NATIONALITY AND DEMOCRACY; NATIONAL ORIGINS
Whatever the contemporary or the logical relation between nationality and democracy as ideas and as political forces, they were in their origin wholly independent one of the other. The Greek city states supplied the first examples of democracy; but their democracy brought with it no specifically national characteristics. In fact, the political condition and ideal implied by the word nation did not exist in the ancient world. The actual historical process, which culminated in the formation of the modern national state, began some time in the Middle Ages—a period in which democracy was almost an incredible form of political association. Some of the mediaeval communes were not without traces of democracy; but modern nations do not derive from those turbulent little states. They derive from the larger political divisions into which Europe drifted during the Dark Ages; and they have grown with the gradually prospering attempt to bestow on the government of these European countries the qualities of efficiency and responsibility.
A complete justification of the foregoing statements would require a critical account of the political development of Western Europe since 400 B.C.; but within the necessary limits of the present discussion, we shall have to be satisfied with the barest summary of the way in which the modern national states originated, and of the relation to democracy which has gradually resulted from their own proper development. A