Germany Issue 2 How Far had nationalism grown in German by 1850?



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Germany Issue 2 How Far had nationalism grown in German by 1850?

We are learning to…

  • We are learning to…
  • Assess how far nationalism had grown in the German states by 1850.
  • I can…
  • Build up notes on the topic
  • Plan a 20 mark essay
  • Pass a 20 mark timed essay

Background

  • German nationalism was the desire for a united Germany encompassing all of the individual states
  • National feeling existed in 1815, mainly as a response to the ideas of the French revolution and also due to the resentment felt by Germans about Napoleon’s occupation
  • Since 1815, nationalism had been growing in some circles due to a number of factors including culture, economic factors such as the Zollverein and political reasons for unity such as military strength
  • There was support for nationalism, mainly from students and educated Liberals but there were still many groups in German society who strongly opposed the idea of a united Germany and these people came from a range of social classes

.

  • .
  • So – by 1850 was Germany close to become one nation?
  • Or was a united Germany still a long way away?

German Society around 1815-50

  • Smallest group
  • Biggest group

The areas where nationalism was making progress or not making progress ‘The Factors’

  • Supporters of Nationalism (who was pushing nationalism forward?)
  • Opponents of Nationalism (who held back nationalism?)
  • Events of the 1840s (what did these events mean for nationalism?)
  • The Frankfurt Parliament (what role did it play?)

1.Supporters of Nationalism

  • Knowledge – the middle class
  • It was from the educated middle class that calls for nationalism were strongest – they resented that they paid the most taxes yet had little say in how the money was spent
  • They resented that the upper classes (very richest) were exempt from paying taxes yet got the best jobs in the army or government
  • They felt they were the ‘wealth generators’ of Germany and provided the legal and banking services on which the country was run and they saw the economic benefits of a united Germany

Middle Class: analysis

  • The middle class were an important and educated group in society who worked hard to promote the benefits of economic and political union and the ruling classes did recognise that Germany could not function without them (success)
  • However, the opponents of nationalism were just too strong and the old ruling classes ran the army and could use that to suppress any uprisings or revolts by the middle class (limitation)

Supporters of Nationalism

  • Knowledge – the Liberals
  • Liberals were the more ‘modern’ thinkers in Germany who believed that individuals needed freedom and parliamentary democracy was the best political model
  • They had been inspired by the French Revolution and it’s ideas of ‘liberty, equality and fraternity’ and had hoped that these ideals would spread to Germany
  • The Liberals challenged the idea of a ‘ruling class’ born into power and influence
  • Their main priorities were political freedom and a relaxation of press censorship by the Princes

Liberals: analysis

  • The Liberals had used the French Revolution as an example for their political ideas and were ideologically strong around that time – 1789 – and many were inspired by their free and democratic ideas(success)
  • However, as soon as the French were defeated in Europe, The Congress of Vienna was established which returned power from Napoleon to the old ruling classes and this was a huge setback to the Liberals (limitation)
  • Since most Germans lived in the countryside and sometimes in remote areas, the Liberals and Nationalists also found it difficult to organise effectively in terms of protests as the supporters of nationalism were often spread out widely (limitation)

A and A+ in an assessment essay

  • Knowledge (K) = relevant factual knowledge form one of the factors
  • Analysis (A) = Giving one success or one limitation
  • Analysis + (A+) = combining a success with a limitation e.g.
  • “On the one hand The middle class were an important and educated group in society who worked hard to promote the benefits of economic and political union and the ruling classes did recognise that Germany could not function without them however on the other hand the opponents of nationalism were just too strong and the old ruling classes ran the army and could use that to suppress any uprisings or revolts by the middle class.”

2. Opponents of Nationalism

  • NB: when we say ‘opponents’ of nationalism it doesn’t necessarily need to be those who actively discouraged it but perhaps those who didn’t further the cause at all
  • As we already know, the individual German princes such as Metternich were opposed to nationalism and you can use that knowledge under this heading too, as long as you know why they were opposed to it.

2. Opponents of Nationalism

  • Knowledge – the peasants
  • The peasants were the largest group in German society and could have had the biggest impact on the growth of nationalism, however they had far bigger problems than politics
  • Conditions in the countryside were very harsh; rising rents, harsh working conditions, a declining countryside population, demand for food (so fewer workers had to make more food) and there was pressure for peasants to combine their small farms into larger commercial businesses to make the ruling classes more money
  • The peasants resented the ruling classes greatly for their hardships

Peasants: analysis

  • The peasants would have been one of the groups who would likely benefit most from a united Germany in terms of democracy and economic benefits and their huge numbers across Germany mean they could have had the biggest influence in achieving a united Germany (success)
  • However, the harsh living and working conditions in the countryside meant that the day to day focus of German peasants was actually survival and feeding themselves rather than any big national issues (limitation)
  • Historians have argued most Germans ‘seldom looked up from the plough’ i.e. were too busy working to be politicised (limitation)
  • In addition, nationalism tended to be a focus of educated and literate Germans and the peasants could not read or write, making it difficult for them to engage in politics and nationalist culture i.e. literature (limitation)

Opponents of Nationalism

  • Knowledge – the industrial workers or ‘working class’
  • Urbanisation and Industrialisation meant that more Germans than ever were moving to the cities to live and work – the population of Munich more than tripled between 1900-1850 (from 30k to 110k)
  • In the cities, conditions were harsh – poor housing, high rents, long hours & low pay

Working class: analysis

  • The concentration of industrial workers in German cities meant that the working classes were now far more willing and able to demonstrate and demand changes and improvements such as better housing from the ruling classes (success)
  • However, it is important to remember that the calls for change from the working classes were about their survival from day to day rather than political change – there were no calls for democracy, liberalism or nationalism (limitation)
  • Historians have argued that the working classes would support any government that led to a slight improvement in their working conditions rather than being motivated by nationalism (limitation)

3. Events of the 1840s

  • Knowledge – Harvests & Protests
  • There were a series of poor harvests in Germany in 1846 and 1847 as well as an outbreak of the same potato blight which hit Ireland in 1845-6 (potatoes were the main food source of peasants)
  • Combined with the large population growth, food shortages became common in towns and in the countryside; wages dropped, unemployment rose and living standards plummeted
  • Protests broke out across Germany in 1848 which stressed the people’s discontent with the ruling classes and stressed the need for a united Germany – the red, black and gold colours were used by protestors

1848 protests: Analysis

  • Due to the events of the 1840s, Germans from all social classes (apart from the nobility) were showing their popular discontent with the current system of the ruling classes and applying pressure through popular protest to the leaders of the states for change (success)
  • However, it was only the middle class in the 1840s who were demanding the creation of a united German Republic and the more populous groups of workers and peasants were only demanding change in terms of living standards (limitation)

3. Events of the 1840s

  • Knowledge – King Frederick
  • King Frederick was the King of Prussia and was very concerned during 1848 about demonstrations in Berlin where the army had opened fire, sparking off several days of street fighting
  • King Frederick had been openly opposed to a united Germany but suddenly due to so many deaths, he appeared to accept their demands and even appeared wrapped in the red, black and gold colours
  • Prince Metternich was forced to flee Vienna like a common criminal in fear of his life after protests in Austria by those wanting change as well as ethnic minorities in Austria, like the Italians

Frederick & Metternich: Analysis

  • On the one hand, Frederick’s appearance in the German colours to the protestors showed a willingness on his behalf to listen to those who demanded change and many liberals and nationalists were given hope that he would accept their demands as it was clear the ruling classes had been alarmed by the protests(success)
  • The most positive effect of the protests was that the leaders of the German states agreed to the creation of an all-German parliament in 1848 known as the Frankfurt parliament, an extremely important step towards unity of the ‘Germany’ – had it not been for the protests this would not have happened (success)
  • However, historians have pointed out the contradictory nature of King Frederick William and how he often changed his mind about nationalism so offering his support at this time may not be as significant (limitation)
  • In addition, anti nationalist princes like Metternich were still prepared to go to great lengths to hold back nationalism for their own self benefit, despite the protests, and many only agreed to the parliament to ‘observe’ rather than make changes (limitation)

3. The Frankfurt Parliament

  • Knowledge – The Frankfurt Parliament
  • In 1874 there were calls from several German states to tackle the issue of unity. Invitations were sent to all states and the response was spectacular; 574 delegates met and agreed to set up a German Parliament which would draw up rules for a united Germany.
  • There would be one member for every 50,000 people in the assembly and it became known as the ‘Frankfurt Parliament’. The Parliament first met in 1848.

The Frankfurt Parliament: Analysis

  • The establishment of an all-German parliament and the fact that so many states were willing to take part was a huge boost to the cause of German nationalism and a definitive step forward in terms of the road to a united Germany. (success)
  • Eventually included in the parliament’s constitution were freedom of speech & worship and an end to discrimination and these were huge steps in the creation of a more liberal, fair and democratic Germany (success)
  • But there were a huge number of limitations – aim to know 2 or 3!
  • The old rulers of the German states reluctantly agreed to the ‘idea’ of an elected parliament but they had no real belief or commitment for the parliament – they were more concerned with losing their own thrones (limitation)
  • The parliament was dominated by the middle class and they were far too preoccupied with furthering the cause of German Nationalism rather than trying to improve conditions for the working class or peasants (limitation)

The parliament relied too much on King Frederick and Prussia to support ideas; King Frederick was fickle and flitted between supporting and opposing German Nationalism, affecting the work of the parliament (limitation)

  • The parliament relied too much on King Frederick and Prussia to support ideas; King Frederick was fickle and flitted between supporting and opposing German Nationalism, affecting the work of the parliament (limitation)
  • The parliament had no armed force behind it which was a major drawback and it had to instead rely on the Prussian army to crush disturbances (limitation)
  • The work of the parliament moved at a snail’s pace – it was slow and laborious – producing the constitution or rules of Germany took the members nine months (limitation)
  • There were disagreements over the definition of ‘Germany’ and members were split over two views;
  • Grossdeutschland – Germany including Austria (favoured by Southern states who were Catholic and worried about dominance of protestant Prussia)
  • Kleindeutschland – Germany without Austria and it’s empire (favoured by Prussia as they would then dominate Germany)
  • (limitation)

3. The Frankfurt Parliament

  • Knowledge – The Failure of the Parliament
  • In 1849, the new Austrian emperor Franz Josef II was back firmly in control of his country and sought to re-establish the power and dominance of Austria within the parliament
  • To counteract the threat of anti-nationalist Austria, the members of parliament offered the crown of a united Germany to King William of Prussia; he rejected the crown saying he didn’t want a ‘crown from the gutter’ and the parliament collapsed.
  • Despite this, King William was still keen on a united Germany but only one which Prussia would dominate and in 1850 he proposed a Kleindeutsch state in which Prussia would control the army and foreign policy
  • Unspurprisingly, Austria were furious to hear of this at a meeting at Olmutz (modern day Czech Rep.) and King Frederick, worried about the strength of Austria’s army, backed down. It seemed the Austrians had won their fight against nationalism.

The failure of the Parliament: Analysis

  • The failure of the Parliament: Analysis
  • The Frankfurt Parliament had seemed a fantastic opportunity to bring together the German states and engage in negotitations and nationalists had hoped that the dominance of Prussia would help unite Germany (success)
  • Without clear aims, decisive leadership and an armed force to enforce decisions, the Frankfurt parliament had been unable to fulfil its aims and it seemed to nationalists that a great opportunity to unite Germany had been missed (limitation)
  • The collapse of the parliament showed that even in 1850 Germany was still a long way from uniting and the individual aims and power struggles of the ruling classes, particularly the rivalry between Austria and Prussia, meant that progress of nationalism was limited. (limitation)

Exciting News!

  • There is considerable overlap between this essay and the growth of German Nationalism
  • The SQA will also credit the following points - if you use them correctly!
  • Cultural nationalism – poets, writers etc – what it achieved/ what it failed to achieve
  • Economic nationalism – zollverein, who saw the economic benefits etc – what it achieved/ what it failed to achieve
  • Burschenstaffen – student societies – what they achieved/ what they failed to achieve
  • Prince Metternich/ Carlsbad Decrees & student societies – what they achieved/ what they failed to achieve

Consolidation

  • A good idea when you have taken all your notes for a topic is to create a condensed revision guide for the essay
  • This might be a mind map, picture map, bullet points etc. but should fit on one page
  • Do this for homework (example on next page)

Success Criteria

  • All four factors covered
  • 2 Knowledge points for each factor (min)
  • 4 examples of basic analysis
  • 2 examples of A+

Evaluation

  • This is a bit different for an assessment essay
  • Rather than saying one factor is more important than another we need to decide how succesful each factor was in achieving it’s aims i.e.
  • Supporters – how successful in achieving a united Germany?
  • Opponents how successful were they in stopping it?
  • 1848 events – how much did it lead to a united Germany?
  • The Frankfurt parliament – did it lead to a united German or hold it back?
  • NB: Leave opponents out of your evaluation but you could use it in evaluative comments for the other 3
  • Once you have decided who was helped most and least your evaluation 1 & 2 should fit around that

Evaluation

  • E1 and E2 - 2 marks can be gained from making evaluative comments which relate to individual factors
  • Example – Upon evaluation, the 1848 revolutions were very successful in the progress of German nationalism because…
  • Upon evaluation, the supporters of nationalism were unsuccessful in the progression of German nationalism because…
  • NB – You must be saying something new in your evaluation, not repeating your analysis or doing ‘mini conclusions’

Examples

  • Upon evaluation, the 1848 revolutions were very successful in the progress of German nationalism because both King Fredrick of Prussia and Metternich were forced to listen to the people’s protest and had it not been for the protests then a Frankfurt Parliament would not have been set up and this brought together the German states.

Evaluation +

  • E+ - up to 4 marks can be gained from making evaluative comments which show the relative importance between factors (i.e. you compare two)
  • Example – Upon evaluation, the opponents of nationalism were more successful than the supporters of nationalism because
  • NB – You must be saying something new in your evaluation, not repeating your analysis or doing ‘mini conclusions’
  • Remember analysis is really tricky and many candidates get 0/4 but still get an A!

Examples

  • Upon evaluation, the opponents of nationalism were more successful than the supporters of nationalism because although the Nationalists and Liberals passionately believed in a united Germany they lacked the organisation and numbers to achieve it effectively and even though the workers and peasants were not actively discouraging nationalism their focus was on living standards not politics and the huge numbers of them meant that the majority of the German population were ignoring the nationalist cause completely.

Essay Questions

  • How Far had German Nationalism grown is an example of an assessment essay – this means the SQA expect you to know about nationalistic developments in Germany and assess successful each was i.e. know the successes & limitations
  • The good thing about these questions is the structure of the essay never changes! Always supporters-opponents-1848-Frankfurt Parliament
  • Example essay question (2015 paper)
  • ‘By 1850 supporters of nationalism had made significant progress in their aims’. How valid is this view? 20 marks
  • You should always argue some progress had been made but Germany was not quite ready to unite – this allows you to give a balanced argument

Writing the intro

  • Background – 2/3 sentences – describe Germany at the start of the growth of nationalism (Around 1815…)
  • Factors – In assessing how far nationalism had grown by 1850 it is important to consider… …(a list is fine)
  • Argument – It can be argued that nationalism had made little/ some/ considerable progress in Germany because…

Conclusion – 4 step plan

  • In conclusion, there had been some progress made in terms of German Nationalism by 1850.
  • On the one hand… (you should take the positive argument here and explain what progress had been made)
  • On the other hand… (now you should do the same with the flip side and explain the obstacles to nationalism)
  • Overall, Nationalism had made little/ some/ considerable progress (now you decide which one you agree with and provide evidence to back up that judgement – make it strong and decisive!)

How far German Nationalism – practice essay Q

  • ‘By 1850 supporters of nationalism had made significant progress in their aims’. How valid is this view? 20 marks


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