John Darwin And Benedict Anderson

1230 Words Feb 22nd, 2016 5 Pages
Ernest Renan once quipped, “nations are not eternal...a European nation will probably replace them.” In response to this quotation, the works of John Darwin and Benedict Anderson will be referenced with the purpose of showing the contrasting views of both authors regarding the relative importance of nations and empires to the integration and disintegration of the modern world. In short, Anderson advocates for the focus on the creation of nations from a western perspective when depicting world history, whereas Darwin capitalizes on the evolving nature of empires specifically in Eurasia. In order to assess the importance of both entities, Imagined Communities and After Tamerlane will be individually analyzed and compared to illustrate the multiple storylines of world history.
First, Anderson’s Imagined Communities focuses on the creation of nations and the emergence of nationalism with the goal of deciphering why individuals love and die in their nations name. Overall, he defines a nation as an “imagined political community- and imagined as most inherently limited and sovereign.” Furthermore, Anderson specifies that it is imagined since members of even the smallest unit will never meet all of the other members, it is limited because even the largest nations have boundaries, a nation is sovereign because the concept was born in the age of the Enlightenment and Revolution , and lastly it is a community regardless of inequality due to its appearance as a deep, horizontal…
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