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By Antony Alcock (auth.)

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Additional info for A History of the Protection of Regional Cultural Minorities in Europe: From the Edict of Nantes to the Present Day

Sample text

This situation too was fraught with danger for cultural minorities. For if, first, the state was to be the political expression and controller of 26 Regional Cultural Minorities in Europe the cultural/racial nation; if, second, the individual was clearly subordinate to the state and the concept of liberty was not the liberty of the individual vis-à-vis the state but liberty for the state vis-à-vis the citizen to take whatever steps might be necessary in order to give political expression and protection to the purity of the cultural nation; and if, third, a person could not escape his or her cultural community/nation (and to try to do so could be construed as ethnic treason), then cultural minorities had no place.

Sometimes both happen together. Thereafter the march towards cultural decline is foreseeable. The inflow of members of the dominant culture leads to mixed marriages, with the next generation drawn to the dominant rather than the local culture; the local culture ceases to be the official culture, with the language ceasing to be used on official or administrative occasions; the local culture ceases to be taught in schools, or is made optional, and finally the value-transmitting institutions of the local culture (schools, media, language, religion) are replaced by those of the dominant culture.

Turkey capitulated as its armies in the Middle East were defeated. Austria-Hungary was disintegrating as the by now ill-equipped starving regiments on the Italian front began to melt away to join the ethnic nations of the empire which were beginning to proclaim their independence. At home the Soviets of workers and soldiers had begun to foment mutiny in the armed forces and seize control in Germany’s leading cities. Offers of an armistice were made to President Wilson with the proposal that the basis of the peace be his Fourteen Points, announced to Congress on 8 January 1918.

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