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View Diary: George Orwell and Howard Zinn on Two Distinctly Different Concepts: Patriotism and Nationalism (78 comments)

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  •  Nationalism in the Federalist understanding was (1+ / 0-)
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    opposed by states rights and secessionism North and South, that the United States were only that, except vis a vis external threats. But on the frontier you also get Unionism particularly in federal territories, an early process ever since the New England compact of the mid-1600's. The run up to the civil war proposed a different kind of nationalism. Sumner's definitive antiwar speech on July 4, 1845 "The True Grandeur of Nations" held that the point of nations is to bring world peace. Sumner then argued in Congress at some risk to his life, from the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, that the mission of the US is to bring equality, defining the nation in "Freedom National, Slavery Sectional". So nationalism in the US for abolitionists and others Zinn talked about, was a civilizing process in conflict with the imperialist underside that Said described as Orientalism. Sumner proposed a moral blackade of the South, what turned into a war for emancipation. Reconstruction was a nationalist revolution that was defeated but remains the model that capitalism considers its enemy. Sumner was no minor figure, he was the foremost political leader and  theoretician of a 20-year era that Lincoln participated in only briefly, if decisively.

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