Territorialist ideology emerged together with Zionist ideology. From the moment Leon Pinsker wrote in his Auto-Emancipation that “the goal of our present endeavors must be not the Holy Land, but a land of our own,” there were those in Jewish society who clung to the idea of “a land of our own” and wanted to set up some independent autonomous entity outside of the Land of Israel. This chapter traces territorial ideology from its ideational beginnings in the 1880s, through its conversion into an organized ideology and a political force in the Jewish world of the early twentieth century to its decline in the 1950s.
Matthew G. Stanard
This chapter identifies and develops several themes that have emerged in recent works on the end of Belgium’s empire. The first is how, before 1960, factors mainly endogenous to the Congo and the Belgian-Congo colonial relationship were responsible for shaping decolonization’s history. Paradoxically, the depth of Belgium’s colonial impact politically and economically also produced changes that undermined colonial control as well as Congo’s cohesion. The chapter analyses the depth of Belgian social, economic and political connections with its vast Congo territory in the years preceding and immediately following the 1960 crisis, the assassination of Lumumba, and the widening UN intervention of the early 1960s.
This chapter uses theories of diaspora—which transcend narrative of origins/dispersal and explore instead synchronic ties between multiple centers—to examine phenomena of Jewish cultural and social life in Central Europe during the early modern period (ca. 1500–1800), an geo-cultural association that was captured by the term “Ashkenaz.” Using examples from print culture, social history, and epistolary exchanges, it argues that Jews occupied a position of “variant-participants”—at once participating in wider social, intellectual, and cultural trends and translating those trends into a particular idiom with a distinctly Jewish inflection, shaped both by relationship to past texts and traditions and to other Jewish communities both within and outside of Central Europe. Considering the accommodations of diaspora existence, which creates a “home away from home,” provides a useful lens for conceptualizing the dimensions of Jewish distinctiveness, even while recognizing their local indigeneity, and allows for a consideration of the creation of local practices as well as extra-territorial forms of identification.
The Copperbelt region of Central Africa sits at the crossroads of political borders, trade corridors, migratory flows, and identity formations. The division of the region by a colonial/national border shaped not only its differential political economy, but also how this was perceived and represented. At the heart of all such representations was the relationship between minerals and their supposed capacity to effect economic, political, and social transformation. This article analyzes how this relationship has been understood and articulated from the precolonial period until today, and the ways that actual and potential mineral wealth have underwritten successive, often contested, political projects and aspirations. In identifying changes and enduring patterns in mining-based political representation, it suggests an alternative history of the Copperbelt region rooted in the political imaginaries surrounding mining and its potential for transformation.
This chapter plots out the emergence of a diaspora center in Babylonia, beginning in the late Biblical era and continuing through late antiquity, as it grew into probably the foremost community in the Jewish world by the early Middle Ages. It outlines the geographical settlement of the region and the development of a Babylonian Jewish self-consciousness and self-confidence. Among the key factors in this achievement was the constant and close economic and intellectual contact between Babylonia and Palestine. Although Babylonia and Palestine were, for the most part, ruled by separate empires, often in conflict with one another, the Jews, and significantly the rabbis in both places, maintained close contact. The importance of Babylonia within the Sasanian Empire, and subsequently within the Abbasid caliphate, both economically and militarily, also contributed to the development and preeminence of the region in global terms.
This chapter traces the rise of global Jewish organizations in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, arguing that such groups helped usher Jews into modernity. This was a period of great technological advancement, in which the rise of mass transportation and mass communication meant that Jews enjoyed unprecedented mobility. Jewish communities also experienced great upheaval, with the breakdown of traditional Jewish institutions, particularly the medieval kehilla. As a response to these changing circumstances, Jews in the United States and Europe established modern and secular organizations and found ways to be Jewish in a changing world. These associations served a range of purposes: fraternal, political, cultural, and memorial. This chapter focuses on some of the most important of these bodies, including the International Order of the B’nai B’rith, the Jewish Labor Bund, and landsmanshaftn, which together helped shape the lives of millions of Jews in the modern period.
Sarah Elizabeth Stockwell
This chapter considers processes of decolonization in Britain’s ‘empires’, incorporating discussion not just of the key dynamics and manifestations of decolonization in the colonial empire in India, Africa, the Caribbean and elsewhere, but also in Britain’s residual ‘informal’ empire in the Middle East, and in the ‘old’ Commonwealth countries of Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa. The chapter argues that decolonization across these different contexts was driven by geo-political forces operating across the European empires, as the international order was reconfigured by two world wars, tilting power away from Britain and other European imperial powers. Stockwell nevertheless identifies elements of British imperial exceptionalism. She suggests that these were not to be found, as contemporaries liked to claim, in the form of a British liberal imperialism. Rather, Britain, which was at the centre of an empire larger than any other, retained a semblance of great power status, shaping British relations with the United States and Britain’s ambitions to exercise influence after empire.
Few people today are familiar with the ideas and personalities associated with Jewish diaspora nationalism, or “autonomism,” as it was often called. The creation of the State of Israel has made the central premise of autonomism, the notion of the diaspora as the primary locus of Jewish intellectual and cultural creativity and the authentic home of the Jewish people, seem irrelevant. Jewish national identity has become inextricably linked with political sovereignty and land. And despite a recent spate of scholarly works on the leading figures in the movement, diaspora nationalism remains a mere footnote in modern Jewish historiography. Yet little more than a century ago, advocates of Jewish national rights in the diaspora aggressively competed with Zionists for the hearts and minds of Jews living in the multinational empires of Austria-Hungary and Russia. In the period between the 1880s and the 1930s, the movement to ensure national rights for Jews played a major political and cultural role in the Jewish communities of eastern and central Europe and among immigrants in the United States. This chapter examines some of the leading proponents of “autonomism,” including Simon Dubnow, the Bund, Nathan Birnbaum, Haim Zhitlowski, and Simon Rawidowicz. A conclusion discusses Jewish diasporist thinkers in western Europe and in the United States in the era after the Second World War.
This chapter considers the changing approaches adopted after the October Revolution towards Russia’s ethnic minority populations alongside efforts to construct a shared Russian or Soviet national identity within what remained a culturally diffuse land empire. Politicians and historians have produced multiple narratives of the collapse of the Romanov empire. The initial history of the Bolsheviks stressed the role of the national movements against ‘the prison of nations’ alongside the proletarian struggle against ‘the weakest link’ of imperialism. In the 1930s, the Stalin-edited ‘Short Course of the History of the Communist Party’ marginalized national movements’ roles in favour of class struggle, while post-communist national historiographies did the opposite. Recently, the growing literature on the First World War places the conflict itself at the centre of the story of imperial collapse and demonstrates how multiple factors, produced by the conditions of war, undermined empire and strengthened the ethnic and social anti-imperial movements.
Enrico Dal Lago
This article first briefly reviews the historiography of comparative slavery, so as to identify the main trends and changes it went through. It then provides a summary of the state of the art of comparative studies in the three main historical periods in which slavery flourished in the Americas: the colonial period (sixteenth to late eighteenth centuries), the revolutionary period (roughly 1770–1820), and the nineteenth century. At the heart of the article are the different ways in which comparative perspectives have enhanced our understanding of the different historical phenomena — chief among them capitalism — associated with the rise and spread of the Atlantic slave system in the New World. A long debate is still in course on the definition of the relation between slavery and capitalism and on whether we can see this relation as an alternative route to modernity followed by the slave societies in the Americas, especially the Old South. The comparative perspective helps by showing that capitalist and precapitalist elements were present in different degrees in all the areas characterized by slave labour and that it was this coexistence of different elements that provided New World slavery with features that make it comparable to systems of both free and unfree labour in other parts of the world.
Charlotte Elisheva Fonrobert
The rabbinic diaspora in the Persianite and Sasanian empires of the second through seventh century CE provided the context for the production of one the great monuments of the culture of Jewish learning, the Babylonian Talmud. As the originary compilation of the rabbinic movement, the Mishnah (second century
This chapter traces the evolution of the so-called “Eastern” Sephardic diaspora in its Mediterranean context from 1492 to the late twentieth century. It looks at the way in which these exiles and their descendants forged a new diasporic identity characterized by sprawling mercantile networks that linked Jews and Conversos, new forms of Judeo-Spanish, and a nostalgia for medieval Spain. At first, the mutual sense of estrangement between the refugees and the native Jews among whom they came to settle reinforced communal solidarity among the Sephardim. From the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries, the Mediterranean Sephardim adopted aspects of Ottoman, North African, and Italian culture, but succeeded in maintaining a distinct communal character amid a shifting set of political contexts and associations. During the twentieth century, the mass migration of Mediterranean Sephardim to the State of Israel helped recast them as “Eastern” Jews, or Mizrahim.
This chapter explores the broad contours of concepts of diaspora in modern Jewish thought. Philosophers, intellectuals, religious thinkers, and non-Zionist nationalists who disagreed on the ideal political structure for Jewish collective life (including Moses Mendelssohn, Hermann Cohen, Franz Rosenzweig, Simon Dubnow, Hannah Arendt, Mordecai Kaplan, and Horace Kallen) shared a commitment to diaspora as a value, rather than just a fact, of modern Jewish life. Yet the emergence of the terminology of diaspora in tandem with the rise of nationalism and Zionism shaped the theoretical evolution of diaspora as the binary opposite to homeland and statist visions of Jewish identity. As a result, seminal Zionist theorists deeply critical of diaspora life, such as Theodor Herzl, Achad Ha’am, and David Ben-Gurion, also had a key role in framing the significance of diaspora. Modern theories of diaspora internalized and contested the privileged position of territory and sovereignty demanded by the rise of nationalism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
This chapter addresses the social history and geographical extent of the German-Jewish diaspora during the two major periods of migration: the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It asks what drove Jews to leave Germany during both eras and analyzes their integration and that of their children into the new societies. Focusing on religious, linguistic, organizational, and employment patterns, the chapter also addresses the tensions within these immigrant communities between adapting to their new environments and retaining the literature, music, and culture of their German-Jewish heritage.
The era of the French Revolution, and specifically the later 1780s and 1790s, saw the modern meanings first of “diplomatic” and then “diplomacy” become established in the political lexicon. A century before, when the Maurist monk Jean Mabillon wrote De re diplomatica (1681), his masterpiece devoted to the science of documents and the historical method, the term still retained its traditional meaning: relating to the study of diplomas or other documents. At this period the peaceful conduct of relations between states was known as “negotiations” (négociations ), a term which long continued to be employed. During the later eighteenth century, however, the terms “diplomatic” and “diplomacy” took on their present-day meaning both in French and in English. The Irish political journalist and British MP, Edmund Burke, did most to make the word familiar to Anglophone readers. In the Annual Register for 1787 he wrote of “civil, diplomatique [sic] and military affairs,” while a decade later, in one of his celebrated Letters on a Regicide Peace, he spoke of the French regime's “double diplomacy.” By shortly after 1800, the term was becoming established.
H. James Burgwyn
This article examines the essence of Mussolini's foreign policy and Italy in the Second World War. Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini were dreamers who indulged in a mysticism of empire and race. According to the gifted historian MacGregor Knox, there are major similarities between the dictatorships of Hitler and Mussolini. Each regime is found to be genuinely revolutionary, their evil and violent leaders committed to subverting the international system of sovereign states in favour of an Axis New Order where racial and ethnic inferiors would be either annihilated or reduced to helots serving barbaric masters. Meanwhile, according to a dominant nationalist school of thought of Italy led by Renzo De Felice, Mussolini, in seeking ‘equidistance’ between the chief European states, aimed to utilize Nazi Germany as leverage to extract colonial concessions from the Western Powers.
This chapter discusses the connection between concepts of Jewish distinctiveness and diaspora/exile in five paradigmatic medieval and early modern Jewish thinkers. The article argues that the medieval Jewish thinkers examined, Judah Halevi and Moses Maimonides, wrote primarily for a Jewish audience, and as such their conceptions of Jewish distinctiveness and diaspora were aimed at bolstering Jewish self-confidence. By contrast, the early moderns Simone Luzzatto and Menasseh ben Israel wrote primarily for Gentile audiences and articulated conceptions of Jewish distinctiveness and diaspora aimed at ameliorating Jewish political standing. A third early modern thinker, Benedict Spinoza, also discussed Jewish distinctiveness and diaspora for activist ends, but did so in a deflationary way, as his concern was not with improving the political status of Jews, but rather with promoting the general public’s freedom to philosophize.
Exile (galut)—and the attempt to end it—is one of primary aims and motifs of Jewish mysticism and Kabbalah. Kabbalists have conceived of exile as the existential state of man (the divine soul trapped in the body), the predicament and mission of the Jewish people (banished from Israel), and, most dramatically, the current condition of God and the cosmos. Classic kabbalistic works, such as the Zohar, explain that man’s original sin caused the initial rupture within God, while humanity’s ongoing transgressions increasingly intensify it. Since the earliest kabbalistic writings, in the twelfth century, and continuing until today, numerous Kabbalists have boldly asserted that the primary purpose of both the Torah and man’s deeds is to mend these fractures by unifying the male and female aspects of God, raising the dispersed divine sparks, and elevating man’s dislocated soul. Through these mystical processes, the exile will draw to a close, ushering in the messianic age.
China’s end of empire, as elsewhere, was a protracted process, the ramifications of which are still being felt, and its imperial situation was especially complex. From the middle of the nineteenth-century onwards, more than a dozen foreign powers acquired an imperial foothold in China but none secured (and rarely sought) anything more than small pockets of territorial jurisdiction until the Sino-Japanese War of 1937–1945. This chapter considers the fates of three different Chinese empires: the Manchu Qing dynasty, the Western powers, and the Japanese. It will attempt to explain how the Qing vanquished, held, then lost a vast territory marked by pronounced cultural diversity, and explores how its end was closely bound up with the rise and fall of overseas powers in China.
The vitalization of northern Europe, which began toward the end of the first Christian millennium, changed the Western world and in the process altered the configuration of diaspora Jewish existence. A new and vibrant center of diaspora Jewish life emerged, as a result of the attraction of rapidly developing northern Europe. The young Jewry of northern Europe was stimulated by the economic opportunities it encountered, was challenged by the spiritual creativity of the vigorous cultural environment in which it found itself, and was threatened by initial and ongoing majority resistance. The young Jewish diaspora of northern Europe grew and developed steadily, shaped by both the positive and negative elements presented by its new ambience.