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Byra 1 Mike Byra HIST 300C First short essay review Walker Connor's essay A Nation is a Nation, is a State,

is an Ethnic Group, is a... focused on the "careless use of terminology"1 when referring to words such as nation, nationalism and ethnicity. He did this successfully by giving the Latin origins of the word nation to mean blood ties and he followed this with the evolution of the word to the English language. Eventually, the word was used in English to mean the inhabitants of a country. Therefore, Connor made a valid claim by stating that America is not a nation in the pristine meaning of the word nation since there are no blood ties for the American like there are for the German or English. Connor targeted scholars for making what he called "erroneous analogies" like America being "a nation of immigrants," when there were no blood ties that could make Americans a nation in the pristine sense of the word.2 Connor continued to make sense out of scholars' confusion with the word nation by exploring the mistake that most of the world was made up of nation-states. In fact, Connor was able to say that idea was wrong by incorporating a survey in his essay to back up the epoch during the time. The survey was able to show that Connor was writing his essay at a time when most states did not contain an overwhelming majority of the population within a nation, since only 12 of the 132 states surveyed in 1971 could justifiably be considered nation-states.3 Connor gave reason as to why scholars confused nation and state by showing how they both trigger the same emotional associations. There is strong evidence of this through the example of Hitler's appeals to the German people through the name of the state (Deutsches Reich) or nation

Connor, Walker, A Nation is a Nation, is a State, is an Ethnic Group, is a..., trans. Hutchinson and Smith (New York: Oxford University Press 1994), 40. 2 Ibid., 38. 3 Ibid., 39.

Byra 2 (Volksdeutsch). Both of the appeals said by Hitler had strong emotional ties for the German people. Hence, Connor gave much needed insight into how there was confusion because prominent figures in history had used the words nation and state interchangeably to get the same response from a population. A major point of confusion that Connor said scholars made in their definition of nationalism was that it was an identification with the state instead of it being loyalty to just the nation. Connor focused scholars' confusion by saying that the new states in Africa and Asia were not naturally going to lead the inhabitants to be loyal. Connor did an exceptional job of this by stating that a state could have more than one nation, which obviously would of meant different loyalties for the inhabitants of a state. Therefore, Connor gave a reason for how important not confusing the term state and nation was when referring to the emergence of new states in the modern world. Connor added evidence to scholars' failures to recognize the difference between loyalty to state and nation by giving examples of how certain fascist governments failed in driving the loyalties of all its inhabitants within a state. Finally Connor ends his display of scholars' confusion with the words nation and nationalism by exploring how ethnicity had become synonymous with minority. He made a valid point in defining how "a group of people must know ethnically what they are not before they know what they are."4 It is a great insight into how the ethnic groups in the Habsburg Empire knew who they were not, yet they still did not have a true sense of their own national identity like a nation of Slovakia or Croatia. Connor's target audience were scholars who had confused the terminology of words like nation, nationalism and ethnicity to mean different things from their pristine meanings. If scholars confuse the meaning of words like nation and state then they confuse how newly
4

Ibid., 45.

Byra 3 emerging states in the modern world are going to function. Therefore, if the meaning of words like nation, nationalism and ethnicity are confused by scholars then scholars do not have a clear sense of how to work out ethnic or national issues that face the modern world.