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CHAPTER XVI

NATIONS AND STATES

It is exceedingly difficult to define the meaning of the word nation, with regard to the sense in which it is generally used, because everything depends upon whether the sense is political or ethnographic.

We often hear of the Belgian nation, of the British nation, of the American nation, of the Jewish nation. And yet in each case the word really means a different thing.

The Belgian nation consists, roughly, of two entirely different peoples, the Flemish, whose native tongue is Dutch, and the Walloons, whose native tongue is a very ancient Romance dialect. The Flemish are a Teutonic race, the Walloons are of Gallic descent. They are, therefore, in race, in language and in character, entirely different. They have, however, the Roman Catholic faith in common. They were united into one State by the Congress of Paris in 1831. None of the two races can be said to have subjected the other in any way. Instead of the one having forced its language upon the other, they have adopted French largely as their common language. although

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