The development of European nations

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There have been different European territories with various languages and groupings for many centuries. The idea of the modern nation state only developed in the 18th and 19th centuries.

As technology and communication improved, rulers sought to stamp their authority on the territories under their control. Borders became more fixed and governments became more organised. The growth of nation states led to the idea of nationalism, the movement that encouraged each distinct group to want to have its own country.

After the First World War, defeated empires were broken up and new states were created. Across Europe this meant many new countries had different attitudes to their citizens, including their Jewish communities.