The Politics of National Identity

Bozidar Jezernik (Ljubljana).

Slovenian national identity as a specific individuality emerged after the March revolution of 1848 within the framework of the multi-national Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, as part of the process of modernisation, i.e., the transition from a feudal to a capitalist system. Arising capitalism brought an end to feudalism, and the citizenry started to deman national freedom in order to develop their own economic power. On the ruins of feudal society a new system was growing, and cultural life was marked by the national movement. The cultivation of domestic language and history, domestic literature and folklore, invoked a love of nation (Loncar 1911: 55-6). To the Slovenians, devoid of their own state, the idea of a nation as formulated by the German romantics was most attractive, giving as it did ‘to nation an independent life to state’ (Vosnjak 1913: 541).