SECTION A — THE FRENCH REVOLUTION AND THE IDEA OF A NATION, AND
MAKING OF NATIONALISM IN EUROPE
- The first clear expression of nationalism came with the French Revolution in 1789.
- The French Revolution proclaimed that it was the people who would henceforth constitute the nation and shape its destiny.
- The revolutionary ideas spread in Europe after the outbreak of revolutionary wars and the rule of Napoleon.
- In early nineteenth century Europe, national unity was allied to the ideology of Liberalism.
- After the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, European governments were driven by a spirit of Conservatism, which led to repression and drove people to oppose monarchical governments.
- Giuseppe Mazzini, an Italian revolutionary, set up ‘Young Italy’ in Marseilles (France) and ‘Young Europe’ in Berne (Switzerland).
- Mazzini was described as ‘the most dangerous enemy of our social order’, by Metternich, the Austrian Chancellor, who hosted the Vienna Congress.
SECTION B — THE AGE OF REVOLUTION (1830–1848) AND
THE UNIFICATION OF GERMANY AND ITALY
- Liberalism and nationalism became associated with the revolution in many regions of Europe such as the Italian and German states, the provinces of the Ottoman Empire, Ireland and Poland.
- The first upheaval took place in France, in July 1830.
- The Greek War of Independence was another event which mobilised nationalist feelings among the educated elite in Europe.
- Culture played an important role in creating the idea of the nation. Art and poetry, stories, music helped express and shape nationalist feelings.
- Romanticism was a cultural movement which sought to develop a particular form of nationalist sentiment.
- Language too played an important role in developing nationalist sentiments.
- The 1830s saw a rise in prices, bad harvest, poverty in Europe. Besides the poor, unemployed and starving peasants, even educated middle classes, revolted.
- In 1848, an all-German National Assembly was voted for in Frankfurt.
- The issue of extending political rights to women became a controversial one.
- Conservative forces were able to suppress liberal movements in 1848, but could not restore the old order.
- After 1848, nationalism in Europe moved away from its association with democracy and revolution.
- In 1848, Germans tried to unite into a nation-state.
- Prussia took the lead under its Chancellor, Otto von Bismarck. Three wars over seven years with Austria, Denmark and France ended in victory for Prussia and a unified Germany.
- In January 1871, Prussian king, William I, was proclaimed German Emperor at a ceremony at Versailles.
- Italy was fragmented, before unification it was a part of the multinational Habsburg Empire in the north, centre under the Pope and the south under the Bourbon kings of Spain.
- Three Men – Giuseppe Mazzini, Chief Minister Cavour and Giuseppe Garibaldi played a leading role in unifying Italy during the 1830s.
- In 1861, Victor Emmanuel II was proclaimed the king of united Italy.
- In Britain, the formation of the nation state was not the result of a sudden upheaval but was the result of a long-drawn-out process.
- The Act of Union (1707) – united Scotland and England and “the United Kingdom of Great Britain” was formed.
- Ireland was forcibly incorporated into the United Kingdom in 1801. A new British nation was forged.
SECTION C — VISUALISING THE NATION :
NATIONALISM AND IMPERIALISM
- People and artists in the 18th and 19th centuries personified a nation.
- In France, Marianne became the allegory of the French nation, while Germania became the allegory of the German nation.
- By the 1870s nationalism no longer retained its idealistic liberal democratic sentiment but became a narrow creed with limited ends.
- The major European powers, manipulated the nationalist aspirations of the subject peoples in Europe to further their own imperialist aims.
- People everywhere developed their own specific variety of nationalism.
- The idea that societies should be organized into nation-states came to be accepted as natural and universal.