Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Historicist Interpretation of Revelations – Part 2

A Historicist Interpretation of Revelations Part 2
Thomas Allen 

The Twentieth Century and the End of the Age
    Chapters 17, 18, and 19 of Revelations describe the downfall and judgement of the papacy. Alternatively, they describe the downfall and judgement of the world order. Chapter 17 deals with the ecclesiastical fall. Chapter 18 deals with the economic fall. Chapter 19 deals with the political fall.

Fall of Religious Babylon, the Papacy
    Revelation 17:1. The “great whore” is the false harlot woman who symbolizes Babylon. The waters on which the whore sits are peoples, multitudes, and nations (Rev. 17:15). They represent the various European nationalities that constitute the prophetical Roman earth.

    Revelation 17:2. Papal Rome has taken many of God’s sacred symbols and doctrines and has corrupted them with her false teachings. She has caused the European nations to “drink the wine of her fornication” (see also Jer. 51:5-10).

    Revelation 17:3. The false papal woman sits on a seven-headed ten-horned beast.

    Revelation 17:4. This verse describes the papal system with her priest in gorgeous robes. (This compares to the plain white robs of the saints.)

    Revelation 17:5. The papacy has taken the truth and has twisted and corrupted it and has made it a mystery to men and an abomination to God. (While the Reformers corrected many papal errors, their work was not complete. They failed to complete the job, and most Protestant churches today still contain errors.)

    Revelation 17:6. Having slain, directly or indirectly, 50 million saints, the papacy is drunk with blood.

    Revelation 17:7-8. Pagan Rome, which ended in 476 A.D., is the beast “that was.” The “seven heads” of the beast are the seven hills of Rome. The beast that “is not” foretells the temporary disappearance, or fall, of Rome. The beast that “yet is” foretells the reconstruction of Rome. Previously the beast had only one center of rule, the seven-hilled Rome. Now the new beast appears as 10 separate individual kings or kingdoms. (The crowns have moved from the seven heads onto ten horns. Out of the ten horns, one arises “another little horn” [Dan. 7:8], which is the papacy.)

    The papacy was not of God but from the bottomless pit.

    Israel’s, God’s covenant people, (not Jewry) name is written in God’s great Book from the beginning. “Whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the order [cosmos, age, order]”: They are the noncovenant nations.

    Revelation. 17:9. The seven mountains symbolize the seven-hilled city of Rome. (Some interpret this verse as depicting a complete sevenfold panorama of the leading pagan Empires of history, which were at the time of the prophecy being superseded by Roman papacy.)

    Revelation 17:10. Some interpret the “seven kings”as the pagan empires that opposed Israel. Others interpret the “seven kings” as the seven governments of Rome. Five — kings, consuls, dictators, decimviri, and military tribunes — had past when John wrote: the five that were. Rome was in its sixth stage — the caesars: the one that is. The next, the seventh, was the despotic emperors: the other “is not yet come.”

    Revelation 17:11. The “eighth,” which was “of the seven,” shows that this eighth ruling power would be practically the same as those preceding it. Pagan Rome reappears as papacy Rome. The papacy is the eighth.

    Revelation 17:12. (See also Dan. 7:8, 24-25.) After pagan Rome’s downfall in 476 A.D., Western Europe came under papal influence. It was composed of 10 kingdoms: Bavarians, Franks, Burgundians, Alemanni, Suevi, Visigoths, Alans, Vandals, Ostrogoths, and Lombards. The Vandals, Ostrogoths, and Lombards were the three of the first horns plucked up by the “little horn,” the papacy (Dan. 7: 8, 24).

    Revelation 17:13. All these kingdoms submitted to papal authority.

    Revelation 17:14. These kingdoms sided with papal Rome and martyred the Christians. Both the Church and the chosen nation (Israel, not Jewry) have gained the victory over the beast. Both the Church and the chosen nation are “called” and “chosen” in God’s covenants and promises. Those who make war on them “make war with the Lamb.”

    Revelation 17:15. The “waters” are the people, multitudes, nations, and tongues (see Luke 21:25).

    Revelation 17:16. The European nations will strip the papacy of its power and influence. (This is being fulfilled by the movement leftward to Nazism, now mostly defunct, and, more completely, to communism and atheism — a movement toward various types of socialism and human secularism.)

    Revelation 17:17. The 10 Kingdoms agree to submit to papal authority. However, in the last days they will rebel against papal authority — by that fulfilling God’s word.

    Revelation 17:18. The “great city” refers to the papal system. It reigns over the beast (nations). The doom of the papacy begins.

Fall of Economic Babylon
    Revelation 18:1-3. The angel proclaims the doom of Babylon. He proclaims that Babylon the great has fallen. Instead of bringing blessings and peace, it has brought chaos and turmoil.

    Revelation 18:4. Israel (not Jewry) is called to come out of Babylon. (See Jer. 50 and 51 for a picture of the fall of Babylon and the deliverance of Israel.)

    Revelation 18:5-10. (See also Jer. 50 and 51, Isa. 47) The destruction of the present economic system, i.e., fascism, socialism, crony capitalism, the welfare-warfare state, etc., is described.

    Revelation 18:11-14. These verses describe an economic or financial cataclysm accompanying the fall of Babylon. Economic cataclysms are seen in the Great Depression and the inflations and hyperinflations that have occurred throughout the world during much of the twentieth century. These events have been worst in Catholic countries than Protestant countries. Over the last 40 years, a decline in real income in the Western world has occurred. Fiat currency and using debt as the primary source of money have been the primary cause of  these catastrophes.

    Revelation 18:15-19. These verses reemphasize the previous four verses.

    Revelation 18:20-23. That which had made Babylon seem great disappears.

    Revelation 18:24. The “earth” refers to the papal European prophetical earth. God now judges Babylon and its false doctrines.

Fall of Political Babylon
    Revelation 19:1-3. “Heaven” symbolizes God’s chosen nation Israel (not Jewry), which the Great Whore had so bitterly opposed and sought to destroy. These verses may be describing the rejoicing of Israel when the military might and spiritual power of the papal European beast is finally broken. (They could also be describing the rejoicing of the angels, or perhaps the rejoicing of angels and Israel.)

    Revelation 19:4-6. Heaven and earth are joined together.

    Revelation 19:7. “Wife” refers to the elect “Body of Christ” or the true Church (see Eph. 5:22-32).

    Revelation 19:8. The resurrection garments are clean and bright. They are given only to the Church — not the nation, Israel — when Jesus returns. This perfection is not granted to Israel until the end of the millennium.

    Revelation 19:11-12. Jesus, who is coming to destroy the beast or dragon and to overthrow the harlot woman who rides the beast, is the rider of the white horse.

    Revelation 19:13-15. The “winepress of the wrath of God” depicts God’s judgement on earth. The “vesture dipped in blood” depicts bloodstains from the treading of the age-closing “winepress” of God’s judgment (see Isa. 63:1, 3). The iron rod or scepter of justice and truth is the scepter of righteousness, the scepter of the Kingdom.

    Revelation 19:16. Although the title of “Lord of lords and King of kings” intrinsically belongs to Jehovah alone, He has greatly exalted His Son, the slain Lamb, and permits him to take this title when the time comes to give him the throne of David.

    Revelation 19:17-19. These verses describe World War I and World War II, and possibly another great war not yet fought, in which the beast (papal Europe) and the kings of the (Roman prophetical) earth fight against his army (Israel).

    Revelation 19:20-21. “Mark of the beast” is the mark of the papal system. This is the end of God’s judgement on the papal system and the false prophet, the papacy itself. Casting the beast and false prophet into a lake of fire terminates God’s judgment of this age. The lake of fire is the European conflagration or conflict of the present generation.

    The last three chapters of Revelations describe the Millennium and Post-Millennium Age. Chapter 20 describes the Millennium. Chapter 21 describes the new heaven and new earth. Chapter 22 describes the Post-Millennium Age.

Appendix
    The following table compares the time lines of three historicists: Fox, Neser, and Rand.




Copyright © 2011 by Thomas Coley Allen.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Historicist Interpretation of Revelation – Part 1

A Historicist Interpretation of Revelation Part 1 
Thomas Allen

    This article presents an overview of a historicist school interpretation of Revelation. The historicist school interprets Revelation as revealing history in symbolic form from the time of Jesus until the Second Advent and beyond. Thus, according to the historicist school, Revelation reveals future history from the first century to the end of the age. This article deals primarily with the historic time line. The historicist interpretation was the primary interpretation used by the Reformers.

    Readers are referred to A Flood of Light Upon the Book of Revelation by John S. Fox, The Book of Revelation by F. W. C. Neser, and Study in Revelation by Howard B. Rand for a more detailed description of historical events being described in Revelation and the symbolism and time scales used in Revelation.

    Besides the historicist school of interpretation, three other basic schools of interpretation are used to interpret Revelation: praetorist, futurist, and apocalyptic. The praetorist school interprets Revelation as describing in symbolic form the events taking place during the lifetime of John and in his environment. Thus, the events described in Revelation have already occurred or have mostly occurred. The futurist school interprets Revelation as describing in symbolic form the future, primarily the time immediately preceding the Second Advent and the millennium. It is the most popular form of interpretation today. The apocalyptic school takes all figures as symbolic and interprets Revelation as a religious philosophy of life.

    The following historicist explanation is primarily from Fox’s and Neser’s descriptions with some additions from Rand. Just as there are several futurist and praetorist interpretations, so there are several historicist interpretations. There is as much disagreement among the members of the historicist school over what events are being described as there is among members of the futurist school.

History Revealed from the First to the Twentieth Century
    This Section contains a brief overview of the history as revealed from the first century through the nineteenth century.

The Seven Churches
    The letter to Ephesus (Rev. 2:1-7) describes the early or primitive Church from 30 A.D. to about 96 or 100 A.D. Some authorities place the end of this period in 64 A.D. when state persecutions began under Nero.

    The letter to Smyrna (Rev. 2:8-11) describes the Church during the era of pagan persecution. This era lasted from about 64 or 100 to 313. It began with the persecutions of Nero (64) and ended with the end of the persecutions of Diocletian.

    The letter to Pergamos (Rev. 2:12-17) describes the Church during the papal beginnings. This period began in 313 when Constantine succeeded Diocletian and declared Christianity the state religion. Some authorities place its end in 529 when Benedict founded the Benedict Order. Some place its end in 606 when Boniface III claimed the title of Universal Bishop. Others extend it to the Second Advent.

    The letter to Thyatira (Rev. 2:18-29) describes the Church during the era of papal supremacy. It lasted from 606 (or 529) to about 1866. Others place the end of this era in 1529.

    The letter to Sardis (Rev. 3:1-6) describes the Church during the era of the Reformation. Some authorities place the beginning of this era in 1365, the era of John Wycliffe. Others place the beginning in 1517 when Luther published his 95 Theses at Wurttemberg. Yet others place the beginning in 1529. It lasted, according to some, to 1600, or, according to others, 1789 when the French Revolution began.

    The letter to Philadelphia (Rev. 3:7-13) describes the Church during the era of liberation or the faithful church. Some authorities place the beginning of this era in 1789 with the beginning of the French Revolution. Others place the beginning in 1558 with the destruction of the Spanish Armada. This era ended, according to some, in 1800 when Philadelphia ceased being the capital of the United States. Others place the end in 1914 with the commencement of World War I. Yet some extend this era to the Second Advent.

    The letter to Laodicea (Rev. 3:14-22) describes the Church during the era of the final state apostasy or the lukewarm church. Some place the beginning of this era in 1800 while others place in 1850 or 1914. This era lasts until the Second Advent or the end of the age.

The First Six Seals
    Chapter 6 of Revelation describes the first six seals.

    The first seal, the white horse, (Rev 6:1-2) depicts a triumphant Rome. According to some authorities, this era begins in 31 B.C. when Augustus established the Roman Empire with his victory at the Battle of Actium. Others place the beginning of this period in 96 A.D. This period lasted until 180 A.D. according to some. Others place the end in 64 A.D. when Rome was burned and Nero began persecuting the Christians.

    The second seal, the red horse, (Rev. 6:3-4) depicts civil war. According to some authorities, this period began in 185 and ended in 284. During this era there were 32 emperors, 27 pretenders, and numerous civil wars. Other authorities place this period between 64, the beginning of the Roman persecutions of Christians and 313, the end of the Roman persecutions.

    The third seal, the black horse (Rev. 6:5-6) depicts heavy taxation and a time of depression and gloom, and of despair and calamity. According to some authorities, this era began in 200 and lasted until 250. During this time Caracalla extended Roman citizenship to all freemen and imposed heavy taxation on them. Other authorities place this period from 313, the beginning of Constantine's reign to the beginning of the great barbarian invasion of the Roman Empire in 396. It was during this era that the creeds were established and substituted for the Word of God.

    The fourth seal, the pale horse (Rev. 6:7-8) depicts famine, disease, and death. According to some authorities, this era lasted from 250 to 300. Many people died during this time from wars, famine, and pestilence. A great plague occurred throughout the Roman Empire in 265. Other authorities place this era between 396 when Alaric the Goth invaded the Roman Empire and 536 when the Church Council at Constantinople compelled the state to execute its edicts.

    The fifth seal (Rev. 6:9-11) depicts Rome martyring the Christians. According to some authorities, this period lasted from 303 to 313; during this time Diocletian attempted to exterminate the Christians. Others place this period between 536, when church and state were united, and 1755-1796, when this union was effectively broken in most countries.

    The sixth seal (Rev. 6:12-17) depicts Rome divided. According to some authorities, this era falls between 313, when Constantine became emperor and recognized Christianity as the state religion, and 395, when the Roman Empire split in halve. During this era, paganism fell. Others place this era between 1755-1796 and probably the late 1940’s. According to these authorities this era opens with the godless French Revolution destroying the supremacy of the papacy over civil government and Napoleon’s invasion of Italy. The great earthquake that occurred on November 1, 1755, in Lisbon shook the entire territory of the old Roman Empire. The star shower was the meteoric shower of November 12 and 13, 1833.

    Chapter 7 of Revelation describes God’s love and care of Israel, the Ten Lost Tribes. This Chapter refers to physical Israel and not to the Church. Most of the Ten Lost Tribes are found in Europe, primarily Western Europe, and the countries in America settled by Europeans, as well as Australia. Most of today’s Jews are not descendants of Israel.

The Seventh Seal: the Seven Trumpets

    Chapter 8 of Revelation describes the beginning of the seventh seal, and the first four trumpets.

    The seventh seal contains the seven trumpets. The trumpets overlap the fourth through sixth seals. The first four trumpets are the Gothic trumpets and represent the conquest of the European third of the Roman Empire.

    The first trumpet (Rev. 8:7) depicts the Gothic invasion led by Alaric — “the third part of the trees was burnt.” It begins with Alaric and his Goths invading the Western Roman Empire in 396 (or according to some, in 400 just before the Visigoths overran Europe). It ends in 410 when Alaric sacked Rome. Others place the end of this period in 429.

    The second trumpet (Rev. 8:8-9) depicts the Vandals under Genseric invading the Roman Empire from the sea — “the third part of the ships destroyed.” This era began in 425 (or 429) and ended in 470 (or 476 when Odoacer, king of the Heruli took Rome).

    The third trumpet (Rev. 8:10-11) depicts Attila and his Huns invading the Roman Empire — “the third part of the rivers, and . . . fountains.” This era began in 451 with the Battle of Chalons, which resulted in Attila being driven back across the Rhine. Others place this era between 434 and 453.

    The fourth trumpet (Rev. 8:12) depicts the final blow to Rome and the resulting break up of the Roman Empire — “the third part of the sun . . . darkened.” This occurred in 476 when Odoacer, king of the Heruli, took Rome and brought to an end the Roman Empire. Others place this period between 476 and 622, the founding of Mohammedanism.

     Chapter 9 describes the fifth trumpet, the first woe, and sixth trumpet, the second woe.

    The fifth trumpet, the first woe, (Rev. 9:1-12) is the Saracen trumpet and depicts the conquest of the Southern third of the Roman Empire — the war against idolatry. According to some, this era began in 612 when Mohammed proclaimed his mission. Others place the beginning in 622, the opening of the Mohammedan calendar, the Hegira, Mohammed’s flight from Mecca to Medina. During this time the Saracens or Arabs overran the Middle East, North Africa, and Spain. Some authorities place the end of this era in 762 when Caliph Al-Mansur built Baghdad and made it his capital. Other place the end in 1299 when Osman established the Ottoman Empire.

    The sixth trumpet, the second woe, (Rev. 9:13-21) is the Turkish trumpet and depicts the conquest of the eastern third of the Roman Empire — horsemen slay the third part. Some authorities place the beginning of this period in 1062 when the Turks crossed the Euphrates River in their march westward. Others place the beginning in 1299 when the Ottoman Empire was established. The end of this period, according to some, occurred in 1453 with the Turkish conquest of Constantinople. Others place it in 1699 when the Ottoman power was broken with the Peace of Karlowitz. Others extend this era to the end of the twentieth century.

The Reformation and the Two Witnesses
    Chapter 10 of Revelation describes the early days of the Reformation from John Wycliffe in the middle of the fourteenth century to the end of the sixteenth century.

    Chapter 11 presents the two witnesses. The two witnesses are the Church (the candlestick) and Israel (the olive tree). The beast is papal Rome and its false doctrine. This chapter describes events from the sixteenth century until the end of the twentieth century.

The Seventh Trumpet and the Seven Vials
    Chapters 12 and 16 describe the seventh trumpet, the third woe, and the seven vials of the seventh trumpet. Chapter 12 through 14 reviews some previous events.

    The seventh trumpet (Rev. 11:15-19) is the third woe and depicts the rise of atheism, which began with the French Revolution and reaches its climax in communism.

    Chapter 12 of Revelation describes the woman and the dragon. The woman symbolizes Israel. The dragon, the serpent, and the beast are Satan usually revealing himself through pagan Rome or papal Rome. This chapter describes the general movement of the lost tribes of Israel.

    Chapter 13 describes papal power replacing pagan Rome. It describes the rise of the papacy. The papacy is the beast out of the sea and the man of sin.

    Chapter 14 describes the decline of the papacy and the establishment of the kingdom.

    Chapter 15 describes the victory over the beast.

    The first vial (Rev. 16:2) describes the beginning of the French Revolution — the earth. This is the period that France rejects papal sovereignty. It began in 1789 with the beginning of the French Revolution and ended in 1793 or 1794 with the Reign of Terror. Other authorities place this period between 1781 and 1799 when France came under Napoleon’s domination.

    The second vial (Rev. 16:3) describes the naval warfare of the Napoleonic Wars — the sea. This is the period of the British naval victories over France and Spain. It began in 1793 with Hood’s victory over the French at Toulon. It ended, according to some, in 1805 with the British victory at Trafalgar. Others place the end in 1813 while some extend this period to 1815, Napoleon’s final defeat.

    The third vial (Rev. 16:4-7) describes France’s invasion of Germany (or the Italian revolts) — “the rivers and fountains of water.” This is the period of divine judgement on the Rhine, Danube, and Po valleys. According to some authorities, it began in 1793 with France’s first war against the major powers of Europe and lasted until 1806 when Napoleon forbade European trade with Great Britain. Others place this period between 1820 when the Italian revolts first began and 1849 with the Austrian victory at Novara, which gave Austria control of much of Italy.

    The fourth vial (Rev. 16:8-9) describes the Napoleonic Wars (or the forming of the Kingdom of Italy) — the Sun. This is the period of tottering the Roman Catholic throne. According to some, it began in 1806 and lasted until 1815 when Napoleon was finally defeated. Others place this period between 1860 with the Sicilian revolt and 1870 when Rome became part of the Kingdom of Italy.

    The fifth vial (Rev. 16:10-11) describes the seat of the beast. This is the period of the French capture of the Papal States and the Pope being exiled. According to some, it began in 1798 when the French captured the Papal States and ended in 1870 when Rome became part of the Kingdom of Italy. Others place this period between 1872 and 1886.

    The sixth vial (Rev. 16:12-16) describes the way being prepared for Russian communism — the Great River Euphrates. This is the period of the collapse of the Turks. It is the period of the three unclean spirits or ideologies: the dragon (fascism), the beast (Nazism), and the false prophet (the papacy or Islam and communism). There is much disagreement over the beginning and ending of this period. Various authorities place the beginning in 1917-1918 with the fall of the Turkish Empire, 1878 with the end of the Russo-Turkish War that freed most of the Balkans from Turkish rule, or 1844 when Great Britain compelled Turkey to grant religious freedom to minorities. Various authorities place the end in 1945 with the end of World War II, in 1918 with the end of World War I, or 1928 when Turkey ceased having a state religion. (Some place the battle of Armageddon outside this vial, believing that it occurs, at least in part, later.)

    The seventh vial (Rev. 16:17-21) closes this age and is discussed next.

Part 2

Copyright © 2011 by Thomas Coley Allen.

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Friday, February 1, 2013

Nationalism and Imperialism

Nationalism and Imperialism
 Thomas Allen

    Nationalism is often accused of being the cause of many wars. It has been accused of aggressive war making. It has been accused of causing one nationality to impose its will on another nationality. Nationalism has been falsely maligned. Much of what is blamed on nationalism should be place on imperialism.

    Before proceeding, a distinction needs to be made between a “nation” and a “country.” A “nation” is a community of people of the same race having a common origin and language and with common traditions, culture, economy, etc. that is capable of forming a nation-state, i.e., a politically organized relatively homogenous people inhabiting a sovereign state. A country is the territory that a political state governs. A nation is the people, and a country is the land.

    Much confusion exists between nationalism and imperialism. Nationalism seeks to preserve a nationality. It seeks to preserve a nation (not to be confused with a country, most of which today are empires) and its culture, language, race, laws, economy, etc. On the other hand, imperialism seeks to impose the culture, laws, economy, etc. of one nationality on another nationality. Nationalism is essentially the opposite of imperialism.

    Nationalism acquired its belligerent reputation in the nineteenth century when various nations attempted to secede from various European and American Empires. The Irish attempted to secede from the British Empire. Several nations of the Austrian Empire attempted to secede. They were unsuccessful. However, Hungry did manage to obtain parity with Austria; hence, Austria-Hungry was born. Secession from the Turkish Empire was more successful as Greeks, Serbians, Rumanians, Bulgarians, and Albanians won their independence. In North America the Southern States failed in their attempt to secede from the American Empire.

    Many historians agree that the fundamental cause of World War I was imperialistic in nature. Few blame nationalism for the war. As destructive as that war was, it did advance the cause of nationalism — at least in Europe.

    The Irish gained independence although the status of Ulster has yet to be satisfactorily resolved.

    The Austro-Hungarian Empire collapsed into several nations. Although they lost part of their nation (part of Tirol) to Italy and were not united with Bavarians provinces of Bavaria, the Bayuvar (or Austro-Bavarians) formed a new Austria. Although they lost part of their nation (Voyvodina) to Serbia, the Hungarians formed a new Hungary. The Czechs gained their independence although they held the Slovaks in subjection until 1992 when the Slovaks gained their independence and the Ruthenians until the end of World War II when they were transferred to the Soviet Union. In the south the Croats, Dalmatians, Slovenes, Bosnians, and Herzegovinians were not so fortunate. They were merged into the Serbian Empire (commonly called Yugoslavia) along with the Montenegrins and Macedonians until the collapse of the Soviet Empire precipitated the collapse of the Serbian Empire. (However, the Montenegrins remained under Serbian rule, and the Dalmatians remained under Croat rule.)

    Out of the fall of the Russian Empire came homelands for nations of the Finns, Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians, Kashubians in Gdansk, and Poles. The Byelorussians were divided between Poland and Russia.

    Germany’s African and Asian colonies were transferred to England, France, and Japan. The Alemanni of Alsace and French of Lorraine were placed under French rule. Much of the German Empire that was Polish became part of Poland.

    The French replaced the Turks as the rulers of the Syrians, Druzes, and Christian Lebanese. The English replaced the Turks as the rulers of the Palestinians, the Arabs of Amman, and the Shiite Arabs of Baghdad and Basra.

    World War II is what really caused the undeserving reputation of nationalism as the cause of aggressive belligerence. The fascist movements in Italy and Germany claimed to be nationalistic, and the gullible, who include just about everyone in academia in the West, believed the fascists and still do. Hitler went so far in this deception that he named his movement National Socialism. Both Germany and Italy were imperialistic, not nationalistic. They sought to conquer other nations and to impose their values, ideology, economy, laws, etc. on these conquered nations.

    Germany and Italy could not have been acting in a nationalistic spirit because both were, and still are, an empire of nations. Germany consisted of at least eight nations: the Bayuvars, Alemanni (who were, and still are, divided among Germany, Switzerland, and France), Franconians (or Upper Germans), Germans (or Middle Germans), Brandenburgians, Plattdeutsch, Wends (a Slavonic people), and Prussians (who lost their homeland to the Poles as a result of World War II). Italy consisted of at least thirteen nations: the Piedmontese, Gallo-Italians, Venetians, Tuscans, Latins, Neapolitans, Sicilians, Sardinians, Friulians, Ladins, Bayuvars in Tirol, Savoyards in the northwest (the remainder of whom live under French rule) and Slovenes in Istria (who were reunited with their kindred after World War II in the Serbian Empire).

    Following World War II the map of Europe again changed. The Soviet Union absorbed the Lithuanians, Latvians, and Estonians. The eastern boundary of Poland was redrawn, and all of the Byelorussians and Volhynians (whom the Ukrainians now rule) were placed under Russian rule. The Ruthenians (whom the Ukrainians now rule) traded their Czech rulers for Russian rulers, and the Lemks and Boyks (whom the Ukrainians now rule) traded their Polish rulers for Russian rulers. The Rumanians of Bessarabia were also absorbed into the Soviet Union.

    The Prussian states (Prussian, Pomerelia, and Pomerania) were absorbed into Poland, and the Prussians for the most part were driven from their homeland. The eastern portion of Brandenburg also became part of Poland as did Gdansk (Danzig) with the resulting lost of autonomy for the Kashubians.

    At least in Europe, World War II was not nationalistic in nature, but was imperialistic. Because of the war, several nations lost their countries, and no nation gained independence. However, in Asia and Africa things were different. The European colonial empires collapsed. Many new countries were born. Unfortunately, for the most part, these new countries were not nations in the true sense, but where a conglomeration of nations.

    One new country that was a nation born following World War II was the Jewish nation of Israel. However, this nation soon shifted from nationalism to imperialism as it conquered and imposed its rule on the Palestinians.

    Between the end of World War II and the collapse of the Soviet Empire, several nations have cried out for independence — some even to the point of armed insurrection. Some of these nations are the Punjabi in India, the Kurds in Iran, Iraq, and Turkey, the Palestinians in Israel, the Boers in South Africa, the Corsicans and Bretons in France, the Basque in France and Spain, the Welsh and Scotts in Great Britain, the Quebeckers in Canada, and the Southern Americans in the United States.

    The collapse of the Soviet Empire brought nationalism to the forefront and has caused imperialism to retreat. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the puppet governments in Eastern Europe, many new countries, most of which are true nations, came into being. Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia are again independent. Byelorussians now have an independent homeland for the first time in history. Ukraine is an independent country although it continues to contain several nations along with the Ukrainians. The Rumanians of Moldavia (Bessarabia) have gained independence. In the Caucasian region, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaidzhan are independent. Georgia still consists of four different nations. Armenia’s union with the Armenians of Erzenrum in Turkey remains. Also, remaining is the union of the Azeris of Azerbaidzhan with the Azeris of Iran. In Central Asia the Tajik now have an independent homeland in Tajikistan. The Turanian countries of Kazakh, Turkmen, Uzbek, and Kirghiz have also gained independence.

    In Eastern Europe outside the old Soviet Union, several new countries, which for the most part consist predominately of one nation, have been born. Czechoslovakia has divided. The Czechs (Bohemians) have their homeland, and the Slovaks, theirs. Yugoslavia has divided. The Slovenes, Croats, and Macedonians have their independent homelands.

    Although the growth of modern day nationalism began long before World War I, it really began to bear fruit with the collapse of Turkey’s European empire that began several decades before that war with the creation of several new countries that were true nations. Then nationalism was driven back as imperialism reared its ugly head as the Italian, German, Russian, and Japanese empires began expansion. Imperialism peaked with World War II. Since the conquests of the Soviet Union at the conclusion of World War II, imperialism has been retreating, and nationalism has been advancing. Empires have collapsed, and none have risen to take their place although the United States have been striving to establish an empire of puppet states throughout the world.


Copyright © 1994, 2010 by Thomas Coley Allen.

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