The Rise of Nationalism in Europe
Textbook Exercise Solutions
Write in Brief
1. Write a note on:
(a) Giuseppe Mazzini
(b) Count Camillo de Cavour
(c) The Greek War of Independence
(d) Frankfurt Parliament
(e) The role of women in nationalist struggles
(a) Giuseppe Mazzini:
- Mazzini was an Italian revolutionary born in Genoa in 1807. He joined secret society of the Carbonari. At the age of 24. He was sent into exile in 1831 for attempting a revolution in Liguria.
- Mazzini believed that God has intended the nations to be the natural units of mankind, so he did not want Italy to be a patchwork of small states and kingdoms. He wanted it to be a single unified republic.
- He founded underground societies named ‘Young Italy’ in Marseilles and ‘Young Europe’ in Berne, whose members were like-minded young men from Poland, France, Italy and the German States.
(b) Count Camilo de Cavour:
- Cavour was chief minister of Sardinia-Piedmont. He led the movement to unify the regions of Italy.
- He was neither a revolutionary nor a democrat. Like many other wealthy Italians, he spoke French much better than he spoke Italian.
- He engineered a careful diplomatic alliance with France that helped Sardinia-Piedmont defeat the Austrian forces in 1859 to free the northern part of Italy from the Austrian Habsburgs.
(c) The Greek War of Independence:
- This was a successful war of independence waged by Greek revolutionaries between 1821 and 1829 against the Ottoman Empire.
- The Greeks were supported by the West European countries, while poets and artists hailed Greece as the cradle of European civilisation and mobilised the public opinion to support its struggle against a Muslim empire.
- Finally, the Treaty of Constantinople of 1832 recognised Greece as an independent nation.
(d) The Frankfurt Parliament:
- It was an all-German National Assembly formed by the middle-class professionals, businessmen and prosperous artisans belonging to the different German regions.
- It was convened on 18 May, 1848 in the Church of St. Paul, in the city of Frankfurt.
- A constitution was drafted for a German nation to be headed by a monarchy subject to a parliament.
- It could not succeed as it had narrow base. It was dominated by the middle classes who resisted the demands of workers and artisans. It faced opposition from the aristocracy and military.
- In the end, it was forced to disband on 31 May, 1849.
(e) The role of women in nationalist struggles:
- Though the women had participated actively over the years yet they were denied equal rights.
- Women had formed their own political associations, founded newspapers and taken part in political meetings and demonstrations.
- At the Frankfurt Parliament in the women were admitted only as observers in the visitors’ gallery.
- Thus, women participated in nationalist movements but were not given equality in political rights.
2. What steps did the French revolutionaries take to create a sense of collective identity among the French people?
The French revolutionaries took following important steps to create a sense of collective identity among the French people which were:
- Ideas of La Patrie (the fatherland) and Le Citoyen (the citizen) emphasised the notion of a united community enjoying equal rights under a constitution.
- A new tricolour French flag, replaced the royal standard.
- The Estates General was renamed the National Assembly elected by a group of active citizens.
- New hymns, oaths and martyrs commemorated in the name of the nation.
- A centralised administrative system was established to formulate uniform laws.
- Uniform system of weights and measures were adopted and internal custom duties were abolished.
- French as a common language of the nation.
3. Who were Marianne and Germania? What was the importance of the way in which they were portrayed?
- Marianne was the French allegory while Germania was the allegory of the German nation.
- The importance of the way in which they were portrayed lay in the fact that they installed a sense of national unity among people who identified their nation in such allegories.
- They personified the attributes like ‘republic’, ‘liberty’, ‘justice’, ‘equality’. Both the female allegories personified the concept of ‘Nation’ in concrete form of a person.
4. Briefly trace the process of German unification.
- We can trace the process of the German Unification to the formation of German confederation of 39 states by Napoleon.
- Frankfurt Parliament (1848) was another attempt to unite German regions into a nation but it failed as it was forced to disband by the combined forces of landlords and military.
- Prussia took the initiative to unite Germany. Its Chief Minister Otto Von Bismarck was the architect of the process of national unification of Germany with the help of the army and the bureaucracy.
- Three wars were fought over a period of seven years (1864-1870). Prussia defeated Denmark (1864), Austria (1866) and France (1870-71) in these wars.
- In January 1871 the Prussia king William 1 was proclaimed the German emperor in the ceremony held in the Royal Palace of Versailles in France.
5. What changes did Napoleon introduce to make the administrative system more efficient in the territories ruled by him?
Napoleon introduced following changes to make the administrative system more efficient in the territories ruled by him:
- He established civil code in 1804 also known as the Napoleonic Code.
- Privileges on birth were abolished. It established equality before law and secured the right to property.
- He also simplified administrative divisions.
- He abolished feudal system and freed peasants from serfdom and manorial dues.
- In towns too, guild restrictions were removed. Transport and communication systems were improved.
- Workers, peasants, artisans and businessmen enjoyed the newly found freedom.
- Standardised weights and measures and a common national currency facilitated free movements of goods and capitals in the different regions.
1. Explain what is meant by the 1848 revolution of the liberals. What were the political, social and economic ideas supported by the liberals?
The revolutions of 1848 refer to various national movements in different parts of Europe like France, Poland, Austro-Hungarian and Russian Empire. Such movements were led by liberal educated middle classes as well as there were revolts of the poor, unemployed and starving peasants and workers in Europe. Women also participated in great numbers in such movements. Food shortages and widespread unemployment vexed the poor while men and women of the liberal middle classes came together to voice their demands for the creation of nation-states based on parliamentary principles. Frankfurt parliament in 1848 was one such attempt to establish the German Nation.
The political, social and economic ideas supported by the liberals were:
Political Ideas – Freedom of individuals, equality before law, constitutional governments by consent, parliamentary system formation of nation-sates. Frankfurt parliament in 1848 was one such attempt to establish the German Nation.
Social Ideas- They wanted to get rid of society of its class-based partialities and birth rights. They advocated the abolition of Serfdom and bonded labour.
Economic Ideas – They demanded the right to property and economic unification through freedom of markets and Abolition of state-imposed restrictions on the movements of goods and capital.
2. Choose three examples to show the contribution of culture to the growth of nationalism in Europe.
Romanticism: It was a cultural movement in Europe to develop sense of national unity by creating a sense of shared heritage and common history. The Romantic artists criticised science and reason and laid emphasis on emotions, intuition and mystical feelings to install national sentiments.
Folk songs, dances and poetry: Being a part of the lives of the common people, folk culture enabled nationalists to carry the message of nationalism to a large and diverse audience. German Gottfried saw the true spirit of nationalism in folk-culture. Grimm brothers collected folktales and published them. The Polish composer Karol Kurpinski celebrated and popularised the Polish nationalist struggle through his operas and music, turning folk dances like the polonaise and mazurka into nationalist symbols.
Role of Language: An example of this is how during Russian occupation, the use of Polish came to be seen as a symbol of struggle against Russian dominance. Polish language was forced out of schools and Russian language was imposed everywhere. Many members of the clergy in Poland refused to preach in Russian, and used Polish for Church gatherings and religious instruction. The emphasis on the use of vernacular language, the language of the masses, helped spread the message of national unity.
3. Through a focus on any two countries, explain how nations developed over the nineteenth century.
Answer: Examples of the two countries: Germany and Italy
Political fragmentation:Till the 19th century thepresent-day Germany and Italy were fragmented into separate regions and kingdoms ruled by different princely houses. Germany into 39 states and Italy into 7 states.
Revolutionary uprisings: Nineteenth-century Europe was characterised by both popular uprisings of the masses and revolutions led by the educated, liberal middle classes. The middle classes belonging to the different German regions came together to form all-German National Assembly in 1848. It was forced to disband by the combined forces of aristocracy and military.
In 1830s, revolutionaries like Giuseppe Mazzini sought to establish a Unitary Italian Republic. However, the revolutionary uprisings of 1831 and 1848 failed as crushed by the Austro-Hungarian empire.
Use of army and bureaucracy:The revolts by people did not succeed in establishing nation-states in Germany. Nation-states of Germany and Italy were formed through wars. Germany was united by the Prussian chief minister Otto von Bismarck with the help of the Prussian army and bureaucracy. The German empire was proclaimed in 1871.
The Italian state of Sardinia-Piedmont played role in Unification of Italy. Count Camillo de Cavour (the Chief Minister) led the movement to unite the separate states of nineteenth-century Italy with the help of the army and an alliance with France. Giuseppe Garibaldi and his Red Shirt conquered the southern parts of Italy to form a united Italy. In 1861, Victor Emanuel II was proclaimed the king of the united Italy. The papal states joined in 1870.
4. How was the history of nationalism in Britain unlike the rest of Europe?
- Britain was a nation that did not face revolutions to become a nation-state. Britain was formed through a long-drawn-out process. The powers of monarchy were curbed by parliament through a bloodless revolution in 1688.
- No British nation existed before the 18th century. The primary identities of the people who inhabited the British Isles were ethnic ones – such as English, Welsh, Scot or Irish.
- The Act of Union (1707) between England and Scotland resulted in the formation of the ‘United Kingdom of Great Britain’. Scotland’s distinctive culture and political institutions were systematically suppressed. The Scottish highlanders were forbidden to speak their Gaelic language or wear their national dress and large numbers were forcibly driven out of their homeland.
- The English helped the Protestants of Ireland to establish their dominance over a largely Catholic country. Catholic revolts against British dominance were suppressed. Ireland was forcibly incorporated into the United Kingdom in 1801.
- The symbols of the new Britain – the British flag, the national anthem, the English language were actively promoted and the older nations survived only as subordinate partners in this union.
5. Why did nationalist tensions emerge in the Balkans?
- Region of geographical and ethnic variations: The Balkan was a comprising of modern-day Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, Greece, Macedonia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina Slovenia, Serbia and Montenegro.
- Romantic nationalism and the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire: Different Slavic nationalities struggled to define their identity and claim their independence.
- Intolerance and Jealous among Balkan states: Every state wanted more territory, even at the expense of others and were ready to fight.
- Rivalry among Big powers: The great European Powers –Russia, Germany, England and Austro-Hungary struggled and competed to get more control over Balkan region for colonies, trade, naval and military might.
- The First world war: Ultimately this led to the series of wars in the region and finally became the cause of the First World War.