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An anecdote on nationalism and empire:

Near the turn of the 17th century, the Neapolitan theologian Tommaso Campanella OP wrote to his ruler, Philip I of Naples (and II of Spain), asking him for suppression of the Neapolitan language and its replacement with Castilian.
He argued that by permitting a diversity of tongues in his empire, Philip was preventing a more perfect union of all peoples, and because Neapolitan (Campanella’s mother tongue) was a less extended tongue, as well as allegedly barbarous, it was ripe for annihilation.
The King replied (likely years later, with his usual bureaucratic circumspection) denying the request in the most absolute terms. He said that he was, for Campanella, not the king of Castile, but of Naples, and would rule the land in accordance with its own ancient laws & ways.
Castile was, as it were, captain of the king’s dominions, but that they shared the same ruler meant only a joint fidelity to the same person, not an implicit supremacy of one over the other. Their unity was not cultural or genetic, but based on two transcendent principles:
(1) faith in the same God and (2) personal fealty to the same king.

In his “De monarchia hispanica”, Campanella later argued, in admiration of this model, for the primacy of the Catholic Monarchy, subject to the spiritual power of the Pope, in the universal political order.
He came to see, in Philip’s reply, that it was not the model of a kingdom, nation, or volk dominating the world, but of an empire capable of containing and incorporating many kingdoms and peoples, and dedicated to the creation, maintenance, and expansion of a Christian Republic.
The ideal of a “federative and missionary monarchy” with universal vocation (indeed it was always known as the “Catholic”, not the “Hispanic Monarchy”), which is the true meaning of the history of Spain.
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