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The Importance of Being CivilThe Struggle for Political Decency$
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John A. Hall

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691153261

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691153261.001.0001

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Imperialism, the Perversion of Nationalism

Imperialism, the Perversion of Nationalism

(p.226) Chapter 10 Imperialism, the Perversion of Nationalism
The Importance of Being Civil

John A. Hall

Princeton University Press

This chapter explores the toxic relations between empires, nations, and states in the period between 1875 and 1945 that brought disaster to the modern world. One cause of international tensions at the end of the nineteenth century lay in international trade rivalries resulting from dumping practices—themselves the result of every state determining to be autonomous in the production of steel, the base for military independence. However, the picture as a whole is best characterized as the marriage of nationalism and imperialism. Two basic factors tend to explain escalation to the extremes in a system of states. The first is that of heterogeneity in the system as a whole, the presence of different values making mutual understanding difficult. The second is that of the character of the states involved, that is, establishing whether they had the capacity—so often presumed by realism to exist—to calculate rationally.

Keywords:   international tensions, international trade rivalries, autonomy, military independence, nationalism, imperialism, heterogeneity, realism

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