Published by the Center for the Study of The Great Ideas (founded in 1990 by Mortimer J. Adler and Max Weismann)
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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Birth of the Nation

Pierre Manent at City Journal on Cicero, Machiavelli, and the rise of the nation-state.
'The persistence of empire in European history after the fall of Rome is striking: the Holy Roman Empire, the French Empire, the German Empire, and now the European Union, which some call an empire. Yet empires didn’t determine the form of Europe. Nor was European life organized mainly in city-states, though the city saw some remarkable developments in such places as Italy, Flanders, and the Rhineland. Why did Europe gradually abandon the two natural forms of human association? And why did a third form, for which there was no equivalent in the ancient world, finally prevail?'

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