Write a research paper on one national movement using the theoretical framework utilized


in class readings and lectures. This includes three analytical tools. First, Miroslav Hroch’s three


phases, which was devised for the study of so-called “history-less” nationalities in Europe (stateless


in the modern period, with incomplete social structure and lack of continuous literary tradition in


the vernacular language), but also works for the national movements of historic nations as well.


Note that there is a weak Phase A, if any, in the national movements of historic nations since they


possessed (in the present or recent past) sovereign political entities, an internationally recognized


high culture, and a nationally-minded educated class. A description of the phases, and of the


definition of “historic” versus “non-historic” nations, is found in M. Hroch’s The Social Preconditions


of National Revival, on reserve at the library (and required reading). Before writing your paper, be


sure to do the assigned reading for Week XIV on your syllabus (Hroch, pp. 1-30 – I recommend


you also read Part IV, “Conclusions” ). A description of the phases can also be found in the


recommended reading for Week II, an article by Hroch which summarizes many of his arguments


[YC – on reserve; SCW – a copy will be in your box tomorrow).


Papers should be primarily concerned with the transition from Phase B to Phase C. If,


for example, you’re doing the Czechs, then a discussion of World War I is required (since it is not


until WWI that the Czech nationalists demand an independent state – by the way, I recommend


Ivan Berend’s Decades of Crises for a brief concise discussion of WWI and the making of


The second theoretical tool to be utilized is the eight elements of national mythology used


by patriotic agitators in their attempt to spread national consciousness. As they agitate under the


banner of “the nation,” national awakeners tend to tap into ideas that cultivate the idea of common


ancestral past within a group. Recall Max Weber’s definition of an “ethnic group” as “those


human groups that entertain a subjective belief in their common descent” (Hutchinson and Smith,


Nationalism pp. 45-46) and that this perception, whether factual or not, is a precondition for ethnic


group formation (it is not at all inevitable that an ethnic group will evolve into a national one). The


eight elements of national mythology, which I discussed in class, are:


1. A myth of origins in time (when the community was “born”)


2. A myth of origins in space (where the community was “born”)


3. A myth of ancestry (who bore us, and how we descend from him/her)


4. A myth of migration (whither we wandered)


5. A myth of liberation (how we were freed)


6. A myth of the Golden Age (how we became great and heroic)


7. A myth of decline (how we decayed and were conquered/exiled)


8. A myth of rebirth (how we shall be restored to our former glory)


As you study your chosen national movement, and you read texts of the “national awakeners”


(Fichte, Mazzini, Mickiewicz, Palacky, Manifesto of “Bilu”, etc…), assess which of the eight


“myths” above are utilized. As we mentioned, for any “nation” to exist, it must have an origin in


time and space. It is the role of the patriotic agitators, who give birth to the national movement, to


articulate (in some cases, invent) these stories and symbols, whether in speech or images.


Third, after narrating the evolution of the national movement, analyze what kind of national


movement you have researched. This requires you to reread our early selections on “civicterritorial” versus the “ethnic/cultural” types. Eric Hobsbawm best articulates these differences,


but also John Plamenatz and others. Is your movement inclusive or exclusive? Is the “nation”


defined politically, in terms of citizenship, or ethnically, in terms of language, religion, race…