I chose the first passage of Johann Gottlieb Fichte’s To the German Nation. He was a great patriot and believed that it was important that the German population embrace their culture. As a reformer and supporter of the French Revolution, he had nationalist ideals and strongly believed that language and history bind a country together.
In the second line he states, “Those who speak the same language are joined to each other by a multitude of invisible bonds by nature herself, long before any human art begins; they understand each other and have the power of continuing to make themselves understood more and more clearly; they belong together and are by nature one and an inseparable whole.” This relates to the topic of nationalism that we have been discussing in class. The people of a country are bound together by a common language, and although different dialects may emerge, they are still united by this factor. By saying “they belong together and are by nature one and an insuperable whole” reinforces the fact that although different groups, factions or regions of a population are created, in the end they all share the same history and background. Another line reads, “men dwell together-and, if their luck has so arranged it, are protected by rivers and mountains-because they were a people already by a law of nature which is much higher.” Every country has a history that is shared amongst its people. Even though they may go through different experiences, and at times may be divided, their common history and language unites them and allows men to overcome these differences.