Chapter 1. The Rise of Nationalism In Europe

Overview
• The emergence of nationalism in Europe was consequence of a succession of events rather than a single event. In Europe, nationalism began in 18 th century and peaked in 19th century when it had spread to nearly all countries of continent.
• ‘Vision of World’ by Frédéric Sorrieu: This chapter begins with understanding about Frédéric Sorrieu’s vision of world. The accomplished French artist created four prints in 1848 which present his vision of a dream world based on Social Republics and democracy.
• The first print shows people of Europe and America marching in a long train and offering homage to Statue of Liberty as they pass through it. The torch of Enlightenment was carried by a female figure in one hand and Charter of Rights of Man in other.
• The shattered ruins of symbols of absolutist institutions can be seen in foreground on land.
• In Sorrieu’s utopian vision, people of world are grouped as distinct nations, identified through their flags and national costume.
• The United States and Switzerland lead parade, followed by France and Germany. The people of Austria, Kingdom of Two Sicilies, Lombardy, Poland, England, Ireland, Hungary & Russia follow Germans.
• From heavens above, Christ, saints & angels gaze upon scene. They have been used by artist to symbolise fraternity among nations of world.

The French Revolution and Idea of Nation
• In 1789, Nationalism came with French Revolution and political and constitutional changes led to transfer of Sovereignty from Monarchy to a body of French citizens. Various measures and practices were introduced such as ideas of la patrie (the fatherland) and le citoyen (the citizen). A new French flag, tricolour was chosen to replace former one. The Estates General was elected by body of active citizens and renamed National Assembly and a centralized administrative system formulated uniform laws for all citizens. Regional dialects were discouraged and French became common language of nation.
• The revolutionaries further decided to liberate peoples of Europe from despotism as mission and destiny of French nation.
• Later, Jacobin clubs were set up and their activities and campaigns prepared path for armies of France which moved into Holland, Belgium, Switzerland and Italy in 1790s. The French army began to carry idea of nationalism abroad with outbreak of revolutionary wars.
• Democracy was destroyed in France by Napoleon, but Civil Code of 1804, called Napoleonic Code, did away with all privileges based on birth, established equality before law and secured right to property.

The Making of Nationalism in Europe
• What we know today as Germany, Italy & Switzerland were divided into kingdoms, duchies & cantons whose rulers had their autonomous regions/territories. Eastern and Central Europe were under autocratic monarchies and diverse people lived within territories which did not see themselves as a collective identity or a common culture. They have their different languages and belonged to different ethnic groups.
• The only common tie between them was allegiance to emperor. It was not easy to promote sense of political unity despite such differences.

The Aristocracy and New Middle Class
• The Aristocracy, politically and socially, was dominant class on continent
• The members of this class were united by a common way of life that cut across regional divisions. They owned estates in countryside and townhouses. They spoke French for purposes of diplomacy and in high society. Their families were often connected by ties of marriage. But, these aristocrats were numerically small. The majority of population was made up of peasantry.
• In Western and parts of Central Europe growth of industrial production and trade meant growth of towns and emergence of commercial classes whose existence was based on production for market.
• Industrialization began in England in second half of eighteenth century.
• The new social groups came into being: a workingclass population and middle classes made up of industrialists, businessmen and professionals.
• It was among educated, liberal middle classes that ideas of national unity following abolition of aristocratic privileges gained popularity.

What did Liberal Nationalism Stand for?
• The word ‘Liberalism’ comes from Latin word ‘liber,’ which means ‘free.’ Liberalism for middle classes stood for freedom for individual and equality of all before law. It emphasised concept of government by consent, politically.
• In economic sphere, liberalism stood for freedom of markets and abolition of stateimposed restrictions on movement of goods and capital. During nineteenth century this was a strong demand of emerging middle classes.

A New Conservatism after 1815
• After defeat of Napoleon in 1815, European Governments were led by a conservative attitude. Conservatives supported monarchy, Church, social hierarchies, property & preservation of family.
• They realised that end of Feudalism and Serfdom, as well as a modern army, an efficient bureaucracy and a dynamic economy, may strengthen Europe’s Authoritarian Monarchy.
• Representatives from European powers — Britain, Russia, Prussia & Austria convened in Vienna in 1815 to draw up a European settlement.
• France lost those countries which were gained under Napoleon and Bourbon Monarchy was restored to power. The main intention was to restore monarchies that were overthrown by Napoleon and to create a conservative order in Europe.
• They imposed censorship laws to control press.
• The Freedom of press was one of key issues raised by liberal-nationalists who opposed New Conservative order.

Note:
Conservatism: A political philosophy that stresses importance of tradition, customs & established institutions and prefers gradual development.

The Revolutionaries
• In 1815, many liberal-nationalists gone underground because of fear of repression, secret societies were formed in many European States to train revolutionaries and spread their ideas. Revolutionaries opposed monarchical forms and fought for Liberty and Freedom.
• Giuseppe Mazzini, an Italian revolutionary born in Genoa in 1807, formed two additional secret societies, first of which was Young Italy in Marseilles and second he founded Young Europe in Berne, whose members were like-minded young men from Poland, France, Italy & German States. His vision of democratic republics and criticism of monarchism frightened conservatives. Metternich quoted him as ‘the most dangerous enemy of our social order’.

The Age of Revolutions: 1830-1848
• As Conservative regimes tried to consolidate their power, Liberalism and Nationalism came to be increasingly associated with revolution in many regions of Europe such as Italian and German States, Provinces of Ottoman Empire, Ireland & Poland.
• The Bourbon Kings were deposed by liberal revolutionaries in July 1830, who founded a Constitutional Monarchy commanded by Louis Philippe. The July Revolution prompted an uprising in Brussels, which resulted in Belgium seceding from Netherlands’ United Kingdom. Greeks fought for freedom in 1821.

The Romantic Imagination and National Feeling
• Art, poetry, storytelling and music all contributed to formation of nation’s concept: they helped express and create nationalist feelings.
• Romanticism, a cultural movement that sought to develop a particular form of nationalist sentiment.
• Language too played an important role in developing sentiments of nationalism. After occupation of Russia, The Russian language was imposed upon everyone, (the Polish language was forced out) and in 1831 there was an armed insurrection against Russian administration, which was eventually subdued.

Hunger, Hardship & Popular Revolt
• Europe faced economic hardships in 1830s. The first half of 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 population of Paris out on roads.

The Revolution of Liberals
• A revolt driven by educated middle classes erupted in 1848. The construction of a nation-state based on parliamentary ideals — a Constitution, Freedom of press and Freedom of association – was advocated by men and women in liberal middle class.
• A large number of political associations came together in Frankfurt to vote for an all-German National Assembly. On 18 May 1848, 831 elected representatives marched to take their places in Frankfurt Parliament convened in Church of St Paul.
• A Monarchy presided over German nation’s Constitution, which was subject to a Parliament. Friedrich Wilhelm IV, King of Prussia, was offered Crown, but he declined and joined other Monarchs in opposing Elected Assembly. The Parliament was dominated by middle class and a substantial number of women took part in Liberal Movement.
• Women formed their own political associations, founded newspapers and took part in political meetings and demonstrations, but they were still denied suffrage rights during election of Assembly.
• The authoritarian kings of Central and Eastern Europe began to implement reforms that had already occurred in Western Europe prior to 1815 in years following 1848. Serfdom and bonded labour were thus abolished in both Habsburg and Russian dominions.

The Making of Germany
• After 1848, Nationalism in Europe faded and Germany and Italy merged as nation-states. The quest for national unification was taken over by Prussia. Otto von Bismarck, Prussian Chief Minister, was architect of this process, which was carried out with support of Prussian army and bureaucracy.
• In January 1871, Prussian King, William I, was proclaimed German Emperor. An assembly was held to proclaim new German Empire. The process of nation-building demonstrated dominance of Prussian State power. The currency, banking, legal & judicial system in Germany were modernised.

The Making of Italy
• Italy was scattered over several dynastic states and multi-national Hasburg Empire as well.
• Italy was divided into seven states (only SardiniaPiedmont was ruled by an Italian princely house) during middle of nineteenth century. The north was under Austrian Hasburgs, pope controlled centre and southern region was under domination of Bourbon kings of Spain.
• Giuseppe Mazzini put together a programme for a unitary Italian Republic during 1830s. He formed Young Italy society for dissemination of his goals. After failure of 1831 and 1848 revolutionary uprisings, mantle of a unified Italy fell on King Victor Emmanuel II of Sardinia-Piedmont.
• Chief Minister Cavour led movement and his tactics and diplomatic alliance with France made sure win of Sardinia-Piedmont over Austrian forces in 1859.
• In 1860, a large number of troops under leadership of Giuseppe Garibaldi marched into South Italy and drove out Spanish rulers. Victor Emmanuel II was proclaimed king of united Italy in year 1861.

The Strange Case of Britain
• Great Britain was model of nation and prior to eighteenth century there was no British nation. The nation became powerful as it steadily grew in wealth, importance and power.
• The foundation of ‘United Kingdom of Great Britain’ as a result of Act of Union (1707) between England and Scotland meant that England could effectively impose its influence on Scotland. Ireland was forcibly absorbed into United Kingdom in 1801.
• The symbols of new Britain – British flag (Union Jack), National Anthem (God Save Our Noble King), English language – were actively promoted.

Visualising Nation
• In eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, artists represented a country as a person and nations as female figures. During French Revolution, female figures portray ideas such as Liberty, Justice & Republic.
• Liberty is represented as a red cap, or broken chain, Justice a blindfolded woman carrying a pair of weighing scales.

Nationalism and Imperialism
• By last quarter of nineteenth century, nationalism had lost its appeal. The Balkans, which include modern-day Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, Greece, Macedonia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Slovenia, Serbia & Montenegro, were tensest region after 1871.
• Ottoman Empire made Balkans region explosive and all through nineteenth century, they strengthened themselves through modernization and internal reforms. Due to various conflicts, Balkan became an area of intense conflict.
• During this time, intense rivalry arose between European powers over trade, colonies & naval and military supremacy, leading to a succession of regional wars and, eventually, First World War.
• Nationalism, which was associated with imperialism, wreaked havoc on Europe in 1914. Anti-imperial groups arose, but none of them succeeded in forming independent Nation-States. The concept of ‘NationStates’ on other hand, was widely recognised as natural and universal.

Timeline
1797 : Napoleon invades Italy – Napoleonic wars begin 1814-
1815 : Fall of Napoleon – Vienna Peace Settlement
1821 : Greek struggle for independence starts
1848 : Revolutions in Europe
1861 : Unification of Italy
1871 : Unification of Germany

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