The “nation,” in its modern meaning of political and territorial unity, is historically very young. A  pioneer of studies on the idea of nation, the Italian historian Federico Chabod, pointed out in 1944 that the modern idea of nation emerged as a product of independentist, romantic movements in mid-nineteenth century Europe. The aspiration to “freedom” became an indissoluble companion to the idea of “nation,” and, as Chabod wrote, “the Nineteenth century came to know what the Eighteenth century ignored:  national passions.”1 In a more recent synthesis, Eric Hobsbawm reports that the New English Dictionary, published in 1908, considered the nation, when defined as “political unity and independence,” only to be a recent development.2