ABSTRACT

Ian Tyrrell ( 2007 ) posits that transnational history ‘concerns the movement of peoples, ideas, technologies and institutions across national boundaries’. Transnational history developed in the era after the Peace of Westphalia (1648), the rise of sovereign nation-states, and democratic revolutions in the USA and France in 1776 and 1789, respectively. The aim of transnational history, reasons Tyrrell ( 2007 ), is to examine ‘the relationship between nation and factors beyond the nation’. In short, transnational history is based on the premise that the nation competes for loyalty with other identities both within and outside the nation. For Sven Beckert ( 2006 : 1459), the starting point of transnational history is ‘the interconnectedness of human history as a whole, and while it acknowledges the extraordinary importance of states, empires, and the like, it pays attention to networks, processes, beliefs, and institutions that transcend these politically defi ned spaces’. Let me offer three examples of transnational history. The fi rst is the forced migration of Sephardic Jews from the Iberian Peninsula in the fi fteenth century and the creation of Spanish-speaking Sephardic communities in diverse locations from Tangiers to Sarajevo and London to Antwerp. The second is the institution of three Communist Internationals in 1864, 1889, and 1919, respectively, which attempted to unite socialist movements, parties, and trade unions worldwide in a common front against capitalism. The third example is the attempt to create a ‘fascist international’ by elements of the Italian Fascist Party (Ledeen 1972 ; S ø rensen and Mallet 2002 ).