Iaian Vernier's Memoir
Chapter 12. Universal and Plural
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Our historians see it as important that we look back in order to guide ourselves forward. In the early twentieth century there were a number of large national blocs—Austro-Hungary, the British, Russian, German, and Ottoman Empires. In almost all of these cases these blocs were the product of aggressive national groups that were able to expand over a wide swath of former medieval and early modern nationalities-ethnicities. This general perspective would also include Italy, France and Spain, although Spain did not actively engage in WWI. The war’s conclusion saw the disintegration of the existing monarchical order, which had been declining for a long time.
A great concatenation of national ethnicities was the result of this macro pseudo-political structure of the twentieth century and earlier. For example, Hungary was carved up, some put into the Czech Republic’s Slovakian province, some parceled out to Rumania. The western Slavic parts of the Austrian Empire eventually became Yugoslavia, especially under the Soviet-Russian hegemon. By the end of the century Yugoslavia, a product of this universalist move of Soviet communism, had itself disintegrated ← 75 | 76 →into a series of genocidal wars between a variety of national ethnicities and religions.
In one part of the Austrian Empire, Galicia, the major city was Lemburg, which before WWI was described as having a prosperous middle class—one third German/Austrian, one third Polish, one third Jewish. In the countryside surrounding this city were ethnic Slavs/Slovaks, called by the Austrians, Ruthenians. These impoverished peasants claimed...
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