There is an important store/especially for the shoemakers:/But you have to pay cash there/Since they sell too cheap./To find the best shop/And not to ête orpassé10 /Go to Progrès belge [Belgian Progress]/44, in Rue d’ Juliers.]11 Émile Méplond too, praised an ethnic business in Rue de Juliers in his song ‘Au réveil belge’ (‘In the Belgian Clock’): Faut aller au Réveil/Qui s’ trouve dins l’ ru d’ Juliers:/Y n’a point sin pareil/Dins tous les horlogers [You should go to ‘the Clock’/That is situated in Rue de Juliers/there is nothing like it/among all the clockmakers]. Although only 33 out of almost 1,500 associations explicitly foregrounded their Belgian origin, there were more clubs and societies where Belgians could and did participate in Lille’s rich associational life. However, it is impossible to know exactly how many of these associations we can consider as immigrant organizations, that is, organizations with at least half of the members of Belgian descent. Belgian migrants formed their own clubs, but their name does not always betray the national background of their members. To ascertain their origins, we have to rely on membership lists that stated the nationality or birthplace. Les Enfants de la Gaieté, for instance, was founded in 1856 by immigrants from Ghent, the Flemish textile city which was reputed for its strong socialist organization.12 All in all, we found 160 clubs that did indicate

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the origin of their members. Three of these were exclusively Belgian, 80 were mixed Belgian and French, 77 were exclusively French. The latter figure, however, might be inflated, because a larger proportion of membership lists stating the nationality date from the 1890s. At that time, the issue of nationality grew in importance and the change in nationality laws compelled Belgian descendants to take on French nationality. We will return to this below. To conclude this point, the self-reference of Belgian migrants, as reflected in the naming of their associations, might indicate a certain level of ‘Belgian awareness’, which, however, was not militant at all. In this context and in every day life, nationality was simply not at stake. But in other spheres of life and at specific moments, determined by external circumstances, nationality indeed became an issue and forced at least some of the Belgians in le Nord to take a stand.

3. Political issues Until the Franco-German war, French legislation was quite tolerant towards foreigners. On the basis of the republican ideal of liberty, the government paid little attention to the non-French living in the country, that is, as long as they did not pose a threat to society. Migrants came and went, and they took part in social life as much or as little as they pleased. By the second half of the nineteenth century, the Belgian migrant community was an integral part of local Lille society. Second- and third-generation migrants were born on French territory and were raised and educated more or less like their French counterparts. Socially, there was some tension between the two groups when it came to the intertwined matter of conscription for military service and work. As a foreigner, a Belgian young man did not have to fulfil the extremely heavy military duty in France, and thus he guaranteed continuity in the workforce of the factory owner he worked for. This advantage is generally considered to be the main reason why the descendants of Belgian migrants stuck to the nationality of their parents and grandparents (Crépin, 1996). The population of the département of le Nord, as well as that of other départements hosting a lot of foreigners, keenly felt the unfairness of this situation. Already since the 1830s, the problem was debated regularly at the national level. Because the law stipulated a direct relation between citizenship and military service, the nationality legislation had to be adapted to solve the military issue. In 1851 and 1874, France tried to limit the possibilities for second- and third-generation migrants born

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on French soil to retain the nationality of their parents: at their coming of age, French nationality was automatically granted to them. They could decline it if they were able to provide the necessary administrative documents. The French legislator did not impose French nationality on them because of the inviolable right of individual liberty, but also out of fear for retaliatory measures against French citizens abroad. France was willing to take in new citizens, but it did not want to lose others (Weil, 2005, pp. 73–77). The Franco-Prussian war focused France’s thoughts on the welfare of its own citizens and sharpened its attitude towards foreigners. The humiliating defeat created a dichotomy between national and foreign, with Germany obviously acting as the ultimate enemy outside the country’s borders. But foreignness was also to be found within the state’s territory. The migrant functioned as the internal ‘other’, a sly, uncivilized person who took away jobs from loyal French citizens, collected criminal sentences and enjoyed all the French blessings but refused to show gratitude by serving in the army (Dornel, 2004, p. 148). Thus, by creating an external and internal image of ‘the other’, the country constructed and promoted its own ‘identity’ (Hobsbawm, 1990, p. 91). In the 1870s and 1880s, social upheaval concerning the military question grew with the increased military induction and the spread of the idea of universal military service (Brubaker, 1992, p. 85). The population denounced the social inequality of the situation in popular songs like ‘Pus d’ protectorat, belges et polonais s’ront soldats’ (‘No Protectorate Any Longer/Belgians and Poles Will Be Soldiers’). Young foreigners were advised: Faites-vous [ . . . ] naturaliser/A seul’ fin qu’ tout l’ monde so Français./Pus personne n’ara peur/d’ rester fidèle à sin pays,/Chacun sauv’ra s’n honneur/du dédain, du mépris [Obtain [ . . . ] naturalization/so that everybody is French/No one will be afraid anymore/to be loyal to his country/Everyone will save his honour/from disdain, from contempt].13 By the 1880s, the military and nationality question was a parliamentarywide concern, and new laws regarding foreigners were heavily debated. In general, the French authorities perceived the foreign population on French soil as a problematic group. Different solutions were proposed, depending on the socialization process every generation of foreigners had lived through. A third-generation migrant, for example, was likely to be more attached to France – the soil on which he himself, and

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even his father, had been born – than a first-generation migrant. The attachment of a second-generation migrant was hard to decide, since his or her birth on French soil out of a foreign father could have been accidental. To get a complete picture of the foreign population living in France, a decree was issued in October 1888 stating that all foreign factory workers, regardless of how long they had already been living in the country, had to register at the local town hall and pay an administrative fee. The statistics this registration produced were only a useful by-product. The actual aim of the measure was to content the French nationalists – workers as well as politicians – who wanted to protect the national labour market. Actually, shutting off the labour market to foreigners was impracticable, as it would entail countermeasures against Frenchmen in other countries. Therefore, the administrative fee that foreign workers paid to register was considered to be a form of indirect tax, which compensated for their competition with native workers and for their indemnity of military service (Noiriel, 1988, pp. 84–86). At the end of the registration period, over 1 million people were listed throughout the country. The département du Nord hosted some 30 per cent of them. Strikingly, about half of these foreign workers were born on French soil, but they had declined to become French nationals when they came of age (Weil, 2005, p. 78). Having great faith in the assimilatory virtues of the educational and military systems of the Third Republic, the French government finally decided in 1889 to grant the French nationality automatically to everyone who was born on French soil and had gone through childhood and schooling in the country. The liberal idea of individual liberty was no longer a valuable argument in the increasingly nationalist debates. To a large extent, second- and third-generation migrants were assimilated into French society. The republican idea of égalité demanded that they take up their responsibilities as a Frenchman, including the defence of la patrie. However, there were some qualifications in the new nationality law of 26 June 1889. Migrants, born on French soil from fathers who themselves were born on French territory, were French (double ius soli, law of the land). Second-generation migrants, however, born in France but from fathers born abroad, still had the possibility of declining French nationality when they came of age. The legislator wanted these youngsters to make a conscious choice. Their nationalization was perceived as a voluntary expression of their loyalty towards France. Only three weeks later, on 18 July 1889, the loi Freycinet on military conscription introduced universal military service. This legislation did not

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pertain to first-generation migrants. Being born abroad, they were not thought to be capable of unconditional loyalty towards France.

4. Talking about identity While some parts of French society were increasingly influenced by ethnic nationalist ideas from the 1880s onwards, the social life of local communities with a long-standing Belgian presence was only weakly affected. On the surface, associational sources show the growing importance of national identity. For example, while most groups before the 1880s did not indicate the nationality of their members, clubs that asked for authorization did from that moment on. Moreover, the authorities prohibited associations of so-called ‘patriotic’ importance – such as clubs for pigeon racing (possible espionage), shooting and gymnastics (their importance to military training) – to enroll foreigners any longer. For some older clubs, this caused more red tape. Founded in 1878, the French Société des Carabiniers de Lille (Club of Riflemen of Lille), for example, had quite some foreign members, Belgians as well as Englishmen and Italians. In 1891, it asked for the approval of its new statutes, stating that foreigners were no longer allowed to be on the executive committee. According to his report to the prefect, the chief of police thought it only fair that an association ‘receiving from time to time ammunition and also money from the government, could rule out all foreign members’.14 In the end, the club had to yield and exclude all foreigners. Yet, apart from these ‘patriotically important’ associations, foreigners in le Nord met no official restrictions based on their nationality in socio-cultural life. The nationalist turn in French politics with regard to the legal status of migrants, however, was quite a different matter. In Belgium, the liberal newspaper Het Volksrecht (The People’s Right), published in the Flemish town of Sint-Niklaas, expressed its indignation about French nationality laws by quoting the chairman of the French commercial court in Brussels: ‘It is unworthy of the French to force the Belgians to renounce their nationality in order to have bread. What would we do in such circumstances, we, who have met such great hospitality in Belgium?’15 This critique was based on reciprocity, thus validating the reaction that the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs had been afraid of in the first place. Belgian migrants found themselves in the eye of a storm. From not bothering about issues of national identity, they were now forced to consider their position and to take a stand. On 4 November 1888, L’Écho du Nord, an important republican newspaper from Lille, reported that the

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recent decree on the registration of foreigners has brought about an overt tendency favouring naturalization in the Belgian colony, which is so large in our region, and, since a few weeks, we have received several hundreds of demands for information on the subject. The article further explained the naturalization procedure to the readers.16 All of a sudden, the loi du séjour (compulsory registration) had made juridical matters the focus of interest of the Belgian community. Since they had already been settled in the region for generations, these migrants saw themselves as an inalienable part of Northern French society. The compulsory registration, however, made it clear that the government still branded them as ‘foreigners’. Most Belgian migrants residing in France were quite willing to rid themselves of this label and to become legal citizens – all the more so as Belgian authorities were debating universal military service too, which would end the practical use of their Belgian nationality in France. In addition, from 1886 onwards, diplomatic relations between both countries worsened because of a (supposed) sympathy of Belgium for Germany (Coolsaet, 2001, pp. 183–188). Belgian migrants in France felt sharply the reputation damage. Belgian nationality was no longer useful, on the contrary, it became a burden – from the instrumentalist as well as the emotional point of view. To tackle the problem, the Belgian migrant community opted for an instrumentalist solution. All over Lille, Belgians organized meetings during which they discussed options for naturalization.17 It soon became clear, though, that the procedure was only accessible to those who had sufficient means to pay the administrative fee of 175,25 francs twice (the procedure consisted of two parts, each to be paid for separately). These were very steep amounts. At the end of the nineteenth century, a weaver in Roubaix – most inhabitants of this economic niche being Belgian immigrants (Petillon, 2006, p. 139) – earned between 3.5 and 5.50 francs daily, depending on his/her specialization (ready-to-wear clothing, furniture fabric and so on; Marty, 1982, p. 62). Perrot estimates that the French worker in the second half of the nineteenth century could only save an average 8.3 per cent of this budget, since the rest was spent on nourishment, clothing and accommodation (Perrot, 1974, p. 215). In other words, naturalization was a financial impossibility for many Belgian immigrants. To show the attachment and gratitude of the Belgian community to France and to plead for a cheaper way to become French, a group of Belgian migrants organized a demonstration through the streets of Lille

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on 10 February 1889. Similar manifestations had already been held in November 1888 in Paris and Dunkirk.18 On this occasion Julien Bruneel, the secretary of the organizing committee, announced the founding of the Société Philanthropique des Belges, a philanthropic association restricted to Belgians and Belgians turned Frenchmen. The Société’s aim was to ‘provide the Belgian colony with possibilities to show its utility in France’ and to defend the national honour of Belgium, ‘by gathering all respectable Belgians living in Lille and its outskirts in a strong group.’19 The Société’s leaders, who also made up the organizing committee of the February demonstration, all belonged to the better-off segment of the migrant community. Chairman Alphonse Bouchard was a dentist, ViceChairman J.-B. Grumeau a frame-maker and Bruneel an accountant.20 It is not uncommon that these middle-class people acted as organizers and, to some extent, as leaders of the migrant community. Not only did they have the means and the authority to act on behalf of others and to address the city’s authorities, but also they felt somewhat responsible for what could be seen as (or could grow into) a migrant colony. It is difficult to know to what extent these political impulses reached and ‘disturbed’ the masses of (formerly) Belgian factory workers. There is an indication, however, in the fact that, despite the snowy weather, some 5,000 Belgians demonstrated that afternoon.21 The Lille demonstration had been carefully prepared to present a perfect image of harmony between France and Belgium, between migrants and their hosts. The French and Belgian colours were omnipresent. Three brass bands and a choir performed the national anthems, as well as a song of praise for France, composed for the occasion. The entire staging of the demonstration had to convey the message that both nations were of equal value to the demonstrators: they did not feel their national identities to be mutually exclusive. In his speech, Grumeau dwelled on the reasons for organizing the demonstration: We all want to publicly show France our friendly sentiments and love, we want to thank her for the generous hospitality she grants us and assure her that the Belgians living in Lille will do their duty as good Frenchmen.22 Because French public opinion was generally sceptic about it, he insisted on the ‘love’ and ‘recognition’ the Belgian migrants felt for their host country. Obviously, he also touched upon the debate about nationality and naturalization, and – according to the local newspaper that covered the demonstration – cautiously left ‘this delicate matter’ for every

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individual migrant to decide. At the end of his speech, however, he asked for some ‘immediate measures’ to be taken – which turned out to be quite vague. The descendants of Belgian migrants, he insisted, had to honour their pays d’adoption, France, ‘for it is my profound conviction that every man belongs to the soil upon which he is born’. The ius soli, Grumeau was convinced, made second- and third-generation migrants belong to the French nation. However, they were not to forget Belgium, their pays d’origine, as Belgian blood ran through their veins. During military service, they had to defend the honour of both countries: in serving France, they could show themselves to be decent and loyal French citizens and, by doing so, grace the name of Belgium as well. Although the speakers were trying hard to convince France of their gratitude and loyalty, the undertone of their speeches made it clear that they still attached emotional value to their Belgian nationality, apart from its legal implications (as is also evident in the establishment of the Société Philanthropique des Belges). During the manifestation, lower segments of the Belgian migrant community may have been susceptible to this double patriotic message. In the long term, however, the success – or, better, the lack of it – of the Société Philanthropique des Belges shows that the instrumentalist value of nationality was the main motive for many in the Belgian community to back the manifestation, and this interest did not coincide with the emotional value the organizing committee attributed to Belgian national identity.

5. Assuming nationality In the summer of 1889, then, the new nationality law was issued. The French government, still suspicious of foreigners, deemed it unwise to grant French nationality to those who were born and bred on foreign soil, without them having to prove the integrity of their motivations. The naturalization procedure was tightened and the costs were consciously kept high. Because of this, many Belgian migrants had very little hope of ever becoming a legal part of French society. During the 1890s, new xenophobic measures further marginalized long-settled foreigners as well as new migrants. Trapped in their legal status, they had to accept all sorts of stipulations, which, for example, excluded them from state-regulated social services such as free medical assistance (1893), or compelled them to obtain a working permit, the so-called feuille de 46 sous (1893) (Lentacker, 1974, p. 270). Having no legal position to force the government to listen to them, the Belgian migrants expressed their frustration in the estaminets and

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through popular songs. In 1894, Pierre Verstraete, a local folk singer, sang in ‘La naturalisation’ about the impossibility to pay the high naturalization fees: J’ cros bien que l’ gouvernemint/qui dot s’ mett’ cha dins l’idée/ si on avot les moyens/tout d’ suite on irot payer./Si on a cheull’ tolérance/d’écapper cheul’ gross’ somm’-là/on ira servir la France/vraimint comme des bons soldats.’ [I think that the government/has to realize/that if we had the means to do so/we would pay immediately. If we only were permitted/to escape that considerable sum of money/really, we would serve France/as good soldiers.]23 The promise to serve the country faithfully remained one of the most popular topoi with regard to naturalization. Military issues grew to be more important and, since there were so many migrants in France and demographic growth was slow, the French army could only gain by granting French nationality to long settled migrants. New measures against foreigners were strongly disapproved of, but still obeyed. In another song distributed in 1894, ‘In espérant qu’on s’ra tranguille’ (‘Hoping That They Will Calm Down Now’), Verstraete urged his fellow foreign workers to go to the town hall and obtain the new working permit by paying ‘46 sous’.24 He wondered why the French authorities always turned to the foreign population when they were in financial need. Migrants were treated like dogs, he sung in the closing refrain: their bosses had to pay taxes to keep their pets too. Around the same time, the Société Philanthropique des Belges had to close the books, due to a lack of interest from the Belgian community in Lille. As the club had only 80 paying members left by 1893, all of them workers, its financial situation did not enable it to carry out its philanthropic program. In a letter to the prefect of the northern département, the executive committee (still listing Grumeau and Bruneel) provided him with an explanation for this failure. According to them, there was no need for an overtly Belgian association in the migrant community of Lille. Most people they addressed wondered what the point was of joining a Belgian club whose main tenet was gratitude towards France, when the most adequate way of showing appreciation for the host country was simply to live together harmoniously.25 Of course, this ‘explanation’ addressed to the prefect was worded to meet the official requirements. The real reason for the failure of the Société was probably more prosaic. It is possible that the executive committee, belonging to the betteroff segment of the Belgian community, had misinterpreted the massive show-up of Belgians at the manifestation: while they considered it an

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expression of sympathy for Belgian national identity, many participants may have solely been there because they backed the demand for naturalization. Thus, as mentioned in the introduction of this book and elaborated in John Breuilly’s chapter, the success of the manifestation had been the result of the convergence of motives of different segments of the Belgian community. The failure of the Société was the result of the divergence of these motives, influenced by the measures taken by the French government, during the subsequent years. Moreover, Belgian migrants probably did not deem an overtly Belgian association necessary, not because they were so keen to merge into French clubs, but simply because socio-cultural life at the local level was so thoroughly mixed – as we have already shown in the beginning of this chapter. Verstraete, the folk singer, put it like this: ‘There is harmony in the club, despite the presence of two nations.’26 The campaign for collective naturalization seems to have been abandoned by the end of the nineteenth century. Instead, Belgian migrants addressed an everyday audience in order to convince them at least of their loyalty to the French nation, which was apparently still in doubt among Frenchmen. In a popular song, written by J. Delobel and performed by the club ‘Les Flaminds d’ Cant’leu’ (‘The Flemish of Canteleu’ – a quarter in Lille), the members sung that A Cant’leu, autant qu’ nous sommes/quoiqu’ flaminds, cha ch’est certain,/nous s’ vantons d’èt’ tous des hommes/pou l’ parti Républicain:/au point d’ vu patriotique/nos idé’s n’ cang’ront jamais; si no sang est d’ la Belgique/no’ coeur est surmint Français. [At Canteleu, as much as we are Flemish, this is certain: we boast to be all men for the republican party; from the patriotic point of view, our opinions will never change: our blood may be Belgian, our heart is surely French.]27 These songs seem to provide some insight in the strategy of the weak: while the authorities were drawing clear lines between citizens and foreigners, Belgian migrants voiced their opinion through their own spokesmen and with the popular means they had. They tried hard to fit in into local socio-cultural life, and in that way they rejected the stereotype of disloyal and dangerous subjects.

6. After all The Belgian migration in le Nord has often been considered as an example of old-type and ‘smooth’ integration (Lucassen, 2005, pp. 5–8).

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While recent works have drawn attention to the xenophobic reactions and uneven character of the process, there is little doubt that the integration of Belgians in le Nord went quickly and was successful in the end. This description also presupposes that migrants were willing to integrate. Any problems arising in the course of the process are attributed to the attitude of the host country and its inhabitants, not to the migrants themselves. Consequently, their nationality, loyalty and identifications are not considered to be at stake. This chapter does not question the eventual integration of Belgian migrants in Northern France, but rather the underlying assumptions of this success story. Superficially, it might seem that the migrants gave up their Belgian nationality and identity without much trouble, hesitation or remorse, trading in their original collective identity effectively, and completely becoming French. A closer look at some aspects of everyday cultural practices in popular quarters in Lille, however, reveals more ambiguous realities. First of all, the environment where these Belgian migrants settled was not exclusively French. It was characterized precisely by its mixed population. In many neighbourhoods, people of Belgian origin accounted for more than half of the inhabitants. Therefore, the ‘smooth’ integration of Belgian migrants in le Nord, one could say, did not imply that they easily took on a new identity and adapted to France. Rather, they felt at ease in an environment in which their own background was common and even self-evident; or where factory workers – Belgian or not – faced other problems than fretting about their collective identity or nationality. There’s little evidence that these migrants tried to create a separate community, limited to Belgians. There were associations and clubs of Belgian people, but their primary aim was not to cultivate or to preserve their national background. Flemish migrants spoke their original language at home or in bars amongst fellow migrants, but they learned French and the local dialect in schools and factories, spoke it when necessary and mixed with other factory workers (Reardon, 1977; Landrecies, 2001). For the average migrant and in everyday life, nationality was not an issue. It only became so through external factors, when it was put on the political agenda. At that point, Belgian migrants had to take a stand. When challenged, they seem to have chosen the strategy of combining a sense of Belgian awareness, and even pride, with a humble, grateful and positive attitude towards the host country and a readiness to meet the French authorities’ expectations and demands. This was indeed the position of the more or less ‘official’ migrant community, as expressed through their middle-class spokesmen and manifestations. Most of the migrant factory workers, though, had more urgent worries . . .

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Notes 1. Archives of the Northern Department at Lille, France (hereafter: ADN). M 222/389 Société Philanthropique des Belges. Statutes. Art. 1 (1889). 2. L’Echo du Nord, 24 May 1889. 3. ‘Le Décret sur les étrangers’, L’Echo du Nord, 10 January 1889 and Pierrard (1965, p. 115). 4. Archives of Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs at Brussels, Belgium (hereafter: BZ). N◦ Pers. 680. Consulat de Belgique à Roubaix, France. Dossier Mr. Allart/Mr. Rousseau, A.: Letter from J. B. Pede to the Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs. 6 August 1895. 5. Region in Northern France where Flemish and French dialects are spoken. The term Flandre goes back to the old medieval county of Flanders, which comprised parts of Belgium and Northern France. 6. While the Flemish Lion is better known in present-day society, the Belgian Lion has an older heraldic history. However, the symbol has sunk into oblivion. 7. ‘Estaminet de la Californie’, run by Jean-Baptiste Busye [ADN M 222/936 L’Alostois de Lille (1875)]; ‘À la ville de Mulhouse’, run by Jean Vandekerkhove [ADN M 222/1221 Les vrais Belges (1883)]; ‘Estaminet du Beffroi de Gand’, run by Evariste Verbeke [ADN M 222/1141 Société des Bons Gantois (1868)]; ‘Au tambour belge’, run by Mattheysen [ADN M 222/995 Société belge du jeu de bouchon (1896)]. 8. ADN M 222/1221 Les vrais Belges. Request letter for legitimization (1883). 9. Of these 34 files, 2 are missing. 10. Orpassé is an unknown expression to the authors. It could possibly be derived from repasser, in the sense of ‘to pass by again’, or surpasser, meaning ‘to excell’. 11. Bibliothèque municipale de Lille Jean Lévy à Lille, France (hereafter BML) 44187 186 1: J. De Roef (presumably 1884) L’ pus bielle rue d’ Lille (Lille: Ducornait). 12. ADN M 222/832 Les Enfants de la Gaieté (1856). It is generally agreed that workers, coming from Ghent to the district of Lille, stimulated the development of the socialist movement in Northern France (Strikwerda, 1993). Officially, the socialists were great defenders of internationalism. Research into the individual national identity of Belgian socialists in Northern France is, however, difficult because of a lack of sources. 13. BML 44186 1879 11: L. Longret (1897) L’Égalité (Lille: Impr. Jules Petit). 14. ADN M 222/1738 Société des Carabiniers de Lille. Letter of the chief of the police to the prefect of the department Nord. 27 January 1891. 15. ‘De Belgen in Frankrijk’, Volksrecht, 2 October 1892. 16. L. Brun, ‘Les Belges français’, L’Écho du Nord, 4 November 1888. 17. ‘Les Étrangers à Lille’, L’Écho du Nord, 2 december 1888; ‘Les Belges résidant à Lille’, Le Nouvelliste du Nord et du Pas-de-Calais, 6 december 1888. 18. For Paris: BZ, File ‘France, 1887–1891’. Film N◦ P882–883. Dossier N◦ 851. ‘Appel aux Belges’, Le Soir, s.d. (1888); for Dunkirk: ‘Frankrijk’, Vooruit, 28 November 1888. 19. ADN M 222/389 Société Philanthropique des Belges. Statutes. Art. 1 (1889).

212 Case Studies: The External Other 20. ADN M 222/389 Société Philanthropique des Belges (1889). 21. ADN M 162/2. Letter of the chief of the police to the prefect of the department Nord. 10 February 1889. 22. ‘Manifestation des Belges habitant Lille en l’honneur de la France’, Le Nouvelliste du Nord et du Pas-de-Calais, 12 February 1889 (our italics). 23. BML 44186 1894 14: P. Verstraete (1894) La Naturalisation (Lille: Impr. Ouvrière G. Delory). 24. BML 44186 1894 17: P. Verstraete (1894) Les quarante-six sous (Lille: Impr. Ouvrière G. Delory). 25. ADN M 222/389 Société Philanthropique des Belges. Letter from the executive committee to the Prefect of the department Nord. 12 August 1893. 26. BML 44187 170 2: P. Verstraete (1894) Les Contrariants (Lille: Impr. Ouvrière G. Delory). 27. BML 44186 1897 6: J. Delobel (1897) Chanson chantée par les Flaminds d’ Cant’leu (Lille: Impr. Ouvrière P. Lagrange).

Bibliography Brubaker, R. (1992). Citizenship and Nationhood in France and Germany (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press). Caestecker, F. (1999). ‘In het kielzog van de Natie-Staat: De Politiek van Nationaliteitsverwerving, -verlies en –toekenning, 1830–1909’, Belgisch Tijdschrift voor Nieuwste Geschiedenis/Revue Belge d’Histoire Contemporaine, 27, 3–4, 323–349. Chon, F. (1888). Promenades lilloises (Lille: Danel). Cons, H. (1888). Le Nord pittoresque de la France (Paris: Société française d’imprimerie et de librairie). Coolsaet, R. (2001). België en zijn buitenlandse politiek, 1830–2000 (Leuven: Van Halewyck). Crépin, A. (1996). ‘Service militaire et citoyenneté: Les étrangers installés dans le Nord deviennent français’, in L’image de l’autre dans l’Europe du Nord-Ouest à travers l’histoire, J.-P. Jessenne, ed. (Villeneuve d’Ascq: Université Charles de Gaulle – Lille 3), pp. 97–111. Dornel, L. (2004). La France hostile. Socio-histoire de la xénophobie (1870–1914) (Paris: Hachette). Dupâquier, J. (1991). ‘La contribution des Belges à la formation de la population française (1851–1940). Étude quantitive’, in Historiens et populations: Liber amicorum Étienne Hélin, Société Belge de Démographie, ed. (Louvain-la-Neuve: Academia), pp. 331–347. Hobsbawm, E. (1990). Nations and Nationalism Since 1780. Programme, Myth, Reality (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). Koll, J. (2003). Die belgische Nation. Patriotismus und Nationalbewusstsein in den Südlichen Niederlanden im späten 18. Jahrhundert (Münster, New York, München and Berlin: Waxmann). Lalouette, J. (1982). ‘Les débits de boissons urbains entre 1880 et 1914’, Ethnologie française, 12, 2, 131–136. Landrecies, J. (2001). ‘Une configuration inédite: La triangulaire françaisflamand-picard à Roubaix au début du Xxe siècle’, Langage et société, 97, 27–68.

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Lentacker, F. (1974). La frontière franco-belge. Étude géographique des effets d’une frontière internationale sur la vie de relations (Lille: Morel & Corduant). Lentacker, F. (1975). ‘La situation des travailleurs belges en France de 1871 à 1914’, in Les Relations franco-belges de 1830 à 1934 (Metz: Université de Metz. Centre de recherches. Relations internationales), pp. 173–182. Lucassen, L. (2005). The Immigrant Threat. The Integration of Old and New Migrants in Western Europe Since 1850 (Urbane and Chicago: University of Illinois Press). Marty, L. (1982). Chanter pour survivre: Culture ouvrière, travail et techniques dans le textile. Roubaix 1850–1914 (Liévin: Imprimerie Artésienne). Musschoot, D. (2008). Van Franschmans en Walenmannen. Vlaamse seizoensarbeiders in den vreemde in de 19de en 20ste eeuw (Tielt: Lannoo). Noiriel, G. (1988). Le creuset français. Histoire de l’immigration XIXe -XXe siècle (Paris: Seuil). Page Moch, L. (2003). Moving Europeans. Migration in Western Europe Since 1650 (Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press). Perrot, M. (1974). Les ouvriers en grève. France: 1871–1890 (Paris: Mouton). Petillon, C. (2006). La population de Roubaix: Industrialisation, démographie et société 1750–1880 (Villeneuve d’Ascq: Presses Universitaires de Septentrion). Pierrard, P. (1965). La vie ouvrière à Lille sous le Second Empire (Lille: Blood & Gay). Pooley, T. (2004). Language, Dialect and Identity in Lille (Lewiston, Queenston and Lampeter: The Edwin Mellen Press). Reardon, J. A. (1977). Belgian Workers in Roubaix, France, in the Nineteenth Century (University of Maryland, unpublished PhD dissertation). Salembier, A. (1912). Histoire de Wazemmes (Lille and Seclin: H. Pique). Scott Haine, W. (1992). ‘Café Friend: Friendship and Fraternity in Parisian Working-Class Cafés, 1850–1914’, Journal of Contemporary History, 27, 4, 607–626. Stengers J. and Gubin, E. (2002). Le grand siècle de la nationalité belge: de 1830 à 1918 (Brussels: Racine). Strikwerda, C. (1993). ‘France and the Belgian Immigration of the Nineteenth Century’, in The Politics of Immigrant Workers: Labour Activism and Migration in the World Economy Since 1830, C. Guerin-Gonzales and C. Strikwerda, eds (New York: Holmes and Meier), pp. 101–124. Weil, P. (2005). Qu’est-ce qu’un Français? Histoire de la nationalité française depuis la Révolution (Paris: Gallimard).

10 ‘From the Wound a Flower Grows’: A Re-Examination of French Patriotism in the Face of the Franco-Prussian War Jean-François Chanet

In La France nouvelle, an essay that had been one of the bestsellers of 1868, Anatole Prévost-Paradol indulged in some sombre forecasting.1 Prévost-Paradol, a liberal journalist and opponent of the Empire, who had become its envoy to the United States and committed suicide in Washington on the very day France declared war on Prussia – 19 July 1870 (Guiral, 1955, pp. 720–723) – wrote: ‘Like shows of affection at the bedside of an ailing loved one, patriotism has to reconcile itself to the usual uncertainty of human affairs in order not to be driven further into despair’ (Prévost-Paradol, 1868, pp. 348–349). Eight years later the proscribed communard Prosper-Olivier Lissagaray published the first London edition of his History of the Commune of 1871. He regretted that, after the decline of the Empire, Paris had given itself over ‘unreservedly to that Left that it had had to trample in order to bring about its revolution’. ‘In vain,’ Lissagaray added, ‘did clear-sighted patriots attempt to prevent it going under’ (Lissagaray, 1996, p. 60). He attacked the left of the Government of National Defence, especially its main representative, Léon Gambetta, minister of the interior and of war, whose efforts to repel the invaders failed and unwittingly permitted the royalists to win the elections of 8 February 1871. Bismarck had actually forced the French Cabinet to organize theses elections, because he wanted a government accountable to a democratically elected assembly to sign the peace treaty. Prévost-Paradol and Lissagaray embody two different notions of patriotism: the former more acquiescing, while the latter more combative. The divergence of their views already gives a clue as to the atmosphere 214

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in which an ill-prepared conflict2 with a foreign power led to civil war. Indeed, many commentators have identified the disagreement among patriots about what constituted patriotism as a cause of the French fiasco in 1870–1871. Observers at the time and historians who subsequently considered the debasing of French patriotism as one of the causes of the Commune’s downfall usually interpreted the inconsistency or inanity among patriots as diversity and discordance. In their view, what was lacking was not patriots but rather reasons to believe that they were united by the same kind of patriotism. Thus, any attempt now to investigate the patriotism of the masses necessarily entails a reassessment of these differences of opinion and their evolution in the face of a rapid series of unforeseen disasters. The pre-existing disagreements among patriots were further aggravated by a number of now familiar factors, including the need to replace hurriedly military forces that had been crushed in three months; the difficulty of establishing a new government to replace the deposed regime; the particular situation of the capital, which was cut off from the rest of the country, besieged as it was by the Prussian army from mid-September; and the contrast, which heightened as the war dragged on, between the regions that had been invaded and occupied and those that remained outside the war zone. We can also approach this question from the other end, that is, the supposed ‘lessons’ drawn from these events. It is clear that the persistent diversity of what Maurice Barrès called in 1916 ‘France’s spiritual families’ did not prevent the Union sacrée of 1914, the continuation for more than four years of a costly war and, finally, the victory of 1918. Most observers have concluded that the Third Republic during this first ‘interwar period’ (between the Franco-Prussian War and the First World War) was able to construct and pass on the memory of an undeserved but nevertheless glorious defeat and an ‘heroic ethic’ well suited to prepare for the country’s revenge (Gerbod, 1982). However, this standard view poses several problems. If indeed the French people’s ‘consent’ to the First World War was facilitated by the majority’s erstwhile support for a political regime identified with the homeland itself, we must account for the conditions that triggered this process of identification, since it was by no means self-evident. For one, the Government of National Defence was (partly) to blame for the unfortunate conduct of the war. The result of the elections of 8 February 1871 and the victory of the royalists left little doubt about the wish of the majority for a cessation of hostilities. This seems to contradict the view that conscious patriotism manifests itself more vigorously among

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the working classes when populations are directly exposed to a foreign threat and are forced to defend themselves against it, or to resist it (as Pierre Vilar suggested in his analysis of Spain under the Napoleonic occupation: Vilar, 1994). The context of the Franco-Prussian War could certainly explain the tension between the deliberately internationalist humanitarianism with which the republicans still identified on the eve of the débâcle and their extreme war-time patriotism, directed against an enemy who had become an object of hatred and rancour. However, the varied nature of the threats that this enemy represented in a divided France suggests that the explanation must be more complex and nuanced.

1. From dynastic war to patriotic defence The first difficulty we encounter in gauging popular support for the Franco-Prussian War is that of sources. There are scarcely any that give us direct access to popular opinions and feelings. Whether they were prefects, police commissioners or magistrates, all authors of reports on public sentiment contributed to some degree to the ‘administrative construction of stereotypes’ (Karila-Cohen, 2008). The investigators’ familiarity with the population in question always went hand in hand with social and cultural prejudices or concessions to the expectations of those in power. With these reservations in mind, I will take as my starting point the widely accepted contrast between unrest in the cities, particularly Paris, and the relative tranquillity of the countryside. The issue of how knowledge of international affairs affected the politicization of the countryside in nineteenth-century France still begs thorough investigation. In the absence of relevant research, I will offer two observations. Firstly, new means of communication had increased the flow of information and goods between town and country from the middle of the century onwards. The war certainly had an averse effect, but it did not stop exchanges completely. A slow pace of traffic continued, and it contributed to an uncontrollable flow of false news and rumours. Secondly, the capriciousness of opinion in urban areas, particularly Paris, was not simply a source of disquiet, but could also be an instrument of power. From William Smith to Louis Girard, the biographers of Napoleon III have taken the view that he gave in to the pressure of popular bellicosity, to the desire to do battle with the Prussians, which he believed he could see rising up from the streets of Paris – maybe a good example of what John Breuilly calls ‘mutual manipulation’ in his contribution to this volume.

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These noisy demonstrations might have confirmed Prévost-Paradol’s pessimistic view that ‘religion and patriotism [had] lost the power’ to inspire ‘most of the duties and sacrifices’ necessary in an orderly society (Prévost-Paradol, 1868, p. 357). In any case, the turbulence revealed once again the ambiguities of popular Bonapartism. The chauvinism took on the strains of La Marseillaise, which had suddenly been rehabilitated (after having fallen from grace in Napoleon III’s Second Empire). This apparent mixture of revolutionary fervour and dynastic loyalty worried both the royalist and Catholic right wing and the liberal republican opposition. And Paris did not have a monopoly on it. In Lille, after war was declared, people in cafés started singing La Lilloise, by Henri Compagnion, to the tune of La Marseillaise: ‘To arms, comrades! Hasten to the battlefield!/Let us sing, sing! Long live France and long live the Emperor!’ (cited by Pierrard, 1967, p. 179) However hostile the church might have been to the principle of nationalities – which was the guiding theme of Napoleon III’s foreign policy – it was not entirely unfamiliar with patriotic emotions. Arsène Vermenouze, a man of letters from the Cantal region, did not forget that, during the school year 1864–1865, one day his history teacher, Brother Hilarion de Jésus, got so carried away while telling the class about volunteers leaving for the border in 1792 that he began to sing La Marseillaise, which was immediately taken up by his pupils (Chanet, 2000, p. 90). Did he remember this in 1870? However that may be, he and his elder brother, who were then members of the Auvergne community that traditionally worked in commerce in the Madrid region, joined the 4th Hussars in Montauban as soon as the first defeats were announced. (Mazières, 1965, p. 163). The ambiguities in the expression of popular patriotism during the first two months of the war can be verified in other ways. As evidenced by the reports of political and judicial authorities, the ‘silent majority’ – an anachronistic expression, but an idea that was formulated by one of the first historians of the Second Empire (Pierre de La Gorce, 1903, p. 263) – showed more incredulity than excitement at the approach of war. However, once war had broken out, from the end of July, Stéphane Audoin-Rouzeau observed signs suggesting that national sentiment had taken wing (Audoin-Rouzeau, 1989a). At the Congress of the League of Peace and Freedom that opened in Basel on 15 July, the Polish Count de Hauské refused to declare his opposition to the war. De Hauské, who eventually fought in France on the orders of Garibaldi and was killed defending Dijon on 21 January 1871, expected the war to produce a new ‘springtime of the peoples’. Yet, more than de Hauské and the

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republicans would have wished, the reawakening of French patriotism owed to Napoleonic legend. Alain Corbin alludes to this in his penetrating analysis of a crime committed on 16 August 1870 by peasants gathered at the fairground in Hautefaye (Dordogne) against an aristocrat suspected of spying for the Prussians. Corbin even surmises that there was an imbalance between the attitude of leading citizens, who were sceptical, if not disheartened, and ordinary people, who were willing to serve a homeland still identified with the ruling dynasty (Corbin, 1990, p. 61). In support of this hypothesis, Bernard Ménager reports hostile reactions in both northern France and Normandy to news of the Parisian Revolution of 4 September 1870. On learning of the French defeat at Sedan, demonstrators in Paris had invaded the Legislative Assembly and deposed Emperor Napoleon III. At the Hôtel de Ville, Gambetta declared the fall of the Empire and the establishment of the Third Republic. This met with protest in Tourcoing and in Armentières, where workers accosted republican employers. The new prefect Testelin declared that they believed the emperor had been ‘betrayed by the wealthy and by republicans’ (Ménager, 1988, p. 270). Such demonstrations explain why, conversely, a large section of the bourgeoisie rallied immediately to the new government, being driven as much by fear of social revolution as by a patriotic reflex. These contradictory manifestations of opinion enable us to understand more clearly two phenomena that are neither uniform nor unequivocal, namely the growing gulf in understanding between town and country and, in the cities, the fragility of the cross-class alliance against the threat of invasion. This alliance was certainly facilitated by a change in the war’s nature from 4 September onwards, when it became a defensive war. From that moment, the events justified the historical reference to mass conscription, which had been widely unpopular. However, the crossclass alliance in the cities and the ideal of a unified patriotic resistance were weakened by the evident inequality that characterized the military levies; what might be called Gambetta’s feeble dictatorship; and the considerably different experiences of the ‘besieged’, the ‘occupied’ and the ‘spared’ (Audoin-Rouzeau, 1989b, pp. 261–291).

2. In search of the ‘nation under arms’ On the declaration of war with Prussia, Marshal Lebœuf, the French minister of war, notoriously boasted that France was ready. Even if the conflict were to last for two years, so he claimed, ‘not a gaiter button

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would be found wanting’ (Adriance, 1987). The opposite, of course, was true. Yet France’s lack of war readiness could hardly be blamed on Napoleon III’s attempts to reform the military. Since Prussia’s victory over Austria at Sadowa in 1866, he had been convinced that a reorganization of France’s army was necessary. Yet Lebœuf’s predecessor as minister of war, Marshal Niel, had been unable to obtain reforms either from the Bonapartist deputies, who feared the electors’ reactions to compulsory military service, or from the republicans, who were unwilling to strengthen the despot. Anyhow, the issue of France’s military organization and the notion of universal conscription, the so-called nation armée (‘nation under arms’), continued to provoke discussion. Four days before the declaration of war, Ernest Renan, for instance, wrote in the Revue des Deux Mondes: ‘It is wrong to suggest that France can imitate Prussia’s military institutions. France’s social state does not wish all citizens to be soldiers, nor does it wish those who are soldiers to be soldiers always’ (Renan, 1870, p. 281). After the deposition of Napoleon III on 4 September 1870, the new rulers in the Government of National Defence attempted to halt the invasion by relying first on the measures that had been taken since midJuly by the imperial Bonapartist regime. The Niel Act of 1868 had created a mobile guard, made up of men aged between 20 and 25 whom fate, in the shape of a lucky number in a lottery, or good fortune, in the form of a substitute, had exempted from military service. This reserve contingent was little more than a list of names until the decree of 17 July 1870 called it into active duty. At the same moment, 140,000 men from the levy of 1870 had been called up early, a measure that was later extended to the whole of the levy by the republican government. The national guard was mobilized on 12 August, a measure affecting all unmarried men or widowers aged between 25 and 35. On 29 September, however, this age bracket was extended to all those aged between 21 and 40. Another decree issued on the same day placed all groups of irregular volunteers, who, so the republicans hoped, would increase in number, under the control of the minister of war. All these measures, however, were difficult to put into practice. By force of circumstance, these units had to be organized on a local basis – at departmental level in the case of the mobile guard, in the communes in the case of the national guard and at either levels in the case of the irregular volunteers. According to Michael Howard, with the battlefields so close to home, ‘every individual felt himself involved in a mighty communal endeavour’ (Howard, 2002, p. 3). This is somewhat

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exaggerated. On 28 August 1870, the mayor of Guise (Aisne) sent the following letter to his colleagues in the canton: In the grave situation in which we find ourselves, it is essential that the sacrifices demanded of all citizens be borne by everyone as the law requires. It is for this reason that I appeal to your patriotism by reporting to you the facts of which the soldiers of the 5th Battalion of the mobile guard garrisoned here remind us every day. It would appear that many men of the 1869 levy and of the levies of 65–66, who were called up by the Act of 18 August, have not travelled to Guise, which was their designated meeting place. I am invited by the battalion commander to ask you to inform the late arrivals that they are at risk of appearing before a court-martial and being sentenced to one year to 18 months in prison. He further requests me to inform you that there is reason to hope that you will make every effort to urge those under your jurisdiction to make their way to Guise forthwith.3 Documents of this type (and they are not rare) suggest that, even in departments in border regions, there were many exceptions to the sense of military duty. The proximity of the border might indeed have encouraged possible draft evaders to cross to Belgium. Under these circumstances, it is hardly surprising that the number of volunteers enlisting did not meet the expectations of Gambetta and his collaborator Freycinet, who was responsible for organizing the new army corps. After reaching the peak of 30,500 in September 1870, the number of enlistments kept falling: 17,000 in October, 10,000 in November, 5,700 in December and just 4,000 in January 1871 (Bertaud and Serman, 1998, p. 458). It did not rise again at the end of March 1871, when the National Assembly decided to establish a battalion of volunteers without any age limit in each department. The hope that each battalion would have 6 to 8 companies of between 120 and 130 men each proved illusive. Mayors were also asked, through the prefects, ‘to issue an appeal, without delay, to men devoted to the defence of the government and of a National Assembly elected on the basis of universal suffrage’.4 In the department of Hérault, just 61 ‘orderly men’ responded to this appeal (Chrastil, 2005, p. 30). Most of these volunteers were former officers who had fought during the war in the mobile guard or had lead irregular volunteer units and were hoping to regain their old ranks. Their hopes were not fulfilled, and it was not long before they returned home

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(Tombs, 1981, p. 92). These unsuccessful attempts at drafting volunteers tempted one witness to observe drily: ‘Devoted to the mother country, our first impulse is to enlist as volunteers, but the second is to see whether our neighbours are doing the same’ (Etienne, 1871, p. 470). In the Nord département, the number of draft evaders and other deserters escaping to Belgium, which was significant in the early months, increased still further in January 1871. In the absence of complete lists of names, estimates vary by a factor of two, from 3,000 to 6,000 men. This figure has to be compared to the number of men mobilized in the national guard, a total of between 26,000 and 27,000. In stark contrast to the Paris insurrection, which was suppressed, draft evaders and other deserters were hardly prosecuted during or after the war. It proved to be impossible to identify all the guilty parties. In a letter to the prefect dated 13 March 1871, Faidherbe himself, the commanderin-chief of the northern army, acknowledged his ‘powerlessness to fulfil the material conditions stipulated in law’ for prosecutions to be launched. In fact, only a few men were convicted and sentenced (Vouters, 2000, pp. 80–83). As the war progressed, people grew increasingly disillusioned with the military disorganization and the wait-and-see attitude of local functionaries. Moreover, the officers proved inadequate and the living conditions of the troops were wretched. In the Conlie training camp in the department of Sarthe, for instance, almost 150 of the Breton recruits from the Western army died (Martin, 2004, pp. 145–176; Roth, 1993, p. 239). Against this background, the hoped-for outburst in defence of the ‘endangered mother country’ did not come. The situation grew even worse. The government in the besieged capital was reduced to impotence and was unable to raise new contingents in 23 departments occupied by the Prussians in November and December 1870. A federalist movement challenged the government’s authority in the South. As winter progressed, the state grew weaker. There was, for instance, no real campaign for the elections of 8 February 1871 that could inspire a unified national resistance. Instead feelings of national unity fluctuated, depending on several factors such as the social background of citizens, their geographic location and the military context. Were they city dwellers or country people? Was their home under military occupation or not? Was it situated near the front line or far from it? Was it included in the armistice zone? Gambetta’s weak dictatorship could not build a unified patriotic resistance out of these conflicting variables.

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3. Weak dictatorship, weak resistance, civil war The imperial army’s numerical inferiority and France’s diplomatic isolation undermined the republicans’ effort to continue the war. It is, however, not unequivocally clear how the French military defeats and the internal division that climaxed in the civil war related to each other. On the one hand, the initial defeats and the lack of allies may have prevented rather than stimulated the development of a national spirit of defence, because ‘all-out war’ was not a popular idea among political and military leaders. Defeatism may have hastened defeat, especially in northern and eastern France, where people still remembered the invasions of 1814–1815. Away from the border regions, it was necessary to go further back in time to find precedents. On the other hand, the disarray that the invasion caused did not prevent the development of solidarity in the face of a common ordeal. As the philosopher and member of the Academy Elme Caro noted in January 1871, the French ‘became aware of what a compatriot was by suffering a foreigner’s insult’. (Caro, 1871, p. 256) At that time, we can clearly discern the circumstances described by Pierre Vilar, under which popular patriotism might be spontaneously affirmed – namely, a direct external threat against which the lower classes are forced to defend themselves (Vilar, 1994). However, it is important to understand the reasons why such an unpremeditated expression of popular patriotism was unable to produce the unified patriotic resistance that Gambetta hoped for. At La Châtre, on 9 October 1870, George Sand recorded this pessimistic impression in her ‘war diary’: ‘For my own part, I expect little from the provinces and from any action that might be taken by this government, which does not have the confidence of the majority’ (Sand, 2004, p. 49). A few days later, she noted: ‘simple people, who make up the illiterate mass, always want a master: they have the monotheism of power’ (p. 77). Sand, who is known to have been more sympathetic to ‘country people’ than many republicans, helps us to understand why the war did not prompt a general recognition or acceptance of the republican government nor of its representatives in the countryside: they had acted chaotically. The issue, as Sand hinted at, was that disagreements within the different echelons of government confused the populace. Thus, the problem was less the diversity of patriotic sensibilities. After all, the army of the Vosges, the IVth brigade, commanded by Ricciotti Garibaldi, included in its ranks former Papal Zouaves – in other words, soldiers that held diametrically opposed views to those of the republican government (Molis, 1995, p. 73). The difficulty was rather that the

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country was led by a divided and divisive government, headed by General Trochu in Paris and by Léon Gambetta, a 32-year-old republican dictator with no military experience, in Tours. They could not muster a unified defence. The military chiefs, for instance, were reluctant to accept the government’s leadership. Marshal Bazaine came to symbolize their unwillingness. He was sentenced to death for his surrender of the fortress city of Metz and of his army to the Prussians on 27 October 1870.5 Leading republicans, for their part, were equally suspicious of ‘militarism’. In Marseille, they decided that a supervising committee of three civilian members should monitor the officers’ conduct in all companies of the national guard (Goyau, 1900, p. 843). This represented a return to the revolutionary tradition. The ‘Ligue du Midi pour la défense nationale de la République’, for instance, was founded on 18 September 1870 in Marseille by Esquiros, chief administrator of the département Bouchesdu-Rhône, assisted by republicans from it and from the départements of Vaucluse, Isère and Rhône. In this organization, as Raymond Huard has clearly shown, ‘apparent federalism actually concealed a structure that was Jacobin in inspiration’. The government was worried by the initiative, and not so much because the Ligue du Midi was calling on the municipalities’ financial contributions (provided these were placed at the government’s disposal). Rather, what irked the government was the Ligue’s intention to prevent ‘the military leaders from hindering [their] actions’, as it announced in its manifesto of 26 September 1870 (Huard, 1982, pp. 249–250). This was but one example of the disagreement among the republicans, which caused great confusion in the country. From the beginning of October 1870 onwards, the government in Paris and the delegation in Tours took contradictory decisions on the question of elections. Once he had become head of the Tours delegation, Gambetta was in dispute with both royalists and moderate republicans. In replacing the prefects and sub-prefects who had served under the Empire, he appointed as many men he could trust. However, their worth proved to be as uneven as their authority (Wright, 2007). When the delegation dissolved the municipal councils on 20 September 1870, these had to be replaced by provisional committees. The tension between Paris and Tours persisted, as Gambetta wanted to declare former functionaries and official candidates of the Empire ineligible. Ultimately, Gambetta resigned on 6 February 1871, two days before the elections of the National Assembly. He gave way to new leaders who, like Thiers, were asking him to stop making a distinction between the Republic and France and to abandon ‘the anti-national

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demand that the few should take the place of the many’ (Seignobos, 1921, p. 273). Gambetta actually tried to reactivate the patriotism of 1793 and compared the delegation in Tours with the Comité de salut public, which had been instituted in 1793 by the National Convention to protect the republic against internal and external attacks. He was a new Robespierre, but without the guillotine (Agulhon, 1982, p. 44). There is no need to dwell on the disorder and improvisation that characterized the replacement of prefectoral and municipal staff and the activity of individual officials. ‘I shall never forget the administrative chaos in which I found myself,’ declared the mayor of Reims, Simon Dauphinot, describing his arrival at the sub-prefecture on 4 September 1870. And, soon, the task of ‘informing the units of the mobile guard, whom our military leaders had not thought to contact with the news of the retreat and who were at risk of being taken prisoner by the Germans’ fell on no other than him (Dauphinot, 1904, pp. 29–32). In the view of Lille citizen Hippolyte Verly, no matter how popular the new prefect Achille Testelin might have been, ‘one had to have seen the Prefecture at that time in order to realize how much more agreeable a stay in Bedlam [cour du roi Pétaud] would have been in comparison. It was, at one and the same time, a ministry, an arsenal, a warehouse, a legislative body, a camp and a military headquarters’ (Verly, 1874, p. 306). In those cases where officials did actually carry out the orders of the government organizing the resistance,6 they did not always receive the support they had hoped for. When the city of Saint-Quentin drove back the Duke of Mecklembourg’s cavalrymen for a brief period on 8 October 1870, the prefect Anatole de La Forge found more supporters among ordinary people – manual workers and irregular volunteers attached to the national guard and fire brigade – than among the leading lights of the municipal board. The latter are said to have confined themselves to an ‘honourable defence’ that was less threatening to their property (Fleury, 1978). Many more examples could be cited of these discrepancies between, on the one hand, a popular fervour that soon became disoriented and weakened by the discontinuity of government initiatives and by the succession of bad news and, on the other hand, property owners’ fear of seeing this fervour turn into revolution. The precarious conditions under which authority was exercised, created a general atmosphere that fostered internal discord rather than a will to resist. In his account of the invasion, Ernest Lavisse did not conceal the relief that property owners felt at the ‘politeness’ of the occupying forces: ‘We felt ourselves protected by German discipline, which was admired and envied by all those who, several days previously, had seen the routed

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French troops pass through’ (Lavisse, 1900, p. 197 ). Let us leave aside the response these lines might have elicited in 1940 – it was almost fashionable at the time to compare the two periods (Halévy, 1941). Suffice it to observe that, for these people – as, apparently, for the historians who witnessed it – the invasion had shifted the boundary between order and anarchy in the midst of the French people themselves. The invasion aggravated rather than attenuated the differences of opinion among the French. We need only compare the frightened compliance with German requisitions with the attitudes towards French volunteers. Arthur Stiévenart, the sub-prefect of the district of Avesnes (Nord) from September 1870 to April 1871, declared that ‘the conduct of most of the companies of irregular volunteers left much to be desired. They contributed little to the defence while giving rise to complaints from the mayors of the communes they passed through or stayed in, despite constant threats that they would be arrested and disbanded. [ . . . ] Some of them lived it up and did not pay; they were more feared than the enemy, who was of little concern to them and whom they took care not to approach [ . . . ].’ (Stiévenart, 1905, pp. 46–47) The archives certainly contain records of many acts of resistance, from attacks on German soldiers to the sabotage of telegraph wires and railway lines,8 or even, after the peace treaty, to the uprooting of temporary posts and markers prior to the installation of the frontier markers, for example in the communes of Hussigny, Thil or Villerupt (Laussedat, 1901, p. 98). However, these acts cannot erase the memory of a general tendency to wish for the rapid cessation of hostilities. The palpable relief expressed when the armistice was announced and the result of the elections held on 8 February 1871 confirms this impression. At the end of this brief journey through the France of 1870–1871, my conclusion is not so far from that of Eugen Weber: what the French people, faced as they were with the ordeals of the ‘terrible year’, were lacking was not so much patriotism as a unitary concept of patriotism (Weber, 1976, p. 114). At the hearing of 17 October 1873, Marshal Bazaine claimed that military duties are ‘strict when there is a legal government, when one is under the authority of a government recognized by the country, but not when one is faced with an insurrectional government’. The chairman of the court-martial that passed judgement on him, the Duke of Aumale, gave the following response: ‘France still existed’ (1st Conseil de guerre, 1873, p. 53). This notion was the basis

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on which Gambetta directed the country’s defence, but he never had the resources to gain wide acceptance for it. Ultimately, the final attempt at revolution in Paris was looked upon as illegitimate, even by Alsatian patriots like Auguste Scheurer-Kestner (Scheurer-Kestner, 1905, p. 249), because it seemed to be directed not so much against the enemy as against the legal government of the renascent Republic. If, by a common sense of ‘national identification’, we mean a unitary tendency, this concept implies not only ‘mutual manipulation’, but also mutual trust. It is not sufficient that the governed and the governors make pragmatic use of nationalist discourses to influence each other’s agenda. Rather an emotional sense of connectedness is also needed, which is able to overcome deep-seated societal cleavages and to inspire trust. This process can be compared to a polyphonic construction in which what the cobbler and poet Savinien Lapointe called, in the 1840s, ‘voix d’en bas’, the ‘voices from below’, reach a harmonious balance with the ‘voices from above’ (Lapointe, 1844; Rancière, 2005; Faure and Rancière, 2007). In order to find this balance or to establish the harmonic rules, the republicans after 1870 had to assume, if not to wish, that the patriotic ‘voices from below’ of the communards had to be sacrificed. It was from this point onwards that – ‘by book and by sword’, as the motto of the Ligue de l’enseignement (League for Education) has it (Martin, 1992) – the republican and liberal programme of national education that would make revenge possible could begin.

Notes 1. One can find in Victor Hugo’s book L’Année terrible these two lines: ‘il faut que le bien naisse et que l’épi mûr sorte/De cette plaie en fleur qu’on nomme le sillon’ (‘the good must rise and the mature corn must grow/as a flower from this wound one calls a furrow’). The image is that of fruitful defeat. France has suffered a deep wound, but this wound is metaphorically transformed into the furrow that a farmer ploughs. And the deeper he ploughs, the better the harvest would be. 2. The Franco-Prussian War’s immediate cause was the candidature of Prince Leopold of Hohenzollern for the Spanish throne. Fearing that a Hohenzollern king in Prussia and in Spain would put France in a two-front situation, the French Government was determined to stand up to this expansion of Prussian influence. On 13 July 1870, however, King Wilhelm I refused to give the French diplomats any guarantees, which resulted in Napoleon III’s declaration of war on 19 July. 3. Aisne Departmental Archives (hereafter ADA), Fonds communal d’Aisonvilleet-Bernoville. I am grateful to Guillaume Parisot for the valuable assistance he gave me in collecting sources relating to the war in the Nord and Aisne départements.

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4. Municipal Archives of Chauny (Aisne), Déclarations des habitants et arrêtés municipaux. 5. This sentence was commuted to 20 years of imprisonment in the fort of SainteMarguerite, off Cannes, from which he escaped in August 1874. He fled to Madrid, where he died in 1888. 6. For instance, a governmental message sent on 24 October 1870 to all prefects and sub-prefects read: ‘Please inform all mayors in all your communes that resistance to the enemy is more than ever the order of the day.’ ADA, fonds communal d’Aisonville-et-Bernoville. 7. This article was first published under the title ‘L’invasion dans les départements du Nord’ in the Revue des Deux Mondes, not on 15 November 1871 (as indicated in the collected edition of 1900), but rather on 1 September 1871. It should be noted that the original quotation did not contain the word ‘routed’ (p. 51). 8. In Laon, the occupying forces decided to requisition ‘leading citizens’ to accompany the Reims trains (letter from the military commander to the mayor, 26 November 1870, ADA). Cf. orders of Moltke (14 October) and of Prince Friedrich Karl (27 October), Moniteur prussien, 2 November 1870.

Bibliography 1st Conseil de guerre (1873). Procès du maréchal Bazaine. Compte rendu général (Paris: Victor Bunel). Adriance, Thomas J. (1987). The Last Gaiter Button: A Study of the Mobilization and Concentration of the French Army in the War of 1870 (New York: Greenwood press). Agulhon, Maurice (1982). ‘Gambetta. La Défense nationale’, in Hommage à Léon Gambetta, Christian Lassalle, Patrick Favardin and Odile A. Schmitz, eds (Paris: Musée du Luxembourg), pp. 43–45. Audoin-Rouzeau, Stéphane (1989a). ‘Le Sentiment national en France pendant la guerre de 1870’, Bulletin de la Société d’histoire moderne, 42, 2, 9–18. Audoin-Rouzeau, Stéphane (1989b). 1870. La France dans la guerre (Paris: Armand Colin). Bertaud, Jean-Paul and Serman, William (1998), Nouvelle histoire militaire de la France, vol. 1: 1789–1919 (Paris: Fayard). Caro, Elme (1871). ‘L’Idée de la patrie, ses défaillances et son réveil’, Revue des Deux Mondes, 91 (15 January), 243–266. Chanet, Jean-François (2000). Les Félibres cantaliens. Aux sources du régionalisme auvergnat, 1879–1914 (Clermont-Ferrand: Adosa). Chrastil, Rachel Allison (2005), Rebuilding France: Rights and Responsibilities in the Provinces Following the Franco-Prussian War, 1871–1892 (Yale University, PhD thesis supervised by John Merriman). Corbin, Alain (1990). Le Village des cannibales (Paris: Aubier). Dauphinot, Simon (1904). Souvenirs du maire de Reims pendant la guerre francoallemande (Reims: Librairie L. Michaud). De Perrot, Staff (1866). ‘Parallèle entre les armées permanentes et les armées de milices (fin)’, Revue militaire suisse, 11, 4, 65–74.

228 Case Studies: The External Other Duroux, Rose (1992). Les Auvergnats de Castille. Renaissance et mort d’une migration au XIXe siècle (Clermont-Ferrand: Publications de la Faculté des Lettres). Étienne, Louis (1871). ‘La garde mobile’, Revue des Deux Mondes, 91 (1 February), 469–490. Faure, Alain and Rancière, Jacques (eds) (2007 (1976)). La Parole ouvrière, 1830– 1851 (Paris: La Fabrique). Fleury, Bernard (1978). ‘La Journée du 8 octobre 1870 à Saint-Quentin’, Mémoires de la Fédération des sociétés d’histoire et d’archéologie de l’Aisne, 23, 150–161. Gerbod, Paul (1982). ‘L’Éthique héroïque en France (1870–1914)’, Revue historique, 544, 409–429. Gobineau, Arthur de (1970). Ce qui est arrivé à la France en 1870 (Paris: Klincksieck). Goyau, Georges (1900). ‘Patriotisme et humanitarisme. Essai d’histoire contemporaine. II, 1870–1871’, Revue des Deux Mondes, 161 (15 October). 826–865. Guiral, Pierre (1955). Prévost-Paradol (1829–1870). Pensée et action d’un libéral sous le Second Empire (Paris: Presses universitaires de France). Halévy, Daniel (1941). Trois épreuves: 1814, 1871, 1940 (Paris: Plon). Howard, Michael (2002 (1961)). The Franco-Prussian War: The German Invasion of France, 1870–1871 (London, New York: Routledge). Huard, Raymond (1982). Le Mouvement républicain en Bas-Languedoc, 1848–1881 (Paris: Presses de la FNSP). Jaurès, Jean (1992 (1911)). L’Armée nouvelle, vols 1–2 (Paris: Imprimerie nationale). Karila-Cohen, Pierre (2008). L’État des esprits. L’invention de l’enquête politique en France, 1814–1848 (Rennes: PUR). La Gorce, Pierre de (1903). Histoire du Second Empire, vol. 6 (Paris: Plon). Lapointe, Savinien (1844). Une Voix d’en bas, poésies, preface by Eugène Sue, followed by letters of Béranger, Victor Hugo, Léon Gozlan et al. (Paris: A. Blondeau). Laussedat, colonel Aimé (1901). La Délimitation de la frontière franco-allemande (Paris: Delagrave). Lavisse, Ernest (1900). ‘L’Invasion dans le département de l’Aisne’, in Essais sur l’Allemagne impériale, Ernest Lavisse, ed. (Paris: Hachette). Le Moing-Kerrand, Philippe (1999). Les Bretons dans la guerre de 1870: Le camp de Conlie et la bataille du Mans (Plougoumelen: Le Moing-Kerrand). Lissagaray, Prosper-Olivier (1996 (1876)). Histoire de la Commune de 1871 (Paris: La Découverte). Martin, Hervé and Louis (2004). Le Finistère face à la modernité entre 1850 et 1900 (Rennes: Apogée). Martin, Jean-Paul (1992). La Ligue de l’enseignement et la République des origines à 1914 (Institut d’études politiques de Paris, Ph.D. thesis supervised by JeanMarie Mayeur). Mazières, Jean (1965). Arsène Vermenouze (1850–1910) et la Haute-Auvergne de son temps, vols 1–2 (Paris: Les Belles Lettres). Ménager, Bernard (1988). Les Napoléon du peuple (Paris: Aubier). Molis, Robert (1995). Les francs-tireurs et les Garibaldi, soldats de la République. 1870–1871 en Bourgogne (Paris: Tirésias). Pierrard, Pierre (1967). Lille et les Lillois, essai d’histoire collective contemporaine, de 1815 à nos jours (Paris: Bloud et Gay).

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Prévost-Paradol, Anatole (1868). La France nouvelle (Paris: Michel Lévy frères). Rancière, Jacques (2005 (1981)). La Nuit des prolétaires. Archives du rêve ouvrier (Paris: Hachette Pluriel). Renan, Ernest (1870). ‘La Guerre entre la France et l’Allemagne’, Revue des Deux Mondes, 89 (15 September), 264–283. Roth, François (1993). La guerre de 1870 (Paris: Hachette Pluriel). Sand, George (2004). Journal d’un voyageur pendant la guerre, 1870–1871 [1871], edition presented by Michelle Perrot (Bordeaux: Le Castor Astral). Scheurer-Kestner, Auguste (1905). Souvenirs de jeunesse (Paris: BibliothèqueCharpentier). Seignobos, Charles (1921). Le Déclin de l’Empire et l’établissement de la 3e République (1859–1875), vol. 7 of Ernest Lavisse, Histoire de France contemporaine depuis la Révolution jusqu’à la paix de 1919 (Paris: Hachette). Stiévenart, Arthur (1905). La Défense nationale. Souvenirs de la guerre de 1870–1871 dans le Nord-Est (Lille: Lefebvre-Ducrocq). Tombs, Robert (1981). The War against Paris 1871 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). Verly, Hippolyte [pseudonym: Étienne Durand] (1874). Les Tablettes d’un bourgeois de Lille (Lille: A. Leleux). Vilar, Pierre (1994 (1968)). ‘Quelques aspects de l’occupation et de la résistance en Espagne en 1794 et au temps de Napoléon‘, in Nations, nationalismes et questions nationales [special issue of Iberica, 1994/4], pp. 47–74. Vouters, Jonathan (2000). 1870–1871. La Garde nationale mobilisée. ‘L’exemple’ du département du Nord (Université Charles-de-Gaulle – Lille-III, MA thesis supervised by Philippe Marchand). Weber, Eugen (1976). Peasants into Frenchmen: the Modernization of Rural France 1870–1914 (Stanford: Stanford University Press). Wright, Vincent (2007). Les Préfets de Gambetta, text completed, updated and presented by Éric Anceau and Sudhir Hazareesingh, preface by Jean-Pierre Machelon (Paris: PUPS).

11 ‘All the Butter in the Country Belongs to Us, Belgians’: Well-Being and Lower-Class National Identification in Belgium During the First World War Antoon Vrints

1. Introduction In Belgian historiography, the First World War has been elaborately studied from a national perspective (De Schaepdrijver, 2000; Stengers and Gubin, 2002; Wils, 2005). The reasons are obvious: the Great War is generally considered to be the apex of Belgian national feeling, as well as an acceleration in the development of a competing Flemish nationalism. Yet the current literature is limited in two ways: it focuses on nationalism as a political factor, while underestimating it as a sentiment, and it has mainly reproduced (possibly biased) elite and middle-class views. A study on national identification in war-time Belgium among the lower classes is still lacking and is, therefore, the aim of this chapter. As mentioned in the general introduction to this volume, wars are of crucial importance for the evolution of national identification patterns. In the case of Belgium, scholars wonder whether the First World War strengthened or even created feelings of Belgianness in the lower classes (Van Ginderachter, 2007). The present chapter aims to transcend the standard interpretation by focusing on the concrete significance and functions that Belgian nationhood had in the lower social strata during the Great War. To tackle this issue, we should link lower-class nationhood to the particular social context of Belgium in the years 230

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1914–1918. More specifically, we have to analyse the relation between national identification and the question of living standards since this was the most important field of tension for these classes. This approach brings back the economy in the analysis of the nationalism of lower social groups, but it does not involve a blunt shift towards materialistic determinism. This trap can be avoided by stressing the importance of the subjective perception of objective economic conditions. The argument of this chapter is based on the thesis that the lower social groups, confronted with a German occupation that caused numerous deprivations (e.g. of food, which resulted in hunger), saw a guarantee for their well-being in the (restoration of the) Belgian nation. Enduring hardships is indeed a powerful source of identification. More particularly, I will analyse the link between feelings of national belonging and the moral framework that people in occupied Belgium developed in order to deal with the problem of living standards. First of all, did the harsh confrontation with the German Other, who was an outsider in the most literal sense, lead to a (re)definition of national identity? Did the perception of (material and immaterial) deprivations caused by the German occupation enhance a positive Belgian consumer identity, as the motto of the strike in Liège mentioned in the title seems to suggest? Did the harsh conditions during the occupation make people more attached to Belgium? Did they become more nostalgic about a better past, or more hopeful of a brighter future? Second, were the internal social tensions due to occupation translated in national terms? Was the obligation of equality in times of hardship (or intolerance towards privilege) understood in terms of ‘national solidarity’? Were those who transgressed this norm (usurers, profiteers, black marketeers), and who endangered the population’s entitlements, condemned not only on moral, but also on national grounds? Was the polarization between the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’, between the ‘thin’ and the ‘fat’, linked with the opposition ‘German’ versus ‘Belgian’? Heuristically, this chapter relies on local sources. Due to war turmoil, archival materials on the First World War have become scattered in Belgium. The German occupation led to the disintegration of the state and national political structures. As a result, archival series on a national scale about a number of topics (such as national police reports on collective actions) are lacking for the war years. Local sources are a good and available alternative. Three types of local sources, all of them reflecting both lower-class and middle-class/elite views, are used in this chapter: local police reports on collective actions; the urban-based censored press; and local war chronicles.

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2. Economics and identity The focus of this chapter, which privileges the relation between socioeconomic factors and national identity, is by no means new. The Czech historian Miroslav Hroch has contributed to a better understanding of this relation more than anyone else. In his view, identity and social change are indeed closely interconnected. He considers the formation of modern nations as an integral part of the broader social transition from feudality to capitalist civil society, a process in which the bourgeoisie identified itself with the nation and the working class became involved as well. The success of a national movement in achieving its goals depends on the social preconditions it has to operate in. Hroch’s definition of ‘nation’ clearly shows that, in his view, social and cultural change are fundamentally intertwined: ‘a large social group integrated not by one but by a combination of several kinds of objective relationships (economic, political, linguistic, cultural, religious, geographical, historical), and their subjective reflection in collective consciousness’ (Hroch, 1996, p. 61; Hroch, 2005). Hroch considers the formation of a nation to be successful only when the entire class structure of a country is integrated in the nation. The social preconditions for this mass support are manifold: the presence of ‘nation-builders’, sufficient social communication (literacy, media, market relations, social mobility), economic and political ‘modernization’, external threats and, last but not least, the existence of a conflict of interests that can be translated in national terms. Seen from Miroslav Hroch’s perspective, a ‘breakthrough’ (the integration of all classes in the nation) is only possible when national identity is socially functional for these classes in a particular context. By stressing the social functions of nationalism, Hroch critiques more orthodox Marxist views of nationalism as a form of false consciousness. When we stress the relation between socio-economic factors and national identity, are we perhaps falling into the trap of economic determinism? Does this emphasis reduce the cultural construct of identity to a mere reflection of a material socio-economic reality? Not necessarily, since economics and identity affect each other. On the one hand, socio-economic structures, trends and inequalities are a very powerful source of (national) identification. The interpretation of economic differences in poor or rich regions/states in national terms is a clear example in this regard. Catalans, Flemings and Bavarians, for example, tend to link their relative economic success to regional/national identity. On the other hand, identity affects economic outcomes as well (Akerlof and Kranton, 2000), because people express their sense

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of self through behaviour (Elias and Scotson, 1965). The importance of identity in the economic choices people make clearly illustrates the limitations of the homo economicus approach, particularly in the realm of national identity. ‘Economic nationalism’ forms the most outspoken example of the impact of identity politics on economics (Pickel, 2003; Schultz, 2006). This concept does not only refer to state policies aimed at protecting national production, consumption and capital formation. ‘Consumer nationalism’ – that is, consumer preference for ‘national’ goods and services over ‘foreign’ ones – clearly indicates that national identity affects economic behaviour at a grass-roots level as well (Nelson, 2001). For example, people cultivate and express national identity through food choices. The two-way interaction between socio-economic factors and identity is perhaps best illustrated by the analysis of working-class neighbourhood life (Lis and Soly, 1993; Blokland, 2003). The ability to rely on reciprocal relations for (material) help in times of need forms the social rationale of participation in informal neighbourhood networks. In other words, there is a socio-economic basis to it, as people may be driven by motives of social functionality. Yet such participation is translated in identity terms as well. Neighbourhood identity cannot be reduced to the mere cultural reflection of objective social relations, it is an active force in social reality: through the moral framework neighbourhood members have to respect, it heavily influences the social and economic choices people make. Clearly, the recognition of the socio-economic dimensions to identity does not necessarily imply determinism, but the presumed link between living standards and identity does seem to be reductionist at first sight. Relating (national) identity to a quantitative measure of consumption and welfare appears to fit in with what E. P. Thompson would call a ‘spasmodic’ view on history and society (Thompson, 1971, p. 76). Amartya Sen’s refreshing view of living standards (the entitlement approach connecting the social, moral and political aspects of the problem) makes it possible to avoid this trap (Sen, 1981; Nussbaum and Sen, 1993). Instead of equating living standards to the monetary or nutritive–caloric value of a determined basket of consumables, Sen opts for a more fluid and complex approach. He defines living standards in terms of ‘capabilities’ and ‘functions’. These inelegant words refer to possibilities that enable their possessors to fulfil their personal needs. In Sen’s view, the living standard hinges on ‘the multidimensional set of available capabilities of a person to function’. These capabilities cannot be reduced to a particular level of a quantitatively balanced set of goods and services.

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Well-being is more than being well-off. Immaterial dimensions are as important as material ones. Capabilities and functions only become significant through concrete evaluation and experience. Whether or not people accept their living standard does not depend exclusively on their reaching a particular measure of consumption. Above all, it depends on whether they perceive the ‘system of entitlements’ as just or not. This ‘system of entitlements’ is defined by Sen as a legal and moral framework upon which distributive networks rest. People are ready to limit their entitlements and to undergo deprivations for collective goals and for the general well-being in the long run. This willingness is conditional: the perception of a fair or just distribution of sacrifices is crucial. Sen’s stress on the importance of moral perception and his attention to both material and immaterial aspects of well-being facilitate an integrated socio-cultural analysis of living standards and national identification.

3. A society under pressure For most of the Belgian population, the German occupation was a period of both material and immaterial deprivations (Scholliers and Daelemans, 1988; Scholliers, 1994; De Schaepdrijver, 1997). After the atrocities of the invasion and the death of thousands of civilians, the country was put under a repressive occupation regime. Freedom of speech and movement were limited. Manifestations of pro-Belgian and anti-German feelings were prohibited. Civilian resistance was repressed. Thousands of workers were deported to Germany for forced labour. Military courts used repressive methods to impose German law and order upon the population. German war taxation forced Belgium to contribute to the occupier’s war effort. For the vast majority of Belgians, however, the living standards question was the main concern. Socio-economic life was disrupted by the German invasion and occupation. Food production and distribution were particularly hit. Apart from the massive requisition of food by German troops and the distribution problems during the invasion, the Belgian food supply faced structural problems. Belgium was cut off from the international food market by a British sea blockade. Autarchy was a completely unrealistic perspective in Europe’s most densely populated country (which was heavily industrialized and urbanized). Additionally, a number of war-related factors hit Belgian food production and distribution. The absence of an important fraction of the Belgian work force (refugees, soldiers and forced labourers in Germany) and the lack of fertilizers reduced harvests. The national food market was disrupted by a

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deficient German distribution policy and fragmented by traffic limitations and by the creation of a frontier between the Ettappengebiet (the area behind the front lines, ruled by the army in the western third of the country) and the General Gouvernement (the rest of the country, under a civilian administration in Brussels). The occupier appropriated a considerable fraction of Belgian food and fertilizer production for the German market. Rapidly rising prices were the unavoidable consequence of scarcity. Massive unemployment, especially amongst industrial workers, made the situation even worse. International food aid and charity work in Belgium were not sufficient to avoid widespread hunger, especially during the second half of the occupation. The entitlements to food of large fractions of the Belgian population dropped dramatically. As in other European countries, the existing social contrasts tended to be intensified during the war. People who depended on wage-earning for their living were severely hit; their purchasing power eroded due to rising prices and unemployment. For the working class, the German occupation meant a brutal end to decades of rising living standards and diversifying food consumption. In the winter of 1916–1917, the diet of the average worker was back at the level it had half a century earlier. Employees, small retailers and other fractions of the middle classes also faced an erosion of their living standards. For wealthy people, the rising prices were less of a problem, since they could use their financial reserves. The most relevant social contrast in relation to the food problem was between town and country, between industrial and agrarian areas. In general, people in the countryside were better off than people in urban and industrial regions. Farmers and landowners consumed food produced on their own land. Rural workers were better off than their urban counterparts as well. As part of traditional rural survival strategies, they still had kitchen gardens, which formed a welcome addition to the family income. Moreover, the agrarian sector absorbed rural unemployment as it took advantage of the rising food prices (although the extent of the enrichment of the farming population still has to be documented). Temporarily, agriculture once again became the heart of the Belgian economy.

4. Moral perceptions of the living standards problem When it came to living standards, some people were indeed more equal than others during the war. Deprivation caused major inequalities and gave birth to sharp social tensions, which converged on the production,

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distribution and consumption of food (and fuel). The Belgian population developed specific codes of conduct that regulated life in the occupied country in this regard. The notion of ‘justice’ or ‘fairness’ was central in this moral framework. Translated into Amartya Sen’s terminology: people were willing to limit their entitlements as long as they had the impression that the general ‘system of entitlements’, the framework upon which distributive networks rested, was just. Of course, all social groups tended to believe that they were particularly hit and that others were relatively privileged. The working classes claimed that they suffered most from scarcity and they resented the ‘rich’, who did not have to undergo similar deprivations. The elites were preoccupied with the presumed ‘laziness’ of unemployed workers, who spent their days in cinemas and gambling halls and who were deemed not to respect the obligation of sobriety in those difficult days (De Schaepdrijver, 2000, p. 30–31). The middle classes felt threatened by negative social mobility. They blamed the workers for their ‘idleness’ and the elites for escaping impoverishment. In a similar way, the inhabitants of a particular city or region often suspected that other cities or regions were better off. On 5 August 1915, for instance, the Antwerp Flemish nationalist newspaper Het Vlaamsche Nieuws complained about the presumed privileges of the Brusseleirs. The inhabitants of Brussels were supposed to have white bread (a luxury item during the war).1 The idea that the capital received more and better food became a common topos in other large Belgian cities like Antwerp, Liège and Charleroi.2 Conversely, the Brussels newspaper Le Bruxellois published complaints about supposedly higher meat prices in Brussels compared to the rest of Belgium.3 Overall, city dwellers envied the rural regions for their better food situation. The predominantly rural Etappengebiet in the west of the country, for instance, was seen by the inhabitants of the General Gouvernement in the east as a land of (relative) opulence. Yet those living in the Etappengebiet thought differently. The socialist leader Edward Anseele, for instance, demanded in 1917 ‘equality for the entire Belgian population’, since he believed that prices were higher and rations smaller in the Etappengebiet, where his hometown Ghent was situated (De Dobbeleer, 2007, p. 51). People from different regions in occupied Belgium may have envied each other, but they all agreed that the Belgian refugees abroad were better off than the population in Belgium (Pirenne, s.d., p. 282). This general tendency to compare the (material) situation of different categories of people clearly reveals a preoccupation with justice.

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People were ready to organize collective actions to defend local or regional entitlements to food against ‘foreign’ contenders and to prevent (what they considered to be illegitimate) food exports to other Belgian regions. In October 1916, for example, a group of 100 workingclass men and women in Antwerp tried to block the export of mussels, the traditional food of the Antwerp poor.4 Such ancien régime-like blockades reveal the existence of a popular will to protect local or regional markets against ‘foreign’ consumption. The growing class and regional tensions were overshadowed by a complete intolerance towards profiteers, those taking advantage of the difficult situation of the population to enrich themselves (see Robert, 1997). Different social groups had different reasons to despise them. The elites regarded them as parvenus, the middle classes as an illegitimate threat to their social position and the working classes as a danger to their daily bread. The profiteers’ upward social mobility was considered illegitimate, since it was achieved at the expense of the population’s well-being. They were imagined as obese, tasteless gluttons. Not surprisingly in a time of alimentary scarcity, it was particularly people involved in the production or distribution of food who were accused of being profiteers. Among the urban and industrial population, farmers had a very bad reputation indeed. City dwellers tended to believe that farmers were making inordinate amounts of money thanks to the rising food prices and that the rural population as a whole took advantage of the war. Rural mayors were blamed for protecting their profiteering subjects. In cities, everyone involved in food distribution (merchants, shopkeepers, butchers and so on) was constantly morally scrutinized by the public. Those suspected of transgressing the moral codes of conduct – by selling on the black market at high prices, for example – endangered their position in informal social networks. Indeed working-class people, who were severely hit by the deprivations, did not remain passive as their entitlements came under threat. Their moral perception of the ‘system of entitlements’ prompted them into (collective) action (Vrints, 2011). While the hostility against profiteers may have been very outspoken, most Belgians first and foremost held the occupier responsible for the deprivations. The population was well aware of the German food and coal requisitions. It saw the occupier as a direct threat to its food entitlements, which (partly) explains the intensity of anti-German feelings. Henri Pirenne, the renowned historian and eye-witness to the war, explicitly stressed that the anti-German resentment was far greater in industrial and urban than in rural areas, since the deprivations of

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occupation were more intensely felt there. (Pirenne, s.d., pp. 119–120) The resistance press, which mainly reflected elite and middle-class views, heavily criticized the export of ‘Belgian’ food to Germany and the appropriation of consumables by the occupation army and administration. The focal point of this campaign was the idea that food grown in Belgium belonged to the Belgian population and certainly not to the occupier. This clearly reflects a ‘Belgian’ consumer identity. The leaders of the socialist Belgian Workers’ Party shared this idea. In a dramatic address on 15 October 1917, the party’s general council appealed to Governor-General von Falkenhausen to stop the extraction of food.5 In the party’s view, the only way to assure the population’s basic entitlements to food was to guarantee that ‘the indigenous victuals were only consumed by Belgians’. In order to make this possible, the party demanded the abolishment of the German Zentrales, administrative centres that coordinated food production and distribution and the reestablishment of Belgian control. Strikingly enough, the party leaders stressed that the occupier’s duty to guarantee food security could never imply the Belgian population’s resigning ‘its elemental feelings of patriotic dignity’. Belgian consumer identity was very vivid at the grass-roots level as well. The idea that, as Belgians, Belgians had a right to all the food grown in Belgium prompted action against German exploitation. These actions were largely an affair of the lower social groups. Part of their food protest was aimed at the occupier. On several occasions, the hungry population took the risk of German repression by organizing blockades to defend its entitlements to food and to stop exports to Germany. A telling example occurred on 20 June 1918, at the Brussels early market. Alarmed by the massive vegetable export from the Brabantine countryside via the Thurn and Taxis railway station, the Brussels population came into action (Lynen, 1920, pp. 100–101). Its anger was aimed at vegetable merchants working on behalf of the Germans. Stalls were attacked, vegetables were destroyed and the police was forced to search the merchants’ houses for hidden stocks. The vegetables that were discovered during these actions were sold on the spot at fixed prices. The centre of gravity of the blockades was situated in the eastern provinces bordering Germany. In 1916, the miners in the Liège bassin blamed illegal traffic to Germany for the scarcity of butter (Spa pendant la guerre, 1919, p. 205). According to a contemporary witness, the workers’ motto was: Puisqu’il y en a dans le pays, il nous le faut, à nous, Belges (‘All the butter in the country belongs to us, Belgians’) (1914–1918 à Visé, 1990, p. 238). Wholesalers’ warehouses in Liège and Verviers were

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ransacked and large amounts of butter were thrown out on the streets and destroyed. A Verviers miner explained why they did not steal or redistribute the consumables: ‘We are not Germans, we are not thiefs, we are vindicators of justice!’ Thus, he stressed the anti-German and legitimate nature of their actions (Tytgat, 1919, p. 162). In March 1917, wagons loaded with pork destined for export to Germany were attacked on railway stations and on markets in the broader Liège region. The stocks were stolen, the wagons destroyed and the drivers physically attacked. Illegal exportation of cattle and horses to Germany led to tensions in the entire border region (Pirenne, s.d., 117). In the Pays de Herve, the main roads leading to the border were blocked. Inhabitants of border villages in Liège and Luxembourg attacked smugglers in the woods and moors to stop the illegal exports. If we translate the situation into Miroslav Hroch’s terminology, there was an intense conflict of interests between the Belgian population and the occupier, which could be translated in national terms. The context of war created an antagonism between ‘Us’ and ‘Them’. The unpleasant confrontation with the ‘Germans’ boosted Belgian identification. AntiGerman sentiments and pro-Belgian feelings were inevitably linked. The Flemish writer Cyriel Buysse, who spent the war in a Dutch exile, was struck, on his return, by the strength of anti-German feelings among the lower classes in the province of East-Flanders (Buysse, 1982, pp. 690–692). When he asked people about the reason for this hatred, his respondents always referred to hunger, brutal repressions, requisitions, the deportation of workers . . . Not only the scarcity of consumables nourished anti-German resentment, the other deprivations caused by the occupier had similar effects, but food scarcity had the broadest impact. There is good reason to concur with Henri Pirenne in the statement that the intensity of anti-German resentment was strongest among the lower classes, who were particularly hit by the deprivations of occupation.

5. Well-being and national identification intertwined? The hatred of the Belgian population towards the external and towards the internal enemy – the occupier and the profiteers – had similar origins to some extent. On the basis of a shared moral framework, the vast majority condemned both of them, as a threat to well-being in general and to entitlements to food and other consumables in particular. Did this mean that moral perceptions about the problem of living standards and national identification patterns were completely intertwined

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during the war? This would, for instance, imply that profiteers were not only condemned on moral grounds, as transgressors of the codes regulating the production and distribution of consumables, but on national grounds as well. For the elites and the middle classes, there are clear indications that this was indeed the case. To them it was a patriotic duty to undergo bravely the deprivations of the occupation in a time of sacrifice for the whole nation (De Schaepdrijver, 2000, pp. 28–30). Everybody had to limit their entitlements, especially since the Belgian troops behind the IJzer river were putting their life at risk every day for the sake of the nation (Vrints, 2006). In this time of crisis, luxury and recreation were deemed to be unpatriotic. Members of the bourgeoisie who did not restrain their behaviour ‘in the midst of the deprivation, misery and pain of so many Belgians’ were labelled indecent and unpatriotic.6 Especially the middle classes were sensitive to this argument since they could no longer afford luxuries. From this moralist–patriotic point of view, they also tried to limit the recreational practices of the lower classes (like cinemas and dance halls), now stigmatized as ‘unpatriotic’. A powerful tool to force the lower classes to ‘patriotic austerity’ was their dependence on aid from charity and communal organizations. People with ‘unpatriotic’ behaviour lost their right to receive any help at all (Rency, 1922, pp. 106–115). War profiteers were seen as ‘bad Belgians’ – internal enemies. The link between immorality considered in economic and in national terms is particularly evident in a war chronicle from Mons, a Walloon city situated in an industrial region that was heavily struck by scarcity: ‘The enemies from within, the whole band of filthy speculators and famine mongerers, continue to amass money and pull off the skin of all dutiful Belgians, of our nationals whom they charge unacceptably high prices for the smallest things’ (Desguin, s.d, s.p.). The censored press, which mainly reflected the views of the threatened middle class, constantly blamed profiteers for their lack of patriotism. The Brussels-based paper La Belgique clearly condemned profiteering in national terms: It looks like love of lucre has seized part of the nation: farmers, hoarders, all those who handle all the essentials in our daily life seem to participate in the whirlwind of rising prices and everybody reaches out for the golden profits at the expense of the labourious savings of the other part of our starving and impoverished nation.7 The Bruges correspondent to the Flemish nationalist Gazet van Brussel cynically wrote: ‘That is real evidence of patriotism! Reasonably priced

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food that would benefit the population is sent to strangers for high prices. Big gains are made by growers and middle men, and meanwhile our people may perish due to hunger and scarcity!’8 The presumed greed of farmers was systematically linked to a lack of patriotism. A journalist of La Belgique warned them: ‘You are a bad patriot, Mister. You will have to report to us after the war.’9 An alderman of the Walloon town Ecaussinnes d’Enghien cynically wrote in a report: ‘the great patriotism of our farmers is matched only by the thickness of their wallet’ (Brisme, 1997, p. 259). Some went even further and suspected farmers of pro-German proclivities born out of economic considerations. The Flemish writer Virginie Loveling quoted a unanimous Ghent woman in her war diary: ‘The farmers are germanophiles, talk to them, they will say to you: the war can take as long as it takes, we are making a lot of money now [ . . . ]’ (Van Peteghem and Stynen, 1999). To Cyriel Buysse, a critical observer of Flemish rural life, things were clear after the Armistice: the farmers regretted that the war was over (Buysse, 1982, pp. 634–636). The general assembly of the Belgian Farmers’ League (Belgische Boerenbond) was well aware of these suspicions, and on 28 May 1917, it adopted a motion condemning usury on patriotic grounds: ‘charity is also a duty towards the fatherland, since real patriotism does not only mean fighting on the battlefield, but also assuring that the civilian population in the fatherland can have a decent live’ (Denys, 1936, p. 325). Whether or not lower social groups also equated profiteers with bad Belgians is harder to prove since written or printed sources reflecting their views are rare. A single brochure, written in 1919 by someone unknown and reflecting the workers’ point of view, clearly linked affameurs (those who cause famine) or vampires with unpatriotic behavior (J. D’X., 1919). We might find more clues in the analysis of collective action, in particular of informal collective sanctions against people of German descent, collaborators and profiteers during the Liberation days. Police reports of the port city of Antwerp reveal the motives of the participants in these lower class actions and the moral codes that regulated life in the occupied country.10 Collective actions in November 1918 in Antwerp show that lower social groups did indeed link moral indignation about profiteering to ideas of Belgian nationhood. This, however, does not imply that their perceptions were a mere reflection of elite and middle-class views. During Liberation, lower social groups acted on the basis of a moral code of their own, which they themselves translated in national terms. The core of their moral perception of the occupation years was the opposition between ‘suffering and opulence’. They perceived the occupation,

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first and foremost, as a period of deprivations. The lack of food was considered the most important one. The centrality of the food question distinguishes the moral framework of the lower social groups from that of the middle classes and elites. Anyone who escaped the shared suffering, let alone contributed to it (e.g. by profiteering), was seen as a moral transgressor, as a threat to the well-being of the community. While the elites and middle classes despised profiteers for their illegitimate upward social mobility and for transgressing the existing social order, the lower social groups perceived them as a direct danger to their entitlements to consumables. On a grass-roots level, this idea originated in the social and moral dimensions of neighbourhood life. The obligation towards mutual aid in times of need formed the core of the principle of reciprocity. Transgressors who did not respect this principle were excluded from informal social networks and lost their identity as a group member. During the Liberation days, lower social groups translated the exclusion of transgressors not only in moral, but also in national terms. The national flag, the tricolore, played an important role in the collective sanctions of November 1918. Participants in these actions often wielded Belgian flags as if to show their ‘national’ legitimacy. The transgressors, on the contrary, were not entitled to handle the national flag. On numerous occasions, an angry crowd lifted the Belgian flag from houses of profiteers, collaborators or Antwerp Germans. One police report, for instance, states that two servant girls spread the rumour in the neighbourhood that a particular house ‘was a German house, decorated with the Belgian flag, it would not be a surprise when that flag was taken off’.11 Which indeed happened. Another clear indication that the moral indignation received a national colour was the role of Belgian soldiers – national symbols par excellence – in the sanctions. The population often asked them to fulfil the sanctions as rightful avengers. The soldier was perceived as a man of sacrifice, who was willing to give his life for the greater good, the well-being of the community. As such, he was the complete moral opposite of the profiteer, whose ‘pleasure’ harmed the collective. In this respect, it was logical that the man of sacrifice was entitled to punish those who took advantage of the war. Last but not least, the frequent use of new insults like Duitsch (‘German’), Duitsche pinhelm (‘German spike helmet’), bochhoer (‘Teuton whore’), sale prussien (‘dirty Prussian’), Duitsche lodder (‘German bastard’) and Duitsch schandaal (‘German scandal’) shows to what degree the idea of a ‘national’ enemy was integrated in the mental universe of lower social groups.

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This Germanophobe prejudice was so strong that the insults were also used in non-war contexts and remained popular throughout the entire interwar period.12 That the moral indignation of lower social groups took on a national hue was due to the specific context of the occupation. In the first place, they blamed the foreign occupier for their miserable situation. The nostalgia for pre-war prices had created the unrealistic hope that the reestablishment of Belgian rule would automatically entail the restoration of pre-war purchasing power (Rency, 1922, p. 345). Therefore, the perception of deprivation was inevitably linked with the national opposition ‘Belgian–German’. The growth of a Belgian consumer identity is the clearest manifestation of this link. Most of the collective sanctions in the Liberation days in Antwerp were thus motivated. This lowerclass Belgianness was defined not only in relation to the external Other, the German, but also in relation to the internal other, the profiteer or the collaborator. Butchers, merchants, shopkeepers and innkeepers who made good money by extracting food from the population for the occupier were particularly targeted. They formed the focal point of collective sanctions. Compared, for example, with political collaborators, profiteers faced far more numerous and more severe popular actions. There is good reason to believe that their behaviour was condemned most strongly by the lower social groups. For the latter, those who had directly endangered legitimate entitlements to food and other consumables were the outsiders par excellence in the perceived ‘moral community’ created by the context of war. Although the food question was the most important moral marker in the process of delimiting the border between insiders and outsiders, popular anger was directed not only at profiteers. Other types of collaborators (sexual, political and administrative) were sanctioned as well. In public perception, they had all in some way harmed the well-being of the population by siding with the Germans. The perception that collaborators were directly or indirectly harmful to the people explains, for example, why attempts of Flemish nationalist collaborators to gain support among lower social groups were fruitless (Vrints, 2002, pp. 216–222, 251–252). Due to the precarious situation of victuals, the population of the liberated country was obsessed with the (supposed) food privileges of profiteers and collaborators during the war. In the collective imagination, phantasms about feasts and bacchanals abounded (Rousseaux and Van Ypersele, 2008). Political collaborators were also rumoured to receive secret food deliveries. The slur zaktivisten (‘those who fill

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their pockets’), applied to the so-called Flemish nationalist ‘activists’ (or collaborators), originated in the same feeling. The moral opposition between the ‘thin’ and the ‘fat’ was translated in national terms as well. For instance, sharing meals with the German enemy (which was often linked to rumours of drunkenness) was considered the high point of illegitimacy in this field. In November 1918, the Antwerp police, for example, picked up a rumour about a profiteering butcher, H.V.: ‘he had been seen in the presence of German officers in the patisserie of E. in the Kunstlei [boulevard]’.13 Public anger against women who had sexual relations with Germans is to be understood in the same perspective. These women escaped from the shared suffering through pleasure (sex). An anonymous appeal to boycott an Antwerp bar that had been frequented by Germans during the war put it like this: ‘While our brave heroes were struggling at the River IJzer, that woman the innkeeper] let the Germans drive her through the city in an automobile.’14 Antwerp was not an isolated case. In other regions, moral outrage about profiteering also became intertwined with patriotic feelings. The state police reported retaliations by workers against farmers in the surroundings of Liège in the months after the Liberation: ‘The resentment of the population against farmers and growers is very intense. They are being accused of having exploited their fellow countrymen.’15 The fact that those who took advantage of the war were not only condemned on moral grounds, but were also blamed as ‘bad’ or ‘non-Belgians’, fits Hroch’s idea that national sentiment is linked to a conception of the equality of all group members. Perhaps anti-German hostility was more emphatically present in the post-war climate than pro-Belgian enthusiasm was. This seems to confirm the hypothesis, advanced in the introduction of this volume, that among lower social groups heterostereotypes are literally more ‘outspoken’ than autostereotypes. Ideas of national belonging were clearly present in the liberation rites of lower social groups. This, however, does not imply that these actions were meant to restore an abstract national identity after its violation by the enemy, as presupposed by Fabrice Virgili for France in 1944–1945 (Virgili, 2000). The participants in these collective actions did not want to purify the ‘nation’ in abstracto from its unworthy citizens, nor did they want to refound a sense of nationhood after the dangers it had gone through. The patriotism of lower social groups in Belgium during the First World War had a concrete meaning in a particular social configuration. It cannot be understood outside their moral perception of the living standards problem during the war.

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6. Epilogue Historians agree that the First World War strengthened Belgian national sentiment, in particular among lower social groups. Perhaps due to quasi-unanimity about this thesis, the question whether feelings of national belonging intensified during the Great War has not yet been systematically studied. This is particularly true for lower class identification patterns. The main goal of this chapter has been to illustrate how the social functionality of a particular identity might help us to understand better the development of Belgian nationhood among the lower social groups. An analysis of national identification processes during the First World War in Belgium shows that they only appropriated a particular form of national identity if it was socially functional to them, and that they adjusted it to their own needs. The strengthening of Belgianness among the lower classes during the First World War can only be understood from the perspective of the moral and social perceptions of the war constellation. We should, however, keep in mind that the nation was not the only relevant form of collective identification. In Belgian society, class, religious, gender, regional and local identities were also of the utmost importance during the First World War. If the thesis of a strong link – in particular among lower social groups – between national identification and the experience of war deprivations holds true, this sheds new light on an old problem, namely the complex history of competing national identities in Belgium in the twentieth century. In particular, it could partly explain the divergent reactions of rural and urban regions to the escalating conflict between Belgian and Flemish nationalism in interwar Flanders. Several historians have argued that the Flemish movement was more rural in the 1920s and 1930s than in the nineteenth century and that this was particularly true for its antiBelgian, nationalist fringe, which emerged in these years (De Wever, 1993, pp. 220–221). But these scholars have never made the explicit link with the war experience to explain this shift. If Henri Pirenne is right in claiming that anti-German sentiments ran higher in the cities than in the countryside due to a different degree of deprivation, the divergent war experience may well have been a factor of decisive importance. The intensity of the deprivations in urban and industrial areas, especially among the lower social groups, may have made the urban population relatively immune to the emergence of Flemish nationalism, since this phenomenon was associated with the hated enemy, who was responsible for the deprivations. Already during occupation, precisely for this reason, collaborators had greater difficulty in gaining support

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in urban than in rural areas. Urban dwellers continued to identify more strongly with the Belgian nation, which was now associated with prewar well-being (although the possibility of an anti-Belgian backlash due to the enduring economic problems in the post-war period has to be taken into account). As a result, anti-Belgian Flemish nationalism remained electorally marginal in Brussels, Ghent and Antwerp during the entire interwar period. In the countryside, the identification with Belgium may well have been weaker, since this extra source of nationalism (higher pre-war well-being) was not that powerful there, due to the relatively limited war-time deprivations. The less anti-German climate in the countryside may have facilitated the step towards anti-Belgian Flemish nationalism. This must have been the case particularly for the considerable fractions of the rural population that gained materially from the occupation. In this respect, one could wonder if the urban claim that the behaviour of the rural population was ‘unpatriotic’ was not a self-fulfilling prophecy. To counter the allegation of being a ‘bad Belgian’, opting for an alternative fatherland is an adequate strategy. (Alternatively, rural areas may have been less patriotic to begin with: the national propaganda of the nineteenth century might have been less pervasive there than in the cities, as has been observed elsewhere in Europe.) The diverging trajectories of Flemish nationalism in rural and urban contexts seem to confirm that wars can have both a catalysing and a decatalysing impact on small national movements, as is suggested in the general introduction to this volume. One could conclude by formulating the hypothesis that the social tensions between town and country during the occupation were translated in national terms.

Notes 1. Het Vlaamsche Nieuws, 5 August 1915. For their part, the inhabitants of Liège’s industrial suburb Seraing also believed that the Liègeois had white bread at their disposal. See ‘Le Pain’, in L’Écho de Liège, 24 June 1915. 2. Het Vlaamsche Nieuws, 5 April 1916. La Région de Charleroi, 6 September 1915. 3. ‘A Laeken: La cherté de la viande’, in Le Bruxellois, 4 June 1915. 4. SAA [City Archives Antwerp], MA [Modern Archives] 3501, Police report dockland service, 2 October 1916. 5. Rapport du bureau du conseil général sur l’acitivité du Parti Ouvrier pendant la guerre (Août 1914–November 1918), Brussels, 1918, pp. 39–41. 6. La Belgique, 2 April 1916. 7. La Belgique, 1 January 1916. 8. Bruggeling, ‘Uit Brugge’, in De Gazet van Brussel, 9 August 1917. 9. La Belgique, 3 September 1915.

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10. SAA, MA, Police Archives. 11. SAA, MA, 29183, Record police section 2, nr. 898, 17 November 1918. 12. For example, in 1928 the insult ‘German’ was still used by the population of Antwerp’s poorer neighbourhoods. SAA, MA 29219, Record police section 2, nr. 662, 19 April 1928. 13. SAA, MA 3217, Record police section 6, nr. 512, 21 November 1918. 14. SAA, MA 31586, Record police section 2, nr. 1691, 7 December 1918. 15. KLM [Royal Museum of the Army, Brussels], 5538, Moscow Archives, Report of the commander of the state police in Liège, 3 December 1918.

Bibliography 1914–1918 à Visé et dans la région liégeoise, vol 1 (1990). (Visé: Société royale archéo-historique de Visé et sa region). Blokland, T. (2003). Urban Bonds. Social Relationships in an Inner City Neighbourhood (Cambridge: Blackwell Publishers). Akerlof, G. and Kranton, R. (2000). ‘Economics and Identity’, The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 125, 715–753. Brisme, O. (1997). Les Écaussinnes et les Écaussinnois dans la Première Guerre mondiale: 1914–1918 (Ecaussinnes: CIHL). Buysse, C. (1982). Verzameld werk, vol. 7 (Brussels: Manteau). D’X, J. (1919). Les Affameurs ou les vampires de la guerre. Les mauvais bourgmestres et les mauvais fermiers sur la selette. Leur méfaits: leur patriotisme (Nil St-Vincent: A. Stalens). De Dobbeleer, W. (2007). Edward Anseele, het socialisme en de bezetting van Gent (Ghent University: Master Thesis, history). De Schaepdrijver, S. (1997). De Groote Oorlog. Het koninkrijk België tijdens de Eerste Wereldoorlog (Amsterdam and Antwerp: Atlas). De Schaepdrijver, S. (2000). ‘La Belgique entre exaltation et rejet, 1914–1918’, Cahiers d’Histoire du Temps Présent, 7, 17–50. De Wever, B. (1993). Greep naar de macht. Vlaams-nationalisme en Nieuwe Orde. Het VNV 1933–1945 (Lannoo: Tielt). Denys, A. (1936). Geschiedkundige oorlogskroniek van Rousselare en ‘t ommeland (Roeselare: Gallet). Desguin, H. (s.d.). La ville de Mons pendant l’occupation des barbares (Mons: Presses réunies). Elias, N. and Scotson, J. (1965). The Established and the Outsiders. A Sociological Enquiry into Community Problems (London: Frank Cass & Co.). Hawthora, G. (ed.) (1987). The Standard of Living (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). Hroch, M. (1985). Social Preconditions of National Revival in Europe: A Comparative Analysis of the Social Composition of Patriotic Groups Among the Smaller European Nations (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). Hroch, M. (1996). ‘From National Movement to the Fully-Formed Nation. The Nation-Building Process in Europe’, in Mapping the Nation, G. Balakrishnan, ed. (New York and London: Verso), pp. 78–97.

248 Case Studies: The External Other Hroch, M. (2005). Das Europa der Nationen. Die moderne Nationsbildung im europäischen Vergleich (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht). Lis, C. and Soly, H. (1993). ‘Neighbourhood Social Change in West-European Cities. Sixteenth to Nineteenth Centuries’, International Review of Social History, 38, 1, 1–30. Lynen, A. (1920). Histoire de la commune de Saint-Josse-ten-Noode pendant la guerre mondiale et l’occupation allemande (Saint-Josse: Imprimerie Lesigne). Nelson, L. (2001). Measured Excess. Status, Gender, and Consumer Nationalism in South Korea (New York: Columbia University Press). Nussbaum, M. and Sen, A. (eds.) (1993). The Quality of Life (Oxford: Clarendon). Pickel, A. (2003). ‘Explaining, and Explaining with, Economic Nationalism’, Nations and Nationalism, 9, 1, 105–127. Pirenne, H. (s.d.). La Belgique et la guerre mondiale (Paris and New Haven: Carnegie Endowment). Rency, G. (1922). La Belgique et la guerre. La vie materielle de la Belgique durant la guerre mondiale (Brussels: Bertels). Robert, J.-L. (1997). ‘The Image of the Profiteer’, in Capital cities at war. Paris, London, Berlin 1914–1919, J. Winter and J.-L. Robert, eds (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), pp. 104–131. Rousseaux, X. and Van Ypersele, L. (eds) (2008). La Patrie crie vengeance! La repression des ‘inciviques’ belges au sortir de la guerre 1914–1918 (Brussels: Le Cri). Scholliers, P. (1994). ‘The Policy of Survival: Food, the State and Social Relations in Belgium, 1914–1921’, in The Origins and Development of Food Policies in Europe, J. Burnett and D. Oddy, eds (London and New York: Leicester University Press), pp. 39–53. Scholliers, P. and Daelemans, F. (1988). ‘Standards of Living and Standards of Health in Wartime Belgium’, in The Upheaval of War. Family, Work and Welfare in Europe, 1914–1918, R. Wall and J. Winter, eds (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), pp. 139–157. Schultz, H. (2006). ‘The Double Edged Sword of Economic Nationalism’, in Economic Nationalism in East Central Europe: 19th and 20th Centuries, H. Schultz and E. Kubu, eds (Berlin: BWV), pp. 9–25. Sen, A. (1981). Poverty and Famines. An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation (Oxford: Clarendon). Spa pendant la guerre 1914–1918 (1919). (Brussels: Administration communale de Spa). Stengers, J. and Gubin, E. (2002). Histoire du sentiment national en Belgique des origines à 1918, vol. 2: Le grand siècle de la nationalité belge (Brussels: Racine). Thompson, E.P. (1971). ‘The Moral Economy of the English Crowd in the Eighteenth Century’, Past and Present, 50, 1, 76–136. Tytgat, C. (1919). Bruxelles sous la botte allemande (Brussels: Bulens). Van Ginderachter, M. (2007). ‘Social-Democracy and National Identity. The Ethnic Rift in the Belgian Workers’ Party (1885–1914)’, International Review of Social History, 52, 2, 215–240. Van Peteghem, S. and Stynen, L. (eds) (1999). Virginie Lovelings dagboek, 1914– 1918 (Ghent: KANTL). Virgili, F. (2000). La France ‘virile’. Des femmes tondues à la libération (Paris: Payot). Vrints, A. (2002). Bezette stad. Vlaams-nationalistische collaboratie in Antwerpen tijdens de Eerste Wereldoorlog (Brussel: Algemeen Rijksarchief).

Antoon Vrints


Vrints, A. (2006). ‘Offers in balans. Hoop en wanhoop van de Belgische soldaten (1914–1918)’, Bijdragen tot de Eigentijdse Geschiedenis, 17, 237–252. Vrints, A. (2011). ‘Sociaal protest in een bezet land. Voedseloproer in België tijdens de Eerste Wereldoorlog’, Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis, 124, 1, 30–47. Wils, L. (2005). Van Clovis tot Di Rupo. De lange weg van de naties in de Lage Landen (Antwerpen: Garant).

12 General Conclusion: Popular Nationhood – A Companion of European Modernities Marnix Beyen and Maarten Van Ginderachter

When Raymond Poincaré was elected President of the Third French Republic in January 1913, he honoured the custom to grant amnesty to some categories of prisoners. Poincaré’s initiative did not satisfy the Parisian socialist deputy Marcel Sembat. In the Chamber of Deputies, Sembat urged the new government to extend the measure to deserters and draft evaders (the so-called ‘disobedient’, insoumis). After the press broadly publicized Sembat’s announcement, he received dozens of letters from deserters and draft evaders expressing their gratitude and encouraging him to continue his action. One of these deserters, Léon Morel, who lived in exile in Brussels (like most of them), alleged that Sembat had gained ‘the sympathies and the recognition of the 80,000 Frenchmen, deserters and draft evaders’. Their desertion, as this sentence suggests, had not deprived them of the will or the right to claim French nationhood. This was further substantiated in that same letter by a strong expression of repentance: ‘There is not one among us whose eyes do not become wet at the tones of the Marseillaise or at the sight of the three colours of that flag that we abandoned in a moment of aberration; we adore it as an idol, and we would all be present, please believe, when it ought to be defended!’1 One could interpret letters such as this one as an illustration of the successful nationalizing strategies of nineteenth-century nation-states. The emotional power of the national symbols was so strong that the state could expel citizens from the moral community of the nation without losing their loyalty or affection. Using the concepts proposed by John Breuilly in his contribution to this volume, we might say that, in this particular case, motivational nationalism was stronger than structural nationalism. The deserters had extracted themselves from the 250

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constraints of the state, but they did not lose their loyalty to the nation. On the contrary, they seemed to have internalized the identification pattern provided by national elites to such a degree that it could live on outside the state, and even – to a certain degree – against it. If the present volume has shown one thing, however, it is that we should examine carefully examples such as these. They cannot simply be read as evidence of ordinary people reproducing elite constructions of nationhood. In this conclusion, we will consecutively tackle a number of related (heuristic, methodological and interpretative) insights. First of all, several chapters draw attention to the possibilities and limits that different types of sources offer. A second notable conclusion relates to the existence of national discourses at the lowest levels of society, sometimes prior to and/or independent of bourgeois nationalization attempts. In this respect, the volume questions unilinear narratives of nation-building. Thirdly, several case studies successfully combine micro- and macro-history by linking national identification patterns in the lower reaches of society to concrete contexts and structural variables or processes. Finally, a number of chapters qualify the hypothesis we formulated in our introduction – that, among lower classes, national identity presents itself first and foremost in opposition to the Other. Let us start with a reflection on sources. In our example of the French deserters’ letters, it is essential to remember that they were written to a member of the national political elite (a deputy), with the aim of convincing the national figure par excellence – the President of the Republic. The letter-writers themselves had a relatively high degree of cultural competence. Not only were they able to read and write, they actually read the French newspapers while in exile and they knew how to address a French deputy from abroad. Therefore, it is not unreasonable to believe that the nationalism exhibited in these letters was at least partly strategic. But then – again, as Van Ginderachter remarks in his chapter, pragmatism and opportunism may also ‘veil’ the motives and views self-consciously presented in middle- or higher-class letters (p. 123). This in itself is no argument against the use of autobiographical documents of ‘ordinary people’. It is important to stress, however, that the study of nationhood from below should not be limited to a search for autobiographical documents from commoners. Several contributions in this volume clearly outline how various source materials that have already been used by generations of historians can be read afresh with a different methodology or in light of new hypotheses. Brophy gives the example of popular songs and political rituals. These are an ‘important yardstick for measuring

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sustained political affinities’, as he argues, provided that one takes into account their transmission history, their endurance and adaptations across time and space (p. 175). Issues of genre-specific expression and representativeness are common to nearly all sources that can be used for the study of popular nationalism (and, for that matter, of all collective mentalities). It should be clear, therefore, that assertions in this field have to be based on a broad and preferably varied array of sources. For instance, our deserters’ letters should be confronted with the material that Jean-Jacques Becker, as we wrote in the introduction, brought together in order to question the all-pervasive chauvinism at the outbreak of the First World War in France (p. 11). The need to frame individual expressions of nationalism within a broader corpus of sources and within their particular historic context is all the more pressing as they can be used in an illustrative or anecdotal way, to support too far-reaching conclusions about national identification. Beside the methodological caveats it contains, this book should make its readers aware that the nearly perfect congruence between elite and popular nationalism, as expressed in the French deserters’ letters, was possibly exceptional. One of the main conclusions emerging from this volume is indeed that, during the long nineteenth century, ordinary people construed their own sense of national belonging, sometimes prior to bourgeois nationalization attempts. As Brophy contends in his chapter on the Rhineland: ‘Popular conceptions of nationhood are distinct and merit independent analysis’ (p. 181). He argues that ordinary Rhinelanders first acquired popular notions of citizenship from transnational communication vessels. Only afterwards did they come into contact with bourgeois visions of German nationhood. Tervonen, too, describes in his chapter on Finland how freeholding peasants developed an ethnicist form of Finnish nationalism, based on notions of a shared language, race, economic self-sufficiency and patriarchal peasant communality. This particular brand of nationalism preceded the more liberal constructions of Finnishness by the urban, mostly Swedish-speaking Fennoman movement. It had a clear goal: to bolster the freeholding peasants’ control of the landless population. The chapter on imperial Austria refers to a form of peasant nationalism as well. Tyrolean and Galician peasants succeeded in infusing patriotic celebrations organized by local notables with their own agrarian social agenda. Precisely because of its possibly atypical character (with elite and popular nationalism overlapping), the case of the French deserters can be relevant in the framework of this volume. Not because it adds a

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new example to our catalogue of popular nationalism, but because it urges us anew to confront the question of the contexts in which structural nationalism could become successful and of the circumstances in which it was challenged by alternative nationalisms. In other words, what is the larger framework? In this respect, our scepticism – already vented in the introduction – about anecdotal forms of history from below (or microstoria) that amount to a mere description of particular cases still stands. To our mind, the study of nationhood from below should always link micro-historical analysis to macro-historical explanation. John Breuilly, too, emphasized in his contribution the necessity ‘to retain macro-frameworks and approaches to ensure that popular nationalism is situated within processes like industrialism, modern warfare and nation-state formation, rather than becoming a disconnected series of largely descriptive studies’ (p. 25). The case studies gathered in this volume all study the construction of nationhood at a local or micro-level, but they heed Breuilly’s admonishment. They situate their argument within the big picture of modernization and industrialization, engage with the broader explanatory frameworks of nation-building and look for structural explanations. One of the structural elements to consider when explaining the nearcongruence of elite and popular nationalism in the French deserters’ letters is the strong centralizing tradition in France. All things considered, it is clear that other European countries such as Germany, Italy, the Habsburg Empire, Belgium or Finland experienced a relatively less continuous and more problematic process of state formation than France. Yet even the explanatory power of this factor should be qualified. In his contribution, Jean-François Chanet shows that, despite the expansion of mass communication and the ever deeper penetration of the state in daily life, French nineteenth-century nation-building cannot simply be presented as a unilinear narrative of ever-growing and -deepening national sentiments. The France he describes is the one where ideological divisions tended to overrule popular forms of nationalism. This is all the more counterintuitive as his story is situated during the FrancoPrussian War of 1870–1871, which is often presented as the starting point of radical nationalism in France. For different reasons, indeed, one would expect wars to be strong catalysts of popular nationalism. They are generally accompanied by a surfeit of structural nationalism: when the state mobilizes the population for the war effort, its hold on the citizens grows tighter than ever. Moreover, this generally implies a strong appeal to the citizens’ patriotic feelings, that is, to their motivational nationalism, which, in

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turn, can be justified through the presence of a strong external Other – the enemy. The deserters’ letters seem to provide evidence of this. Although they were written at the beginning of 1913, many of them anticipated an inevitable war due to the Balkan crisis. A certain Augustin Caralp asserted: Now, we still believe in a war with Germany with regard to the Balkan affairs – well, we are ready to come and spill our blood for our mother Fatherland [notre mère Patrie] in order to avenge 1870. You know well that we don’t like the Germans, if you want I can tell you about my father’s past’.2 In this particular case, the prospect of war gave rise to chauvinist emotions. Interestingly enough, Chanet’s contribution suggests that actual warfare did not necessarily create such hypernationalist outpourings, nor did it have a unilinear, homogenizing impact on processes of national identification. Chanet argues that the invasion of France by Prussia was in itself not enough to produce a unified rising of popular patriotism. On the contrary, the existing cleavages were widened by the attack. Class tensions and the urban/rural divide grew. Some property owners, for instance, mounted a mere show of defence, to prevent the resistance from turning into popular insurrection. In spite of the surfeit of structural nationalism, the Franco-Prussian War witnessed a deficit of motivational nationalism – to borrow John Breuilly’s expression. The structural processes that had shaped (or were shaping) the French nation into a self-evident frame of reference (communication, schooling, military education, centralization and so on) were not matched by an equally vigorous emotional and personal attachment to the fatherland. The conclusion that war was not necessarily a favourable conduit for the transmission of structural nationalism to ordinary people emerges even more clearly from Vrints’ chapter on the First World War in Belgium. Like Chanet, he stresses the radically different war experiences of city dwellers and countrymen, which he interprets in terms of social well-being and deprivation. The comparatively greater hardship that urban populations faced during the Great War inspired anti-German and pro-Belgian feelings. Conversely, the stigma of profiteers that attached itself to country dwellers and their more secure food situation worked in the opposite direction. The impact of this difference was much more disruptive than in France, because the disgruntled countrymen could turn to an alternative, Flemish model of national identification, which had taken shape in the pre-war period. Thus, the Great War strengthened

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Belgian nationalism in urban surroundings while undermining it in rural settings, whereas the opposite happened in the case of Flemish nationalism. The possibly divisive impact of war on the unity of the nation depended, so it seems, on other macro-historical factors. Among these, the capacity of the state and of national elites to prevent the development of alternative patterns of identification within civil society was crucial. Evidently, not only national enemies in wartime provided a likely Other for popular nationalism. The French deserters, for instance, being exiles in Belgium, were entirely surrounded by what they experienced as ‘Otherness’ – even if most of them had opted for the geographic, linguistic and cultural proximity of Brussels. In most cases, they wrote in friendly terms about their host country, where they had encountered hospitality and had been able to build up a new life. ‘Although I am very happy in Belgium’, one of them admitted, ‘I do not experience the joy that I would have when living in France.’3 Although the Other did not function here as a threat, but simply as a foil to their own Frenchness, it nevertheless acted as a strong catalyst for nationalist feelings, stimulating an idealization of the fatherland. Yet, in the light of this volume, not even this statement can be generalized. In their contribution on Belgian migrants in northern France, Vanden Borre and Verschaffel also deal with a community of people who left their home country behind; but they observe entirely different dynamics at the level of popular nationalism. At first sight, one might expect the Belgian migrant workers in northern France to be even more receptive to nostalgic nationalist feelings about their country of origin: they formed a much larger group (up to a quarter of the population of Lille at the end of the nineteenth century and concentrated in certain quarters), and their departure from Belgium did not result from a conflict with the authorities. And yet their attachment to their home country turned out to be less profound than that of the French deserters in Brussels. Of course, Belgium was not absent from the social and cultural life of the Belgian migrants, but this did not impede their integration into their host country. Even if Vanden Borre and Verschaffel rightly stress that this ‘smooth integration’ (p. 209) did not imply a pure and simple change of identity, the contrast with the deserters is striking. This difference might be explained in a number of ways. In the first place, the Belgian migrants in Lille were almost exclusively industrial workers, whose immediate concerns in the context of migration may have been material more than emotional. We can even apply Vrints’ line of argumentation to this case. Because Belgium had not been able

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to guarantee their social welfare, the loyalty of these migrants to their home country turned out to be rather weak. This hypothesis should be further tested in an international comparison with other economic migrants. A second possible explanation should not be neglected: the relative strength of the nation-state in the home country and in the host country. Succinctly, the Belgian migrants were citizens of a relatively weak nation-state arriving to a strong nation-state, whereas for the French deserters in Belgium the opposite was true.4 A potentially nationalizing element that is missing from the deserters’ letters is the internal Other (present within France). This does not imply, of course, that the internal Other was absent from French popular nationalism during the belle époque, as the Dreyfus affair abundantly shows that it was not. Neither is it true that anti-Jewish or xenophobic sentiments against migrants were not admitted in the socialist subculture surrounding Marcel Sembat – who himself had taken position against Dreyfus and belonged to the patriotic wing of the socialist party. Arguably, there was simply no need to articulate an internal Other in the particular case of the deserters, given their exile and the strong presence of an external (Belgian) Other. In a different context, however, the internal Other could play a more pivotal role in French popular nationalism. Michelle Perrot, for instance, used the phrase ‘labour nationalism’ to refer to anti-immigrant sentiments among French workers. During the second half of the nineteenth century, competition for work between local workers and immigrants sometimes resulted in violence, particularly against Italians in the south of France (Perrot, 1975, pp. 170–171). Several chapters in this volume, too, show the importance of negative identification against an internal Other. In their survey of Spanish historiography, for example, Molina and Cabo refer to the role of the ‘Moor’ in popular nationalism (p. 63). Similarly, Tervonen analyses how the Roma functioned as a foil in the construction of Finnishness outside and before the bourgeois Fennoman movement. Like several contributors to this volume, he frames this dynamic construction of identity and alterity deeply within the social and economic context of its period, thereby carefully avoiding quick generalizations. More particularly, he expounds how socio-economic differences and location have an impact on national identification and how they fragment apparently homogeneous local communities. Tervonen’s chapter is a useful reminder against any tendency to lump ‘ordinary people’ or ‘rural populations’ together in one undifferentiated mass. At the same time, it avoids what we called in our introduction the ‘spectre of heterogeneity’ (p. 11) and the conclusion that in matters of

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national identification complete idiosyncrasy reigns. Instead, Tervonen convincingly demonstrates the importance of class differences in the Finnish countryside, coupled with diverging material interests, power positions and the precise location of villages on the Roma’s established itineraries. The interplay of these variables inspired different reactions against the Roma. Negative attitudes were stronger in villages that were situated along passing-through routes of itinerant groups than in places with large established Roma communities. Strikingly, within the former villages it was not only the most ‘enlightened’ and most liberal sections of the population, the small group of burghers and gentlefolk, that protested against anti-Roma measures. The lowest social groups too, the smallholding peasants and tenant farmers, were averse to discriminatory steps, because they relied on structural exchanges of labour and services with the Roma against food and shelter. It was the economically independent freeholding peasantry, the most important and vocal political faction in the countryside, that wanted to keep the Roma out. As the only large group of Finnish speakers represented in parliament, they imagined themselves to be the core of the nation. Yet they had very material reasons to exclude the Roma from ‘their’ Finland. As the most important employers and taxpayers in the rural villages, they had a clear interest in tying the landless population to the landowners as a cheap labour reservoir. Vagrancy was a potential threat to their standard of living. In general terms, this volume seems both to confirm and to qualify the hypothesis we formulated in our introduction, namely that a clear sense of national belonging among the lower classes is based more on barely premeditated heterostereotypes than on autostereotypes. The former turned out to be important indeed, but they only functioned as catalysts in contexts that were already conducive to the articulation of strong national sentiments. Brophy’s contribution on the Rhenish borderlands is extremely instructive in this respect. It shows that alterity is not a selfevident vessel of national identification. In the Rhenish case, a form of popular patriotism existed that lacked a stable counter-image. In the first half of the nineteenth century, there was no ‘natural’ Other, internal or external, against whom ordinary Rhinelanders could easily define themselves. While in bourgeois circles anti-French prejudice had fed German chauvinism ever since the start of the nineteenth century, Rhenish popular culture only embraced Francophobia after the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–1871. This possibly hints at the fact that national borders became centrifugal forces in the late nineteenth century as the state apparatus succeeded in penetrating deeper and deeper into everyday

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life – which may have presented the most important shift in ordinary nationhood during the long nineteenth century. Until the middle of the century, the Rhenish borders were highly permeable. Brophy attributes this to the resilience of transnational communication spaces. There were many linguistic, religious and migratory links that transcended the political boundaries. Brophy particularly stresses the shared socio-economic networks of the Rhineland and north-western Europe, which ‘arguably affected outlooks and identities more than political frontiers’ (p. 168). In a related matter, Brophy nuances the role of linguistic difference in the growth of national awareness. The Rhineland was a multilingual border region where ‘the overlapping co-existence of multiple dialects and languages encouraged mixed language use’ (p. 170). Indeed, the acknowledgement of territorially separated languages (and its political implications) is in itself a construction that heavily depends on the rise of nationalism. Not coincidentally, Brophy’s chapter is the only one to delve deeply into this matter, for the simple reason that it is also the only contribution that focuses on the first half of the nineteenth century. This was the period before such multilingual, multicultural and inclusive kinds of popular patriotism were increasingly influenced by the nationalism of states and social elites. In his chapter, Laurence Cole points to similar evolutions in imperial Austria. In the late nineteenth century, nationalists succeeded in shaping public discourse (e.g. by nationalizing perceptions of language frontiers). Yet their rhetorical success was offset by their practical failure to make people act nationally. Many ordinary people retained multilingual and multicultural practices up to the First World War. This ‘national indifference’ made nationalist movements more extreme – a conclusion which inverts the conventional wisdom that they radicalized because of popular pressure. The resulting reframing of the historiography on imperial Austria is two-fold: ‘the analytical focus [has shifted] from national differentiation to national indifference, and [ . . . ] nationalism lacked the social and cultural resonance often attributed to it’ (p. 105). Cole, however, warns that this new research is empirically limited. It tends to infer national indifference from nationalist sources rather than proceeding ‘by detailed reconstruction of local histories “from below” ’ (p. 106). An additional problem is that it forces our interpretations into a mould of ‘either “national” or “non-national” modes of identification’ (p. 107), thus neglecting how identities interact and are politically mobilized. The dual monarchy of Austria–Hungary was of course not a homogenizing nation-state promoting one ethno-cultural identity in all its lands, but a multi-ethnic empire that stimulated a form of

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‘supranational’ patriotism (p. 110) – to use Cole’s term – that was relatively tolerant of cultural and linguistic difference. When contemplating the role of the state apparatus more generally, it seems that the (willingness to use the) nationalizing capacity of the state played a crucial role in the tensions between elite and popular versions of the nation. Where state power was weak, aloof or not directed at congruence between state and nation, divergent opinions existed on what the nation was or even on whether it existed, as in imperial Austria (Cole), in the lower-class imaginings of transnational spaces in the Rhineland (Brophy) or in the representations by ordinary people of the emergent Italian nation (Porciani). Where state power was stronger, there was a relative consensus about the nation’s borders and about who counted as a fellow national. In this case, tensions revolved around the question what the socio-economic and political outlook of the nation should be. Chanet’s chapter on the divisions within French patriotism during the Franco-Prussian War is a good example, but it also shows that a firm belief in the existence of the nation is not enough in itself to overcome all other divides. Taking final stock of this volume, we return to the introduction. There we stated that it is not our ambition to construe a complete ‘retrodictive theory’ of nationalism, which could explain all the variations and manifestations of popular nationalism. But the historiographic surveys and case studies in this book do provide some stepping stones towards that end. One thing they make clear is that such a theory should accommodate changing contexts and should be multidimensional. Rather than privileging one overarching determinant, it should concentrate on dynamic constellations of different variables such as state power (emanating from empires or from nation-states), international contexts, migration, social welfare provisions and the like. These constellations shaped different modernities in Europe. Popular nationalism – being neither a simple atavism of pre-modern ethnic realities nor an unresisting object of powerful elites – served as an (inter)active and complex companion to these modernities. For historians who try to understand the diversity of the phenomenon from that point of view, there is still much ground to cover.

Notes 1. Léon Morel to Marcel Sembat, 25 January 1913, Paris, Archives Nationales, 637 AP (Papers Sembat-Agutte), 31.

260 Case Studies: The External Other 2. Augustin Caralp to Marcel Sembat, Brussels, 14 February 1913, Paris, Archives Nationales, 637 AP (Papers Sembat-Agutte), 31. The letter ends with the patriotic exclamation: ‘Long live the Republic, long live Mister Poincaré and long live France, our Mother Fatherland.’ 3. Edouard Halphen to Marcel Sembat, s.d., Paris, Archives Nationales, 637 AP (Papers Sembat-Agutte), 31. 4. On nineteenth-century Belgium as a weak state, see Beyen and Majerus (2008).

Bibliography Beyen, Marnix and Majerus, Benoît (2008). ‘Weak and Strong Nations in the Low Countries: National Historiography and Its “Others” in Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries’, in The Contested Nation: Ethnicity, Class, Religion and Gender in National Histories, Stefan Berger and Chris Lorenz, eds (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan), pp. 283–310. Perrot, Michelle (1975). Les Ouvriers en grève. France 1871–1890. Thèse présentée devant l’université de Paris I (Lille: Service de reproduction des thèses. Université Lille III).


Aachen, 162–3, 165–70, 172, 179, 183–5 Aisne, 220, 226–7 Ala (town in Italy), 97 Alltagsgeschichte, 4–5, 171 Alsace, 226 Anderson, Benedict, 101, 124, 146, 169 Anseele, Edward, 236 Antwerp, 165, 236–7, 241–4, 246 Aosta Valley, 75 Arezzo, 76 Armentières, 218 army (and nationhood), 24, 48–50, 53, 58–9, 67, 74, 80, 87, 92, 97–8, 110–11, 113, 123, 125, 129, 168–9, 177, 201–5, 207–8, 218–25, 234, 254 Arquati, Giuditta Tavani, 89 Artevelde, Jacob van, 199 Asturias, 54 Aumale, Duke of, 225 Austria(-Hungary), 17, 74, 78–82, 90, 96–114, 170, 219, 252, 258–9 Auvergne, 217 Avesnes, 225 Aznar, José Maria, 47 Badeni language ordinances of 1897, 103 Baltics, 139–61 banal nationalism, 13, 23, 37, 121, 171 Bänkelsänger, 172, 176 Barandiarán, Joxe M., 67 Barcelona, 51, 53, 56, 59, 63 Barrès, Maurice, 215 Basel, 217 Basque country, 8, 51, 53–4, 58–61, 64, 66–8 Bavarian Palatinate, 177, 181 Bazaine, François Achille, 223, 225

Belgium, 7–8, 120–1, 125, 162–3, 168–9, 172–4, 182–4, 193–213, 220–1, 230–49, 253–6, 260 Bessarabia, 141 Bielefeld, 5 Bilbao, 59 bilingualism, see language (and nationhood) Billig, Michael, 13, 37, 121, 171 Biscay, 53 Bismarck, Otto von, 30, 120, 214 Bitburg, 169 Boer Wars, 24 Bohemia, 38, 100–6 Bologna, 74 Bommel, Bishop van, 173 Bonaparte, Napoleon, 33–4, 36, 49, 52, 61, 164, 170, 172–3, 175–7, 182, 185, 216 Bonapartism, 217, 219 Bonghi, Ruggero, 78 Bono, José, 68 Bouches-du-Rhône, 223 Brabant, 165–6, 169, 238 Brescia, 74, 82, 89 Bresciani, Giuseppe, 96–7 Brigantaggio (1860–1870), 75–6 Bruges, 165, 240 Brussels, 198, 204, 235–6, 238, 240, 246, 250, 255 ˇ Budweis, see Ceské Budˇejovice / Budweis Buenos Aires, 54 bullfighting, 55–6 Buysse, Cyriel, 239, 241 Cairoli, Adelaide, 89 Calabria, 75 California, 199 Canella, Carlo, 90 Cannes, 227 Cantal, 217 261

262 Index capitalism, 41, 51, 53, 56, 126, 146, 152, 166, 169, 194, 232–3 Caracciolo, Enrichetta, 90 Caracciolo, Franceso, 78 Caro, Elme, 222 Castelfidardo, 87–8 Catalonia, 53–4, 56–61, 63, 66–8, 232 Catholicism, 30, 36–7, 49, 54, 59, 61–2, 64–6, 75–7, 89, 91, 108–9, 112, 120, 162, 165, 172–4, 179, 182, 184, 217 ˇ Ceské Budˇejovice / Budweis, 103, 108, 111 charivari, 19, 178–9, 184–5 Charleroi, 236 Chiavenna, 83–4, 91 China, 30 Chon, François, 197–9 Cisleithania, 96–119 citizenship, 48–9, 52, 59, 86, 139–61, 163–4, 171, 178, 180–2, 193–213 civic views of nationhood, 3, 84, 91, 139, 149, 158 civil society, 14, 17, 48, 59–61, 64, 82–3, 91, 102, 113, 141, 164, 175, 181, 232, 255 civil war, 57, 62, 64, 75, 215, 222 class, 4–5, 9, 14, 18, 20, 23–43, 63, 80, 82, 99, 112, 123, 127, 130, 141, 146, 152, 154, 156, 175, 218, 232, 237, 245, 254, 257 Cluj / Kolozsvár / Klausenburg, 106 Cold War, 5, 127 Cologne, 165, 169, 172, 174, 179, 184 colonialism, 4, 24, 30, 37, 40, 48, 56, 61–3, 88, 104, 123, 126, 128, 167, 169, 183, 193 Commune of Paris, 214, 218 communication (and nationhood), 13, 23, 28–9, 48, 51–2, 56, 58, 63, 65, 79–80, 86, 123–4, 131, 147, 149, 151, 153, 162–83, 216, 232, 251–4, 258 communism, 30, 33, 39, 77–8, 83, 123, 127 Compagnion, Henri, 217 Conlie, 221 Cons, Henri, 197

constitutionalism, 163, 173–4, 177–8, 181 constructivism (in nationalism research), 3, 5–8, 13, 18, 40, 67, 105, 124, 127, 232 Coromaldi, Umberto, 90 Corunna, 59 Crisis of 1898 in Spain, 55, 61–2 Crispi, Francesco, 87 cultural turn, 6, 105 Czechs, 8, 17, 38, 100–3, 105, 108, 110–11, 170 Dalmatia, 96, 110 Dauphinot, Simon, 224 Defuisseaux, Georges, 120 Delobel, J., 209 De Roef, Jean, 200 desertion, 168–9, 221, 250–6 Deutscher Böhmerwaldbund (German League for the Bohemian Woods), 104 Deutscher Schulverein (German School Association), 104 Diet of Bohemia, 100 Diet of Finland, 140, 142–5, 150, 155–6 Diet of the Rheinland, 179, 181 Dijon, 217 Dordogne, 218 Dovera, Achille, 81 draft evasion, 19, 129, 220–1, 250 Dual Monarchy, 96–119, 252, 258–9 Dunkirk, 206 Dutch speakers, 121, 166, 171–2, 195, 197, 210–11 economy (and nationhood), 7, 14–15, 56, 59, 61, 84, 100, 104, 139, 142, 148, 152–4, 156, 158, 164–9, 171–2, 175, 195–6, 205, 230–49, 252, 256–9 England, 7, 11, 63, 126, 128, 166, 194 Entitlements, 19, 231, 233–40, 242–3 Erkelenz, 165 Esquermes, 196 Estaminet (cabaret), 198–9, 207 Etappengebiet, 236

Index ethnic / ethno-cultural (views of nationhood) / ethnicity, 3, 5, 7–8, 13, 18, 40, 58, 60–1, 64, 66, 77, 79, 99, 101–4, 109, 127, 139–40, 142, 145, 149, 151, 155–7, 170, 198, 200, 204, 252, 259 Eupen, 165–8 European Union, 39, 123, 127 Faidherbe, Louis, 221 Falklands War, 126 Fanon, Frantz, 30 fascism, 15, 29–30, 41, 76 Febvre, Lucien, 4 federalism, 62, 221, 223 feminism, 126 Fennoman movement, 19, 141, 143, 144, 146–9, 151, 154, 156–8, 252, 256 Finland, 18, 139–61, 252–3, 257 Finnish Literature Society, 141 First International / International Working Men’s Association, 5, 25–6, 112, 130 First World War, 11, 19, 28, 39, 86, 98, 113, 145, 215, 230–49, 252, 254, 258 Fiume, 96 Fives, 196–7 Flanders (Belgium), 8, 165, 194, 211, 245 Flemish movement, 125, 230, 236, 240, 243–6, 254–5 folklore, 16, 56, 125, 148 food (and nationhood), 152, 230–49, 254, 257 Forge, Anatole de La, 224 Foucault, Michel, 6 France, 19, 28, 30, 36, 48–50, 52, 54, 55, 58, 61, 66, 120–38, 165–70, 176–7, 193–213, 214–29, 244, 252–6 Franco, Francisco, 47, 67 Franco-German/Prussian war, 19, 177, 201–2, 214–29, 253–4, 257, 259 Francoism, 48, 52, 57, 65, 67 Free-masonry, 75 Freiheitslieder, 175–6, 179


French Revolution of 1789, 11, 40–1, 75–7, 85, 163, 166, 175–7 French Revolution of 1830 / July revolution, 169, 180–1 French Revolution of 1848, 30, 35–6, 179, 181, 185 Freycinet, Charles de, 203, 220 Friuli, 96 Fügner, Jindˇrich, 102 Galicia (Eastern Europe), 98, 108–9, 252 Galicia (Spain), 8, 49, 54, 56, 58–61, 67 Gambetta, Léon, 214, 218, 220–4, 226 Garibaldi, Giuseppe, 36, 83–6, 88, 90, 92–3, 96, 217 Garibaldi, Ricciotti, 222 Gellner, Ernest, 35, 37, 41, 101, 124 gender, 4, 9, 14, 18, 20, 24–6, 81, 88–92, 99, 112, 122, 124, 126–7, 130–1, 175, 244–5 General Gouvernement (German administration of occupied Belgium in WWI), 235–6 Genoa, 84 German Centre Party (Deutsche Zentrumspartei), 30 German Navy League (Deutscher Flottenverein), 30 German speakers, 96–119 Germany, 26–8, 30, 33, 36–8, 41, 120–38, 162–89, 202, 205, 224–5, 230–49, 252–4, 257 Ghent, 194, 199–200, 211, 236, 241, 246 Ginzburg, Carlo, 65 globalization, 39, 123 Gramsci, Antonio, 6, 29, 73, 78–80, 126 Great Britain, 4, 7, 11, 24, 66, 78, 124, 126, 128, 130–2, 234 Grellmann, Heinrich Moritz Gottlieb, 148, 159 Guastalla, 84–5 Guise, 220 Habsburg Empire / Monarchy, 17–18, 36, 38, 41, 96–119, 170, 253 Hambach Festival, 176–7, 180, 185

264 Index Hauské, Count de, 217 Hautefaye, 218 Havana, 54 Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich, 41, 147 Heinsberg, 169, 183–4 Hérault, 220 History Workshop Movement, 4, 126 Hitler, Adolf, 31 Hobsbawm, Eric, 3–4, 7, 98, 124, 132, 158, 202 Hofer, Andreas, 109 Holland (county), 165 Housman, George, 90 Hroch, Miroslav, 4, 16, 35–6, 58, 98, 100, 124–5, 232, 239, 244 Hussigny, 225 Hutchinson, John, 139

July Revolution, see French Revolution of 1830 / July revolution Jurva, 156, 159

IJzer river, 240, 244 imperialism, 24, 29, 39, 64, 131–2, 141–2, 145, 172, 219 Imperial-Royal Austrian Veterans’ Association / kaiserlicher und königlicher. österreichischer Kriegerkorps-Verein, 111 India, 4, 127, 151, 159 Insurgenze, 75–7 internationalism, 5, 25–6, 112, 130, 211, 216 International Working Men’s Association, see First International / International Working Men’s Association Ireland, 30 Isère, 223 Istria, 96 Italy, 17, 49, 73–93, 96–8, 108–10, 112, 114, 204, 253, 256, 259 Ius soli, 203, 207

labour, 4–5, 25–9, 32–3, 36–9, 112, 130, 256 labour aristocracy, 41 La Châtre, 222 Lake Garda, 96–7 language (and nationhood), 9, 13, 16, 19, 27, 38, 47, 49, 54–6, 60–1, 63–4, 89, 91, 102–6, 121, 123, 125, 140, 142–5, 147–8, 150, 153, 157–8, 163–4, 167, 169–72, 174–5, 182, 197–8, 210–11, 252, 258–9 Lapinlahti, 155 Lapointe, Savinien, 226 Lavisse, Ernest, 224 Lazzeretti, Davide, 88 Lebœuf, Edmond (marshal), 218 Lega Nord, 77 Lemberg, see Lwów / Lemberg / L’viv Leopold of Hohenzollern, 226 Leopold II, Grand Duke of Tuscany, 78 Leopold II, king of Belgium, 120, 198 Lex Perek (article 20 of the Moravian compromise of 1905), 105 liberalism, 39, 49, 50, 53, 57–8, 60–6, 75, 77, 83, 85, 97, 108, 110–112, 145, 150, 158, 173, 176–8, 180–2, 185, 203–4, 214, 217, 226, 252, 257

Jacobinism, 35, 75–7, 89, 129, 170, 177, 223 Jászi, Oscar, 110 Jaurés, Jean, 37 Jemappes, 120 Jews, 140, 144, 147–8, 152, 256

kaiserlicher und königlicher. österreichischer Kriegerkorps-Verein, see Imperial-Royal Austrian Veterans’ Association / kaiserlicher und königlicher. österreichischer Kriegerkorps-Verein Keuruu, 153, 159 Kevelaer, 172 Kirsanov, 96 Klausenburg, see Cluj / Kolozsvár / Klausenburg Kolozsvár, see Cluj / Kolozsvár / Klausenburg Korhonen, Paavo, 149–50, 157, 159 Krefeld, 165, 167, 174, 179, 184

Index liberty trees, 19, 78, 89, 162–3, 177–8, 180–2 Libyan War, 85, 88 Liège, 166–8, 172–3, 183, 231, 236, 238–9, 244, 246–7 Lille, 19, 193–213, 217, 224, 255 Limburg, 162, 166, 174 linguistic turn, 6, 123 Lissagaray, Prosper-Olivier, 214 literacy, 7, 15, 49, 55, 63, 79–80, 82–6, 92, 120, 122, 124, 130, 175, 222, 232 living standards / standard of living (and nationhood), 15, 19, 56, 230–49 Loi Freycinet, 203 Lombardy, 77–8, 83, 90 Lukacs, Georg, 29 Luxembourg (Belgian province), 239 L’viv, see Lwów / Lemberg / L’viv Lwów / Lemberg / L’viv, 108 Maastricht, 127 Madrid, 13, 51, 53, 59, 67, 217, 227 Magyar-speakers, 38, 96–119 Malmedy, 168, 170, 172 Maremma, 83 Marseillaise, La, 176, 182, 185, 217, 223, 250 Marseille, 223 Marxism, 4–5, 25, 27–9, 33, 41, 63, 100, 126, 232 Marx, Karl, 25, 41 Mas, Artur, 68 Maurras, Charles, 37 Mazzini, Giuseppe, 36, 75, 79, 83–4, 90–2 Mecklembourg, Duke of, 224 Méplond, Émile, 200 Metz, 223 microstoria, 5, 12, 171, 253 migration (and nationhood), 19, 25, 39, 50–1, 53–4, 56, 61, 122, 128, 131, 167–8, 193–213, 255–6, 258–9 Milan, 74, 80–2, 86–7, 90


military service, 24, 32, 48, 50, 53, 67, 97, 99, 110, 114, 129, 168–9, 174, 181, 201–3, 205, 207–8, 218–22, 242, 250 modernism (in nationalism research), 3, 6–7, 18, 57–9, 66–7, 124–7, 140, 157 modernization, 5, 12, 14, 35–6, 40, 49, 53, 58, 61, 64–5, 81, 105, 123, 129, 165, 182, 232, 250–9 Monaco, Attilio, 79 Mons, 240 Monschau, 165–6 Montauban, 217 Montevideo, 54 Moravia, 105, 110 Morel, Léon, 250 Moresnet, 172 Moulins, 196–7 Mozia, 86 Mozzoni, Anna Maria, 91 Mulhouse, 199 Nani, Napoleone, 90 Naples, 74, 86, 92 Napoleon III, 41, 216–19, 226 national anthem, 6, 13, 47, 51–2, 206 national flag, 51, 84, 96, 162, 168, 181–2, 242, 250 nation armée, 219 Nazism, 31, 41 Netherlands, the, 162, 173 Netti, Francesco, 90 Niederdeutsch, 166, 171 Niel, Adolphe (marschal), 219 Nikolai II, 145 Nora, Pierre, 20, 125 Nord, Le, 193–213 Normandy, 218 occupation during war, 7, 109, 114, 120, 167, 178, 215–16, 218, 221, 224, 227, 230–49 Oeuvre des Flamands / Werk der Vlamingen, 197 Ortega y Gasset, José, 57 Ottoman empire, 38

266 Index Padula, 87, 93 Paris, 29, 53, 195, 206, 214, 216–18, 221, 223, 226, 250 Pays de Herve, 239 Pederzolli, Giovanni, 98 Piedmont, 78–9, 90 pilgrimages, 172–3 Pirenne, Henri, 237, 239, 245 Plattdeutsch, 171 Poincaré, Raymond, 250, 260 Poland, 30, 84, 141, 175–7, 179 Polish-speakers, 109 postcolonial history, 4, 123, 126, 128 postmodernism, 5 Poszony / Prešporok / Pressburg, 108 Prague, 101–2 Prešporok, see Poszony / Prešporok / Pressburg Pressburg, see Poszony / Prešporok / Pressburg Prévost-Paradol, Anatole, 214, 217 Primo de Rivera, Miguel, 50, 52–3 primordialism (in nationalism research), 3, 8, 163 Protestantism, 36, 75, 173–4, 184 Prussia, 19, 162–89, 202, 214–29, 242, 253–4, 257, 259 public sphere, 16–17, 19, 26, 47, 52–3, 57–64, 66, 86, 146–8, 150, 162–90, 206, 216, 258 Querci, Bernardo Dario, 90 race / racism, 4, 13–14, 18, 24–6, 40, 81–2, 148, 157, 252 Rautua, 154–5 region / regionalism, 8–9, 17, 47–72, 105, 107–10, 127–9, 162–89, 232 Reichstag, 30 Reims, 224, 227 religion (and nationhood), 14, 19, 34, 49, 55, 60, 64, 74, 82, 85, 88–9, 91–2, 109, 112, 124, 164, 172–4, 182, 197, 217 Renan, Ernest, 219 republicanism, 50, 52, 62, 64, 74, 77–8, 83–5, 89, 92, 193, 201, 203–4, 209, 216–19, 222–3, 226 Rheinliedbewegung, 177

Rhine Province / Rhineland, 19, 26, 41, 162–90, 252, 257–9 Rhône, 223 Risorgimento, 73–80, 85, 89, 97 Riva del Garda, 96 Romagne, 83–4, 92 Roma / ‘Gypsies’, 139–61 Romanov empire, 38, 141–2 Rome, 84, 86–7, 90 Roubaix, 195, 205 Rovereto, 98 royalism, 214–15, 217, 223 rural dwellers (and nationhood), 4, 13, 16–18, 27, 29–30, 32, 36, 38, 40–1, 48–9, 51, 54–5, 59, 62–6, 73, 75, 77–84, 87–8, 90–2, 97, 103–6, 108–9, 112–13, 122, 125, 128–9, 139–61, 166, 174, 179, 181–2, 194–5, 216, 218, 221–2, 226, 235–8, 240–1, 244–6, 252, 254–7 Russi, 84–5 Russia, 19, 28, 96–8, 125, 140–2, 145–6, 149, 155 Ruthenia, 112 Saarlouis, 169 Saccone, 97 Sadowa, 219 Saint-Quentin, 224 Saint-Sauveur, 198 Salembier, Alfred, 197 Salerno, 87, 93 Sand, George, 222 Sand, Karl, 176 Sarthe, 221 Scandinavia, 139–60 Scheurer-Kestner, Auguste, 226 Schleswig, 125 schooling (and nationhood), 48–9, 52–4, 58–9, 82, 84–7, 91–2, 100, 104–5, 123–9, 124–6, 144, 171, 203, 210, 217, 254 Schützenvereine, 109 Scotland, 63 Second World War, 244 Sedan, 218 Sembat, Marcel, 250, 256 Sen, Amartya, 233–4 Seraing, 246

Index Serbia, 8 Seville, 59 Sicily, 36, 86–7 Sint-Niklaas, 204 Slovenia, 8, 17, 102–3, 108, 112 Smith, Anthony D., 7, 13, 127, 139–40, 177 Snellman, Johan Vilhelm, 147 socialism, 25–30, 32–3, 37, 41, 50, 67–8, 77, 83, 85, 87–8, 120, 182, 200, 211, 236, 238, 250, 256 Società operaia, 83–4 Société Philanthropique des Belges in Lille, 193, 196, 206–8 Sokol (gymnastic association), 102 Sonderweg theory, 129 South Africa, 24 Soviet Union, 39, 123, 127 Sozialmilitarismus, 129 standard of living (and nationhood), see living standards / standard of living (and nationhood) St. Egydi / Sv. Ilj, 104 Stiévenart, Arthur, 225 St. Wendel, 177 Styria, 103–4 subaltern studies, 4, 123, 127, 182 Südmark, 104 Sv. Ilj, see St. Egydi / Sv. Ilj territory (and nationhood), 38–9, 48, 56, 79, 96, 99–100, 107–11, 114, 163, 178, 198, 201–3, 258 Testelin, Achille, 218, 224 Thatcher, Margaret, 126 Thil, 225 Thompson, Edward P., 4, 6, 11, 233 Tourcoing, 195, 218 Tours, 223–4 transnationalism, 9, 13–14, 19, 39, 41, 124, 127, 162–5, 167–8, 172, 182, 252, 258–9 Trapani, 86 Trento / Trentino, 96–7, 108 Trieste, 96, 101, 112 Tuscany, 76, 78, 82, 88, 90 Tyrol, 75, 96, 104, 108–9, 112, 252 Tyrš, Miroslav, 102


United States of America, 24, 40, 52, 61, 97, 104, 121, 214 urban dwellers (and nationhood), 15, 29–30, 51, 53, 55, 60, 63–4, 66, 74, 79, 81–4, 87–8, 91, 101, 108, 110, 112, 141, 143, 146, 149, 152, 155, 170–1, 178–9, 216, 218, 221, 231, 235–7, 245–6, 252, 254–5 Valencia, 59–60 Van Aerde, Constant, 199 Vandekerkhove, Jean, 199, 211 Vaucluse, 223 Veneto, 75, 77 Venice, 78, 82, 84 Verein Südmark (Association of the Southern March), 104 Verly, Hippolyte, 224 Vermenouze, Arsène, 217 Verstraete, Pierre, 208–9 Verviers, 166–8, 238–9 veterans’ organizations, 87, 110–11, 129 Vichy, 128 Villari, Pasquale, 80 Villerupt, 225 Virgili, Fabrice, 244 Wallonia / Walloon region (Belgium), 120, 166, 170, 194–5, 240–1 warfare (and nationhood), 5, 7, 11, 16–20, 23, 25, 27, 31–2, 37, 39, 50–2, 55, 57, 61–2, 75, 85–6, 88, 96–8, 112–14, 124, 126, 155, 177, 202, 214–29, 230–49, 253–5, 257, 259 Washington, 214 Wazemmes, 196–8, 200 weak nationalization, theory of, 17, 48, 54, 57 Weber, Eugen, 48–50, 54, 58, 64, 67, 125, 128, 225 Weber, Max, 126 Zedong, Mao, 30 Zouaves, 222