Has your country ever invaded other country or been invaded?

Pedro y La Torre

Senior Member
English (Ireland)
though Northern Europeans were much better in exploiting merciless the local resources.
Northern Europeans stripped resources but usually managed to leave enough to make life bearable. The Spanish stripped, looted, raped and exterminated en masse. Certainly the most brutal colonizers around in the modern era excluding perhaps Hitler's historically brief foray into Eastern Europe.
 
  • Fernando

    Senior Member
    Spain, Spanish
    Northern Europeans stripped resources but usually managed to leave enough to make life bearable. The Spanish stripped, looted, raped and exterminated en masse. Certainly the most brutal colonizers around in the modern era excluding perhaps Hitler's historically brief foray into Eastern Europe.
    Of course, they left enough to make life bearable... as long you were white. Colonization of South Africa for both Dutch and British is a good example, even in 20th century.

    Spaniards were so inefficient "stripping, looting and raping" that masses of Americans are today of Amerindian extraction, just the same as in Australia or United States. So inefficient that the places of Hispanic America where there are virtually no Amerindians got rid of them... after the independence of Spain. They were so inefficient and racist that they were marrying the local nobility a few years after the conquest. Why, if they could rape them?

    And a language question about your balanced and tempered post: Why "Spanish stripped"? Should it not be "Spaniards stripped"? We, Spanish-speakers fight with the difference between the nationality an the language names.
     

    Pedro y La Torre

    Senior Member
    English (Ireland)
    Of course, they left enough to make life bearable... as long you were white. Colonization of South Africa for both Dutch and British is a good example, even in 20th century.
    The colonization of South Africa, while brutal, was nowhere near as savage as what the Spanish got up to from Mexico on down. A better example would be North America where British colonists ended up committing a form of genocide against the native population. But such extreme behaviour was not generally the rule elsewhere.

    The exploitation, enslavement, misgovernance and mass murder committed by Spanish imperial forces in Latin America is scarcely believable. The place is still largely a basket case to this day, and much of that can be attributed to the toxic legacy of Spanish colonization.

    And a language question about your balanced and tempered post: Why "Spanish stripped"? Should it not be "Spaniards stripped"? We, Spanish-speakers fight with the difference between the nationality an the language names.
    You appear to take offence at highlighting the gravity of crimes committed by people who are long since dead. I have no idea why this is the case, unless you deny the reality of the Spanish Empire. "The Spanish" in this context is a plural noun referring to the inhabitants of Spain.
     

    Fernando

    Senior Member
    Spain, Spanish
    A better example would be North America where British colonists ended up committing a form of genocide against the native population. But such extreme behaviour was not generally the rule elsewhere.
    This "a form of" genocide is funny.

    The exploitation, enslavement, misgovernance and mass murder committed by Spanish imperial forces in Latin America is scarcely believable.
    I would go further: It is unbelievable.

    The place is still largely a basket case to this day, and much of that can be attributed to the toxic legacy of Spanish colonization.
    Oh, yes. We are still to blame because Latin America is in the "middle class" of nations nowadays, despite the fact we do not stay there for 200 years. Meanwhile, you are not to blame that Africa or India are in the bottom wagon, when you were there 50 years ago.

    Ah, sorry, then we have USA and Australia, which are among the top countries. A pity 99% of local dwellers are not there to watch what great countries they are now.

    You appear to take offence at highlighting the gravity of crimes committed by people who are long since dead. I have no idea why this is the case,
    Because they are long since dead and they can defend themselves no more.

    On my part, I am delighted to see what a big reaction we still cause when we refer to Northern Europeans colonizations. Bad conscience and inherited inferiority complex, maybe.

    unless you deny the reality of the Spanish Empire.
    How could I deny the Spanish Empire was real? It was so real, so big and so great (in its evil and good) as it could be at the time.

    "The Spanish" in this context is a plural noun referring to the inhabitants of Spain.
    Thank you. I did not even know that possibility existed.
     

    Pedro y La Torre

    Senior Member
    English (Ireland)
    You seem unaware that I come from a country that suffered appallingly at the hands of another colonial power.

    I don't defend any colonial powers in any way, but the Spanish were particularly brutal. At least the British, for all the bad they did, left an enduring model of law, democracy and governance. If you wish to sugar coat the Spanish Empire, that's up to you.
     

    merquiades

    Senior Member
    English (US Northeast)
    It's useless debating over which colonization was nicer than the other. In today's standards they all were inexcusable and led to exploitation, killing, rape of the conquered people. Not so long ago people would defend a positive side to it: civilizing and chriatinizing of primative peoples.

    Spain has la leyenda negra.... it goes like this, they came, they saw, they conquered THey worked the natives to death, pillaged, killed and raped. Massacred and tortured people who didn't become catholic. Burnt down temples, looked for gold everywhere and killed for it. Then when they had killed everyone off, they brought over African slaves and Asian servants... Miss something? What is true of that and what is made up is dead in history now. Should Spaniards take responsibility for what happened?
    Incidentally, it is not coincidence that much of the killing off of the indigenous happened after Independence. Unless they lied to me, my Latin American history teachers said the creoles (Spaniards born in the Americas) and the clergy pushed for independence in the nineteeth century because they were afraid the democratic changes in Spain and Europe (constitution of Cádiz), the Napoleonic- Borbonic invasions and their cultural hegemony would arrive to Latin America and they would lose their privileged position. After independence it was easier to repress locally rather than wait for instructions from Seville.

    The English colonists (with Scots and Irish included in the mix) didn't do much better. The dividing and conquering, the partition of countries for better control, has had terrible lasting affects throughout the world: Northern Ireland, Palestine, the subcontinent. Demoncracy has only worked in the countries where the European migrants became the majority. They colonizers were particulary cruel in the Victorian era. Remember the Freak SHows where they captured natives from the empire and took them in cages to show them off in fairs (like animals ) in London circuses. As for their own black legend, true or false, Irish-American believe the potato famine was engineered by the Victorians to either kill off the Irish or force them all to go to America, Canada or Australia. Of course, there is no way to prove this now, but it has stuck.

    Let's not forget the French and the Portuguese. "L’Afrique est une table rase sur laquelle on peut tout construire, donc apporter la civilisation est une bonne chose". And then going back to the Romans. Colonization is always justified by people at the moment and deplored by ayeryone generations later.
     
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    merquiades

    Senior Member
    English (US Northeast)
    Es que hay que llamar castellano al idioma y española a la nacionalidad. Adentro o afuera de España, lo mismo da. Así se arregla todo y no se perpetúa el Imperio.
    De acuerdo, es correcto. Sin duda alguna, la lengua que habláis todos es el castellano (no existe una lengua española sino una lengua catellana, catalana, asturiana, valenciana, aragonesa, gallega etc etc) pero fuera del ámbito hispano poco importa y será dificil que adopten este término. Suena raro decir castellano (Castilian, castillan, Kastilian etc.) Do you speak Castilian?
     
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    Fernando

    Senior Member
    Spain, Spanish
    Es que hay que llamar castellano al idioma y española a la nacionalidad. Adentro o afuera de España, lo mismo da. Así se arregla todo y no se perpetúa el Imperio.
    Da igual. La confusión en castellano (como en otros idiomas) se produce no sólo con el idioma español y la nacionalidad española sino con francés, polaco, húngaro, etc.

    Por otro lado, el imperio es imposible que se perpetúe porque no existe hace 200 años y no hay nadie que yo conozca que trabaje por su vuelta. Sí que conozco muchos que trabajan activamente por la desunión de los hispanohablantes. Y siempre me ha parecido curioso que se considere por algunas personas que "español" es imperialista y "castellano" (una región de España) no lo es. En inglés no hay duda, el idioma es "Spanish".

    Como he dicho ya en los 35 hilos abiertos en WR sobre el particular, yo uso ambos términos indistintamente.
     

    Fernando

    Senior Member
    Spain, Spanish
    You seem unaware that I come from a country that suffered appallingly at the hands of another colonial power.
    I am totally aware that you come from a country that suffered from the Northern European colonization, which is a good evidence of what I said. And you are white!!! and Christians! (well, the Christian part never bothered very much the Dutch and British). If you were black there would not be a single Irish left.

    You come from a country who demanded constantly the assistance of the heinous Spanish Empire, which was the refuge of many Irish. Maybe your countrymates at the time knew better than you.
     

    Pedro y La Torre

    Senior Member
    English (Ireland)
    I am totally aware that you come from a country that suffered from the Northern European colonization, which is a good evidence of what I said. And you are white!!! and Christians! (well, the Christian part never bothered very much the Dutch and British). If you were black there would not be a single Irish left.

    You come from a country who demanded constantly the assistance of the heinous Spanish Empire, which was the refuge of many Irish. Maybe your countrymates at the time knew better than you.
    Spain murdered, forcibly converted or exiled its Protestants (some of whom went to England). Of course, just as French Protestants fleeing to England and Prussia didn't somehow make those imperial powers benign, Irish Catholics fleeing to serve the King of Spain hardly serves to disprove the exploitative reality of the Spanish Empire.

    Anyway, there's little sense continuing such a discussion. You appear to view the entire question in purely nationalist terms.
     

    Doraemon-

    Senior Member
    "Spanish - Spain" "Catalan - Valencia"
    Certainly not. It was Britain by then, Canada did not exist before 1867.
    Yes, of course it was (the British Empire for being exact), but I'm making a difference between "country" and "state" ;)
    Canada was not an independent state until 1867 but "Canada" existed long before with this name and what was it if not a country?
    Should we say otherwise that Ukraine or the Czech Republic have never been invaded? :eek:
     
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    JamesM

    Senior Member
    It was not organized as a country. There were separate native American nations/tribes in various parts of the geography now covered by Canada. It was land, to be sure, but it didn't have even the concept of a single name for that land, much like the US before colonial expansion.
     

    Doraemon-

    Senior Member
    "Spanish - Spain" "Catalan - Valencia"
    It was not organized as a country. There were separate native American nations/tribes in various parts of the geography now covered by Canada. It was land, to be sure, but it didn't have even the concept of a single name for that land, much like the US before colonial expansion.
    No; it was not organized "as a state", not as a country. At that time it was known as "the Canadas" (upper and lower Canada), and as "Canada Province" since 1841, and of course all these names refer to countries.
    The definition of "country" includes state, and it's commonly used in that sense, but more specifically "country" refers to a territory or portion of land with any kind of geographical, historical or subjective identity, and "state" to a political organization actually in place. Of course Canada didn't exist as a state at that time, and the same for Quebec, but we can talk without any problem of the "invasion of Canada" or the "invasion of Quebec", which are also names for the wars of 1812 and 1775.
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    The definition of "country" includes state, and it's commonly used in that sense, but more specifically "country" refers to a territory or portion of land with any kind of geographical, historical or subjective identity, and "state" to a political organization actually in place.
    Can you give examples of this? This is not a way to use "country" that I'm familiar with. There are, of course, expressions like "the high country" in English, referring to higher altitudes in a particular region, but Canada is purely an artificial construct, as is the United States. We share a continent (or a portion of a continent, depending on which language you are speaking). The line of demarcation is not along any natural boundary, at least for large portions of it.

    You certainly can't speak of "the country of America" without referring to an artificial construct. What is now California, where I live, was not in a country called America when it was named California.

    In English we can't refer to the "country of Iberia". We can refer to the Iberian peninsula as a geographic region but Iberia is not a country.
     
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    Fernando

    Senior Member
    Spain, Spanish
    The point of Doraemon is that some lands would seem strangely quiet if we limit the "country" to the definition country=state. As an example, South Sudan or Bosnia would be a realm of peace and love. Meanwhile, the older the state, the more probability to have had wars in its past.

    But the discussion is purely nominalist to me. I think we all agree that the state of Canada has never been invaded, while its territory has been invaded.

    When I have talked about "Spain" or "United Kingdom" I (and others) have used an inconsistent but convenient mixed method, considering modern states and their historical political predecessors.

    As an example, "Spain" has never invaded "the Netherlands", since the 80 Years War because the troops (Spaniards, Italians, Germans, "Belgians") which invaded (or tried to recover, as you wish) the territory of United Provinces were under the command of Phillip II, III and IV, which were certainly king of Spain, but also kings of Portugal (most of the time) dukes of Burgundy, Brabant, Limburg, counts of Flanders, Artois, Holland, Zeeland, etc.

    Technically, Phillip II was not invading nothing, he was repressing an internal revolt. If it was indeed an invasion, technically Portugal or Milan were invading "Netherlands" just the same as "Spain".

    But, for the purpose of this thread, I would say that (simplification) "Spain (or Spain and Belgium) invaded the Netherlands".
     
    The colonization of South Africa, while brutal, was nowhere near as savage as what the Spanish got up to from Mexico on down. A better example would be North America where British colonists ended up committing a form of genocide against the native population. But such extreme behaviour was not generally the rule elsewhere.

    The exploitation, enslavement, misgovernance and mass murder committed by Spanish imperial forces in Latin America is scarcely believable. The place is still largely a basket case to this day, and much of that can be attributed to the toxic legacy of Spanish colonization.
    That's an interesting perspective. I always had an impression that Spanish colonial rule must have been friendlier towards the natives (at least once they converted to Catholicism) allowing for freer mixing and integration and eventually leading to modern multiracial Latin America where native element is often well-preserved not just racially but even linguistically and culturally, while the standard Anglo approach was one-drop rule, ethnic cleansing and reservations so basically genocide. Was Australia much different from the US, for example?

    As an example, South Sudan or Bosnia would be a realm of peace and love. Meanwhile, the older the state, the more probability to have had wars in its past.
    There was a state called Bosnia before there was a state called Spain on the map. From 1189, one of the oldest South Slavonic charters.

    Screen Shot 2017-12-21 at 11.12.59.pngScreen Shot 2017-12-21 at 11.37.15.png Screen Shot 2017-12-21 at 11.34.03.png
     
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    Fernando

    Senior Member
    Spain, Spanish
    There was a state called Bosnia before there was any Spain on the map.

    View attachment 24434 View attachment 24435
    Granted. Sorry.

    My point stands only for the period from the dissolving of Bosnian kingdom (Wiki gives 1377-1463) to 1992.

    Note there was one previous "Spain" (Wisighotic Spain, circa 450-711), but current Spanish state can only with a big twist to be considered a heir of that state. According to the criteria you use, Muslims invaded "Spain" in 711 or not.
     
    Granted. Sorry.

    My point stands only for the period from the dissolving of Bosnian kingdom (Wiki gives 1377-1463) to 1992.

    Note there was one previous "Spain" (Wisighotic Spain, circa 450-711), but current Spanish state can only with a big twist to be considered a heir of that state. According to the criteria you use, Muslims invaded "Spain" in 711 or not.
    Yes, well, in this case it is more complex. The state in existence prior to 1463 was called and (very well) known as Bosnia (first banate and then kingdom) with no need for quotation marks. It was so well known that Benedikt Kuripešić, ethnic Slovene Austrian ambassador to the Ottomans travelling through Bosnia in 1531 still mentions it.

    Item wir haben im berürtem khünigreich Wossen dreyerley nation und glaubens völkher gefunden.
    Die ersten sein die alten Wossner, die sein des Römischen Christlichen glaubens, die hat der Türgg in eroberung des khünigreichs Wossen in irem glauben angenommen und darinnen beleiben lassen. Die anderen sein Surffen, die nenen sie Wallachen und wir nenens Zigen oder Martholosen. Die khamen von dem ort Smederevo und Khriechisch Weissenburg und haben Sandt Pauls glauben. ... Die drit nation sein die rechten Turggen, ...
    As for what came then, you have various opinions. James Ernest Napoleon Zohrab, British Vice-Consul to Sarajevo circa 1860:

    From 1463 to 1850 the Bosniak Mussulmans enjoyed all the privileges of feudalism. Sincerely attached to their religion they respected the Sultan as its head, but as their temporal Sovereign they bore him no affection, and they looked and still look upon the Turks as a separate people.

    This statement seems to be contradicted by the fact that the Bosniaks have frequently fought under the banners of the Sultans. Their aid was, however, always conditional, that is, they lent their aid on condition that none of their privileges should be invaded, and that they should continue to govern Bosnia through their own Chiefs. The Porte submitted to these conditions till 1850, when, finding herself sufficiently powerful to assert her authority over these provinces, she sent an army, under Omer Pasha, who subdued the country and introduced reforms.

    Thus Bosnia and Herzegovina may be said to have been but tributary States of the Porte for nearly three centuries.
    Even if we discount any discussion in that direction, and we may, Bosnia-Herzegovina was a state within federal Yugoslavia, with its own representatives in federal institutions, its own constitution, parliament, presidency, territorial defence. Nobody woke up in 1992 and decided to draw our borders.

    Constitution of the People's Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, 1946 (original text is in Serbo-Croatian, translation is mine):

    Article 1
    People's Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina is a people's state in the form of a republic.

    Article 2
    People's Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, created in its liberation struggle of all the peoples of Yugoslavia as a people's state, and expressing, based on the right of self-determination, including the right to secede and join into a union with other peoples, the free will of its people without regard to nationality and religion, has united, based on the principle of equality, with People's Republic of Serbia, People's Republic of Croatia, People's Republic of Montenegro, People's Republic of Macedonia and People's Republic of Slovenia into a common, federal state - the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia.
    Some would argue similarly for Austro-Hungarian period (own parliament etc.)

    If the South Sudanese can claim something similar, by all means.
     
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    Fernando

    Senior Member
    Spain, Spanish
    Yes, well, in this case it is more complex. James Ernest Napoleon Zohrab, British Vice-Consul to Sarajevo circa 1860:


    Even if we discount any discussion in that direction, and we may, Bosnia-Herzegovina was a state within federal Yugoslavia, with its own representatives in federal institutions, its own constitution, parliament, presidency, territorial defence. Nobody woke up in 1992 and decided to draw our borders.


    Some would argue similarly for Austro-Hungarian period (own parliament etc.)
    Certainly the Balkans produce more history than they can consume.

    But Bosnia did not have a sovereign external policy. Its influence on a decision to invade Vienna in 1683 was the same (probably greater) than any other Turkish province, including Anatolian provinces. Bosnia invaded "Austria" because "Turkey" invaded Austria. The only reason why we can say that Turkey invaded Austria is because we assume that today's Austria or Turkey are the heir (legally or simbolically) of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Ottoman Empire. Even when I doubt that any Austrian kid feels much moral responsability for invading Bosnia.

    It is the problem of the Empires. Nobody loves them. The peoples inside them take all their advantages and the spoils of wars but, when they go badly, everybody separate from them and proudly proclaims that it has no part in any of their atrocities while they claim all their good deeds were made by its current nationals.

    If the South Sudanese can claim something similar, by all means.
    My knowledge of the history of South Sudan is (even) littler than of the Balkans history. I doubt they can claim a history of political unity for any relevant period, but I would be surprised if, in their children's History books, they would not talk about Nubia, the invasion of the Egyptian Empire and so on.
     

    Doraemon-

    Senior Member
    "Spanish - Spain" "Catalan - Valencia"
    Can you give examples of this? This is not a way to use "country" that I'm familiar with.
    I've already mentioned some (Ukraine and Czech Republic, have they ever been invaded?), but we could talk about others. Did the vikings invade England? There was no Kingdom of England yet. Did Charles V rule over Germany? Was Philip II King of Spain? These 'countries' weren't official states at this time, but there was a notion of England, Germany and Spain as countries (territories with some shared identity, and commonly referred with this name at the time). Wasn't Italy a country before Garibaldi? It was not a state or unified kingdom yet, but of course everyone used that name long before, to refer to what, if not a 'country'? How do you call what Italy, England or Germany were until their unification?

    But for talking about some cases I think you can be familiar with: Scotland and Wales are also oficially countries right now, although they're not states. Aren't they countries, really?

    And no, Iberia is a geographic notion (it includes Portugal, and it does not include the Canary Islands, for instance), but, did Spain ever invade the Americas (Aztecs, Incas...)? I don't know if you know it, but Spain did not exist at the time. There was the kingdom of Castile, and the Crown of Aragon, under the same monarch, but no "kingdom of Spain" existed at this time. Now it does, but not at that time. However we all say that "Spain conquered the Aztec Empire" and even "Spain conquered Mexico", no matter if there was no Spain and no Mexico yet. It depends on what we refer, to countries or states.
    Spain is maybe the best example: you see everywhere references in English to the Spanish Empire and the kings of Spain, the Spanish discovery and conquest of America... but there was no such state called 'Spain'.
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    How do you call what Italy, England or Germany were until their unification?
    If I'm talking about that time I wouldn't use Italy, England or Germany, just as I wouldn't use France. As you said, they weren't countries. In the 10th century people in Normandy didn't call themselves French, neither did the Bretons or the Burgundians. They wouldn't have referred to the area as France or being part of a country called France. It's anachronistic to call that France. I know we often do that, as we do with Spain, as you said.

    What would you say were the borders or extent of the country you refer to as Spain in the 15th century, given that there was no state called Spain? Was Al-Andalus in Spain? Was Barcelona or Valencia? Was Pamplona?

    I honestly don't get your idea of Spain being a country that has existed throughout all these periods as something separate from Spain the state. I can't imagine what outline you would draw on a map.
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    A region called Germania existed since the Romans, but how would you describe it as a country? This is an honest question. This distinction doesn't make sense to me. Antarctica, for example, is a recognized land mass and region of the world but I wouldn't call it a country. Germania consisted of many groups of people speaking different languages, having different cultures and not united in any way as a single entity.

    To me, a country is a self-organized (or imposed) nation of some kind. It's not a region of land or a hodgepodge collection of various groups. That's why I think Canada didn't actually exist as a country until the French and English arrived. Before that the land was shared by many nations of First Peoples but there was no distinction between the area now called North Dakota, US and the area now called Manitoba, Canada. It wouldn't make any sense to the people living there to divide them along the Canada line or to lump them into a "country" that included Algonquin, Ojibwa, Chinook and Eskimo nations.
     
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    Pedro y La Torre

    Senior Member
    English (Ireland)
    America didn't spring into existence in 1776. In culture, language, history and its legal and political systems, the United States of America is merely a continuation of British America.

    If we were sitting here in 1774 with Benjamin Franklin and he was speaking about 'my country', he would be referring to Pennsylvania and wider British America.

    Germany has existed since at least the Early Middle Ages (splitting of West and East Francia), Italy has existed since Antiquity. Ireland had a High King and cultural unity since records began but no central political unity until relatively recently.

    There's no easy answer to this question.
     
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    JamesM

    Senior Member
    So how do you apply that thinking to 15th Century Spain? What would be the extent of the country of Spain in 1450, for example? And 1150?

    I'm trying to understand if this "country of Spain" we are talking about is an underlying geographic region or a political designation. I don't see how you can have a country of Spain without a state of Spain. What is now Spain was many different states.

    So did Spain stop at Al-Andalus in 1150? What made it Spain, then? Did it extend to Catalonia and Aragon? How? How can you consider these separate kingdoms and principalities part of Spain at that time?

    I honestly don't get the distinction and I would like to understand.
     
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    As for Al-Andalus, it might be worthwhile to explore the actual words used by Ibn Khaldun to describe his sentimental attachment to Spain as discussed in the introduction to the English translation of Muqaddimah (see below). A friend of mine might have a copy of the Arabic original, I'll try persuading him to take a look.

    The refugees from Spain who came over and settled in northwestern Africa in ever growing numbers constituted a group apart, an elite group at that.15 The Muqaddimah frequently mentions the great contributions made by Spanish refugees to the cultural life of northwestern Africa and stresses the superiority of Spain and the originality of its civilization.16 This shows that Ibn Khaldun, more than a century after his family had left Spain, still considered himself to some extent a member of that glorious civilization. Though as a Muslim he felt at home everywhere within the vast realm of Islam, he preserved throughout his life a deep and sincere affection for northwest Africa, the country of his birth, for the "homeland" where, according to the poet, "the amulets are first attached" to the child. He always felt a certain responsibility for the political fate of northwestern Africa and took an active interest in it long after he had left. His true spiritual home, however, was Spain.

    This background helps to explain the ease with which Ibn Khaldun shifted his loyalties throughout his life. No matter how high his own position or that of his ancestors before him at one or another northwest African court, no matter how close he was to a ruler, he did not feel bound by "group feeling," as he might have called it, or by the ties of a common cultural heritage. He considered the ruler his employer, and his position a job to be done, neither more nor less. But his basic loyalty to Spain and its civilization had a much more far-reaching effect on Ibn Khaldun's personality and work than these transient ties. It gave him a remarkable detachment with respect to the historical events that took place before his eyes In a sense, it enabled him to view them as an impartial observer, even when he was deeply involved personally.

    ...

    In Ibn Khaldun's autobiography, references to his teachers' Spanish origin or to their close connections with Spain occur with regularity.
     
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    I just took a quick look in the English translation. He actually describes Spain at some length in the book, including mentioning the "lands" of Castilla and Leon in it. His Spain seems to include Portugal, but exclude Catalonia - which he places in Gascogne - and his references to Spain seem to be mostly to Muslim-held Spain, but sometimes also to Christian-held Spain, however he also sometimes calls Spanish Christians "Galician nations" for some reason, and refers to Goths as having been in Spain prior to Muslim conquest. I'll send the rest of the quotes to you via PM.
     

    Fernando

    Senior Member
    Spain, Spanish
    So how do you apply that thinking to 15th Century Spain? What would be the extent of the country of Spain in 1450, for example? And 1150?

    I'm trying to understand if this "country of Spain" we are talking about is an underlying geographic region or a political designation. I don't see how you can have a country of Spain without a state of Spain. What is now Spain was many different states.

    So did Spain stop at Al-Andalus in 1150? What made it Spain, then? Did it extend to Catalonia and Aragon? How? How can you consider these separate kingdoms and principalities part of Spain at that time?

    I honestly don't get the distinction and I would like to understand.
    As I said before, Wisighotic Spain was for 250 years an unified state (as long as the definition of "state" applies to something in the Low Middle Ages. Spain (Hispania) was also a politically unified (non sovereign) political entity under Roman Empire).

    During Muslim rule, al Andalus was a unified term for all Spain (including Portugal). For Christian kingdoms, the issue was to restore Gothic unified rule. Navarre king styled himself, at the height of his power as "rex totius Hispaniae" (king of all Spain). There was a kind of kings of thrones involving Aragon, Navarre, Castille, Leon, Portugal and Muslim kingdoms (Badajoz, Toledo, Sevilla, Granada,...) to be the hegemon.

    Only in 1492 (conquest of Granada) most of Spain is unified (leaving aside Navarre, incorporated soon afterwards). Portugal is left aside, only united in 1580-1640.

    When Jews are expelled in 1492, all Jews from Spain and Portugal are Sephardies, not making much distinction of from which particular kingdom they come from. Same can be said for the Muslim diaspora, as Denis has evidenced.

    Of course, as I said before, there was no political Spain until 1476 at best, but since current Spain is the political heir of all those kingdoms, I think the term "Spain" can be used for the previous period for convenience.

    I agree with you that using "Canada" for the precolonization period is an abuse of the word (unless it is used only in purely geographical terms).
     
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    Fernando

    Senior Member
    Spain, Spanish
    however he also sometimes calls Spanish Christians "Galician nations" for some reason
    I do not really know, but Galicia (who included Portugal for much of the Middle Ages) was a good part of the Spanish Kingdoms, even when it was included politically in the kingdom of Leon (which included kingdom of Galicia, Leon proper, kingdom of Asturias, etc.). Also, Galicia included Santiago de Compostela, which was a major center of pilgrimage in the Middle Ages.

    Galicia, alongside Asturias (which share many cultural elements), Cantabria and Basque lands were the only parts of Spain which never had a real Muslim rule.
     
    I do not really know, but Galicia (who included Portugal for much of the Middle Ages) was a good part of the Spanish Kingdoms, even when it was included politically in the kingdom of Leon (which included kingdom of Galicia, Leon proper, kingdom of Asturias, etc.). Also, Galicia included Santiago de Compostela, which was a major center of pilgrimage in the Middle Ages.

    Galicia, alongside Asturias (which share many cultural elements), Cantabria and Basque lands were the only parts of Spain which never had a real Muslim rule.
    Yeah, perhaps it's because of Santiago, he mentions it by name.

    East of Salamanca, at the southern end, is Avila, and east of it, the land of Castilla with the city of Segovia. North of it is the land of Leon and Burgos. Beyond it to the north is the land of Galicia, which extends to the corner of this portion. At the Surrounding Sea there, at the far point of the western side (of the triangle), the portion includes the region of Santiago-that is, (Saint) Jacob.
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    Spain (Hispania) was also a politically unified (non sovereign) political entity under Roman Empire).
    But that really was Iberia, right? It included the Basque country and what is now Portugal. What i mean is, that was the entire peninsula with a natural border of the Pyrenees. So, when you use "the country of Spain", since you say it's different from a state, does it include Portugal in your definition of "Spain"? How does the country differ from the state and does that country you call Spain change size and shape over time, sometimes including Portugal and Galicia, sometimes not? And if country and state are different, what would cause the shape or size of a country to change, since we are not talking about political borders?

    I haven't ever used country and "state" in the sense of political state (not a subdivision of a larger country) as anything other than synonyms before. I'm genuinely curious where you draw the distinction between them. And, as you can tell, I'm going to keep asking the question until someone addresses it directly. :)
     
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    Fernando

    Senior Member
    Spain, Spanish
    But that really was Iberia, right? It included the Basque country and what is now Portugal. What i mean is, that was the entire peninsula with a natural border of the Pyrenees. So, when you use "the country of Spain", since you say it's different from a state, does it include Portugal in your definition of "Spain"? How does the country differ from the state and does that country you call Spain change size and shape over time, sometimes including Portugal and Galicia, sometimes not? And if country and state are different, what would cause the shape or size of a country to change, since we are not talking about political borders?
    It was not only a geographical division, it was an administrative division. "Hispania" had indeed convenient geographical borders, but under the Romans, people from Hispania were perceived as different from the rest (as Greeks, Gauls, Germans, Italians, Syrians, Jews, Africans...) .

    In the case of Wisighotic Spain, it was a political unity, which, from app. 589 to 711 was a Catholic country comprising current Spain+Portugal+Septimania (more or less, French Catalonia) - Canary Islands. I think it is not an abuse to call it for short "Spain".

    Would you call 1812 United States,"United States", even when most of its current territory was not included? Would United States still be United States if it lost Guam? Or Hawaii? Or Florida? Or Washington?

    The relation of country and state is very complicated and there has been wars (I mean, many wars) about that. State has a somewhat precise definition (is Somalia a state? Transnistria?) but I would not say that country is meaningless.

    I haven't ever used country and "state" in the sense of political state (not a subdivision of a larger country) as anything other than synonyms before. I'm genuinely curious where you draw the distinction between them. And, as you can tell, I'm going to keep asking the question until someone addresses it directly. :)
    About the relation of country and state, I am using in this thread a very loose definition. If you intend to attack my above definition (I am using the same word, Spain or France or Britain for any current state and any previous state(s) which is the predecessor - legally or preceived - of that current state) I surrender. I am unaware that it is unprecise and with huge grey zones.

    I am pretty sure that it has a bunch of holes. But any stricter definition leaves out too many conflicts. As an example,"United Kingdom" did not invade India. At first, a private company did. Mongolia did not invade anything. Mongols (basically Russians) did. Russia did not invade Afghanistan. URSS did. Persia did not invade Greece. Achaemenid Empire did. Germany did not invade France. The German Empire and Third Reich did, which had different constitutions and territories.

    But as I said before, is a nominalist discussion. In 1588 Spain intended to invade UK? Well, if we all know which were the legal constitutions of Spain at the moment and UK and we all know that Spain was not current Spain and that UK was not current UK, I find the shortcut convenient and not so big a lie.
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    I'm sorry if I came off as attacking in any way. I really didn't understand the distinction that was being made.

    Where I got lost was with Canada as a long-existing country. I can see it better with Spain in your latest explanation. I think it works much better with stable peoples who have lived under many governments. Coming from the "new world" it's much harder to picture.

    Thanks for the patient explanation.
     

    Fernando

    Senior Member
    Spain, Spanish
    I think it works much better with stable peoples who have lived under many governments. Coming from the "new world" it's much harder to picture.
    I fully agree. Notice you live in a strange state. United States in 1800 is clearly the same state as today's USA , with the same Constitution and much of the same political institutions from the very beginning. Your national territory has changed but has always growed and your core territory is the same as circa 1848. This core territory has never been occupied for long for any other

    The "state" alleguiance of your people is compatible with other "national" allegiances (Italian Americans) and you resolved your regional problem in 1865 (with one million deaths, but as I said in other thread yesterday, nothing is cheap).

    If you compare with Europe, as Churchill said about the Balkans, we produce more history (=wars) than we can consume. Every single square inch of Europe has been conquered, reconquered, changed populations, etc.

    Much the same can be said about Middle East and many parts of Asia. Americas and specially, subsaharian Africa History is less recorded but far more complex.
     

    Sepia

    Senior Member
    High German/Danish
    It was not organized as a country. There were separate native American nations/tribes in various parts of the geography now covered by Canada. It was land, to be sure, but it didn't have even the concept of a single name for that land, much like the US before colonial expansion.
    So it was the territory of several nations that was invaded.
     

    Sepia

    Senior Member
    High German/Danish
    Absolutely, but none of those nations would refer to the collective territory of all their nations as "Canada". It was not a single unit in their eyes.
    You are totally right - and by the way, talking about Canada: A small piece of Danish territory was actually invaded by the Canadian Armed Forces a few years ago. We are talking about Hans Island, up in the Arctic Sea, which despite being a part of Denmark/Greenland for about 200 years, became the object of a Canadian invasion, as the set foot on the island, put up a Canadian flag and a sign saying "Welcome to Canada". Word has it, that they also left a bottle of Canadian Club as a welcome gift for any visitors. Later, after that the Canadians went home the Danish Navy came, took down the Canadian flag, put up a Danish flag and left a bottle of Danish snaps in stead of the whisky, which was impounded.

    I know this is slightly off topic because the Canadians did not invade the whole country, but only a small part of it. Nevertheless, technically this IS an unsolved territorial dispute involving the armed forces of two countries. It is also known as "The Whisky War".
     

    Sepia

    Senior Member
    High German/Danish
    So, do countries change shape over time? What defines a country, if not the government that oversees it?
    What defines a state/country legally is that it has a territory with defined borders, a government and citizens/corporations that pay taxes.
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    What defines a state/country legally is that it has a territory with defined borders, a government and citizens/corporations that pay taxes.
    Exactly my understanding before this thread.

    I think the term country is being used loosely here to describe a region that is currently called X and had previous countries/states occupying roughly the same area in the past. I can understand the reasoning. Rome didn't invade France; it invaded Gaul. It's easier, through, to speak of that region in modern-day terms even though it was not an organized single unit at the time of the Roman invasion.
     
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    Sepia

    Senior Member
    High German/Danish
    Exactly my understanding before this thread.

    I think the term country is being used loosely here to describe a region that is currently called X and had previous countries/states occupying roughly the same area in the past. I can understand the reasoning. Rome didn't invade France; it invaded Gaul. It's easier, through, to speak of that region in modern-day terms even though it was not an organized single unit at the time of the Roman invasion.
    It is probably because a country usually is a sovereign state, although it does not have to be. The Kingdom of Denmark consists of three countries: Denmark, The Faeroe Islands and Greenland. All three are autonomous, but all under the protection HM the Queen an therefore also the Danish defense forces. In German the partially autonomous subdivisions of the Repuhblic are called "countries", which normally is translated with "federal states". I don't think there is one single definition of the word itself, but what a sovereign state is, is clearly defined in international law.
     

    eno2

    Senior Member
    Dutch-Flemish
    How many times has Flanders (Belgium) been invaded?
    Caesar’s armies invaded in 57 BC and held Gallia Belgica for 500 years

    Germanic Franks took regional control. T
    his change in power was the basis of Belgium’s current language division – the northern region became German speaking while the southern portion remained Latin based
    Parties of raiding Vikings forced the growth of feudal domains in the 9th and 10th centuries. While the kings of France and emperors of Germany had overall control, the real power was held by local counts who ruled over fiefdoms.
    The local counts, though, were vassals of the French king.

    The dukes of Burgundy ruled later for less than a century, but the cultural changes that took place during this time were profound.

    Hapsburg rule: Charles V, PhilippII ruled from Spain...
    . In 1566 the Protestants revolted, running riot and ransacking churches in a wave of violence that has become known as the Iconoclastic Fury. Philip retaliated with a force of 10,000 troops led by the duke of Alva, who set up the Council of Blood, which handed out 8000 death sentences to those involved in the rioting.

    In the turbulent years that followed – a period known as the Revolt of the Netherlands – the present-day borders of Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands were roughly drawn. The Netherlands expelled the Spaniards, while Belgium and Luxembourg, known then as the Spanish Netherlands, stayed under southern rule.
    Brussels was proclaimed capital of the Spanish Netherlands in 1585 and Protestants were forced to leave; thousands of tradespeople and anti-Spanish freethinkers moved north to the Netherlands.
    . French plans to dominate Europe meant war after war was fought in this buffer land. France’s Louis XIV sent in his military engineer Vauban to fortify strongholds – the result can be seen today in mighty citadels such as that in Namur.

    The fighting came to a head with the War of Spanish Succession (1701–13), which saw the Spanish Netherlands handed over to the Austrians
    The mighty Austrian Hapsburgs ruled from 1713 to 1794


    After yet another battle in 1794, the French reclaimed the region and the following year absorbed it into France

    After the defeat of Napoleon in Waterloo: 1815
    The united kingdom of the netherlands

    Belgian independence
    At the Conference of London in January 1831, the European powers recognised Belgian independence

    1914, Germany violated Belgian neutrality and occupied thecountry

    On 10 May 1940 the Germans launched a surprise air attack on the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg and within eight days Belgium was occupied
    History of Belgium - Lonely Planet Travel Information
     

    Jason_2_toi

    Senior Member
    English-Scotland
    If invading includes trying to kill you by dropping bombs on you from aircraft, then my country was invaded by the Germans.
     

    L'irlandais

    Senior Member
    Ireland: English-speaking ♂
    Scotland wasn’t invaded by the Germans. You could say « Scotland was bombed by the Germans during WWII. »
    verb
    past tense: invaded; past participle: invaded
    1. (of an armed force) enter (a country or region) so as to subjugate or occupy it.
      Eg. "during the Second World War the island was invaded by the Axis powers"
      synonyms: occupy, conquer, capture, seize, take (over), annex, ....
    invade | Definition of invade in English by Oxford Dictionaries
    Pictish Scotland was invaded by Irish tribes. In AD 83 at Mons Graupius the Romans invaded Scotland, at least according to some ancient texts. However there is no material evidence for this battle. Later the Scottish coast was raided by Norsemen. But I guess raided is not the same as invaded either.
     
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    Fernando

    Senior Member
    Spain, Spanish
    Scotland wasn’t invaded by the Germans. You could say « Scotland was bombed by the Germans during WWII. »
    Certainly.

    In AD 83 at Mons Graupius the Romans invaded Scotland, at least according to some ancient texts. However there is no material evidence for this battle.
    Romans certainly invaded a good portion of current Scottish territory. You do not need Mons Graupius battle to prove it.
    Antonine Wall - Wikipedia

    Later the Scottish coast was raided by Norsemen. But I guess raided is not the same as invaded either.
    Northumbria (invaded by the Vikings) was part (current) England, part (current) Scotland. Virtually all Scottish isles (Orkneys, Shetland, Hebrides) were Norwegian fiefdoms.
     

    Pedro y La Torre

    Senior Member
    English (Ireland)
    Northumbria (invaded by the Vikings) was part (current) England, part (current) Scotland. Virtually all Scottish isles (Orkneys, Shetland, Hebrides) were Norwegian fiefdoms.
    Strangely enough, even under Viking rule, the Scottish isles kept speaking Gaelic and are now the last bastions of Gaelic in Britain.
     

    Fernando

    Senior Member
    Spain, Spanish
    Strangely enough, even under Viking rule, the Scottish isles kept speaking Gaelic and are now the last bastions of Gaelic in Britain.
    Well, no Norwegian, Swedish or Danish are spoken in Normandy, Sicily, Russia, Dublin or the Danelaw. For whatever reason (low numbers, inferiority of the written culture, I do not know), Vikings/Norsemen did not seem very interested in speaking with natives or spreading their languages. I know there are Scandinavian loanwords in English and place names. It would surprise to me if Gaelic would not have loanwords from Scandinavian languages (via Ireland or the Scottish isles).
     
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