Muller contends that this is a myth, that peace came to the Old Continent only after the triumph of ethnonationalism, after the peoples of Europe had sorted themselves out and each achieved its own home.
At the beginning of the 20th century, there were three multi-ethnic empires in Europe: the Ottoman, Russian and Austro-Hungarian. The ethnonationalist Balkan wars of 1912 and 1913 tore at the first.
World War I was ignited by Serbs seeking to rip Bosnia away from Austria-Hungary. After four years of slaughter, the Serbs succeeded, and ethnonationalism triumphed in Europe.
Out of the dead Ottoman Empire came the ethnonationalist state of Turkey and an ethnic transfer of populations between Ankara and Athens. Armenians were massacred and expelled from Turkey.
Out of the Russian and Austro-Hungarian empires came Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. In the latter three nations, however, a majority ethnic group ruled minorities that wished either their own national home, or to join lost kinsmen.
In Poland, there were Ukrainians, Germans, Lithuanians and Jews. In Czechoslovakia, half the population was German, Slovak, Hungarian, Polish, Ruthenian or Jewish. In Yugoslavia were Slovenes, Croats, Bosnians, Serbs, Macedonians, Montenegrins and Albanians.
The Second World War came out of Hitler's attempt to unite all Germans in one ethnonational home – thus the Anschluss with Austria, the demand for return of the Sudeten Deutsch, and the pressure on Poland to return the Germans' lost city of Danzig, and for Lithuania to give back German Memel and the Memelland it seized in 1923.
World War II advanced the process in the most horrible of ways.
The Jews of Europe, with no national home, perished, or fled to create one, in Israel. The Germans of the Baltic states, Prussia, Poland, Czechoslovakia, the Balkans and their own eastern provinces, almost to Berlin, were expelled in the most brutal act of ethnic cleansing in history – 13 million to 15 million Germans, of whom 2 million perished in the exodus.
At the end of World War II, Europe's nations were more ethnically homogenous than they had ever been, at a horrendous cost in blood.
After 45 years of Cold War, the remaining multi-ethnic states – the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia – broke up into more than two dozen nation-states, all rooted in ethnonationlism.
...Perhaps the wisest counsel for the United States may be to get out of the way of this elemental force. Rather than seek to halt the inexorable, we should seek to accommodate it and ameliorate its sometimes awful consequences.
And we should look to our own land. According to Pew Research, there will be 127 million Hispanics here by mid-century, tripling today's 45 million – and almost 100 million new immigrants. No nation faces a graver threat from this resurgence of ethnonationalism than does our own.
Pat, most of you will recall, is more mixed than a double chocolate Ovaltine, but presumably this doesn't matter because all of his Hun/Celtic forebears were white. Well, sort of.
Incidentally, isn't the Hispanic separatist movement most prevalent among Mexicans? I have a hard time understanding how someone from Honduras or Puerto Rico is going to seriously claim that they have some ancestral connection to Arizona or Texas. And if uber-ethnonationalism is so extreme (precluding even longtime regional neighbors like Basques and Spaniards or Serbs and Croats from coexisting), I'm not sure how it fits in with Pat's alarmist specter of massive (and supposedly unified) Hispanic hordes. The Hispanic community is no less monolithic- or, it seems, organized- than the Germans or Irish were before them ("You're from County Kerry? I'm from County Cork, you bastard! Now where did I leave my gun...?").
If anything, ethnonationalism should help split up the greater Hispanic separatist movement by reminding Hispanics that there's no place in a pure Atzlan for those dirty Guatemalans.
Can't have it both ways, Patty.