New PDF release: Industrial Revolution

By Debra J. Housel

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They demarcate the place where the conceptualization, as we follow it back in time, vanishes. Nor are the texts antiquities. They are living texts. They inaugurate the discursive myths that enable and constrain EU debate in our day. They “bring to light” the Rhineland frontier. They give birth to an “Ossianic” representation of Europe as a patchwork of ancient nations, defined by language and culture. They give birth to a “Carolingian” representation of Europe as site of a project of moral improvement.

52 Agricultural productivity was therefore not sufficient to support an army of occupation. When Rome tried to “pacify” the right bank in 12–7 BC and again in AD 4–5, the surplus required to supply Roman troops beyond the Rhine had to be levied in Gaul and transported. 53 Roman legions had to advance over terrain that their engineers had not yet tamed, in forests and marshes far from the well-paved highways of Italy and Gaul. 54 That achievement would be celebrated in bronze and verse in the nineteenth century.

In the nineteenth century, philological romanticism and revolutionary rationalism, acting in anxious alliance, refashioned the routine representation of political space. Whole territories were assigned to “nations,” defined as culturally and linguistically homogeneous, authentic peoples. The territories were ideally, “naturally” defined, like the people who inhabited or possessed them. The “discovery” of this natural order again mobilized energies on an unprecedented scale. Museums were built. Schools were established or modernized.

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Industrial Revolution by Debra J. Housel

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