Chapter 1 The Rise of Nationalism in Europe
Answer the following questions briefly:
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 :
Giuseppe Mazzini was born in Genoa in 1807, and he became a member of the secret society of the Carbonari. As a young man of 24, he was sent into exile in 1831 for attempting a revolution in Liguria. He subsequently founded two more underground societies, first, Young Italy in Marseilles, and then, Young Europe in Berne, whose members were like-minded young men from Poland, France, Italy and the German states. Mazzini believed that God had intended nations to be the natural units of mankind.
(b) Count Camillo de Cavour :
Chief Minister Cavour who led the movement to unify the regions of Italy was neither a revolutionary nor a democrat. Like many other wealthy and educated members of the Italian elite, he spoke French much better than he did Italian. Through a tactful diplomatic alliance with France engineered by Cavour, Sardinia-Piedmont succeeded in defeating the Austrian forces in 1859. Apart from regular troops, a large number of armed volunteers under the leadership of Giuseppe Garibaldi joined the fray.
(c) The Greek war of independence:
An event that mobilised 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. The growth of revolutionary nationalism in Europe sparked off a struggle for independence amongst the Greeks which began in 1821. Nationalists in Greece got support from other Greeks living in exile and also from many West Europeans who had sympathies for ancient Greek culture.
(d) Frankfurt Parliament:
In the German regions a large number of political associations whose members were middle-class professionals, businessmen and prosperous artisans came together in the city of Frankfurt and decided to vote for an all-German National Assembly. On 18 May 1848, 831 elected representatives marched in a festive procession to take their places in the Frankfurt parliament convened in the Church of St Paul. They drafted a constitution for the German nation to be headed by a monarchy subject to a parliament. When the deputies offered the crown on these terms to Friedrich Wilhelm IV, King of Prussia, he rejected it and joined other monarchs to oppose the elected assembly.
(e) The role of women in nationalist struggles :
- Artistic representations of the French Revolution show men and women participating equally in the movement.
- Liberty is personified as a women.
- Liberal nationalism propounded the idea of universal suffrage, leading to women’s active participation in nationalist movements in Europe.
- Women had formed their own political associations, founded newspapers.
- They had taken part in political meetings and demonstrations.
- In France about sixty women’s clubs came up in different French cities.
- The most famous was the society of Revolutionary and Republican women.
- One of their main demands was to have same political rights as men had. They were, however, denied suffrage rights during the election to the Assembly.
- Although women had actively participated in nationalist struggles, they were given little or no political rights, an example being the Frankfurt Parliament in the Church of St. Paul where women were admitted only as observers to stand in the visitors gallery.
What steps did the French revolutionaries take to create a sense of collective identity among the French people ?
The following steps were taken by the French revolutionaries to create a sense of collective identity among the French people :
- The ideas of the fatherland (la patrie) and the citizen (le citoyen) were introduced.
- A new French flag, the tricolour, was chosen to replace the earlier royal standard.
- The Estates General was renamed as National Assembly.
- New hymns were composed, oaths were taken and martyrs commemorated, all in the name of the nation.
- A centralised administrative system was established.
- Uniform laws for all citizens were formulated.
- Internal custom duties and dues were abolished.
- A uniform system of weights and measures was adopted.
- French, as it was written and spoken in Paris, became the common language of the nation. Regional dialects were discouraged.
- It was decided that the French nation would liberate the peoples of Europe from despotism, and help other peoples to become nations.
Who were Marianne and Germania? What was the importance of the way in which they were portrayed? [CBSE 2016]
Female allegories were invented by artists in the nineteenth century to represent the nation. In France, she was christened Marianne, a popular Christian name, which underlined the idea of a people’s nation. Her characteristics were drawn from those of Liberty and the Republic – the red cap, the tricolour, the cockade. Statues of Marianne were erected in public squares to remind the public of the national symbol of unity and to persuade them to identify with it. Marianne images were marked on coins and stamps.
Similarly, Germania became the allegory of the German nation. In visual representations, Germania wears a crown of oak leaves, as the German oak stands for heroism.
Briefly trace the process of German unification.
After 1848, nationalism in Europe moved away from an association with democracy and revolution. Nationalist sentiments were often mobilized by conservatives for promoting state power and achieving political domination over Europe. Thus, Germany and Italy were unified as nation-states as mentioned below :
- Napoleon’s administrative measures had created out of countless principalities a confederation of 39 states. Each of these possessed its own currency and weights and measures.
Such conditions were obstacles to economic exchange and growth by the new commercial classes.
- In 1834, a customs union or Zollvere it was established. It allowed free trade among its members. It created a real national unity in economic matters, at a time when Germany was politically not united. A wave of economic nationalism strengthened the wider nationalist sentiments.
- As a result of 1848 revolution in France, in Germany where a nation state did not exist the men and women of the liberal middle classes raised the demands for constitutionalism and national unification.
- In May 1848, a large number of political associations decided to vote for an all-German National Assembly at Frankfurt and drafted a constitution for a German Nation to be headed by a monarchy subject to a parliament. The offer was made to Prussian King but it was rejected by him. Thus, the liberal initiative to nation building failed.
- Thereafter the task of unification of Germany was taken over by Prussia and its chief minister, Otto von Bismarck who was architect of modern Germany.
- Bismarck followed a policy of‘blood and iron’. He carried out his plans with the help of the Prussian army and bureaucracy.
- In 1862, Bismarck reorganised the Prussion army and improved training in war. In 1864 he constructed an alliance with Austria to fight Denmark over Denmark’s southern provinces of Schleiswig while Austria administered Holstein. Bismarck provoked a conflict with Austria over an unrelated border dispute and in the subsequent Seven Weeks War, Prussia defeated Austria. The peace treaty transferred Holstein to Prussia and forced Austria to officially remove itself from all German affairs.
- Next was war with France. In 1870, Bismarck forged a note from the French ambassador, implying that the ambassador had insulted the Prussian King. After he leaked this letter to both populations, there was a cry for war. At this stage, the southern provinces rallied to Prussia’s side. In 1870 France declared war on Prussia but was defeated. As a result of war, Alsace Lorraine was transferred to Germany.
- Ultimately in January 1871, in the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles, The Prussian King William I was proclaimed German Emperor. Thus, unification of Germany was completed. This demonstrated the dominance of Prussian state power. It was victory of Bismarck’s policy of ‘blood and iron’ and it tended to foster militarism and authoritarianism in Germany.The new state placed a strong emphasis on modernising the currency, banking, legal and judicial systems in Germany. Prussian measures and practices often became a model for the rest of Germany.
What changes did Napoleon introduce to make the administrative system more efficient in the territories ruled by him ?
Within the wide swathe of territory that came under his control, Napoleon set about introducing many of the reforms that he had already introduced in France. Through a return to monarchy Napoleon had, no doubt, destroyed democracy in France, but in the administrative field he had incorporated revolutionary principles in order to make the whole system more rational and efficient.
The Civil Code of 1804 – usually known as the Napoleonic Code – did away with all privileges based on birth, established equality before the law and secured the right to property. This Code was exported to the regions under French control. In the Dutch Republic, in Switzerland, in Italy and Germany, Napoleon simplified administrative divisions, abolished the feudal system and freed peasants from serfdom and manorial dues. In the towns too, guild restrictions were removed. Transport and communication systems were improved. Peasants, artisans, workers and new businessmen enjoyed new-found freedom.
Businessmen and small-scale producers of goods, in particular, began to realise that uniform law, standardized weights and measures, and a common national currency would facilitate the movement and exchange of goods and capital from one region to another.