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From Empire to Nationhood

Legacy of war

Falklands conflictFalklands conflictThe war in Yugoslavia during the 1990s also witnessed the bubbling up of nationalist hatreds and animosities suppressed during Tito's regime.

The Yugoslav experience was mirrored in the remnants of other empires where ancient nationalist passions were released, notably in the old Soviet Union, and in the French and British Empires.

Their collapse might be seen as the culmination of a century-long process: the melancholy, long, withdrawing roar of imperialism in the face of nationalist reawakening and self-discovery.

The revolutions of 1989-1991 in a sense marked the end of the Second World War for Poland.

They also brought about the dissolution of the Russian Empire, although the recent rise of Vladimir Putin's more assertive brand of Russian nationalism shows that this process has its limits.

The risk of worldwide nuclear annihilation has also diminished with the end of the Cold War, although it has in other ways arguably made the danger of limited nuclear war more likely.

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