Keywords: Transylvania; Nationalism; First World War.
This paper analyzes the evolution of a border nationalism of the Austro-Hungarian Empire - that of the Transylvania's Romanians - from the beginning of the 20th century to the WWI's aftermath, through the intellectual elaboration of a protagonist of that experience, the pedagogist Onisifor Ghibu. After a Mitteleuropean training, Ghibu developed a peculiar pedagogical-philosophical synthesis, which, on the basis of the Herbartian thought, assigned to teachers the task of shaping a strong national consciousness in the youth. All Ghibu's activity was devoted to the defense of Romanian national rights in the context of what was denounced as a deliberate policy of denationalization carried out by the Hungarian government. After the union of Transylvania with Romania in December 1918, the Romanian Transylvanian nationalism radicalized its positions towards ethnicism and Ghibu participated actively in the process of cultural recapture of the territory: the rights invoked for the Romanian nation before the war were denied to minority ethnic groups just included in the new boundaries.