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Author Topic: How big does a nation/nationality have to be?  (Read 832 times) Average Rating: 0
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ialmisry
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« on: June 15, 2011, 06:40:48 PM »

The Spirit is descended!
Rusyns are Ukrainians.  That's my new bumpersticker, or at least Rusyn is a term/idea invented by second generation children of immigrant Ukrainian parents from Galicia.

And here we go again... Wink

The Lemko-Rusyn Republic, founded at the end of WWI.

Kind of ruins your argmument that Rusyn is an immigrant idea, doesn't it?
I am always amuzed when Ukrainians look at the Rusyn/Carpatho-Russians/Lemko the same way the Ukrainians complain that the Russians look down on the Ukrainians.

Exactly.

I try to refrain from using that argument, saving it for the 'two minute drill.' It usually provokes one of two answers:

a.) Gee, I never thought of it that way, you're right, or the always more popular:

b.) It's not like that at all. You don't know what you are talking about!

Either way, it usually ends the discussion. Smiley
This got me to thinking-because the issue usually brought up about the Rusyn/Carpatho-Russians/Lemko is their size.  Being an existentialist, I start with nations/nationality's that have asserted themselves and been recognized, to find a lowest limit few can deny.

Because of a lot of extraneous issues, I lay aside Vatican City for the moment.

Monaco, with a total area of 2.02 square kilometres (0.77 sq mi), a land border of 5.469 kilometres (3.4 mi) and a coast measuring 3.829 kilometres (2.4 mi), and maritime claims extend to 22.2 kilometres (13.8 mi) for 85 sq. kilometers (33.12 sq mi) of sea, comes next in rank of size.  Its population of 35,586 total-Monégasques 7,687, i.e. the nationality in question, and the rest Monacoians, resident expats-is perhaps now the largest it has ever been.  As the map shows, it is not isolated:


It has been around since 1297 as its own principality, and since now the French have agreed that it will remain so even if Prince Albert doesnt' do his duty to God and country and sire an heir, will likely remain so. It has not always been independent, being occupied by the
Republic of Genoa April 10, 1301 to September 12, 1331, August 15, 1357 to January 1395, December 19, 1395 to May 11, 1397, November 5, 1402 to June 5, 1419; by the Duchy of Milan October 3, 1436 to November 1436. The French Revolution caused the establishment of a short lived (January 19, 1793 to February 24, 1793) republic, before France annexed it February 24, 1793 and occupied it until May 17, 1814.  The Allies occupied it May 17, 1814-June 17, 1814, before the Grimaldi ruling house returned to rule it as a protectorate under the Kingdom of Sardinia, 1815-1861 (when the Kingdom became the new Kingdom of Italy). Since the 155 or so years under occupation occupies only a fifth of its 714 year history, and during that time the same ruling house-except for the 21 year occupation by France,

It uses French as its official language, but Monégasque, having faced extinction in the '70s, now is taught in school and the Prince made an address in it at his coronation.  Italian was used as the official language of the protectorate.

The Grimaldis had a larger area, in 1346 taking  Menton and Roquebrune in 1355, which they held until the French occupation.  After that, the Prince of Monaco had to do homage to the King of Sardinia for them (but not for Monaco) until 1848, when, during a revolution connected with the Italian Risorgimento, they became free cities for two years, before being returned in name to the Prince of Monaco but administered by the Kingdom of Sardinia from 1849 to 1861, when France annexed them by plebisite while recognizing Monaco's independence.  So there is a question if it was a personal union, or a "Great Monaco" of  sq ki/52 sq mi (the increase being perhaps neglible population wise, as most of them thought of themselves as Genoese or Italian-hence the revolution-but they did outnumber Monaco at 5,844 to 1,200)


But even at that enlarged size, it was smaller than Liechtenstein, a 160.475 sq. ki./61.96 sq. mi. Principality with a comparable history and make up.  Liechtenstein also is the smallest nation/nationality that does not have its own language-the 30,778 Liechtensteiners of the total population of 35,789 speak Alemanic (as do all the Swiss Germans) and use Standard German.


The 21 sq ki/8.1 sq mi Republic of Nauru, the smallest republic in the world, had a smaller population when Germany seized the chiefdom in 1888, to stop a civil war which has decimated the population from 1,800 to 900.



It had existed for millenia as a seperate nation, with its own language (which is still spoken by 93% of the 7,572 Naurans who make up 77% of the 9,872 residents (it had been 58%, before 1,500 foreign workers had been repatriated in 2006 when the phosphate, the only resource, was depleted and the nation's trust fund devaluated)) and its own religion, before the Germans Christianitzed it, although it is now the country with the highest Bahá'í population (10%) in the world.

In contrast to the above, at least 55,000 self identify as Rusyns (and it may be as high as 1.2 million of them) in their homeland (the Austria Hungary census showed 244,742 (59.8%)), which covers at least 12,777 km2 (4,933.2 sq mi).

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« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2011, 09:45:17 PM »

This is the most maptasticular post I have ever seen yet.
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ialmisry
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« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2011, 09:59:41 PM »

The Spirit is descended!

Correction: it seems that the 61.2 sq. km. (24 sq mi) Republic of San Marino, is the smallest nation without its own language: the 30,716 Sanmarinese in the country (which has 1,000 other inhabitants) and the approximately 5,000 outside it spoke a variety of Emiliano-Romagnolo in common with the surrounding Italian region (I thought they had their own variety) and speak Italian.


San Marino claims to have been founded on September 3, 301. Being totally on mountain slopes,
it preserved its independence: it was recognized by the Vatican in 1631.

It can make the argument of being the smallest republic

Nauru has less land mass, but its jurisdiction over 431,000 sq. ki. of surrounding waters is larger than Italy.  Btw, Nauru was the richest country per capita when I was a wee lad (I remember seeing a national geographic which talked about the day the phosphate ran out, then seeming so distant in the future, and it seemed the people were too busy spending for the now). Now, it lives basically off of Australian charity.  How the mighty have fallen.

But the Rusyn have more land and people than San Marino.
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« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2011, 10:03:46 AM »

Probably the gradual collapse of the Byzantine Empire from the mid-13th century on, the increase of western Principalities and 'empires' as a counter-weight to the Muslim empire, the geographic location of the Rusyns being caught between the east (Russia) and the west and the religious turmoil caused by the Reformation, the Unias of the 15th through 17th centuries and the overall poverty of the people and lack of natural resources of the were part of the historical forces which shaped the destiny of the Rusyns and others of the Slavic 'tribes'. After all, the Slovaks, Czechs, Ukrainians and others had no modern nation-states until the 20th century. (Please don't tell me about Kievan Rus in the early middle ages, I am referring to the 19th century beginnings of the modern European nation states as we know them today.)

If they ever had Maps of the World as a category on Jeopardy, Ialmisry would clean up the board!  Wink
« Last Edit: June 16, 2011, 10:04:35 AM by podkarpatska » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2011, 10:29:14 AM »

Thanks for the info, Ialmisry.  This has to be one of the most interesting posts I have ever seen here.
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« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2011, 01:10:04 AM »

The old school international lawyer in me says a nation state only needs to be big enough to defend its borders or convince other nation states not to annex its territory.

I don't buy into the self-determination, one tribe = one nation state idea which is currently in vogue.

Interesting post and thread!
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« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2011, 01:19:17 AM »

The old school international lawyer in me says a nation state only needs to be big enough to defend its borders or convince other nation states not to annex its territory.

I don't buy into the self-determination, one tribe = one nation state idea which is currently in vogue.

Interesting post and thread!

Made me think of a Lycurgus quote - Our walls are our young men, and our borders are the tips of our spears.
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« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2011, 01:31:21 AM »

The old school international lawyer in me says a nation state only needs to be big enough to defend its borders or convince other nation states not to annex its territory.

I don't buy into the self-determination, one tribe = one nation state idea which is currently in vogue.

Interesting post and thread!

So you would agree with the constitutive theory instead of the declarative theory?
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« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2011, 02:14:29 AM »

The old school international lawyer in me says a nation state only needs to be big enough to defend its borders or convince other nation states not to annex its territory.

I don't buy into the self-determination, one tribe = one nation state idea which is currently in vogue.

Interesting post and thread!

So you would agree with the constitutive theory instead of the declarative theory?

As the true source of international law is custom (even treaty law), the whole of it can be divined by asking the question "what do nation states actually do?".

We know from history that nation states do not acknowledge each other as such because of the satisfaction of certain characteristics so, yes, I subscribe to the constitutive theory, rather than the declarative. More accurately, I believe that a nation state is a nation state so long as it calls itself one and no-one bothers to do anything to stop it.

I quite like this:

Made me think of a Lycurgus quote - Our walls are our young men, and our borders are the tips of our spears.

I think so much pain has been wrought by subscription to this notion that each tribe/race/nation must have its own nation state in the currently understood sense of the word. I don't like the idea that this side of the river is for Greeks (whatever a "Greek" is) and the other side for Bulgars.

What do you guys think?
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ialmisry
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« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2012, 10:55:47 AM »

The old school international lawyer in me says a nation state only needs to be big enough to defend its borders or convince other nation states not to annex its territory.

I don't buy into the self-determination, one tribe = one nation state idea which is currently in vogue.

Interesting post and thread!

So you would agree with the constitutive theory instead of the declarative theory?

As the true source of international law is custom (even treaty law), the whole of it can be divined by asking the question "what do nation states actually do?".

We know from history that nation states do not acknowledge each other as such because of the satisfaction of certain characteristics so, yes, I subscribe to the constitutive theory, rather than the declarative. More accurately, I believe that a nation state is a nation state so long as it calls itself one and no-one bothers to do anything to stop it.

I quite like this:

Made me think of a Lycurgus quote - Our walls are our young men, and our borders are the tips of our spears.

I think so much pain has been wrought by subscription to this notion that each tribe/race/nation must have its own nation state in the currently understood sense of the word. I don't like the idea that this side of the river is for Greeks (whatever a "Greek" is) and the other side for Bulgars.

What do you guys think?
When John Marshall, the father of US jurisprudence, handed down his decision in Worcester v. Georgia, the basis of the doctrine of tribal sovereignty in United States law, President Jackson, who opposed its restrictions on Georgia vis-a-vis the Cherokee nation, replied "Mr. Marshall has made his decision.  Now let us see him enforce it."

The linguist and scholar Max Weinreich, who with his son promoted Yiddish and solidified its status as a language in its own right, established the maxim that "A language is a dialect with an army and a navy."  Odd, given that Yiddish had neither (Zionism, when it got an army and a navy, tried to drive Yiddish to extinction), and Weinreich spent his career fighting any notion that denied Yiddish language status.

I've never quite got this "right to exist": one exists, or one doesn't. De facto and de jure are more useful than "declarative" and "constitutive."
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If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
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« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2012, 11:31:36 AM »

I think the Nation State is a dying concept.  A Nation State is simultaneously a Nation and a State.  A Nation is a people regardless of whether or not they occupy a single country as a majority.  The Sioux Tribe is a Nation but they inhabit many states within the United States.  Whether or not you agree that the Kosovo should be independent (I do not) the Moslem Kosovors are a Nation.  A State is a political entity.

The Nation State really has its beginnings with the Treaty of Westphalia at the end of the Thirty Years War.  The Feudalist system of Europe was out and a new way of life was coming into being.  This did not happen all at once.  I think that the concept was thoroughly realized when Germany and Italy ceased being Bavaria, Prussia, Saxony, Savoy, Piedmont, Sicily, etc, and became Germany and Italy.  After the end of Colonialism in the 1800’s and 1900’s we saw the greatest expansion of Nation States throughout the world whether the States took independence (India, Congo) or just became that way (Australia, New Zealand).

As more and more Nation States were created the “Nation” aspect became more prominent and ever smaller and smaller units wanted to be recognized as independent. The Nation State of Yugoslavia became the Nation States of Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Serbia…and so on.  Serbia was further split by factions and became Serbia, Montenegro, and now potentially Kosovo as well.  The spread of Nations becoming Nation States has not been equal.  Bosnia Herzegovina is still a multi-ethnic State consisting of Bosnian Serbs, Bosniaks, Croats, and possibly other groups I cannot be bothered to remember.  This is a sign of how things are changing.  This “Balkanization” is just a sign that people have been tribalizing, or, going back to what has been humanity’s natural state since the Tower of Babel.

The United States was a revolutionary idea.  Initially it was not a Nation States but a collection of, well, united States.  After the Civil War this ended and the country became one political entity.  People were no longer Virginians or New Yorkers and I think the term “American” displays this perfectly. 

The US became a Nation State at the end of the Civil War but has been fragmenting, only held together by State power and also by the benefits that this grouping provides.  As the Nation State expanded, more and more ethnicities were added and for a time most of them were absorbed into the mainstream culture.  As the US economy fails we can expect to see State power become less legitimate (this can already be seen in many inner-urban areas) and the country will Balkanize.  Different groups such as La Raza, Black Nationalists, and White Nationalists/Separatists are showing the fault lines.  As Nation States lose their authority over Nations they will at first split into new Nation States.

But the Nation State as a concept is rapidly becoming a farce.  More States are becoming multi-ethnic, therefore multi-Nation States.  As State power recedes the power of the Nation, or the Tribe will begin to supplant it.
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