Nationalism was the most powerful idea of the 1800s. Its influence stretched throughout Europe and the Americas. It shaped countries by creating new ones or breaking up old ones. In Europe, it also upset the balance of power set up at the Congress of Vienna in 1815, affecting the lives of millions. Empires in Europe were made up of many different groups of people. Nationalism fed the desire of most of those groups to be free of the rule of empires and govern themselves in their traditional lands.
Nationalism: A Force for Unity or Disunity
During the 1800s, nationalism fueled efforts to build nation-states. Nationalists were not loyal to kings, but to their people—to those who shared common bonds. Nationalists believed that people of a single “nationality,” or ancestry, should unite under a single government. However, people who wanted to restore the old order from before the French Revolution saw nationalism as a force for disunity. Gradually, authoritarian rulers began to see that nationalism could also unify masses of people. They soon began to use nationalist feelings for their own purposes. They built nation-states in areas where they remained firmly in control.
Nationalism refers to a strong sense of loyalty, devotion, or pride towards one’s own nation or country. It is an ideology or belief system that emphasizes the interests, culture, history, and well-being of one’s own nation and its people. Nationalism often fosters a sense of unity and common identity among its citizens.
Nationalism can manifest itself in various forms, ranging from cultural expressions and symbols to political movements. It can promote a sense of national unity, encourage patriotism, and foster a collective sense of purpose and belonging. Nationalism can also be influential in shaping political, economic, and social policies, as it seeks to prioritize the interests of the nation and its citizens.
While nationalism can be a unifying force, it can also have its drawbacks. Extreme forms of nationalism can lead to exclusionary attitudes, prejudice, and hostility towards other nations or ethnic groups. It can contribute to conflicts and tensions between different nations, as well as impede international cooperation and understanding.
It’s important to note that nationalism can take on different forms and interpretations in different contexts. Some forms of nationalism may be based on civic ideals, where citizenship and shared values form the basis of national identity. Others may have more ethnic or cultural foundations, emphasizing ancestry, language, or heritage as defining factors of the nation.
Types of Nationalist Movements
Nationalism Shakes Aging Empires:
Three aging empires—the Austrian Empire of the Hapsburgs, the Russian Empire of the Romanovs, and the Ottoman Empire of the Turks—contained a mixture of ethnic groups. Control of land and ethnic groups moved back and forth between these empires, depending on victories or defeats in war and on royal marriages. When nationalism emerged in the 19th century, ethnic unrest threatened and eventually toppled these empires.
The Breakup of the Austrian Empire:
The Austrian Empire brought together Slovenes, Hungarians, Germans, Czechs, Slovaks, Croats, Poles, Serbs, and Italians. In 1866, Prussia defeated Austria in the Austro-Prussian War. With its victory, Prussia gained control of the newly organized North German Confederation, a union of Prussia and 21 smaller German political units. Then, pressured by the Hungarians, Emperor Francis Joseph of Austria split his empire in half, declaring Austria and Hungary independent states, with himself as ruler of both. The empire was now called Austria-Hungary or the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Nationalist dis- putes continued to weaken the empire for more than 40 years. Finally, after World War I, Austria-Hungary broke into several separate nation-states.
The Russian Empire Crumbles:
Nationalism also helped break up the 370-year-old empire of the czars in Russia. In addition to the Russians themselves, the czar ruled over 22 million Ukrainians, 8 million Poles, and smaller numbers of Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians, Finns, Jews, Romanians, Georgians, Armenians, Turks, and others. Each group had its own culture. The ruling Romanov dynasty of Russia was determined to maintain iron control over this diversity. They instituted a policy of Russification, forcing Russian culture on all the ethnic groups in the empire. This policy actually strengthened ethnic nationalist feelings and helped to disunify Russia. The weakened czarist empire finally could not withstand the double shock of World War I and the communist revolution. The last Romanov czar gave up his power in 1917.
The Ottoman Empire Weakens:
The ruling Turks of the Ottoman Empire controlled Greeks, Slavs, Arabs, Bulgarians, and Armenians. In 1856, under pressure from the British and French, the Ottomans granted equal citizenship to all the people under their rule. That measure angered conservative Turks, who wanted no change in the situation, and caused tensions in the empire. For example, in response to nationalism in Armenia, the Ottomans massacred and deported Armenians from 1894 to 1896 and again in 1915. Like Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire broke apart soon after World War I.
A nation-state is a territorially bounded sovereign polity—i.e., a state—that is ruled in the name of a community of citizens who identify themselves as a nation
Further, a nation-state is a type of state that conjoins the political entity of a state to the cultural entity of a nation, from which it aims to derive its political legitimacy to rule and potentially it’s status as a sovereign state if one accepts the declarative theory of statehood as opposed to the constitutive theory.
Unification Of Italy
The unification of Italy was a prominent social and political movement of the 19th century that resulted in the convergence of various states of the Italian Peninsula into the Italian kingdom. The process started in 1815 with the Congress of Vienna and ended in 1871 when Rome was declared the capital of Italy.
At the beginning of 1840, the Unification of Italy united several states of the Peninsula into a single kingdom of Italy by different social and political movements. The transfer of united Italy into a political and cultural entity is called Risorgimento. Giuseppe Garibaldi was unsuccessful in creating Italy united as an independent democracy. Giuseppe Mazzini is one of the most successful leaders in creating Italy United.
Camillo Di Cavour is one of the great democrats who used realpolitik as a successful tool for making a united Italy under Sardinia. ‘Realpolitik’ is the major policy that was constructed in terms of self-interest and power of idiomatic nation-states in Italy. The Government of Sardinia included its domain in the French and British side after the Crimean War in 1858 by using a press conference. In 1859 Austria declared battle against Sardinia and it was knocked over by the French army.
“The Italian Peninsula” was classified throughout Italy into several states upon the Roman king in 476 AD. In 1830 the unification of Italy resulted in French revolutions in several Italian states. Giuseppe Garibaldi was the first Democrat who took part in the insurrection in the year 1848; however, the attempt failed several times. With the support of Giuseppe Garibaldi to the Victor Emmanuel 2, it helped in returning to Italy with several volunteers from Naples and Sicily.
The insurrection was successful with the help of the Redshirts army of Garibaldi in 1860, which captured the island of Naples and Sicily. Meanwhile, the Italian northern states accepted Victor Emmanuel 2 as their emperor and in 1861 Sicily and Naples were handled by the king of Italy as their kingdom. However, Rome and Venice have concluded states under the foreign kingdom and changing the capital to Rome in 1871 helps to complete the unification of Italy.
The timeline of Italian unification is described below:
1849- In this year Venice was defeated by the Austrian army which created a major effect by crushing so many people in Venetia.
1858- Cavour and Napoleon III decided to organize war against Austria by gaining Venetia, Lombardy, Modena, and Parma to Italy.
1859- The importance of this year was Cavour’s return to Venetia and Napoleon III backed out from war with Austria. In this year Sardinia captured Modena, Tuscany, and Parma and Lombardy was taken by Sardinia.
1860- Sardinia captured central Italian states by giving Savoy and nice to the French in this year. Another incident occurred this year as Emmanuel II became the first emperor of Italy with the help of Garibaldi and their Redshirt army. Garibaldi resized Palermo as a capital with the help of the British government. After establishing the domain of Victor Emmanuel II in Sicily, this year Garibaldi took the power of Naples and handed over his power to the king.
1861- “Camillo Di Cavour ” died this year after seeing that the Papal States were not controlled by Italy and established an official kingdom of Italy in Venetia.
1867- Garibaldi seeks the Papal States and Rome apart from the attempt that fails and the revolution in Rome was suppressed.
1870- The army of Italy slowly moved towards Rome and captured Rome and created their domain in Rome forcefully.
1871- This is the year when the unification of Italy was completed by moving the Italian capital to Rome.
Leaders in the Unification of Italy
The unification of Italy brought so many strong leaders like Giuseppe Garibaldi, Giuseppe Mazzini, and Cavour, their work is marked in world history. Giuseppe Garibaldi is the most involved leader, who gave support in the process of unification. Cavour took Realpolitik as a tool to unite Italy in 1861. After the revolution in Italy in 1848, Giuseppe Garibaldi recruited many volunteers, who supported the independence of Italy at the end of the First World War and established the Roman Republic. He promoted the goal of Giuseppe Mazzini of united Italy as a permanent monarchy. He was successful in defeating the United Kingdom and royal troops with the support of local reinforcement.
Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807-1882) was an Italian military general and nationalist leader who played a crucial role in the unification of Italy in the 19th century. He is considered one of the key figures in the Risorgimento, the political and social movement that led to the formation of a unified Italian state.
Garibaldi was born on July 4, 1807, in Nice, which was then part of the French Empire. He initially pursued a career at sea and became a skilled sailor. However, his political beliefs and his desire to see Italy unified led him to become involved in various nationalist and revolutionary activities.
In the 1830s and 1840s, Garibaldi participated in several failed uprisings against Austrian and Bourbon rule in Italy. He gained fame for his military skills and his bold and charismatic leadership. Garibaldi also embraced the idea of a “Red Shirt” volunteer army, which became his signature style during his military campaigns.
One of Garibaldi’s most famous campaigns was the Expedition of the Thousand in 1860. With a force of only a few thousand volunteers, he sailed from Genoa to Sicily and successfully captured the island from the Bourbon rulers. Garibaldi’s rapid victories and popular support in Sicily and southern Italy played a significant role in the unification process.
Despite his military successes, Garibaldi encountered challenges and political opposition from other Italian leaders. Ultimately, he decided to support the efforts of Count Camillo di Cavour, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia. Cavour sought to unite Italy under the leadership of the Piedmontese monarchy, and Garibaldi recognized the importance of a unified approach.
In 1861, Italy was officially proclaimed as a unified kingdom, with Victor Emmanuel II of the House of Savoy as its king. Garibaldi willingly surrendered his territories to the king and retired from active politics. However, he remained an iconic figure and a symbol of Italian unity and nationalism.
Garibaldi continued to be involved in various military and political activities in later years. He supported causes such as the defense of Rome against French troops and fought in conflicts in South America. Garibaldi passed away on June 2, 1882, in Caprera, Italy.
Today, Giuseppe Garibaldi is widely regarded as one of the founding fathers of modern Italy. He is celebrated for his unwavering commitment to the ideals of freedom, unity, and independence. His contributions to the unification of Italy and his efforts to establish a democratic nation have left a lasting impact on Italian history and culture.
Giuseppe Mazzini (1805-1872) was an Italian revolutionary, politician, and nationalist who played a crucial role in the movement for Italian unification, known as the Risorgimento. He is considered one of the key ideological figures of the Italian unification process.
Mazzini was born on June 22, 1805, in Genoa, Italy. He studied law at the University of Genoa and became involved in nationalist and republican movements at an early age. Mazzini believed in the importance of individual freedom, national independence, and popular sovereignty.
One of Mazzini’s most significant contributions was the founding of a secret society called Young Italy (Giovine Italia) in 1831. The society aimed to promote the unification of Italy as a republic through revolutionary means. Mazzini saw the creation of a united Italian state as a way to bring about social and political reform, as well as to counter foreign domination.
Under Mazzini’s leadership, Young Italy became a prominent force in the nationalist movement. The organization spread its ideas and recruited members throughout Italy, advocating for a democratic republic and inspiring a sense of national identity among Italians. Mazzini’s writings and speeches were influential in shaping the nationalist sentiment of the time.
Despite facing numerous setbacks and political repression, Mazzini’s ideas gained traction and inspired a new generation of Italian revolutionaries. He became a symbol of resistance and the fight for independence.
Mazzini’s vision for a unified Italy went beyond mere political unity; he sought to create a society based on civic virtue, equality, and the well-being of all citizens. His ideas influenced later Italian leaders, such as Giuseppe Garibaldi and Camillo di Cavour, who played vital roles in the actual unification of Italy.
Although Mazzini’s dream of a unified Italian republic was not fully realized during his lifetime, his ideals and contributions were significant. His emphasis on nationalism, democracy, and popular participation in politics had a lasting impact on the movement for Italian unification.
Mazzini continued his political activism and involvement in revolutionary activities throughout his life. He lived in exile for much of his adult life, residing in cities such as London and Geneva. He worked tirelessly to promote his vision of a united Italy, as well as supporting the liberation movements in other countries.
Giuseppe Mazzini passed away on March 10, 1872, in Pisa, Italy. His legacy as an advocate for Italian nationalism and republican ideals continues to be celebrated in Italy and is recognized internationally. Mazzini’s contributions to the Risorgimento and his dedication to the cause of Italian unification have left an indelible mark on the history of Italy.
Unification Of Germany
The Unification of Germany in 1871 was an event in which the various states were formed into the German Empire. In the 1860s, Otto von Bismarck, then Minister President of Prussia, provoked three short, decisive wars against Denmark, Austria, and France.
The Germans for their overall development in the financial condition have stimulated the gush of German nationalism as well as it helps to improve the transportation service throughout the region. The unification of Germany happened because of the Prussian army. There are also other crucial reasons for the unification of Germany. The two deadly wars that are the Franco- Prussian war and the Austro- Prussian war are one of the big reasons behind the unification of Germany. Many earlier attempts have failed due to nationalists and liberals. The lesson that had been learned by the German nationalists was that unification needed to be achieved through leadership and other forces.
Many important reasons caused the unification of Germany. The four major reasons behind the unification of Germany are the role of Bismarck, the strength of the Prussian economy, the decline of Austria, and the military power of Prussia. The economic strength of Prussia was one of the most important reasons behind the unification of Germany. The economic condition of Prussia has been rising and improving at that time which leads them to develop their trade and transport business as well. They also managed to get the best and a better-modernized army. Many smaller states in Germany were looking at the Prussian trade and wanted to get a business relationship with them. Prussia at that time was producing more important resources such as iron and coal which lead them to be in a good position in terms of the economy than other countries such as Austria and Germany.
The Prussians also developed more new roads and railway networks for their trade which helped them to make a good relationship with other countries. Prussia was producing more raw materials such as coal, iron which also helped to boost their industrial development, and resulted in a strong economic position. It further strengthened their military as well and they managed to build up a higher position in front of Austria and Germany.
Background of the Unification of Germany
Before the unification, Germany was a collaboration of small kingdoms, which existed following the treaty. Those kingdoms would be formed based on the Roman Empire. Most importantly, there was no homogeneous identity of German until the 19th century. These crucial factors started enlarging the path for the unification of Germany. The system through having the small states in the kingdom was regarded as the practiced small states. The industrial revolution further assisted in the improvement of transportation and communication. The whole scenario changed when France defeated the Roman Empire during the Napoleonic War. The German confederation had been re-established in 1815 a humongous wave of German nationalism wiped through the place at the beginning of the 19th century. In other parts, Bismarck had provoked Napoleon the Third through diplomatic steps and subtle provocations. The French have shown some seemingly aggressive steps to restrain other European powers in terms of supporting Napoleon the Third. These factors resulted in the German states, a huge wave of anti-French sentiments. At the time when Bismarck strode the army of Prussia towards the border of France, they had been collaborated by the armies of other states of Germany. This step was more than enough for Napoleon the Third to establish himself as a great and devastating emperor in front of France. That war would run until the fall of Paris to the Prussian army.
In 1864, Bismarck took the first step toward molding an empire. Prussia and Austria allied and went to war against Denmark to win two border provinces, Schleswig and Holstein.A quick victory increased national pride among Prussians. It also won new respect from other Germans and lent support for Prussia as head of a unified Germany. After the victory, Prussia governed Schleswig, while Austria controlled Holstein.
Seven Weeks’ War:
Bismarck purposely stirred up border conflicts with Austria over Schleswig and Holstein. The tensions provoked Austria into declaring war on Prussia in 1866. This conflict was known as the Seven Weeks’ War. The Prussians used their superior training and equipment to win a devastating victory. They humiliated Austria. The Austrians lost the region of Venetia, which was given to Italy. They had to accept the Prussian annexation of more German territory.
With its victory in the Seven Weeks’ War, Prussia took control of northern Germany. For the first time, the eastern and western parts of the Prussian kingdom were joined. In 1867, the remaining north states joined the North German Confederation, which Prussia dominated completely.
The Franco-Prussian War:
By 1867, a few southern German states remained independent of Prussian control. The majority of southern Germans were Catholics. Many in the region resisted domination by Protestant Prussia. However, Bismarck felt he could win the support of Southerners if they faced a threat from outside. He reasoned that a war with France would rally the South.
Effects of the unification
Germany never had any homogeneity that can be regarded as the Germans thought they were not the exact Germans. The war of unification in Germany resulted in the seizure of a huge population of non-German speakers. Mostly the Catholics that are polishing speaking did not assimilate themselves into the German culture. Bismarck at that time opposed the issues of the religious minorities of Germany. The unification of Germany changed the political, social, and economic landscape and had more lasting impacts. The welcoming of German nations that were unified into European politics was appreciated with mixed feelings of fear. It was anticipated that the balance of power among continental Europe could defeat the powerful enemies whose military prowess was unmatched by any earning army in the European continent. However, the unification of Germany altered fundamentally the balance of powers delicately. It has resulted in the adaptation of the concept of nationalism as well.
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