Page:The voice of an oppressed people.pdf/25

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History then refutes the Pan-German argument. History shows that national states develop in Europe. And History is in favour not only of big, but also of medium-sized and small national states.

History is in favour of all individuals, of individualism in general; nations are natural organisations of homogeneous individuals, and states being more artificial organisations, are more and more adapted to the nations. So general is this tendency that the numerical strength of the nations does not play a decisive part.

History shows that since the eighteenth century the principle of Nationality has grown stronger, and received more and more political recognition. National individualities, their language and culture have steadily gained ground all over Europe, and linguistic rights have been gradually codified. These rights have been and still are advocated by Italy, by the Austro-Hungarian and Balkan nations; they are advocated by Germany herself. How then can Germany or any other nation claim for herself this right and at the same time refuse it to others.

How strong and how far-reaching national feeling and ideas have become in modern times, is proved by the revival of oppressed nationalities in all states. The Renaissance of the Bohemian nation is a specially striking instance, and a confirmation of the general national principle. The social unit of conscious nations, breaking the all-comprising social unit, the old state being the organ of political and military conquest. The function of the state changed, therefore, and changed in accordance with the development of culture. Austria and Prussia are classical instances of the antagonism of state and nationality. The state is autocratic, ruling and domineering, the nation is democratic, administering, social, developing from within. The states therefore are adapted to the nations.

History farther shows that the strengthening of national feeling does not prevent the growth of internationalism and