National identity and symbols

The Altar of the Nation: The Millenium Monument in Budapest

The Millenium Monument in Budapest could not have come about without the convergence of three trends. First, there had to be a capital city — a place the dominant nationality in Hungary could consider its center. In other words, the institutionalized central location had to be created for the nation-religion. Second, the idea of some kind of national altar the function of which would be to represent the greatness and glory of the nation had to take shape within the political culture of the nation-religion. Third, the three-dimensional solution to realize and communicate the desired content had to be imagined, along international norms. Of course, all three requirements had to meet along the dimension of time.

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The National Dog

Today we are no longer surprised that a national character can also be attributed to animals that have been with us for a long time.

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Nationalities and the Hungarian Parliament (1867-1918)

It is widely thought that the system of tensions between nationalities was one of the fundamental problems of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. Scholars of this opinion believe that this could have been a reason for the Monarchy’s death even without the cataclysm of World War I. We do not know if they are right, because the Monarchy did not die of this in the end. Nevertheless, it is sure that the tensive force of problems related to nationalities increasingly pervaded the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy.

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The Symbolic Square

It is evident that there is a Kossuth Square, because there is a Parliament. The Parliament not only created the square but, by its dimensions and mass, gave it a structure.

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March 15, The Birthday of the Nation

Much as with theological modes of thought, secular religion presumes the need for a “beginning.” Of course, the beginning is not historical reality in the literal sense, but rather an image which may have a foundation in actual events, and the legitimacy or function of which is to provide a point in time for the moment of birth and endow history with symbolic power. The designated day does not suffice in itself, it has to be validated by the full historical process. Therefore it has potential spiritual power which singles it out for commemoration. In the case of the nation-religion forming in Hungary during the first half of the nineteenth century, March 15 was to become this day.

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A National Fable: The Case of the House of Árpád

One of most significant intellectual phenomena in European history starting from the eighteenth century is the way evolving national consciousnesses function and the presence of nationalism that developed thereof. In Hungarian history and historiography this multifaceted development began in the nineteenth century.

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Nationalist Illusionism

In my opinion nationalism is a nation-religion. Nation-religion is an outgrowth of the Judeo-Christian culture. It is a secular religion.

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The Austro-Hungarian Monarchy


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