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The Unexplained Miracle

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Most scholars believe that nationalism and the nation state originated in the modernizing West, only permeating "non-Western" societies in the past two centuries in response to Western intrusion. This paper argues that the Vietnamese developed a clear sense of national identity, even perhaps of nationhood, early in their history. The long-term struggle for survival of the Vietnamese nation against tremendous odds (including conquest by foreigners and chronic internal discord) can best be explained by attributing to them a long entrenched proto-nationalism or national consciousness that later blossomed in their 20th century assertion of independence and resistance.


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Affiliations: 1: Social Change and Development Department, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Green Bay, Wisconsin 54301-7001, U.S.A.


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