Integration and Culture: What are the Next Steps?

The article “Is multi-kulti dead?” which focuses on integration of immigrants in Europe—specifically Germany—sparked my reflections on meanings of nationalism and culture. In this piece from The Economist, Germany is initially portrayed as an unaccepting, nationalist state that is unwilling to integrate foreigners into the German state. With the influx of immigrants and new religions, many Germans desire “’sharply restricting’ Muslim religious practice…[and] a third think the country is overrun with foreigners and a tenth say they want a strong Fuhrer.”1  Germany has long been a non-pluralistic, nationalist state.… Read the rest here

Russian Demographics

While we often hear about the Russian monarchy not having that much Russian blood, that is also associated with the mass of the Russian Empire. Many of the people living within the borders of the Empire have a different ethnic identity than simply Russian. Many of them are “Little Russians”, this can mean either Belorussian or Ukrainian. However, they were counted as Russian, in the Census of 1897. Actually, over half of the people living within the borders were not ethnically Russian.… Read the rest here

Mongol Cultural Influence

Perhaps this will be an overly and overtly charged blog; however, the two readings from Reinterpreting Russian History: Reading 860s-1860s present an excellent example of how historians can use the same sources but generate two very different narratives. In his article, “Interpreting the Mongol Yoke: The Ideology of Silence” Charles Halperin examines the variety of influences that the Mongol empire had on Russian society: its culture, politics, and economy. He challenges the popular notion that Mongol control only resulted in negative impacts on Russian culture.… Read the rest here

Nationalism within “Materials for the Philosophy of the History of Mankind”

In German philosopher Johann Gottfried von Herder’s piece, “Materials for the Philosophy of the History of Mankind” he provided other German thinkers with the knowledge and ability to be able to think and identify with nationalism for themselves. For most European countries, it was easier to understand nationalism with the similarities between people within their state, but for Germany, it was comprised of, “Peoples of different religions, languages, and traditions lived interspersed with each other under a huge variety of states and semi-states – empires, kingdoms, dukedoms, and independent cities.” (Halsall 1).… Read the rest here

The French Revolution and its Impacts

Throughout class this week, we have looked the French Revolution and how the revolution shaped French culture and politics.  Yet before looking at how the revolution shaped this new France, one must understand the reasons why people started to believe in the revolution in the first place.  One of these reasons was Maximilien Robespierre, author of The Cult of the Supreme Being.  In this piece, Robespierre justifies the revolution for he claims that the Supreme Being “did not create kings to devour the human race” (Robespierre 1), which was what the Crown was doing to the native French people. … Read the rest here

Minstrels in Rus’

Due to the destruction caused by the Mongols during their invasion of Rus’, the culture of the time is not as well known as it is in other times. The Mongols obviously had significant impact on the culture of Rus’, but they also left large amounts of destruction in their wake, meaning that culture came second to other activities (namely: survival).

Painting, literature, and other forms of the performing arts were not as prevalent in this time, but we know that one thing that was very prevalent was wandering minstrels.… Read the rest here

Culture in Post-Keivan Rus

Due to several factors, most of which were a result of the Mongol invasion, there is very little evidence detailing the day-to-day culture which existed in Post-Keivan Rus. What we do have, however, does provide interesting clues about literacy, the arts, and entertainment of the day.

One source is a doodle by a boy distracted in the middle of practicing his alphabet. The boy, Onfim, provides a drawing of an unidentified man atop a horse stabbing another unidentified man lying upon the ground.… Read the rest here

von Herder: Materials for the Philosophy of the History of Mankind

In his “Materials for the Philosophy of the History of Mankind,” von Herder writes about the importance of cultural nationalism and the value of local culture. A German scholar, he believes that the people of Germany are brought together by their shared language and customs, and that these attributes make the nation unique to other countries. He compares a nation-body to that of a family and believes that the two are inherently the same because they are both natural.… Read the rest here

French politics and culture

The arrival of a new political philosophy in France which resulted from the revolution and the changes in France’s popular culture in the 1790s were heavily interrelated. Nearly every aspect of France’s new influx of culture was influenced by the contempt for the old French monarchy. The people made concerted efforts to move as far away from the oppression of the previous regime as possible and into an era of reason and rationality. Deism grew vastly in popularity, at least partially to repudiate the monarchy’s claim of divine right rule, by which a king could exercise his power by claiming to have been administered it by God himself.… Read the rest here

Growing Up In A “Normal Time”

Rowley’s interview with Natalie P. was not only relatively uplifting, but also opened my eyes to the the ignorance of learning in our culture. Despite going to a selective liberal arts college in what people have labeled the “information era”, I have never met someone my age whose thirst for learning was so insatiable. It was not only Natalia, however, it was also all of her classmates. Although it is sad, it is tough to imagine myself in a classroom where every student was so eager to learn.… Read the rest here