Johann Gottfried Herder(1744-1803) was a German philospher, critic and poet, and is often referred to as the "father" of cultural nationalism. He was a member of the Lutheran clergy, and a teacher. He travelled extensively throughout Europe until the age of 32, when he settled as the clerical head of the Grand Duchy in Weimar. In his early life he was influence by Rousseau, Kant and Montesquieu. He became an opponent of the Enlightenment and infuenced the German growth of the romantic movement.

Herder viewed a nation as an organic creature, with its own distictive language, "spirit", and culture. These ideas were later to influence Francis Fukuyama. This view led to the concept of cultural history, and helped to give rise to nationalism, based on the value of culture.

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