The chapter discusses a long and uneven way of the establishment of human rights and the stages of their development. In the first section the author talks about the time when nationalism was not related to human rights. This was a time when those rights were not successfully introduced. Nationalism has become the dominant groundwork for human rights only after 1815. Before that, there was no connection seen between the rights of a person and a nation-state, although Edmund Burke, for instance, has tried to draw that parallel. The proponents o the rights of man have neglected the role of history and traditions. As a result of such view, there were a lot of unsuccessful attempts to establish human rights. French revolution, for instance, has tried to promote equality but it ended up as just another tyranny. While Napoleon Bonaparte has tried to achieve improvements in areas like Jews’ emancipation, religious tolerance, or abolishment of tortures, he also was a proponent of slavery and reestablishment of nobility. These contradictory actions deprived him of the support of either social group. This is a clear illustration of why the human right cannot succeed without being rooted in the nationalism.
Throughout the 19th century nationalist has become the driving force for the right of men. In countries in the Southern America and Europe the leaders proclaimed that nationality and ethnicity should be the basis for gaining rights. In this way, the work of the French Revolution and Napoleon has opened a door for these new developments. However, nationalism has quickly become defensive and exclusive of other people. For instance, Poles hardly noticed the existence of other nationalities of in their country; and France had only a small percentage of population speaking French. The last decade of the 19th century has become especially defensive and even anti-Semitist. There were large banning campaigns in Australia, Northern America, and Britain, limiting the right if minorities.