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Nationalism may be described as a state of mind which gives priority to the idea of nationality. Nationality in turn refers to a group of people who pride themselves on their common descent, customs, or traditions. As a rule these people inhabit a well-defined geographic area and are united by a common language. Often they tend to exhibit a collective egoism, convinced that their particular culture and ethnic stock are superior to all others. Some notable exceptions to these generalizations exist, yet even these exceptions are also characterized by what has been called "a living and active corporate will" as an essential element. [excerpt]


This is a part of Section XIII: Political Liberalism and Nationalism, 1815-1871. The Contemporary Civilization page lists all additional sections of Ideas and Institutions of Western Man, as well as the Table of Contents for both volumes.

More About Contemporary Civilization:

From 1947 through 1969, all first-year Gettysburg College students took a two-semester course called Contemporary Civilization. The course was developed at President Henry W.A. Hanson’s request with the goal of “introducing the student to the backgrounds of contemporary social problems through the major concepts, ideals, hopes and motivations of western culture since the Middle Ages.”

Gettysburg College professors from the history, philosophy, and religion departments developed a textbook for the course. The first edition, published in 1955, was called An Introduction to Contemporary Civilization and Its Problems. A second edition, retitled Ideas and Institutions of Western Man, was published in 1958 and 1960. It is this second edition that we include here. The copy we digitized is from the Gary T. Hawbaker ’66 Collection and the marginalia are his.