“Materials for the Philosophy of the History of Mankind” was written by Johann Gottfried von Herder in 1784. In the article he emphasizes the concept of nationalism and tries to explain what it means to be a nationalist.
He explains that it is human nature not to be aware of where you are from but he emphasizes nationalism can be based on people who have a “common history, language, and tradition” (Halsall, 1). He explicitly explains that it is human nature to be aware of being in a town or family rather than a sovereign state.
Although the article was written for a German-based audience, the document was an important piece for the French revolution. “Materials for the Philosophy of the History of Mankind” helped unify the French by essentially saying that those who speak the same language, (French in this situation) should be proud to part of a great state.