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The Importance of Being Civil by John A. Hall

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CHAPTER 10

Imperialism, the Perversion of Nationalism

John Hobson’s celebrated Imperialism: A Study begins with striking thoughts about the relationships between nationalism and imperialism.

The novelty of the recent Imperialism regarded as a policy consists chiefly in its adoption by several nations. The notion of a number of competing empires is essentially modern. The root idea of empire in the ancient and medieval world was that of a federation of States, under a hegemony, covering in general terms the entire or recognized world, such as was held by Rome…. Thus empire was identified with internationalism, though not always based on a conception of equality of nations … the triumph of nationalism seems to have crushed the rising hope of internationalism. ...

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