As we have seen, beliefs about political authority changed during the Thirty Years’ War. Cardinal Richelieu’s foreign policy had interposed a new intermediate between God and the ruler in the devolution of authority and credibility. This intermediate was broadly described as the political community during the period and later would become more popularly known as the nation. However, in the mid-seventeenth century, the political community and the ruler were viewed as nearly synonymous: as Louis XIV of France proclaimed, “L’etat, c’est moi.”

Over the next one hundred years, two changes simultaneously occurred to alter this momentary equilibrium. First, God became less important as the ultimate origin of political authority and credibility. Natural law and natural rights theorists still invoked the name of God, but they increasingly argued that these laws and rights would remain the same with an active God or with an absentee God (or with no God at all). As God’s role of guarantor of law was reduced, so was the usefulness of tying his credibility to that of the ruler. Second, the political community came to possess the inherent credibility forfeited by a receding God. The political community became seen as the guarantor of natural laws and rights – without it there would be no order and no security. It was then seen as credible in its own right, and the rational ruler now appropriated that transcendent credibility to enhance his own. The transformation of proto-nationalism into nationalism required both changes and this, in turn, produced the modern nation-state system.As a result of these changes, every nation or political community had the potential to be a different source of transcendent credibility. The number of sources of transcendent credibility in Europe thus grew from two, Protestantism and Catholicism, to many as political communities that possessed the power to support their claim to separateness did so. Our research thus predicts, that the borders between these political units would also grow more distinct throughout this period. This, in fact, is what occurred – the nation-state system of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries contained political units separated from one another by extremely distinctive boundaries. In fact, distinctive borders and territoriality are considered essential characteristics of the modern nation-state.

While these changes in the theory and practice of political authority occurred during the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, political theorists were far more willing to mitigate God’s role in political authority than were practitioners and rulers. This is understandable since the consequences of pursuing untested paths fall only indirectly on the theorist, while the ruler can occasionally lose his head in trial and error. The constant rebellions and wars of religion of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries clearly demonstrated that the old system had numerous flaws. Political leaders had several options including reinvigorating Christianity as a source of transcendent credibility, embracing humanity as the only source of transcendent credibility, or adopting a source being developed by political theorists: nationalism. In theory, any of these may have dominated the others, but it was nationalism that political leaders saw as most advantageous to their ultimate purpose of generating compliance from the population.

Central to this decision was ensuring that the population would see the “nation” as possessing its own inherent (transcendent) credibility that rulers and governments could appropriate. This part highlights how political theorists developed the concept of the nation and its inherent credibility out of already accepted concepts of God and His credibility. Political practitioners grew increasingly capable of appropriating credibility more heavily from the political community rather than directly from God. By the time the nineteenth century arrived, nationalism had either absorbed or swept Christian theories of political credibility aside in Europe. This as we have seen, had an enormous impact on political boundaries: nationalism increased the number of sources of transcendent credibility in the European system, which produced an increase in the distinctiveness of boundaries between political units, producing the familiar “borders” of the twentieth century.

In the aftermath of the wars of religion, there emerged a growing attitude that directly basing political authority on God could produce many negative consequences when there was more than one religious option.542 Understandably, by the mid seventeenth century, government entanglement with religion was frequently viewed as the primary cause of war. However, since political authority derived from God, there was no possibility that governments would or could remain aloof from theological discussions. These necessarily had political consequences that a ruler could not ignore.

Some theorists suggested that if authority did not depend solely on God, religious conflicts would move out of the public sphere, thereby reducing the prevalence of war. However, taking God out of the equation entirely was not what they desired or, at least, not what the power structures of the time would allow them to say openly. If the people did not believe God was actively involved, the whole edifice of social order would collapse. In short, the effort to move beyond the conditions created during the Reformation produced an inherent tension between the desire for peace, which required marginalizing God to some extent, and the necessity to protect order and stability, which required continued access to the transcendent credibility of God. The Thirty Years’ War verified that Europe could not return to single source of transcendent credibility – neither Catholicism nor Protestantism could eradicate the other. Thus, international stability depended on separating God from the political order. This process had already begun in the development of proto-nationalism, as an intermediate was inserted between God and the ruler in the devolution of authority.

More distance was needed, however. The authority of the political community still rested on its connection with God. Thus, the potential for further religious conflicts still existed, as the civil wars in England exemplified. Two different theoretical developments were required to successfully un-tether God from direct control over political authority. First, God must be distanced from his role as a necessary component of political authority. Such authority must depend on something other than God in order to prevent the conflicts that had plagued Europe for the past century and a half. Among others, Hugo Grotius, Baruch Spinoza, and Thomas Hobbes structured their theories of authority around the idea that, although God exists and plays an important role in the world, political authority would still be legitimate even if God did not involve himself. Such theories would begin to marginalize God’s function in the legitimacy of political authority. This would open a transitional path for eighteenth century theorists, such as David Hume and the Enlightenment philosophes, to complete the sidelining of God and argue that political authority depended on something other than God. However, many practitioners of politics were unwilling to detach their authority from God without an alternative source of credibility as effective as God had been. Grotius and Hobbes suggested reason and science as alternatives. Political practitioners did not consider these adequate bases for political legitimacy. Rulers understood that even if such sources effectively generated compliance from the elite in society, they could never work among the illiterate masses.

Thus, this first development produced a new puzzle: from where does the government obtain its credibility without God? The second development of the seventeenth century was endowing the political community or “nation” with a transcendent quality that could itself function as a source of credibility for the ruler. In proto-nationalism the political community had become an important step in the overall devolution of authority, but it was still seen as a middleman, not a source of authority in its own right.

Further, it was intimately associated with the ruler, who was seen as the physical embodiment of the nation. For the ruler to use the nation as a source of transcendent credibility in its own right, he would need to separate himself from the nation. Only then could it attain a transcendent quality with an unquestioned credibility of its own. Theorists within this line of thought, such as Johannes Althusius, George Lawson, and John Locke, had a problem of their own. At least initially, the nation had no credibility aside from that appropriated from God. The idea of the nation had to filter through society and become a part of worldview of people to the extent that it gained a credibility that did not necessarily need to rely on God. This would take time. In the meantime, God would have to stick around. Thus, the different lines of thought of Hobbes and Locke had to develop separately, yet simultaneously, in the seventeenth century.

In the eighteenth century, however, after many Europeans had been given sufficient time to acclimate to these two theoretical developments, it was possible for writers such as David Hume, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Johann Gottfried Herder to begin to unite the separate strands of thought into a unified theory. This unification underwent several permutations before modern-day nationalism finally emerged as the dominant theory of political credibility in Europe late in the eighteenth century, notably following the American and French Revolutions.

God Wanes Before nationalism could take hold, political credibility’s traditional dependence on God needed to be weakened. For this it is necessary to turn to the Natural Law and Natural Rights theorists of the seventeenth century. These writers were concerned with what they saw as a direct connection between religious disputes and the prevalence of international and civil war. Despite some recent debate over the connection of Hugo Grotius and Thomas Hobbes, they definitely agreed on one crucial point.543 At a bare minimum, each sought to demonstrate “how people without theistic beliefs can have a moral life,” and, by extension, how a government can maintain its legitimacy and credibility without an active appeal to God.544 Instead, they appealed to Reason.

Hugo Grotius’s desire to increase the separation of God from the political order stemmed from his tumultuous political career in the Dutch Republic. He had attached his career to Oldenbarnevelt, advocate to the States of Holland, and a domestic policy of toleration to the followers of Jacob Arminius. The Arminians rejected Calvin’s central doctrine of predestination, arguing that the grace of God was intended for everyone, so every person has the potential to be saved. This belief, however, threatened the very foundations of the practices and discipline of the Calvinist faith, which was dominant in the Provinces.545 Forced into exile, Grotius later tried to justify his policy with a new theory about God’s role in political authority.

Grotius’ theology may be described as a “minimalist religion” and it proved to be enormously influential in the seventeenth century.546 The minimalist argued that only a few shared, fundamental doctrines are required for humanity, while the other doctrines should be held loosely, if at all. Most importantly, Grotius argued that the government had a right (or duty) to enforce these fundamental doctrines of religion, while it should stay entirely out of other religious debates.547 To the extent that God did involve Himself in temporal affairs, he did so only sparingly. If governments stuck to the enforcement of the fundamental doctrines and ignored the others, religious disputes would cease to become political battles and the conflicts that occurred within and between states would finally abate.

In Of the Law of War and Peace (1625), Grotius revolutionized Natural Law theory when he suggested that the Laws of Nature did not depend on the constant enforcement of God.548 These universal laws applied to all people at all times because to act against them was to act against one’s self-interest (against reason). Richard Tuck puts it this way: “Given the natural facts about men, the laws of nature followed by (allegedly) strict entailment without any mediating premises about God’s will.”549

In effect, Natural Law was self-enforcing, or perhaps more accurately, reason enforcing.Whether God was actively present in the affairs of men or aloof made no difference in the Laws’ validity or in the nature of human beings. To Grotius then, the Natural Laws themselves possessed an inherent credibility separate from God or a political community.550 In fact, the government’s credibility was derived from the role it had in forcing irrational persons to act according to Nature and reason. Christians, Grotius argued, have the benefit of redundancy: credibility comes from both natural rights and from God. However, even if a group of people were not Christian it was possible that they could use their natural rights to successfully create a political society.551

This idea was particularly useful during periods of European expansion throughout the world.552 However, it was impractical as a source of transcendent credibility to seventeenth-century rulers, primarily because it argued for a much broader idea of individual rights (so long as one followed Natural Laws) against the authority of the government.553

Like Grotius, the Jewish philosopher Baruch de Spinoza was a Dutch outcast attempting to find a way to cope with increasingly inflexible Calvinism.554 For both writers, the goal was not to oppose Calvinism or its institutions, but to find a political theory that could embrace a plurality of confessions simultaneously. In his Theologico-Political Treatise (1670), Spinoza sought to accomplish this by distinguishing between an ideal world and the real world. In an ideal world, each person could use his reason to clear away the clutter in his mind: “Everyone would be free to choose for himself the foundations of his creed; . . . each would then obey God freely with his whole heart.”555 But, Spinoza argued, in the real world most people would not use their reason because they both despised it and ridiculed it.556 While these people flailed about aimlessly, cut loose from the anchor of reason, it would be impossible for others who chose to follow reason to do so. The real world required government to keep the ignorant people from preventing others’ pursuit of the best life.557 Government existed primarily for this freedom.558

For Spinoza, the right for an individual to pursue his best way of life and to live according to the dictates of reason – in other words, his right to liberty – preexisted government. A government’s legitimacy depended not on God, but on how well it permitted its’ citizens to exercise their liberty. In fact, the opposite was true:God’s legitimacy depended on the civil government.559 Spinoza then searched history and found “Divine justice only in places where just men bear sway.”560

However, Spinoza recognized the importance of religion in the real world. He attached a Machiavellian argument regarding the use of religion for the purpose of keeping the common people manageable.561 History had shown that religion was a very useful means of controlling those who did not use their reason.562 While a minority of the people would use their reason to achieve their well-being, the rest could justly be controlled using superstition and religion. Without this power, the society would fall apart in division and strife.563 A government could command the ignorant people to follow certain outward observances of religion and rituals, as long as these acts were in “accordance with the public peace and well-being,” though it could not command belief.564 This division of the members of society into those who obey reason and those who do not became an important distinction in many subsequent political theories.Spinoza was not advocating the removal of God from the political stage. He was, in effect, arguing for two simultaneous theories of political authority, one for the ignorant masses of the real world and one for the minority who used their reason.565

In general, a government should pretend to rely on the old theories of authority in which a ruler’s legitimacy was derived from God. But, those who have chosen to live in the ideal world and who, therefore, use their reason would know the secret truth that the government’s legitimacy and authority is actually the result of its ability to protect the Natural Right of Liberty. Only the superior persons of society could understand such an idea of legitimacy.566

Grotius and Spinoza provided two examples of political authority as it might have been (and may still become). Grotius began the task of dislodging God from a central role in the devolution of political authority to rulers, but his proposed alternative source of transcendent credibility did not appeal to practitioners. Both he and Spinoza transferred the credibility of government to its ability to protect rights that existed in the State of Nature but that could not be fully enjoyed due to the chaos of that condition. Spinoza hoped to make his system more appealing to practitioners by empowering the government to perpetuate the “myth” that older, more traditional, theories of political authority still reigned supreme. Neither suggested God played no role in the establishment of political authority. They merely asserted that his part in the play had already been completed.

Thomas Hobbes

The English philosopher Thomas Hobbes took this idea to its radical conclusion: for all intents and purposes, the immortal God was replaced with the mortal god, the Leviathan. Hobbes’s Leviathan (1651) is often cited as a watershed in political theory. I would argue that this is because he was the first theorist to successfully reduce God’s role in political authority and establish the political community as a workable alternative as a source of authority and credibility.

Like Grotius, Hobbes envisioned a State of Nature. Unlike Grotius, he found in this pre-government condition absolutely no laws, natural or otherwise: “Where there is no common power, there is no law.” This did not mean there was no God, or that God did not possess the requisite power to establish and enforce laws if he so chose. By providing man with reason, God had already done all he needed to do.567

God could safely recede from the political sphere. Where did political credibility come from, however, if God was absent?
Hobbes’s answer required an examination of how government emerged from the State of Nature. In this State, man had only his nature and his reason. Although life in this condition was nasty, brutish, and short, every man possessed God-given reason, which suggested a solution in “convenient articles of peace, upon which men may be drawn to agreement.”568 Still, this “contract” lacked an enforcement procedure. These precepts, “without the terror of some power to cause them to be observed, are contrary to our natural passions.”569 For Natural Law theorists of the Middle Ages, the solution was God who, through His power and the power He bestowed on the state and the church, could monitor and punish any cheaters. For Grotius and Pufendorf, “sociability” did some of the work, the Natural Laws in many instances could enforce themselves, and government did the rest. For Hobbes, however, a civil government must carry the entire burden of enforcement.Therefore, enforcement of the contract that created a common power required men to voluntarily reduce all their wills to one will and transfer that power to one man or one group of men.570 This newly created sovereign enforced the agreements in the original contract and, therefore, worked for the peace and defense of every person.

Hobbes called this sovereign the Leviathan, or the “mortal god,” who served in the role traditionally assigned to God.571 The Leviathan took on all of the transcendent qualities of God. The Leviathan inherently possessed credibility because it was a voluntary creation existing for the security of the people. Without it, life once again became nasty, brutish, and short. The descent back into the dangerous chaos of the State of Nature was so horrific that once sovereign authority was in place, it could not be questioned or removed. Until the contract was signed, no political community or commonwealth existed. At the moment of agreement, the commonwealth and the Leviathan came into existence simultaneously.572 Quentin Skinner argues that, in Hobbes’s theory, “the legal person lying at the heart of politics is neither the persona of the people nor the official person of the sovereign, but rather the artificial person of the state.”573

However, this statement seems to mask the reality that, throughout the Leviathan, Hobbes insinuated that it is the “official person of the sovereign” who acted on behalf of the “artificial person of the state.” The people were not permitted to usurp this position. In short, the legitimacy of the political community itself depended on the existence of the ruler. While the origin of the government ultimately came from the individuals (the multitude), its legitimacy did not depend on that group’s continuing consent. Where then did its legitimacy come from? It derived primarily from three places. First, it came from the fear of plunging back into the anarchic State of Nature.

Fear could strengthen the contract and could be generated through the government itself and from religion.574 Inasmuch as the government used religion to avoid the collapse of society, it was just.575 Second, the government’s legitimacy emerged from the obligation willingly accepted by each member of the political community at the signing of the original contract. Third, since reason authored the contract, reason and “science” also legitimated it. To Hobbes, science was how human beings gained knowledge and reason was the act of gaining knowledge. The only purpose for pursuing reason and science was the “benefit of mankind.”576 Thus, the contract itself existed for mankind’s benefit and was thereby legitimate. Hobbes did not believe that reason needed any further justification than itself. The additional step of “God” was redundant and, hence, unnecessary.

In a sense, Hobbes brought theories of political authority “down to earth.” A ruler’s authority did not trace back to God or Natural Laws, but to reason and the conditions that necessitated the formation of the government. It may even be said that he “secularized” political authority. Inasmuch as his theory replaced God with a “mortal god,” there was a great deal of secularization. However, we should be careful about making Hobbes more radical than he actual was. Political authority still appropriated the credibility of transcendent entities. Hobbes also retained God as a backstop: “This is the generation of that great Leviathan (or rather, to speak more reverently, of that mortal god) to which we owe, under the immortal God, our peace and defense.”577 The idea that the political community possessed inherent credibility seduced practitioners who sought an escape from the negative consequences of Godbased authority, justification for changes in international relations practice, and an alternative source of transcendent credibility that could be managed, manipulated, and sold to the people.

Grotius, Spinoza, and Hobbes believed theories that made political authority less dependent on God solved many of Europe’s most pressing problems. Critics, however, stressed that, if the fundamental laws of nature developed from reason alone, God’s role in the world ceased to be that of divine legislator and became, at best, observer from afar.578 In other words, the political and theological implications to these theories were closely linked. Although some in Europe embraced this essentially deistic vision of the world, the vast majority were not willing to accept it.

Thus, while Grotius and Hobbes managed to move God further from the center of theories of political authority, neither was ultimately successful in shifting the source of legitimation to another entity. Grotius transferred it to the natural laws and Hobbes pushed it onto reason. Neither of these possessed sufficient means of motivating a population to comply with the ruler’s commands. Spinoza seemed to recognize this and suggested that two different theories should operate simultaneously: the rational members of society should adopt Grotius’ and Hobbes’ theories (for they are “True”) and the commoners should continue to be guided through older theories, which although false, were very useful for generating compliance. The problem with Spinoza’s policy was that it failed to solve the condition of religious dissent that sparked these discussions in many societies. What was needed was one inherently legitimate entity that all persons in society would believe as credible in the absence of God. This was provided in the concept of the political community.

During the early modern period in Europe, the use of the notion of a “political community” centered in largely on Calvinist theorists. These writers were significant, Quentin Skinner argues, in that “they separate sovereignty from sovereigns,” but they “make no comparable distinction between the powers of sovereignty and the power of the people.”579 Like the proto-nationalists discussed in the previous P. 7, they saw political legitimacy as originating in God, passing through the people, and ultimately resting on the ruler. Unlike the proto-nationalists, however, these Calvinist theorists attempted to increase the separation between the ruler and the people. The ruler was not the embodiment of the political community, the “people” were.

On the issue of resistance to rulers, these Calvinist theorists veered away from John Calvin, who insisted that, according to Romans 13, God commissioned all earthly rulers and no person could justly raise their hand against what God had put in place.580 However, many Calvinists in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries lived in circumstances in which obedience to Calvin’s interpretation could mean the eradication of Calvinism altogether. Thus, these writers examined the Scriptures, sure that the reform Calvin had instituted possessed the right, even the duty, to protect itself legitimately from tyrants and heretics. In the end, they developed the concept of an independent “political community,” which evolved alongside the strand of thought of Grotius and Hobbes, but with a complementary outcome. While Hobbes and Grotius edged God out of the formula of political authority, they failed to find a practical alternative. The Calvinists, most notably Johannes Althusius, George Lawson, and John Locke, established the political community as an inherently credible alternative in its own right, distinct from both God and ruler, but piously attempted to do so without minimizing the role of God in the least.

In the wake of roughly seventeen years of overt war between the Catholics and Huguenots of France, an anonymous Calvinist published Vindiciae contra tyrannos (1579). The Vindiciae was an attempt to expand the reasoning of Calvin and Romans 13 in such a way that it remained Scriptural (and thus authoritative), yet also contained conditions under which resistance to authority would be just. Its’ solution was an insertion of “the people” between God and the ruler in the formula of political authority: “it is the people that establishes kings, gives them kingdoms, and approves their selection by its vote. For God willed that every bit of authority held by kings should come from the people.”581 In this case, so the author of the Vindiciae argued, the king’s continued persecution of the Huguenots demonstrated his inability to do his job and it was the responsibility of the “people” to correct the king. Thus, from this perspective, the true rebels were not the Huguenots, but the king who refused to step down.

There is a greater distance between the people and the ruler in this theory than in that of Bodin and Hobbes. Power transferred to an employee is delegated, not alienated. But, from where do the people get their authority? Here the Vindiciae only implied answers. It could not be all French people, because the Huguenots were a very small percentage of the total population and could not have mustered the necessary support in an assembly to oust the king. The Vindiciae implied that the “people” were the Calvinists themselves.582 John Calvin argued that the elect, meaning those God predestined to receive grace, stood in a position to help instruct the reprobate, or those God predestined not to receive grace. The elect clearly belonged to the Huguenots and, therefore, it was they who spoke for all the people through their representatives.583

Johannes Althusius

The aims of the Dutch Calvinist Johannes Althusius differed fundamentally from those of the author of the Vindiciae. The Huguenots needed a theory that could motivate and legitimate resistance, while the Dutch Republic of the final decades of the sixteenth century needed a theory that could produce selective obedience and submission. He required a theory that, among other things, justified the independence movement of the United Provinces, yet also prevented discontented individuals from encouraging further dissolution of this new political entity.associations may choose to come together to form villages and churches and other groups. These groups can voluntarily create another level of association, a province for instance. Ultimately, ascending the scale of organization, a state can be voluntarily created.586 The creation of a higher level of association does not in any way abolish associations at a lower level. In Althusius’s writings, the task of the highest level of political association is simply to prevent tyranny. The inferior magistrates of the people can withdraw authority from a ruler who attempts to use powers beyond this narrow purpose.587

This theory of authority was based on voluntary contracts between associations of people, not between the people and the ruler. The creation of associations, whether private or public, was the product of a rational consent among equals and a passionate “bond” between men.588 These contracts rested on natural law and natural law rested on God’s authority. The position of the ruler in this theory was both minimized and made accountable – exactly where Althusius wanted the Holy Roman Emperor. Thus, Althusius’ federalist theory created a greater separation between ruler and political community, giving the latter a life of its own.

Still, the community remained an intermediary through which God’s power passed, not an entity that was credible in its own right. Historian J. Wayne Baker points out that “Althusius specifically connects his entire political theory with the religious covenant. In this religious covenant, the magistrate and all the members of the realm promised to introduce, conserve, and defend true religious doctrine and worship.”589 This is unsurprising in a territory that had been in a constant state of war with Catholic Spain for over three decades. His theory mirrored the organizational structure of Calvinist national churches that Theodore de Beza had initiated in 1558.590

Althusius’ political model allowed for lots of local empowerment, but he stopped far short of allowing for political or religious tolerance. Evidence that this reflected the mood of the United Provinces can be found in the 1619 execution of Advocate Oldenbarnevelt for his policy of tolerating Arminians.

Turning to England, in 1660 the minister George Lawson wrote Politica Sacra et Civilis, which more firmly placed sovereignty in the hands of the people, meaning the community as a whole.591 Calvinist theorists had been unwilling to do this because of their doctrines of the elect and the strong connection they conceived between the political and Church organizations.592 Supporters of the Stuart monarchy also hesitated to make such a radical move because admitting the people had such authority could be used to justify the beheading of Charles I. Lawson’s ability to shift his arguments with the changing political winds enabled him to see political authority through new eyes.The author of the Vindiciae and Althusius had argued that the right to resistance rested in the hands of the people’s representatives. Lawson rejected this.593

The whole people voluntarily had joined together under natural law and formed a political community. With voluntary and unanimous consent, this community created a coercive power to sustain society. The people retained “real majesty” and delegated a lesser form, “personal majesty,” to the coercive power. Thus, the creation of representatives was a delegation of power that could be retracted at any time.594 The “people” existed as a functioning political concept. Arguing against Hobbes, Lawson claimed that, if government collapsed, the community still existed. It is this community that possessed the authority to referee between the branches of government. Of course, it was not entirely clear how the people went about this. A  more coherent version of this theory had to wait until the Glorious Revolution of 1688 cleared the path for John Locke to safely publish his Two Treatises of Government.

John Locke

Lawson’s real impact on the history of political thought stems from his influence on Locke.595 It is primarily through Locke that modern political theory derives the idea that sovereignty always rests in the people. Locke argued for a theory of political legitimacy founded on the consent of the members of the English nation, but which also retained the credibility of God to supplement this credibility. Locke had an enormous impact on the founding constitution of England following the Glorious Revolution. King William III found in Locke’s ideas exactly the political theory that would solidify his authority despite the “revolutionary” context of his crowning. 596

To do this, Locke’s Two Treatises of Government first had to refute Robert Filmer’s Patriarcha of 1653 (reissued in 1680).597 Tory politicians and clergy in the last years of the Stuart monarchy favorably read Filmer’s statements of support for absolutism in the monarchy. Filmer’s theory rested on the analogy of the state as a family: because the king is the father, political obligation is analogous to paternal submission.598 Locke’s refutation accepted this well-accepted notion that the state is like a family and the accompanying analogy between political obligation and paternal submission within a household. However, Locke viewed this obligation very differently. The male parent was not absolute. Children are the property of God, created by Him, and entrusted to parents for proper care and training. Once the child reached an age of reason and understanding, the young adult was free and considered an equal of the father.599 The parent’s authority only continued with the voluntary consent of the child. Having used Filmer’s own analogy to set a new standard for political authority, Locke followed many of his fellow seventeenth-century theorists back to a State of Nature to understand how and why people first consented to create a government.600

Locke argued government was not “natural,” but was a human creation designed to secure property rights.601 The only truly “natural” thing was the “law” of self-preservation. People would occasionally misjudge what actions would preserve them and which would destroy them. These “inconveniences” could effectively be solved with the creation of a civil government. This was done when men “agree[ed] together mutually to enter into one Community, and make one Body Politick.”602

Just as Locke took sovereignty away from Adam and gave it to the people, he did the same with property.603 God entrusted the world “to Mankind in common” for life and convenience.604 A person said something was “mine” if he mixed his labor with the stuff in nature. However, all property ultimately belonged to God – it was only temporarily entrusted to the individual. The competition for property produced disagreements between individuals, one of the most prominent “inconveniences” a civil government should solve. Government began with a two-step process. In the first phase, a group of free individuals consented to put themselves under obligation to each other and submit to the majority. This act transformed the disparate group into a united community – a “people.” In the next step, the community decided to erect specific political institutions and select personnel to exercise their authority. Like Lawson and contrary to Hobbes, Locke saw this as a delegation of power, not alienation. The institutions of government could completely dissolve (step two above), but sovereignty still remained in the people thanks to their original compact (step one).605 If the government was not doing its job (i.e. protecting property) or if it began to act contrary to its purpose (i.e. confiscating property), it declared a state of war on the people.606 Thus, people don’t rebel, governments do. The author of the Vindiciae indicated that such a state of war could only be declared by the magistrates of the people, but Locke bestowed this judgment on the people as a whole.607 Locke also turned the concept of “the people” against a William Barclay’s version of divine right of kings.608 In fact some political theorists shifted from natural religion to “civil religion,” which overtly connected it with a particular group of people. From this point, it was a relatively easy adaptation to what people of the nineteenth and twentieth century’s would recognize as “cultural nationalism,” where the nation substituted for the deity as the source of transcendent credibility.

The brevity of the following might convey a sense of inevitability of this progression to nationalism. That would be an incorrect conclusion to draw. The developing political theory of nationalism co-existed with at least two other potential theories. First of all, there remained advocates of God and traditional religion as the continuing source of transcendent credibility.613 England, in particular, experienced a resurgence of religious expression among the mass of the population, perhaps most evident among the Methodist movement of John Wesley. These movements were, in part, a reaction to the growing secularization of politics and the Hobbesian removal of God from the chain of political authority. A second competing political theory was presented by the several Enlightenments in Europe: “humanity” as the source of transcendent credibility. Since all humans shared the same nature, artificial divisions between them should be eradicated. This would take time, but all humans were perfectible, meaning that eventually they could and would all act according to reason. In theory, any of these three potential sources of transcendent credibility might have dominated the others.

Thus we will next concentrate on the theory of political credibility that eventually became nationalism because it was this competitor that dominated nineteenth and twentieth century politics in Europe and, through the extensive impact of colonialism, came to dominate the majority of the world. David Hume’s writings explain the concept of “natural religion.” Jean-Jacques Rousseau, among others, translated this natural religion into a more particular civil religion. Finally, the German theorist Johann Gottfried Herder facilitated the conversion of the more generic idea of civil religion into the unique notion of cultural nationalism.

 David Hume

Following Grotius and Hobbes, David Hume sought to keep ethics and religion separate. Ethics (and politics) occurred in the physical realm, while religion was primarily concerned with the metaphysical realm. Hume argued we can believe things about the metaphysical realm, but we can not know anything about it. This skepticism insisted that knowledge depended on empirical demonstration – something metaphysics and theology could not provide. Hume was especially concerned with the damaging effect religious factions were having on Scottish economic development.614

Scotland as a nation could not progress, he believed, until it had purged itself of bitter disputes over religious doctrines of which humans could say nothing.Thus, when Hume considered the original contract of government, made famous by Hobbes and Locke, he argued that he could conclude nothing about it. The question of the origin of governments was unanswerable and, to a large extent, irrelevant. The more important question was why we government still existed and the answer was very practical: there was no other choice. People need what government provided and were afraid of a world without it. Necessity and fear not only maintained government, but they were also the source of each citizen’s political obligation. Hume concluded that the obligation to submit to political authority arose from self-interest: without obedience, society would collapse.

Thus, in Hume, the two seventeenth-century strands of thought merged.615 On the one hand, God had nothing to do with this process. God did not (and need not) command obedience to the political authority because rational persons would obey in their own self-interest. According to one interpreter, Hume’s goal was to replace a religion of God with a rational “religion of man,” meaning “a religion that is freed from the worship of the supernatural, as well as from reliance on the benignity of nature.”616 If all persons in society embraced this religion, there would be no need for anything beyond a minimal structure of government. This was idealistic, however.

Following an argument of Spinoza, Hume divided persons in society into two groups: the enlightened and the vulgar. Practically speaking, the vulgar would not accept this religion of man. They “lack the capacity to work their own fate and stand in dire need of leadership” – hence, they are named the vulgar.617 Eliminating God, by itself, was not enough. The few enlightened needed a way to ensure the compliance of the far more numerous vulgar in society.

To solve this, Hume brought in the second strand of thought: attach political credibility to the concept of the nation. This solution satisfied Hume’s adherence to empiricism: the political units of Europe already demonstrated division into separate nationalities (thanks to the proto-nationalism of the preceding century),618 the constituents of the nation were physical,619 and the outcomes of a nation’s success could be measured in terms of wealth and (more problematically) glory.620 At the same time, Hume believed it was necessary to retain some metaphysical elements, at least in the short term, to ensure the compliance of the vulgar. Thus, he supported retaining some aspects of traditional religion for the benefit of the vulgar.621 Still, traditional religion should be subject to the nation.622 It must always be kept clear that religion was a tool of the nation, not the other way around. This concept of a “natural religion” gained in popularity through the course of the eighteenth century.623 Among the elite of Atlantic, and even more notably, among political practitioners, the nation was fast becoming an acceptable alternative to God as a source of transcendent credibility.624

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Similar trends were occurring in France, at least among theorists. Most of the eighteenth-century French Enlightenment thinkers, the philosophes, were in favor of the Hobbesian argument of removing God from considerations of political credibility. For them, as for Hume, the elevation of Reason necessarily meant that the individual should no longer be held in sway by superstition. At a minimum, this required a rejection of the established church and, to a greater and greater degree, the affirmation of either deism or atheism.625 Any political theory put forward by the philosophes required a source of legitimacy and credibility other than God (or gods). However, their position on the Lockean argument, whether the people or nation would be substituted as the ultimate source of transcendent credibility, was more ambiguous.

Because the philosophes focused on “human nature” and the improvement thereof, they tended to downplay national distinctions. Even though there were differences in how far each race or nation had progressed to that point, all mankind would eventually be free, rational and, hence, perfect. Thus, it was possible to take pride in one’s own race and to recognize some differences in national characters, but still claim membership in the human race first and foremost. The ultimate source of transcendent credibility for such writers became the vision of a perfected humanity. Those races and nations that were more progressed (meaning, of course, the Europeans and, often, the British) had a responsibility to help the others catch up. Jean-Jacques Rousseau slightly altered the philosophes’ theory of a perfected vision of humanity as the source of transcendent credibility and it was this version that the participants of the French Revolution relied upon.626

For Rousseau, the source of transcendent credibility was the “general will.”627 A rational person willed what was good for him, even though he might not act for his good. Likewise, the acts of the people (elections, votes, legislation, etc.) may not be what were for the common good (here we may read “general will”). In The Social Contract, Book 17, Rousseau brought this down to the level of the individual. Each citizen must decide between what was in his own interest and what was in the interest of his community. To know what the latter was, the citizen must consult the general will. This allowed Rousseau to bring in a communal element (the general will), while still retaining the freedom of the individual (I consult the general will).628

Although it is difficult to know exactly what Rousseau intended by the general will, it is possible to say several things about Rousseau’s conception of it that demonstrate he promoted a version of nationalism, though a minimal version. First, the general will was for a finite set of individuals, not all of humanity.629 Second, the general will was a transcendent entity. It was not the individuals themselves, nor the group of individuals. It was meta-physical, yet it was as real as anything in the physical world: it was engraved on the hearts of the citizens.630 Third, the general will was the source of transcendent credibility. Individuals (and the community as a whole) consulted this metaphysical entity to know how to act. According to Patrick Riley, Rousseau intended the “general will” to replace the tradition political concept of the “will of God.”631 As such, the general will possessed validity far above any particular will. Rousseau’s “general will” essentially meant the metaphysical conception of the “nation.” It was a minimal version in that it did not attempt to explain why there were different nations (or several general wills) in the world. It merely asserted that such wills exist and that individuals were to consult their respective general will.

To supplement the general will as form, Rousseau advocated a “civil religion” as content. While Locke had promoted the nation as source of transcendent credibility, he retained Christianity to provide moral content for society.632 More than a half century later, Rousseau suggested replacing “superstitious” traditional religion with a civil religion, not unlike Hume’s natural religion.633 Rousseau supported the philosophes’ critique of traditional religion, but not to the extent that it undermined the social cohesion religious institutions provided.634 To put it simply, Rousseau recognized that reason must be supplemented with passion, at least in the political sphere.635 The passions of ordinary people would not be inspired by vague commitments to “humanity.” Self-love could only be counteracted by another love.636

Such love was generated when individuals felt “themselves to be members of the patrie.” As a result, they would “love [the patrie] with that delicate feeling that any isolated man feels only for himself.”637 This provided the passion that prompted individuals to obey reason, meaning the general will.

The French Revolutionaries expanded Rousseau’s minimal concept into a full-blown theory of nationalism.638 The Revolutionary intellectuals and later nineteenth and twentieth century nationalists recognized that for nationalism to motivate action, the particular nation must be infused with meaning and purpose. Rousseau also recognized this when he suggested that a people shared mouers, or common traditions and values.639 But, Rousseau’s Discourse on Inequality argued that national distinctions were artificial (or “imagined”), rather than natural.640 Thus, he likely viewed them as he did other political institutions: realities that must be lived with and dealt with, but historically damaging to the individual. The Revolutionaries and later nationalists redeemed the nation as necessary for human freedom.

Not mentioned in Mark Lilla “The Stillborn God”(2007), according to the German historian Otto Pflanze, France provided one “spiritual father” of nationalism in Rousseau, who gave Europe the concept of “popular sovereignty,” while Germany produced another “spiritual father” in Johann Gottfried Herder, who developed “cultural nationalism.”641 He rejected the social contract theories of Hobbes and Locke and rejected many of the Enlightenment ideas of the French philosophes.642 But, it is Herder’s theory of political legitimacy that is recognizably nationalist, at least in modern terms.643

Herder’s theory of nationalism combined the two strands of thought previously discussed: God was relegated to a distant participant in the generation of political credibility, while the nation was elevated to the central role. The nation, for Herder, was “the basic unit of humanity.”644 The individual was nothing outside of his nation. Human nature was not universal, as the French philosophes argued, but “it is a pliant clay which assumes a different shape under different needs and circumstances”645 Each culture was unique. For Herder, individual thought was shaped by language and language reflected culture.646 Thus, a Frenchman was fundamentally different from a German.

The nation assumed a consciously transcendent status. On the one hand, the nation physically consisted of the individuals who shared a culture, and most importantly, a language.647 But the centrality of language in distinguishing one nation from another pointed to the nation as something existing beyond the physical world.648

Since individual identity was derived in large part from the nation a person belonged to, the nation was the unique set of stories, myths, traditions, rituals, customs, language, and religion. This aspect was transcendent, but certainly existed since it could be continually modified and recreated.649

Although it was transcendent, why was the “nation” inherently credible? Herder suggested first of all that this was because it was the source of the individual’s identity. There was a deep psychological need in every person to belong, and this was the role the nation filled and the role religion had once filled.650

Contrary to the universalist arguments of the philosophes, a person existed in a particular time at a particular place, which meant he was a part of a particular culture, which was the source of that person’s identity. Thus, the individual believed the nation to be credible in much the same way he knew he existed – it’s just how it was. However, the credibility of and loyalty to the nation came from more than just an accident of birth. Each nation was a natural part of humanity. The division of humanity into nations was not man-made: if this were true, the nation would appear less transcendent and less inherently credible.651 Every nation, from the most advanced to the most primitive, revealed some important aspect of humanity (humanitat).652 It was, with no intended paradox in terms, “multicultural nationalism.”653

Despite the fact that Herder was a Lutheran minister, God’s role in this theory was almost wholly mediated through the nation. This contrasted with earlier forms of nationalism (proto-nationalism) in which the nation was perceived as a tool through which God delegated his authority. For Herder, religion was a part of culture and, as such, under the list of things that defined and distinguished a particular nation. A government would often appeal to the credibility of its deity or deities, use religious language and symbols, and even maintain an official relationship with the priesthood, but this should be seen as an appeal to culture and the nation that embodies that culture. The nation was the ultimate source of transcendent credibility.

This is also why the response of persons to nationalism often resembled responses to religion. The philosophes of the Enlightenment attempted to separate two human faculties: reason and passion.654 Herder and other Counter-Enlightenment writers argued that reason and passion could not be artificially separated from each other. The passionate response of nationalism was a reasonable reaction to a culture that fundamentally constituted an individual’s identity. It was exactly this passion, so similar to that exhibited toward religion in previous eras, which rulers desired to tap into. It proved to be incredibly efficient at generating compliance and political practitioners all over Europe began to turn to their particular nation as the source of transcendent credibility.

Impact on the Political Boundaries of Europe

By the early nineteenth century, the proliferation of nationalism meant that Europe contained many sources of transcendent credibility. There are several reasons that historians have suggested for its success. However, at the most pragmatic level, nationalism proved to be a useful tool for governments to generate compliance from their populations. In the new age of large-scale, conscripted militaries, nationalism went a long way in helping to fill out the ranks with a minimum of physical coercion. The transcendent notion of the nation became seen as inherently credible and the government, as the physical manifestation of the nation, appropriated that credibility. The age of nationalism is an age of many sources of transcendent credibility – each “people” uses a different source of transcendent credibility than its neighbors.

The expectation then is that this era would also witness very distinctive borders between these political units. In fact, distinctive borders are a necessary condition of standard definitions of the dominant political unit in this system, the nation-state. Max Weber, in his famous definition, argued that the state “lays claim to the monopoly of legitimate physical violence within a certain territory.”655 This connection between nationalism and distinctive borders is significant for two reasons. First, it suggests that the concept of basing political credibility on the nation as a source of transcendent credibility and the adoption of this practice by more than one political unit preceded the modern distinctiveness of borders. Second, it also implies that relatively distinct borders between political units are not a necessary condition of the modern world, only of a world dominated by nationalism. If the various national sources of transcendent credibility are replaced with a single shared source, modern borders would also disappear.

A clear, demarcated, and relatively distinct border around a particular nation becomes a crucial means of recognition a particular nation’s existence and a useful tool for perpetuating that existence. The nation, as a metaphysical entity, is a collection of stories, symbols, language, myths, etc. The border, as John Armstrong understood it, becomes a container of that culture.656 If the nation is the soul of the people, the territory becomes the body and this body is distinct from other bodies around it. The symbols and stories act as “border guards,” uniting the persons within the border and keeping foreign objects out.657 Thus, in an age of nationalism, distinctive borders are normatively demanded. However, this is true because these distinctive borders have a practical function: they perpetuate the nation as the source of transcendent credibility and protect it from the challenges of foreign competitors.

All five of the proxies that have been used to measure the relative distinctiveness of boundaries between political units confirm the emergence of incredibly distinctive borders in the modern age of nationalism, from roughly 1800 to the late twentieth century. First of all, governments in the age of nationalism have, in general, successfully imposed their hegemonic authority on the citizens within their territory. While individuals have multiple sources of identity, the modern nation-state requires that the primary source of identity be the nation. In the transition period from religious sources of transcendent credibility to nationalist sources, the nation must appropriate the credibility still inherent in the religious sources.658 Thus, ideally an individual is not asked to choose between his nation and his god, but the two would coincide as nearly as possible.659

Individuals are required to choose between competing nationalities, however. As Etienne Balibar has put it, “One has only to see with what repugnance states, almost without exception, view dual or multiple nationality to understand how essential it is to the nation-state to behave as the owner of its nationals.”660 Even in international law at the start of the twenty-first century, an individual’s primary identity is recognized as her nationality.661 Being born on one side of a border rather than the other, for example, carries an enormous amount of weight in national and international law. This norm has, for the most part, been internalized by the individuals of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The nation to which an individual holds her primary commitment is largely connected with territory, which necessitates relatively clear lines of where that territory begins and ends.

The nation as source of transcendent credibility proved very effective and efficient in generating compliance. Britain became one of the first political units to embrace this new political theory, beginning with the new constitutional arrangements set up following the Glorious Revolution of 1689. Although still dependent on God as a source of transcendent credibility, Locke’s political theory had made the English nation increasingly dominant in the process of political legitimacy. It is no coincidence that, following the Glorious Revolution (and prior to the Industrial Revolution), tax incomes exploded. Not only was there more money to tax, but tax collection was more efficient due to greater compliance from British taxpayers.662

While it may be said that this was the result of more secure property rights,663 the fact is that these rights were the result of the political rights. 664 These latter rights depended on the new theory of political legitimacy that depended on the nation as the source of transcendent credibility. By the mid-eighteenth century, people all over Europe recognized that Britain had emerged as a major power and further recognized that the reason why this occurred was due to their changing source of transcendent credibility. Thus, one of the reasons nationalist movements in Europe emerged and gathered so much support was the desire to imitate the British model and achieve similar results in terms of compliance.665 Successfully generating compliance on the Continent required far more distinctive borders than existed in Europe to that point.

Thus, nationalist movements were inextricably intertwined with claims to particular territories. The age of nationalism also saw political units far more credibly committed to protecting territories that were distant from the center. New forms of recruiting and training troops permitted states to mobilize loyal armies in response to any threats of invasion. Improved roads and waterways, and later railroads, allowed for rapid deployment in regions of a political unit far from the center. These new defensive technologies were supplemented with the collaboration of political units in the Concert of Europe to produce an era relatively free of international war – at least on the European continent. The commitment of governments to preserve territory went beyond mere military means. Growing bureaucracies inventoried and categorized extensively throughout the territory, including human beings.666 By knowing, naming, and cataloging the contents of the territory, the government asserted an actual and a symbolic claim over those things – again, including the human beings.667 Land and people became analogous to private property, which, even at the far edges of a territory, the government had a right and duty to protect. In addition, the scientific discipline of cartography produced maps with firm borders between political units.668

Diplomats waged battles over these maps, fighting hard for a mutual recognition of a favorable border. The “science” aspect of cartography helped to legitimize and formalize these agreements. Governments proved unwilling to cede even an inch in the military and diplomatic battles over agreed-upon borders. These lines on a map took on a very real physical existence through border controls, troop deployments, and administrative jurisdiction.Judicial systems within the territories of political units were increasingly structured in hierarchies in the era of nationalism. France, for example, underwent a significant shift toward a national modern judicial system.669 Before 1789, the rural population had the opportunity to access the seigniorial justice system, but for a variety of reasons, more frequently turned to other forms of conflict mediation, the most popular being violence. After the Revolution, elected justices of the peace were instituted who were far more efficient and cheaper than the previous judicial system.

The rural population increasingly submitted their disputes to these judicial bodies and, as a result, the government of the French nation-state succeeded in penetrating disparate provinces of France and redefining what it meant to be a “citizen” of France. What was true of France was true of the newly nationalized states. Even federal governments shifted towards hierarchical arrangements. The United States, for example, over the course of the nineteenth century, placed the various state court systems under the ultimate authority of the national judiciary.

In the era of nationalism, state governments compelled the standardization of currency, albeit through a relatively indirect process. State-compelled standardization of the value of money had been practiced on and off by European rulers from the end of the Middle Ages to the eighteenth century. Wars and rebellions had the tendency to encourage the debasing of coinage. As Gresham’s Law predicts, these debased coins were exported, encouraging similar debasement in these countries and making the standardization of money a Europe-wide problem.670 Following the Napoleonic Wars of the early nineteenth century, the major political units formed the Concert of Europe to promote peace. However, among the less analyzed outcomes of this collaboration were informal agreements to promote fiscal and monetary policies in order to avoid recurrences of hyperinflation caused by the production and exportation of bad money.

This system, which Karl Polanyi has called haute finance, affirmed that it was the national government that was responsible for the value and standards of the money within its particular territory.671 Private banks, many of which retained their international character, were also required to participate in the overall process of standardization, which was subjected first of all to the national governments and secondly to the Concert of Europe, which was seen as a collection of these governments. Monetary policy had always been somewhat independent of any particular political unit. However, in the nineteenth century we begin to see the political units working together to ensure the value of money. This resulted in increased standardization of currency within the individual political units.

Clearly there is much to criticize in this over-generalized analysis of the distinctiveness of borders over the past two hundred years. One can point to multiple examples over this time period where a government was unable to successfully achieve one or more of these proxy variables or create and maintain relatively distinctive boundaries. There are four responses to this. First, although exceptions exist that may counter the argument that the modern state system has distinctive borders, I would argue that these exceptions are just that – exceptions to the far more numerous examples of distinctive borders. Second, it must be remembered that the variable is the relative distinctiveness of boundaries. The question then is whether the distinctiveness of boundaries in a system with multiple sources of transcendent credibility (e.g. the modern states system) is greater than the distinctiveness in a system with one source of transcendent credibility.

This clarification further reduces the number of exceptions. Third, nationalism spread around the world gradually. Whereas the nationalist system was in full effect in Europe throughout most of the nineteenth century, its’ success in other parts of the world came along at a later point. This leads to a fourth response. In many places of the globe, nationalism has not successfully been implemented as the source of transcendent credibility. For example, in certain parts of Africa the nation-state exists in name only, while the actual source or sources of transcendent credibility lie elsewhere. This will be more fully discussed in the conclusion.

Another possible criticism is that the age of nationalism also happens to coincide with the modern technology that makes more distinctive boundaries possible. According to this reasoning, if the many nationalisms are replaced by a single source of transcendent credibility, distinctive boundaries may stay intact. But, broadly speaking, technological improvement explains very little. The questions that must be asked are which particular technologies were improved and why. For example, technological improvements in border control do not just emerge – there must be a market for these improvements or very little time and money would be invested in them. Thus, since technological improvements in border controls, census taking, cartography, and rapid mobilization and deployment of troops occurred in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, this begs the question of why these particular innovations were deemed worthy of time and resources. The answer, as this research project  suggests, is that the proliferation of sources of transcendent credibility in Europe produced by nationalism created a demand for technologies that increased the distinctiveness of boundaries between political units.
 
 

Bibliography




542 Stephen Toulmin (1990), Cosmopolis: The Hidden Agenda of Modernity (Chicago:University of Chicago Press): 69-87.

543 At the heart of this debate is the idea that there was a “modern school of natural law,”meaning specifically a conscious project by, in particular, Grotius, John Selden, and Hobbes, to combat skepticism and demonstrate the validity of a natural law based on reason and self-preservation. Proponents of this view include AP D’Entreves (1994 [1951]), Richard Tuck (1987), and JG Schneewind (1998). On the other side of the debate are those who argue that Hobbes’s project was completely different than that of Grotius and any connection is incidental rather than consciously developmental. Scholars on this side include Perez Zagorin (2000), Johann P Sommerville (2001), and Annabel Brett (2003).

544 Knud Haakonssen (1998), “Divine/Natural Law Theories in Ethics,” in Cambridge History of Seventeenth-Century Philosophy, vol. II, Daniel Garber and Michael Ayers, eds. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press): 1330.

545 Richard Bonney (1990), The European Dynastic States, 1494-1660 (Oxford: Oxford University Press): 181-83. The subsequent Dutch reaction in 1619 to the Arminians and anyone who dared to support them led to the execution of Oldenbarnevelt and the flight of Grotius to France. There is no indication that either of these statesmen professed Arminian doctrines themselves. Their policy of toleration was likely intended to present a united Protestant front against the constant threat from Catholic Spain, CG Roelofsen (1990), “Grotius and the International Politics of the Seventeenth Century,” in Hugo Grotius and International Relations, Hedley Bull, Benedict Kingsbury, and Adam Roberts, eds. (Oxford: Clarendon Press): 95-133

546 It had enormous effects on some of the clergy in France and among the Jesuits – missionary to China Matteo Ricci, in particular. Further, The Jansenist movement eventually emerged speaking out against such a theology and the casuistry that came to be associated with it. Peter N Miller (2000), Peiresc’s Europe: Learning and Virtue in the Seventeenth Century (New Haven: Yale University Press): 102-29.

547 Grotius directly addressed theological issues in two works, Defensio fidei Catholicae de Satisfactione Christi and De imperio summarum potestatum circa sacra, both written in 1617 in the midst of the Arminian controversy, though only the former was published at that time, Richard Tuck (1991), “Grotius and Selden,” in Cambridge History of Political Thought, 1450-1750 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press): 511-14.

548 Hugo Grotius (2005 [1625]), The Rights of War and Peace, Richard Tuck, ed. (Liberty Fund). The famous line of the Prolegomena is known as the etiamsi daremus sentence, which translated means “even if we should concede…”, here meaning that even if we should concede that God did not exist. It should be noted that Grotius was not the first author to present such an inherently heretical argument. The Spanish Scholastics had also considered such a question, not to mention the rising neo-Stoical movement, both of which had an influence of Grotius’ arguments, Schneewind 68.

549 Richard Tuck (1979), Natural Rights Theories (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press): 76-77.

550 God did not reveal these Laws to man, but man was compelled by his nature to use his reason to understand and obey these Laws. However, some people would not obey these Laws. Thus, civil governments had been created to compel those people to obey.

551 Knud Haakonssen (1998), “Divine/Natural Law Theories in Ethics,” in Cambridge History of Seventeenth-Century Philosophy, vol. II, Daniel Garber and Michael Ayers, eds. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press): 1317-1357.

552 This idea had also been used in a similar way by the sixteenth-century Spanish Scholastics (Molina, Suarez, and Vitoria) in the early years of colonization, though these theories depended more on the direct authority of God than Grotius’s did.

553 It is for this same reason that Grotius’ theory succeeded at the international level, at least among European political units. Each political unit possessed individual rights against the others in an international society. Political units outside of Europe were not seen to possess the same rights as European political units. Edward Keene (2002), Beyond the Anarchical Society: Grotius, Colonialism and Order in World Politics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). This is also the reason why Grotius’ theories have experienced a revival in the late-twentieth century as they closely mirror concepts of Universal Human Rights and global organizations such as the United Nations.

554 Noel Malcolm (1991), “Hobbes and Spinoza,” in The Cambridge History of Political Though, 1450-1700, JH Burns, ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press): 550.

555 Baruch de Spinoza (1951 [1670]), A Theologico-Political Treatise (New York: Dover Publications): 10.

556 Ibid., 8.

557 “Men must necessarily come to an agreement to live together as securely and well as possible if they are to enjoy as a whole the rights which naturally belong to them as individuals,” Ibid., 202.

558 Optimistically, Spinoza said that it was almost possible for the ideal world to exist if a government successfully held the real world at bay. Of course, he also recognized that governments frequently acted in such a way to prevent a person from pursuing his best way of life. In particular, a government could impose one religious confession on all the people and try to coerce them to believe a particular set of doctrines. When it acted in this way, government became self-defeating and unstable, Michael A Rosenthal (2001), “Tolerance as a Virtue in Spinoza’s Ethics,” Journal of the History of Philosophy 39(4): 535-57. Still, this was not a justification to disobey the government, “for, if government be taken away, no good thing can last, all falls into dispute, anger and anarchy reign unchecked amid universal fear,” which was clearly worse, Spinoza, Theologico-Political Treatise, 249.

559 God’s decrees “do not receive immediately from God the force of a command, but only from those, or through the mediation of those, who possess the right of ruling and legislating. It is only through these latter that God rules among men,” Spinoza, Theologico-Political Treatise, 248.

560 Ibid., 249.

561 Samuel J Preus (1989), “Spinoza, Vico, and the Imagination of Religion,” Journal of the History of Ideas 50(1): 71-94.

562 “We all know what weight spiritual right and authority carries in the popular mind: how everyone hangs on the lips, as it were of those who possess it,” Spinoza, Theologico-Political Treatise.

563 Ibid.

564 Ibid., 249; 118-19.

565 Roger Scruton (2002 [1986]), Spinoza: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press): 95-102.

566 There was also a further psychological advantage for the educated elite: by understanding and following Spinoza’s theory, one became the superior in society, thereby affirming and perpetuating the already existing hierarchical arrangement. Applying different theories of political authority to different classes of society became generally accepted among Conservative movements in Europe over the next two centuries, Don Herzog (1998), Poisoning the Minds of the Lower Orders (Princeton: Princeton University Press): 89-139.

567 God designed human nature and gave man reason – this is all man needed to follow . For Hobbes, Grotius’ argument that God both designed and enforced Laws was redundant. Scientific methodology demanded starting with the most basic premises and no more. Hence, God did not need to be involved in worldly affairs for this theory of political authority to be valid.

568 Hobbes, Leviathan 109. The articles of this agreement would be considered by other philosophers as “Natural Laws.” Hobbes did not view these as “laws” in the traditional sense, but merely precepts that reason has shown individuals were necessary for their own security, Quentin Skinner (2002 [1990]), “The Proper Signification of Liberty,” in Visions of Politics, Volume III: Hobbes and Civil Science (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press): 217. Although they were human inventions, they did not depend on individual personalities. These precepts applied to all people at all times, thus they should be considered “natural.”

569 Hobbes, Leviathan 139.

570 Ibid., 142.

571 Ibid., 142-43.

572 Hobbes, Leviathan, 142; Quentin Skinner (2002 [1999]), “The Purely Artificial Person of the State,” in Visions of Politics, Volume III: Hobbes and Civil Science (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press): 196-208. The contract may be voluntary, but once the dotted line was signed, there was no going back. In fact, a multitude of men was only a community (or “one” instead of many) “when they are by one man or one person represented,” Hobbes, Leviathan, 135. Remove the ruler, and the community no longer existed. Arguably, Hobbes did not consider the State of Nature and the ensuing contract an historical event, but only a mental exercise, or reason at work, despite the fact that there were several contemporary empirical examples of conditions that paralleled the State of Nature, such as tribes in the Americas and the international community itself, Richard Tuck (1999), The Rights of War and Peace: Political Thought and the International Order from Grotius to Kant (Oxford: Oxford University Press): 135-39. Since there was no actual moment of commissioning a sovereign, this meant that there could be no actual moment of de-commissioning. The creation of a society required that each person abrogate his right to nullify the contract. If any person were allowed to retain this right, the contract would have collapsed, since everyone at some point had an incentive to get out of it.

573 Quentin Skinner (2002 [1989]), “The State of Princes to the Person of the State,” in Visions of Politics, Volume III: Hobbes and Civil Science (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press): 404.

574 Hobbes, Leviathan, 118. For Hobbes, governmental fear and coercion were not limitations on individual liberty (after all much of a person’s liberty had been voluntarily ceded in the contract), but operated as useful means of preventing complete social collapse – a far greater threat to individual liberty.

575 JB Schneewind paraphrases Hobbes in this way: “Our mortal god decides what is good and bad and what is to be believed about the immortal god,” 99.

576 Hobbes, Leviathan, 50.

577 Hobbes, Leviathan: 142-43. It has been argued that Hobbes was an atheist and inserted God and Biblical citations so that his work would not be rejected outright, Leo Strauss (1953), Natural Right and History (Chicago: University of Chicago): 202-32.

578 See, for example, the arguments of Richard Cumberland (1632-1718), Ralph Cudworth (1617-88), Bishop Samuel Parker (1640-88), and Nathaniel Culverwel (1618-1651); JGA Pocock (1990), “Thomas Hobbes: Atheist or Enthusiast? His Place in a Restoration Debate,” History of Political Thought 11(4): 737-49.

579 Skinner (2002 [1998]), “The State of Princes to the Person of the State,” in Visions of Politics, Vol. II: Renaissance Virtues (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press): 394. Skinner is referring in this passage to the “monarchomachs,” but explicitly lists two Calvinist monarchomach sources: the Vindiciae contra tyrannos and Johannes Althusius’s Politica.

580 John Calvin (1991 [1559]), “On Civil Government,” in On Secular Authority, Harro Hopfl, ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press): 76.

581 Philippe du Plessis-Mornay (1969 [1579]), “Vindiciae contra tyrannos,” in Constitutionalism and Resistance in the Sixteenth Century, Julian H Franklin, ed. (New York: Pegasus Books): 158. The king is an employee of the people. The Vindiciae uses the analogy of the pilot of a ship to illustrate the point. While aboard a ship, the owner will obey a pilot only while he looks out for the good of the ship. When the pilot no longer can or will do his job properly, he is quickly fired. The same is true for a king who is not “looking out for the public good.” Thus, the people, if faced with a king who ceases to fulfill the job he was hired to do, are also represented by a parliament or “an assembly with a kind of tribunal authority,” who may justly remove the king.

582 In particular, the right (responsibility) of resistance fell to the local or inferior magistrates. However, the Huguenots tended to be geographically concentrated, thus their local magistrates also tended to be the elected of the elect, Robert M Kingdon (1991), “Calvinism and Resistance Theory, 1550-1580,” in The Cambridge History of Political Thought, 1450-1700, JH Burns, ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press): 214; Spellman (1998), 82.

583 This concept of a political community was used successfully in a few smaller experiments in Europe – most notably by Theodore de Beza in Geneva and Heinrich Bullinger in Zurich. Likewise, it helped provide justification for political resistance among a persecuted church. However, as a practical political theory for a territory larger than a city it fell fall short.

584 If the basis of authority rested in the larger state (ala Bodin), the United Provinces had unjustly broken away from the Holy Roman Empire; however, if authority resided with the people, resistance of the various provinces to the larger United Provinces could be legitimately supported.

585 Spellman (1998): 76-78; Howell A Lloyd (1991), “Constitutionalism,” in The Cambridge History of Political Thought, 1450-1700, JH Burns, ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press): 287-92; Johannes Althusius (1964), The Politics of Johannes Althusius, Frederick S Carney, trans. (London: Beacon Press).

586 Each level of association can more effectively fulfill separate tasks, each of which is necessary to the citizens. The only powers that should be delegated to higher levels are ones that cannot be exercised as effectively or efficiently at lower levels. This is the same as the principle of “subsidiarity” the European Union added to Article 3b of the Maastricht Treaty. Larry Cata Becker (1998), “Forging Federal Systems Within a Matrix of Contained Conflict: The Example of the European Union,” Emory International Law Review 12: 1361-62.

587 Which magistrates were empowered to act was an important question for Althusius, again, because he was developing a theory where only some groups possessed this power. “In his terminology the term magistrate applies to any office-bearer of the res publica, with terms such as magistratus summus, ephors, optimates and senators used to distinguish various office-holders from emperor via territorial nobility to urban council. His writings addressed primarily inferior magistrates like him,” Robert von Friedeburg (2005), “The Problems of Passions and of Love of the Fatherland in Protestant Thought: Melanchthon to Althusius, 1520s to 1620s,” Cultural and Social History 2(1): 94.

588 Friedeburg (2005), 92.

589 J Wayne Baker (2000), “Faces of Federalism: From Bullinger to Jefferson,” Publius 30(4):33.

590 Local congregations were associations that came together to form local colloquies and so on, until reaching the national synod at the apex. Each level was crucial and each played a different role. The structure was intended to allow local congregations to control themselves as much as possible. Yet, at the same time, the structure also protected itself from heresy.

591 It is also possible to read Lawson as an elitist who argued that “political power devolves back not to the people but to their natural representatives: the original forty counts of the forty counties, that is, to the local gentry,” James Tully (1991), “Locke,” in The Cambridge History of Political
Thought, 1450-1700, JH Burns, ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press): 622. Whether Lawson based ultimate political power in the “people” or in the “local gentry” is indicative of the inconsistency of portions of his theory – one reason why history remembers Locke rather than Lawson.

592 Lawson was not a Calvinist, but was a clergyman in the Church of England who adjusted his position to whatever government happened to be in power, Stuart or Puritan. This proved to be an effective survival strategy in the English upheavals of the mid-seventeenth century. It is precisely this “accommodating attitude” that allowed Lawson to transform and adapt the dominant theories of political authority in vital ways that John Locke later adopted, Conal Condren (1992), “Introduction,” in Lawson: Politica Sacra et Civilis (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press): xv.

593 George Lawson (1992 [1660]), Lawson: Politica Sacra et Civilis, Conal Condren, ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press): 41-75.

594 Lawson, writing in the Restoration, designed his theory to examine the past three tumultuous decades. The people of England created a government possessing multiple branches, a monarchy and a parliament. If either of these branches were eliminated, the whole government ceased to exist. According to Lawson, parliament did not have the authority back in 1648 to abolish the monarchy because there could be no parliament without a monarchy. The people could choose to adjust the structure of government, but neither branch could make such a decision single-handedly. Note how Lawson attempted to take a middle position. The execution of 1648 was illegitimate because parliament lacked the power to make such a decision. However, both the Cromwell government and the newly-restored Stuart monarchy were legitimate because the people chose to implement each.

595 Julian H Franklin (1978), John Locke and the Theory of Sovereignty (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). On the other hand, the most prolific George Lawson scholar suggests that Lawson should be studied as something more than just an anticipation of Locke’s theory, Conal Condren (1981), “Resistance and Sovereignty in Lawson’s Politica: An Examination of a Part of Professor Franklin, His Chimera,” Historical Journal 24(3): 673-81.

596 Lois G Schwoerer (1990), “Locke, Lockean Ideas, and the Glorious Revolution,” Journal of the History of Ideas 51(4): 531-48.

597 Part of the subtitle of Locke’s First Treatise is “The False Principles and Foundation of Sir Robert Filmer, and His Followers, Are Detected and Overthrown.” See also Johann Sommerville (1991), “Introduction,” in Filmer: ‘Patriarcha’ and Other Writings, Johann P Sommerville, ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press): ix-xxiv.

598 Filmer supported this idea biblically, arguing that Adam was the first king and Charles I was Adam’s eldest heir. Granted, this last addition was slightly strained, but the king-as-father analogy was easily understood in English society and carried a lot of weight among many, Johann P. Sommerville (1991), “Absolutism and Royalism,” in The Cambridge History of Political Thought, 1450-1700, JH Burns, ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press): 357-58.

599 The child could consent to transfer authority to the father, but he could also refuse to consent to this. The father had the right to hold inheritance as a hostage to generate consent, but otherwise he had no legitimate power to compel the fully reasoning adult to submit to his authority. The parent’s duty to God was fulfilled once the child was raised.

600 Spellman (1998), 94-97.

601 Filmer had implied that because Adam was made the first king, government was natural. There could have been no State of Nature because there were no people before Adam and, hence, no time when people lacked government. Locke responded: “Supposing we should grant, that a Man is by Nature Governor of his Children, Adam could not hereby be Monarchas soon as Created; for this Right of Nature being founded in his being their Father, how Adam could have a Natural Right to be Governor before he was a Father, when by being a father only he had that Right, is, methinks, hard to conceive.” John Locke, First Treatise of Government, paragraph 17, Locke: Two Treatises of Government, Peter Laslett, ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press): 153.

602 Locke, Second Treatise, section 14: 276-77.

603 For Filmer, both sovereignty and property were given to Adam and passed down through inheritance.

604 Locke, Second Treatise, section 25: 286.

605 What made the contract language of Locke and other English Whigs so important was that it gave the people the right to decide when a contract was violated. Thus, the events of the Glorious Revolution of 1688 could be considered the choice of “the people,” James Farr and Clayton Roberts (1985), “John Locke on the Glorious Revolution: A Rediscovered Document,” Historical Journal 28(2): 385-98. This radical position was contrasted with the position of moderates and conservatives who argued that there was no revolution at all: either William legally conquered England (William’s choice) or James II deserted his throne (James’ choice).

613 The actual number of deists in Europe in the eighteenth century was relatively small, SJ Barnett (2004), The Enlightenment and Religion: The Myths of Modernity (Manchester: Manchester University Press). Deism, however, was still incredibly important since, although they lacked numbers, they were disproportionately represented among the elite and intellectuals of European society.

614 Jennifer A Hardt (1997), Religion and Faction in Hume’s Moral Philosophy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).

615 We do not want to suggest with this discussion that Hume represented a significant turning point in the story of the transformation of political credibility. Hume is but one (though perhaps the most famous today) of the elite in British society that argued for what may be called a Deistic political theory. Many others in this century sought a natural religion, as opposed to a supernatural religion. A short list may include Anthony Collins (1713), A Discourse of Free-Thinking; a number of writings by Voltaire; and Baron d’Holbach (1772), Common Sense, or Natural Ideas Opposed to Supernatural.

616 Ernest Campbell Mossner (1994), “The Religion of David Hume,” in Philosophy, Religion and Science in the 17th and 18th Centuries, John W. Yolton, ed. (Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press): 120. Another commentator suggests that one reading of Book 12 of the Dialogues reveals that Hume did not think it possible for skepticism to fully eliminate at least a minimal form of theism, which Hume equated with a natural belief. But, even here, Hume did not think this was sufficient to sustain a popular religion. Terence Penelhum (2000), Themes in Hume: The Self, the Will, Religion (Oxford: Clarendon Press): 177-203.

617 Mossner 121.

618 “An established government has an infinite advantage, by that very circumstance of its being established,” Hume, “Idea of a Perfect Commonwealth.” Also see Hume, “Of National Characters”

619 Without a doubt, the nation as a concept had metaphysical elements; however, the nation as a collection of individuals actually existed in the physical realm.

620 See Hume, “Of Commerce,” “Of Refinement in the Arts,” “Of the Balance of Trade,” and “Of the Jealousy of Trade.”

621 Hume’s goal was for the enlightened to lead the vulgar into enlightenment as quickly as possible. Over time, more and more would become adherents of the religion of man, but in the meantime political stability was necessary and traditional religion served as a useful tool toward that end.

622 In “Idea of a Perfect Commonwealth,” Hume suggested the creation of a “council of religion and learning,” which “inspects the universities and clergy.”

623 For example, foremost among the British adherents was Henry St. John Viscount Bolingbroke (1678-1751), leader of the Tory Party in the last years of the Stuart monarchs. As a diplomat and leading statesman, he had a tremendous influence on many of the European elite in the first half of the eighteenth century, Isaac Kramnick (1992), Bolingbroke and His Circle: The Politics of Nostalgia in the Age of Walpole (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press): 84-110, 137-187. Voltaire and Benjamin Franklin claimed to be admirers of Bolingbroke’s religious doctrines. Among the elite of Atlantic, and even more notably, among political practitioners, the nation was fast becoming an acceptable alternative to God as a source of transcendent credibility

624 On the increasing use of the concept of the “English” nation by Bolingbroke’s supporters (and Walpole’s opponents), see Christine Gerrard (1995), The Patriot Opposition to Walpole: Politics, Poetry, and National Myth, 1725-1742 (Oxford: Oxford University Press)

625 Peter Gay (1995 [1966]), The Enlightenment: The Rise of Modern Paganism (New York: WW Norton and Company): 212-421.

626 Even among his contemporaries, it was hard to know if Rousseau was one of the philosophes or their largest critic, Mark Hulliung (1994), The Autocritique of the Enlightenment: Rousseau and the Philosophes (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press). Though history tends to lump Rousseau in with Voltaire, Diderot, Condillac, and the other philosophes, there was tremendous animosity between these Enlightenment thinkers and Rousseau. It has even been argued that Rousseau was the first “Counter-Enlightenment” thinker, Arthur M Melzer (1996), “The Origin of the Counter-Enlightenment: Rousseau and the New Religion of Sincerity,” American Political Science Review 90(2): 344-60. It is likely that Diderot and Condillac would not have disagreed with this assessment. Rousseau differed primarily from the other philosophes in arguing for a political theory that relied on a minimal version of nationalism rather than the broader concept of humanity, Daniel E Cullen (1993), Freedom in Rousseau’s Political Philosophy (DeKalb: Northern Illinois Press): 130-55. Thus, it was no coincidence that the French Revolutionaries made Rousseau, rather than Condillac or Helvetius, the intellectual father of their movement. He supplied a much more manageable and practical source of transcendent credibility.

627 This concept has been notoriously difficult to pin down, see, for example, David Lay Williams (2005), “Justice and the General Will: Affirming Rousseau’s Ancient Orientation,” Journal of the History of Ideas 66(3): 383-411. One interpretation is that the term did not mean the will of all, in the sense that the will of each person pursuing their own interests is added to every other will and a majority or super-majority is a measure of the general will. Thus, Rousseau was not promoting an institutionally democratic concept. Instead, the general will was a transcendent entity. It could not be physically measured, for example, by election.

628 Wokler, 86-87.

629 Rousseau often stated his preference for smaller communities on the scale of the Athenian city-state or his native Geneva. There has been some debate about whether he would have supported the idea of the general will on the scale of modern-day nation-states, but it is more than possible to see that “the seed of nationalism” existed in Rousseau’s thought, Arthur Melzer (2000), “Rousseau, Nationalism, and the Politics of Sympathetic Identification,” in Educating the Prince: Essays in Honor of Harvey Mansfield, Mark Blitz and William Kristol, eds. (Lanham, MA: Rowman and Littlefield):123.

630 The general will may be likened to the transcendent Platonic idea of justice, Williams (2005). University Press.

631 Patrick Riley (1986), The General Will Before Rousseau (Princeton: Princeton University Press).

632 David McCabe (1997), “John Locke and the Argument Against Strict Separation,” Review of Politics 59(2): 233-58.

633 Melzer (1996); EA Judge (1989), “The Beginning of Religious History,” Journal of Religious History 15(4): 394-412.

634 Graeme Garrard (1994), “Rousseau, Maistre, and the Counter-Enlightenment,” History of Political Thought 15(1): 97-120.

635 Frederick M Barnard (1984), “Patriotism and Citizenship in Rousseau: A Dual Theory of Public Willing?” Review of Politics 46(2): 244-65.

636 Richard Noble (1988), “Freedom and Sentiment in Rousseau’s Philosophical Anthropology,” History of Political Thought 9(2): 263-81.

637 Rousseau, Discourse on Political Economy, quoted in Steven T Engel (2005), “Rousseau and Imagined Communities,” Review of Politics 67(3): 524.

638 Rousseau’s influence on the French Revolutionaries, especially Robespierre, was far greater than the influence of other philosophes. Charles A Gliozzo (1971), “The Philosophes and Religion: Intellectual Origins of the Dechristianization Movement in the French Revolution,” Church History 40(3): 273-83.

639 John T Scott (1997), “Rousseau and the Melodious Language of Freedom,” Journal of Politics 59(3): 803-29; Richard Fralin (1986), “Rousseau and Community: The Role of Moeurs in Social Change,” History of Political Thought 7(1).

640 Engel (2005).

641 Otto Pflanze (1966), “Nationalism in Europe, 1848-1871” Review of Politics 28(2): 129-43.

642 Brian J Whitton (1988), “Herder’s Critique of the Enlightenment: Cultural Community versus Cosmopolitan Rationalism,” History and Theory 27(2): 146-68.

643 In fact, it is somewhat ironic that, although his ideas had an enormous impact on how European politics was actually practiced for the next two centuries, it has been the philosophes and the French Enlightenment that has received more of the scholarly attention. Herder, despite the best efforts of Isaiah Berlin and Frederick Barnard, remains relatively unknown. It is his conception of nationalism that dominated the nineteenth-century European mind and, arguably, still does today.

644 Richard White (2005), “Herder: On the Ethics of Nationalism,” Humanitas 18(1-2): 167. In contrast, earlier social contract theories and, to a large extent, natural law theories, suggested that the individual was the basic unit: the individual preceded the nation.

645 Frederick M Barnard, ed. (1969), J. G. Herder on Social and Political Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press): 185.

646 Vicki Spencer (1996), “Towards an Ontology of Holistic Individualism: Herder’s Theory of Identity, Culture and Community,” History of European Ideas 22(3): 245-60.

647 The term Herder uses to describe the culture and language of a particular community was its Volksgeist. Herder suggested that the Volksgeist was the basis of political association, as opposed to a theoretical “contract” as suggested by Hobbes and Locke. Peter Hallberg (1999), “The Nature of Collective Individuals: J. G. Herder’s Concept of Community,” History of European Ideas 25(6): 291-304.

648 Russell Arben Fox (2003), “J. G. Herder on Language and the Metaphysics of National Community,” Review of Politics 65(2): 237-62.

649 Isaiah Berlin (1973 [1998]), “The Counter-Enlightenment” in The Proper Study of Mankind: An Anthology of Essays (New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux): 262-63.

650 Isaiah Berlin, Herder’s most famous modern day commentator, labeled this “belief in the value of belonging to a group or culture” as populism. It should be noted that Berlin was not a big fan, believing this to be a negative characteristic that, in most cases, produced inter-group violence and suppression of the individual. Berlin (1997 [1976]), “Herder and the Enlightenment,” in The Proper Study of Mankind: An Anthology of Essays (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux): 367-68, 370-80.

651 The tendency to see nations as natural rather than man-made dominated political practice and scholarship until World War I, Elias Jose Palti (2001), “The Nation as a Problem: Historians and the ‘National Question,’” History and Theory 40(3): 324-46. This raises the possibility that the postmodern questioning of the naturalness of the nation has played a significant role in the nation-state’s perceived decline today.

652 Each nation contributed to humanity as a whole, primarily through its particular arts. Herder put this belief into practice by attempting to collect and publish all of the German folk poetry he could find. William A Wilson (1973), “Herder, Folklore and Romantic Nationalism,” Journal of Popular Culture 6(4): 819-35. This idea was more fully developed several decades later in Arthur Schopenhauer’s The World as Will and Representation and had a significant impact on the development of German arts and, not coincidentally, German nationalism, see Christopher Janaway (2002), Schopenhauer: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press): 70-87, 119-27.

653 Charles Taylor (1994), “The Politics of Recognition,” in Multiculturalism: Examining the Politics of Recognition, Charles Taylor, ed. (Princeton: Princeton University Press): 30-32. It is interesting that this theoretical feature of nationalism has often been overlooked in studies of nationalism, but was almost universally believed in many versions of nationalism, even by the most extreme movements.

654 White (2005): 175.

655 Max Weber (1994 [1919]), “The Profession and Vocation of Politics,” in Weber: Political Writings (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press): 310-11.

656 John Armstrong (1982), Nations Before Nationalism (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press): 6.

657 Ibid., 8.

658 Even after the transition has successfully occurred, religious imagery and appeals to a deity often remain a vital part of politics, either intentionally or as artifacts of the transition. “In a pathdependent framework…, during a critical juncture an initial set of contingent factors may lead to the selection of a given institutional arrangement, after a critical juncture a subsequent set of more deterministic causal processes reproduces the institution with the recurrence of the original causes.” James Mahoney (2001), “Path-Dependent Explanations of Regime Change: Central America in Comparative Perspective,” Studies in Comparative International Development 36(1): 114.

659 This can be done in two ways. First, this can be done by continuing the proto-national method of directly linking the god to the nation. For example, US westward expansion in the 1800s was the “manifest destiny” of the American nation or President Reagan referring to the US as a “city on a hill” (Matthew 5:14) throughout his presidency. A second method is to paint the nation as being strictly “neutral” with respect to religion. Charles Taylor argues that in the nineteenth century there was a shift “from a horizon in which belief in God in some form was virtually unchallengeable to our present predicament in which theism is one option among others, in which moral sources are ontologically diverse.” Charles Taylor (1989), Sources of the Self (Harvard: Harvard University Press): 401 (emphasis added).

660 Etienne Balibar (2002), Politics and the Other Scene (London: Verso): 78.

661 Malcolm N Shaw (2003), International Law, 5th ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press): 232-33. The concept that the individual has access to international law via her nationality has come under increasing attack among international legal scholars in the last two decades thanks to a growing body of refugee law and laws concerning transnational workers and citizens, see for example Michael Peter Smith (2003), “The Social Construction of Transnational Citizenship,” University of California Davis Journal of International Law and Policy 9(2): 105-26.

662 Patrick K O’Brien and Philip A Hunt (1993), “The Rise of a Fiscal State in England, 1485- 1815,” Historical Research 66(160): 129-76; John Brewer (1988), “The English State and Fiscal Appropriation, 1688-1789,” Politics & Society 16(2-3): 335-85.

663 Douglass C North and Barry R Weingast (1989), “Constitutions and Commitment: The Evolution of Institutions Governing Public Choice in Seventeenth-Century England,” Journal of Economic History 49(4): 803-32.

664 GW Jones (1990), “The British Bill of Rights,” Parliamentary Affairs 43(1): 27-40.

665 The journal Parliaments, Estates & Representation published a number of articles in 1990 and 1991 describing the influence the ideologies of the Glorious Revolution had on other European countries. Three, in particular stand out, highlighting the influence on Austria, Poland, and the Netherlands, respectively: Lothar Hobelt (1991), “Imperial Diplomacy and the ‘Glorious Revolution,’” 11(1): 61-67; Waclaw Uruszczak (1990), “The Significance of the English ‘Glorious Revolution’ for Poles and Poland in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries,” 10(2): 165-76; HW Blom (1990), “‘Our Prince Is King!’: The Impact of the Glorious Revolution on Political Debate in the Dutch Republic,” 10(1): 45-58.

666 Censuses had existed long before nationalism, but it is in this era that larger investments were made in technological improvements in census-taking and bureaucracies ballooned to improve the censuses quality and quantity. Censuses especially achieved this function in colonies and with a concentrated focused on the “abnormal” within a nation’s territory, especially immigrants and nonnational ethnic communities. Sumit Guha (2003), “The Politics of Identity and Enumeration in India, c. 1600-1800,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 45(1): 148-67.

667 According to Michel Foucault, governments used “biopolitics,” which led to “a kind of bestialization of man achieved through the most sophisticated political techniques,” quoted in Giorgio Agamben (1995), Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and the Bare Life (Stanford: Stanford University
Press): 3.

668 Michael Biggs (1999), “Putting the State on the Map: Cartography, Territory, and European State Formation,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 41(2): 374-405; Marcelo Escolar (1997), “Exploration, Cartography and the Modernization of State Power,” International Social Science Journal 49(1): 55-75; Josef W Konvitz (1990), “The Nation-State, Paris and Cartography in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century France,” Journal of Historical Geography 16(1): 3-16.

669 Anthony Crubaugh (2000), “Local Justice and Rural Society in the French Revolution,” Journal of Social History 34(2): 327-50.

670 Charles P Kindleberger (1991), “The Economic Crisis of 1619 to 1623,” Journal of Economic History 51(1): 149-75.

671 Karl Polanyi (1944), The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time (Boston: Beacon Press): 3-19.


For updates click homepage here