Rætur íslenskrar þjóðernisstefnu.
Fjallað er um þróun þjóðernisvakningar og þjóðernisstefnu á íslandi eins og hún birtist í málflutningi Eggerts Ólafssonar, Baldvins Einarssonar, Fjölnismanna og Jóns Sigurðssonar. Þróun þjóðernisstefnu í Evrópu er rakin og gerð grein fyrir þeim meginhugmyndum sem felast í stefnunni. Fjallað er um hvernig fræðilegur áhugi á þjóðinni vaknar og um viðleitni Eggerts, Baldvins, Fjölnismanna og Jóns til að vekja þjóðina til vitundar um þjóðerni sitt. Ennfremur er leitast við að sýna hvernig pólitískar kröfur í nafni þjóðarinnar verða smám saman beinskeyttari og ákveðnari. Sérstaklega er lögð áhersla á vega og meta hvenær hugmyndir sem kenna má við þjóðernisstefnu skjóta upp kollinum í málflutningi þeirra.
At the outset the following problem is addressed: how should one define such terms as 'patriotism' and 'nationalism', and how should one analyse the ideological contents of nationalism, in order to discuss meaningfully the development of natíonalism in Iceland? There follows a historical sketch of the development of nationalism in late 18th and early 19th century Europe. The bulk of the paper, however, consists of a discussion of the ideas, patriotic and nationalistic, advanced by the leading figures of the late 18th and early 19th century Iceland: Eggert Ólafsson, Baldvin Einarsson, the Fjölnir circle, and Jón Sigurðsson. Eggert Ólafsson's ideas were very much in tune with the 18th century Enlightenment, as were the ideas of many of his Icelandic contemporaries. He was, however, as an avowed patriot, more concerned with the national culture, the national heritage, and the ideas of the Icelandic nation, than his contemporaries. Thus, he stressed the importance of nurturing the Icelandic language, and grieved over the lost grandeur of past ages in the history of the Icelandic people; he considered his own age debilitated and impotent. The writings of Baldvin Einarsson and the Fjölnir-circle rested to a large extent on the ideological basis furnished by Eggert Ólafsson. Nevertheless, the only option offered by Eggert for improving the nation’s dismal state was an awakening from apathy; he never demands increased political power for the Icelandic people. Such demands, however, are to be found in the writings of Baldvin Einarsson, though they were far from revolutionary and seem rather unclear. The Fjölnir-circle was heir to Baldvin's ideas, although its members were so intensely inspired by German Romanticism that their main emphasis was on nurturing the natíonal culture. They claimed increased political rights for the Icelandic people, but their demands seem to have been somewhat unfocused. Finally, although the sources of Jón Sigurðsson's nationalism are to be found in his predecessors' ideas concerning the preservation of the national culture, his political ideas and demands were conceived in clearer and more focused terms. Both his writings and his political role make him the first proponent of articulated political nationalism.