Wednesday , May 18 2022

Rise of Nationalism in Europe: 10th History

Question: What happened during the year following 1815 when the fear of repression drove many liberal nationalists underground? Explain.


  1. Secret societies sprang up in many European states to train revolutionaries and spread their ideas.
  2. To be revolutionary at this time meant a commitment to oppose monarchical forms that had been established after the Vienna Congress and to fight for liberty and freedom.
  3. Most of these revolutionaries also saw the creation of nation-states as a necessary part of this struggle for freedom.
  4. Giuseppe Mazzini, a Italian revolutionary 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.
  5. Following his model, secret societies were Set-up in Germany, France, Switzerland and Poland.

Question: Explain the events leading to the unification of Germany.


  1. Nationalist feelings were widespread among middle-class Germans, who in 1848 tried to unite the different regions of the German confederation into a nation-state governed by an elected parliament.
  2. This liberal initiative to nation-building was, however, repressed by the combined forces of the monarchy and the military, supported by the large landowners (called Junkers) of Prussia.
  3. From then on, Prussia took on the leadership of the movement for national unification.
  4. Its chief minister, Otto von Bismarck, was the architect of this process carried out with the help of the Prussian army and bureaucracy.
  5. Three wars over seven years with Austria, Denmark and France – ended in Prussian victory and completed the process of unification.
  6. In January 1871, the Prussian king, William I, was proclaimed German Emperor in a ceremony held at Versailles.

Question: Describe the process of Unification of Britain.


  1. In Britain, the formation of the nation states was the result of long drawn out process.
  2. Primary identities of the people were ethnic ones.
  3. All ethnic groups such as English, Welsh Scot or Irish had their own cultural and political traditions.
  4. The English nation steadily grew in wealth and power.
  5. It was able to extend its influence over the other nations.
  6. The Act of Union 1707 between England and Scotland resulted in the formation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain.

Question:Explain the significance of portraying nations as female figures by the European artists of 18th and 19th centuries.
How had the female figure become an allegory of nation during 19th century in Europe? Analyse.


  1. During the French Revolution artists used the female allegory to portray ideas such as Liberty, Justice and the Republic.
  2. Similar female allegories were invented by artists in the nineteenth century to represent the nation.
  3. These female figures gave an exact idea of the nation in a concrete form and stood as symbols of heroism and liberty respectively.

Question: Describe the French Revolution.

Answer: The first clear expression of nationalism came with the French Revolution in 1789. France, as you would remember, was a full-fledged territorial state in 1789 under the rule of an absolute monarch. The political and constitutional changes that came in the wake of the French Revolution led to the transfer of sovereignty from the monarchy to a body of French citizens. The revolution proclaimed that it was the people who would henceforth constitute the nation and shape its destiny. From the very beginning, the French revolutionaries introduced various measures and practices that could create a sense of collective identity amongst the French people. The ideas of la patrie (the fatherland) and le citoyen (the citizen) emphasized the notion of a united community enjoying equal rights under a constitution.

A new French flag, the tricolor, was chosen to replace the former royal standard. The Estates General was elected by the body of active citizens and renamed the National Assembly. New hymns were composed, oaths taken and martyrs commemorated, all in the name of the nation. A centralized administrative system was put in place and it formulated uniform laws for all citizens within its territory. Internal customs duties and dues were abolished and a uniform system of weights and measures was adopted. Regional dialects were discouraged and French, as it was spoken and written in Paris, became the common language of the nation.

The revolutionaries further declared that it was the mission and the destiny of the French nation to liberate the peoples of Europe from despotism, in other words to help other peoples of Europe to become nations. When the news of the events in France reached the different cities of Europe, students and other members of educated middle classes began setting up Jacobin clubs. Their activities and campaigns prepared the way for the French armies which moved into Holland, Belgium, Switzerland and much of Italy in the 1790s. With the outbreak of the revolutionary wars, the French armies began to carry the idea of nationalism abroad.

Question: How did nationalism and the idea of the nation-state emerge?

Answer: Socially and politically, a landed aristocracy was the dominant class on the continent. The members of this class were united by a common way of life that cut across regional divisions. They owned estates in the countryside and also town-houses. They spoke French for purposes of diplomacy and in high society. Their families were often connected by ties of marriage. This powerful aristocracy was, however, numerically a small group. The majority of the population was made up of the peasantry. To the west, the bulk of the land was farmed by tenants and small owners, while in Eastern and Central Europe the pattern of landholding was characterized by vast estates which were cultivated by serfs.

Question: What did Liberal Nationalism Stand for?

Answer: Ideas of national unity in early-nineteenth-century Europe were closely allied to the ideology of liberalism. The term ‘liberalism’ derives from the Latin root liber, meaning free. For the new middle classes liberalism stood for freedom for the individual and equality of all before the law. Politically, it emphasized the concept of government by consent. Since the French Revolution, liberalism had stood for the end of autocracy and clerical privileges, a constitution and representative government through parliament. Nineteenth-century liberals also stressed the inviolability of private property. Yet, equality before the law did not necessarily stand for universal suffrage.
Men without property and all women were excluded from political rights. Only for a brief period under the Jacobins did all adult males enjoy suffrage. However, the Napoleonic Code went back to limited suffrage and reduced women to the status of a minor, subject to the authority of fathers and husbands. Throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries women and non-propertied men organised opposition movements demanding equal political rights.

Question: Give a brief note on the Napoleonic code.

Answer: 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.

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