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#16
Jean-Louis

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I'd like to know if there are any nations that have always been independent throughout history


I also tought you had an answer but come to think of it, this is an interesting question. I suppose the answer may be NONE. Perhaps the Japaneese hold the record as the longest time one distinct 'volk' managed to remain homogeneous, autonomous and unconquered. (2000 years I think?) Anybody else surpass them?
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#17
rudy

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How about the Ethiopians? My knowledge of their history is a little vague but they remained independent, at least in modern times (last 500 years or more? Were they conquered during the time of Islamist expansion?) except for a brief 3 year occupation by Italy in the late 1930s. Surviving the European scramble for Africa was no mean feat I'm sure.

I don't think anyone has remained independent at all times. Is there a correct answer to this question?

#18
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I don't think you'll find any nation or ethnic group "non-conquered" by other nations or states. It's just in the nature of human being/mankind. I can bet even these Indian groups were wedging wars with others and were conquered from time to time.

#19
natcase

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I don't think you'll find any nation or ethnic group "non-conquered" by other nations or states. It's just in the nature of human being/mankind. I can bet even these Indian groups were wedging wars with others and were conquered from time to time.


The whole notion of "peoples" and "nations" gets awfully blurry before a certain point. I like how the current National Geographic map supplement shows Native American tribal territories not as hard-bounded states but as fuzzy-edged blobs... and then does the same for areas of actual European control in the early colonial period, instead of showing territorial claims. The text notes to the map make the point that self-identifying groups of native peoples merged both through conquering and mutual agreement.

A stronger case can be made for nation-states, but... Japan had never been conquered as a nation-state before 1945, but it had had periods of disintegration and non-unified status. China was conquered by the Mongols, but they shortly became Chinese emperors, so how do you count that? Turkey has never been occupied, except by the Turks in taking over Byzantium, and modern Turkey is in its way a repudiation of the old Ottoman state. And who decides a nation is "conquered?" Charles de Gaulle would have argued vociferously that France had been occupied but never conquered in WW2...

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#20
travelbug

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Let me clarify the terms I used when I posed the question. When I said NATION I did not mean a STATE measured from its last political reorganization, but a PEOPLE (or group of peoples) with a history in a territory. So the USA and Canada started out as British colonies long before they gained independence.


You'll need to define "external power" as well. Ethnic groups mix and inter-marry. So if the external power stays on forever, is it still "external"?

#21
A. Fenix

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fascinating conversation...

i'm still thinking of how we all define the words "nation" and "conquer":

- example definitions found on dictionary.com

na·tion /ˈneɪʃən/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[ney-shuhn] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun
1. a large body of people, associated with a particular territory, that is sufficiently conscious of its unity to seek or to possess a government peculiarly its own: The president spoke to the nation about the new tax.
2. the territory or country itself: the nations of Central America.
3. a member tribe of an American Indian confederation.
4. an aggregation of persons of the same ethnic family, often speaking the same language or cognate languages.


con·quer /ˈkɒŋkər/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[kong-ker] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–verb (used with object)
1. to acquire by force of arms; win in war: to conquer a foreign land.
2. to overcome by force; subdue: to conquer an enemy.
3. to gain, win, or obtain by effort, personal appeal, etc.: conquer the hearts of his audience.
4. to gain a victory over; surmount; master; overcome: to conquer disease and poverty; to conquer one's fear.
–verb (used without object)
5. to be victorious; make conquests; gain the victory: Despite their differences, their love will conquer.


from these two definitions i am thinking of your question in this light:

"a large body of people, associated with a particular territory, that is sufficiently conscious of its unity to seek or to possess a government peculiarly its own" who have never been "... acquire[d] by force of arms; w[o]n in war: [or] conquer[d by] a foreign land."

when thinking of it this way, i can think of many nations that have NOT historically been "conquered" (the First Nations people that live in what is now called British Columbia and Thailand being only two examples)... but few to none that have not been aggressively attacked by outsiders attempting to conquer them. I guess what i'm trying to say, is that history writes that many nations have supposedly been conquered (course, "history" is often written by the supposed conquerers) , but they remain nations nonetheless if they continue to share their common collective identity, and fight for their own sovereignty. in my mind, as long as a people have even a sense that they are still a "nation" (people), than they have NOT been conquered.
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#22
geomancer

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I believe Thailand was conquered by the Burmese a couple of times in the 1500s or 1600s.

You may be right that some First Nations of Canada were never conquered, and they may still retain some degree of autonomy. Likewise some indigenous nations still not even contacted by outsiders, in the Amazon basin or New Guinea or the Andaman islands. But are they truly independent? I think the world generally recognizes them as subject to the legal authority of the surrounding nation (Canada, Brazil, Papua New Guinea, or India).

I am thinking of a nation whose independence is generally recognized, that was never conquered or ruled by outsiders. Please roll out your maps and review world history.

#23
Hans van der Maarel

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This might come in handy:

List of countries by date of independence

However... most of the countries that gained independence quite early on have lost it (fully or partially) at a later date.
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#24
Jean-Louis

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I can bet even these Indian groups were wedging wars with others and were conquered from time to time.


Some of the tribes in Canada such as Hurons and the Iroquois had only one policy towards each other: Genocide. A lot of their interest in Europeans was to obtain the power to carry it out.

After looking at the list Hans provided, it seems that the 2 nations with the longest periods of independence would be Japan (almost 2000 years) and England almost (1000 years). No man is an island, they say but it seems an advantage for a nation to be one.
Jean-Louis Rheault
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#25
Hans van der Maarel

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After looking at the list Hans provided, it seems that the 2 nations with the longest periods of independence would be Japan (almost 2000 years) and England almost (1000 years). No man is an island, they say but it seems an advantage for a nation to be one.


Japan was occupied, by the Allied forces, after World War 2. This period, although short, had a strong effect on Japanese society. See this article for details.

As for England, I have my reservations there ;)
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#26
rudy

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Let's face it: we're all loosers :(

#27
A. Fenix

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I am thinking of a nation whose independence is generally recognized, that was never conquered or ruled by outsiders. Please roll out your maps and review world history.


i'm assuming that you have an "answer" that you would like to share with the group. it seems that you have reviewed world history...so enlighten us please. -_-
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#28
Hans van der Maarel

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i'm assuming that you have an "answer" that you would like to share with the group. it seems that you have reviewed world history...so enlighten us please. -_-


I agree, it looks like we exhausted all options here. So tell us... what's the answer!! ;)
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#29
A. Fenix

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I am thinking of a nation whose independence is generally recognized, that was never conquered or ruled by outsiders. Please roll out your maps and review world history.


before we all start to feel like losers (i know you're not a loser Rudy, and i don't think the rest of us are either :rolleyes:), why don't you enlighten us with what you have uncovered geomancer? it certainly seems that you have had the time to roll out your maps and review world history... so share your thoughts! i only have the time to go into the theoretical side of the discussion (i should have been a philosopher!) ;)
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#30
ELeFevre

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I am thinking of a nation whose independence is generally recognized, that was never conquered or ruled by outsiders. Please roll out your maps and review world history.


why don't you enlighten us with what you have uncovered geomancer? it certainly seems that you have had the time to roll out your maps and review world history... so share your thoughts! i only have the time to go into the theoretical side of the discussion (i should have been a philosopher!) ;)


I think Geomancer was just planting a "discussion" seed, even though if it came across as a trivia question. It's all good.






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