CLASS -10 (HISTORY)
Chapter 1 - The Rise of Nationalism in Europe
In 1848, Frederic Sorrieu, a French artist, prepared a series of four print visualizing his dream of a world made up of ‘democratic and social republic, as he called them.
Artists of the time of the French Revolution personified Liberty as a female figure.
According to Sorrieu’s Utopian vision, the peoples of the world are grouped as distinct nations, identified through their flags and national costume.
This chapter will deal with many of the issues visualized by Sorrieu.
During the nineteenth century, nationalism emerged as a force that brought about sweeping changes in the political and mental world of Europe.
The end result of these changes was the emergence of the nation-statein the place of the multi-national dynastic empires of Europe.
A modern state, in which a centralized power exercised sovereign control over a clearly defined territory, had been developing over a long period of time in Europe.
But a nation-state was one in which the majority of its citizens, and not only its rulers, came to develop a sense of common identity and shared history or descent.
This chapter will look at the diverse processes through which nation-states and nationalism came into being in nineteenth-century Europe.
The French Revolution and the Idea of the Nation
In 1789 Nationalism came with the French Revolution and the political and constitutional changes led to the transfer of sovereignty from the monarchy to a body of French citizens. Various measures and practices were introduced such as the ideas of la Patrie (the fatherland) and le citoyen ( the citizen). A new French flag, the tricolor was chosen to replace the former one.
Democracy destroyed in France by Napoleon and the Civil Code of 1804 known as Napoleonic Code did away with all privileges based on birth, established equality before the law and secured the right to property.
The Making of Nationalism in Europe
Germany, Italy, and Switzerland were divided into kingdoms, duchies, and cantons whose rulers had their autonomous territories.
They did not see themselves as sharing a collective identity or a common culture.
The Habsburg Empire ruled over Austria Hungary.
In Hungary, half of the population spoke Magyar while the other half of the spoke a variety of dialects.
Besides these three dominant groups, there also lived within the boundaries of the empire.
The only tie binding these diverse groups together was a common allegiance to the emperor.
The Aristocracy and the New Middle Class
The Aristocracy was the dominant class on the continent politically and socially. The majority of the population was made up of the peasantry. Industrialization began in England in the second half of the eighteenth century. New social groups came into being: a working-class population and middle classes made up of industrialists, businessmen, professionals.
What did Liberal Nationalism Stand for?
In early-nineteenth-century Europe were closely allied to the ideology of liberalism.
The term ‘liberalism’ derives from the Latin root liber, meaning free.
Liberalism stood for freedom for the individual and equality of all before the law.
It emphasized the concept of government by consent.
A constitution and representative government through parliament.
The right to vote and to get elected was generated exclusively to property-owning men.
Men without property and all women were excluded from political rights.
Women and non-propertied men and women organized opposition movements demanding equal political rights.
The abolition of state-imposed restrictions on the movement of goods and capital.
A merchant traveling in 1833 from Hamburg to Nuremberg to sell his goods would have to pass through 11 customs barriers and pay a customs duty of about 5% at each one of them.
Obstacles to economics exchanges and growth by the new commercial classes, who argued for the creation of a unified economic territory allowing the unhindered movement of goods, people and capital.
The union abolished tariff barriers and reduced the number of currencies from over thirty to two.
A New Conservatism after 1815
In 1815, European governments were driven by a spirit of conservatism. Conservatives believed in monarchy, the Church, social hierarchies, property and that the family should be preserved.
A modern army, an efficient bureaucracy, a dynamic economy, the abolition of feudalism and serfdom could strengthen the autocratic monarchies of Europe.
In 1815, representatives of the European powers – Britain, Russia, Prussia, and Austria met in Vienna to draw up a settlement for Europe.
The Bourbon dynasty was restored to power and France lost the territories it had annexed under Napoleon.
The major issues taken up by the liberal-nationalists, who criticized the new conservative order, was freedom of the press.
After 1815, the fear of repression from the ruling conservative class drove the liberal nationalists underground. They start forming up secret societies in different European states. The main aim of these societies was to spread the idea of liberty and nationalism. They were against the monarchical form of rulership that was the result of the Vienna congress. Many of them were aimed to create nation-states and made it an important part of their freedom struggle.
Giuseppe Mazzini was one of these revolutionaries who was a member of one of these secret societies. He was born in Genoa in 1807. He became a member of the secret society of the Carbonari. At the age of 24, he was sent into exile for attempting a revolution in Liguria in the year 1831.
- Later on, Mazzini founded two more underground societies namely Young Italy in Marseilles and Young Europe in Berne. The members of this society were the like-minded young men from Poland, France, Italy, and the German states. Mazzini didn’t want Italy to be a patchwork of small states and kingdoms. So, he made it his aim to unify Italy. For this, he starts setting up secret societies in Germany, France, Switzerland, and Poland. Mazzini’s non-stop opposition towards monarchy and his vision of bringing democratic republics was a reason of fear among many conservatives. Metternich once had described him as ‘the most dangerous enemy of our social order’.
- So, now we know that revolutionaries had started their own attempts to get rid of the conservative rule. But what happened next? Next came the period of Revolution in which various revolutionaries fought for their rights and tried to free themselves from the clutches of the conservatives.
The Age of Revolution: 1830 – 1848
As conservative regimes tried to consolidate their power, liberalism and nationalism came to be increasingly 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.
‘When France sneezes’, Metternich once remarked, ‘the rest of Europe catches a cold’.
An event that mobilized nationalist feelings among the educated elite across Europe was the Greek war of independence.
Greece had been part of the Ottoman Empire since the fifteenth century.
Greeks living in exile and also from many west Europeans who had sympathies for ancient Greek culture.
The Romantic Imagination and National Feeling
Culture played an important role in creating the idea of the nation: art and poetry, stories and music helped express and shape nationalist feelings.
Romanticism, a cultural movement that sought to develop a particular form of nationalist sentiment. The language also played an important role in developing nationalist sentiments.
The Russian language was imposed everywhere and in 1831 an
armed rebellion against Russian rule took place which was ultimately crushed.
Hunger, Hardship and Popular Revolt
Europe faced economic hardships in the 1830s. The first half of the nineteenth century saw an enormous increase in population all over Europe. The rise of food prices or a year of bad harvest led to widespread pauperism in town and country. In 1848, food shortages and widespread unemployment brought the population of Paris out on the roads.
1848: The Revolution of the Liberals
The poor, unemployment and starving peasants and workers in many European countries in the years 1848, a revolution led by the educated middle classes was underway.
Men and women of the liberal middle classes combined their demands for constitutionalism with national unification.
They drafted a constitution for the German nation to be headed by a monarchy subject to a parliament.
Wilhelm IV, King of Prussia, rejected it and joined other monarchs to oppose the elected assembly.
While the opposition of the aristocracy and military became stronger, the social basis of parliament eroded.
The issue of extending political rights to women was a controversial one within the liberal movement.
Women had formed their own political associations, founded newspaper and taken part in political meetings and demonstrations.
Women were admitted only as observers to stand in the visitors’ gallery.
Monarchs were beginning to realize that the cycles of revolution and repression could be ended by granting concessions to the liberal-nationalist revolutionaries.
The Making of German and Italy
Germany – can the Army be the Architect of a Nation?
After 1848, nationalism in Europe moved away from its association with democracy and revolution.
This can be observed in the process by which Germany and Italy came to be unified as nation-states.
Nationalist feelings were widespread among middle-class Germans.
This liberal initiative to nation-building was, however, repressed by the combined forces of the monarchy and the military, supported by the large landowners of Prussia.
Prussia took on the leadership of the movement.
Three wars oversaw years-with Austria, Denmark, and France-ended in Prussian victory and completed the process of unification.
The nation-building process in Germany had demonstrated the dominance of Prussian state power.
The new state placed a strong emphasis on modernizing the currency, banking, legal and judicial systems in Germany.
Italy was politically fragmented into various small states which were ruled by monarchies.
During the mid-nineteenth century, only the state of Sardinia-Piedmont was ruled by the Italian monarchy. The northern states were under the Austrian monarchy, Central Italy was under the control of the Pope and the states in the south were under the control of the Bourbon kings of Spain.
Giuseppe Mazzini was a revolutionary who actively supported the unification of the Italian states. For achieving this aim, he formed a secret society called ‘Young Italy’.
The state of Sardinia-Piedmont took the responsibility of fulfilling this task after the failed uprisings in 1831 and 1848. The king of Sardinia-Piedmont, Victor Emmanuel II, was actively helped by his Chief Minister Cavour. Cavour led the process of the unification of Italy.
In 1859, the state of Sardinia-Piedmont defeated the Austrians. In 1860, the Italian forces helped by Giuseppe Garibaldi and his volunteers marched into southern Italy and unified it with Italy.
·King Victor Emmanuel II was proclaimed as the king of united Italy. The complete unification of Italy was achieved in 1871.
The strange case of Britain
The model of the nation or the nation-state, some scholars have argued, is Great Britain.
It was the result of a long-drawn-out process.
There was no British nation prior to the eighteenth century.
‘The United Kingdom of Great Britain’ meant, in effect, that England was able to impose its influence on Scotland.
The British parliament was henceforth dominated by its English members.
Ireland was forcibly incorporated into the United Kingdom in 1801.
British flag, the national anthem, the English language – were actively promoted and the older nations survived only as subordinate partners on this union.
Visualising the Nation
While it was easy enough to represent a ruler through a portrait or a statue.
In other words, they represented a country as if it were a person.
Nations were then portrayed as a female figure.
The female figures became an allegory of the nation.
Christened Marianne, a popular Christian name, which underlined the idea of people’s nation.
Nationalism and Imperialism
By the quarter of the nineteenth-century nationalism no longer retained its idealistic liberal-democratic sentiment of the first half of the century, but became a narrow creed with limited ends.
The most serious source of nationalists tension in Europe after 1871 was the area called the Balkans.
The Balkans was a region of geographical and ethnic variation.
One by one its European subjects nationalities broke away from its control and declared independence.
The Balkan area became an era of intense conflict.
The Balkan states were jealous of each other and each hoped to gain more territory at the expense of each other.
But the idea that societies should be organized into ‘nation-states’ came to be accepted as natural and universal.
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