Histor y nationalism in europe (1). Nationalism

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(1). NATIONALISM literally means loyalty to the idea of state rather than community.

(2). Citizens are proud of their nation state. It is a love of one’s country with the belief that their country is superior to other countries Nationalism.

(3). In its broadest sense, is a devotion to one's own nation and its interests over those of all other nations.

(4). The term can also refer to a doctrine or political movement that holds that a nation(usually defined in terms of ethnicity or culture)has the right to constitute an independent or autonomous political community based on a shared history and common destiny.

(5). Historians use the term nationalism to refer to this historical transition and to the emergence and predominance of nationalist ideology.

(6) It is the ideological apparatus by which citizens and the nation-state find common loyalties and identification. Nationalism may have been born in Europe with the modern nation-state, but it reached its broadest flowering in the multicultural United States.

(7) Nationalism helps them to identify with a particular country. Because the United States is secular, free society, the components of nationalism arise from rituals and symbolic images that change in meaning over time and are relentlessly politicized.

(8). Nationalism has had an enormous influence on world history. The quest for national hegemony has inspired millennia of imperialism and colonisation, while struggles for national liberation have resulted in many revolutions.

(9) In modern times, the nation-state has become the dominant form of societal organization. Extreme forms of nationalism, such as those propagated by fascist movements in the twentieth century, hold that nationality is the most important aspect of one's identity and attempt to define the nation in terms of race or genetic.


Refer to the book pg 4

Q3.Mention any two steps taken by the national leaders in redefining national identity.

1. After the French Revolution in an attempt to strengthen citizen’s devotion to the nation, leaders of nations actively participated in creating or redefining national identity.

2. National symbols, anthems, flags& parades were 19th century inventions that built on traditions created in the American & the French Revolutions.

3. The Romantic Movement (especially in Germany) led to the origin of a new set of cultural myths & folk traditions which set different nations apart.


1. All over Europe the revolution of 1848 led to the establishment of empires& artificial borders. At the same time citizens resisted control of outsiders & their assimilation with other countries e.g.MAGYARS & SLAVIC people of Austrian Empire resented the control of HAPSBURG rulers & resisted Austrian efforts to assimilate them.

2. The NORTH GERMAN CONFEDRATION which were dominated by the AUSTRIANS, tried to preserve their identities.PRUSSIANS wanted to create a German State much against the interest of AUSTRIA.

3. The ITALIAN RISORGIMENTO of 1859-70 was fought to reunify disperate ITALIAN provinces captured & subjugated by FRENCH & AUSTRIAN rulers.

4. FRENCH territory had diminished due to its defeat by both ITALIAN & GERMAN forces & they desperately wanted to solidify their identity as a nation.

5. In 1870-1880, France became a a modern nation.The state campaigned & introduced French culture to the peasants.Incentives were given to them to adopt those national traditions.

6. In RUSSIA serfs were denied basic civil liberties therefore they had little loylity towards their state. In 1861 serfs were emancipated & TSAR ALEXANDER II took up projects to built modern Russian nation.Different ethnic groups within Russian borders also struggled to create their own nation.

In nutshell nation building remained a difficult task because one region was inhabited by more than one ethnic group,the concept of their coexistence remained problamatic.

5. Roots of Nationalism

1. The American Revolution transformed loyal colonialists into patriotic Americans.

It also changed monarchial identification into love for the first president, George Washington, and charged ritual commemoration of revolutionary events and figures with quasi-religious passion.

2. In 1783, after the peace treaty legitimized the boundaries of the new nation, Americans had the requisite qualities to establish their own ideology.

Americans were highly literate and had a burgeoning number of newspapers and book publishers.

3. The desire to commemorate the American Revolution inspired fledgling historians to write chronicles of the conflict and create a hagiography of heroes. Most literature was written in English, which became the predominant language after the Revolution.

4. Building upon monarchial and religious holidays, Americans celebrated the great events and accomplishments of the Revolution to instill patriotism.

5. Americans high and low adopted Europeans' conceptions of republicanism to inscribe a self-sacrificing love for the new nation and the responsibilities of citizenship.

6. FACTORS THAT LED TO THE RISE OF NATIONALISM IN EUROPE Nationalism provided one of the greatest forces in Europe in the 19th century.

1. DECLINE OF FEUDALISM: many landlords lost their lives in mutual warfare. They were a great hindrance in the way of the rise of the national feelings among the people. The Barons had been impoverished by the crusades.

2. Weakness of Papacy & the Holy Roman Empire: In the Middle Ages churches commanded a great power. But the Renaissance & Reformation Movements led to awakening among the people& weakened the Papal authority. National Churches & National states were established in many states.

3. WARS: The Hundred Years Wars between England & France gave rise to nationalism in both the countries in spite of differences between the two.

4. FOREIGN RULE: The foreign rulers suppressed the people under them cruelly & mercilessly. But all this united the people against the foreign rule & infused the spirit of nationalism in them to free themselves from their yoke.

5. GEOGRAPHICAL FACTORS: National boundaries of a country do create the feeling of political consciousness & oneness among the people. For example England is bounded by seas on all the sides which facilitated the rise of the feelings of unity & nationalism among the British.

6. CONTRIBUTION OF GREAT WRITERS Many writers, philosophers, statesmen, poets & politicians made valuable contribution towards the growth of nationalism. Machiavelli has been rightly called the father of modern nationalism. The writings of Mazzini; Garibaldi etc. went a long way in arousing political consciousness & nationalist spirit among the people.

7. REACTION AGAINST NATIONALISM: The Vienna Settlement after the Napoleonic war s tried to suppress the force of revolution & nationalism in Europe. But soon there started a reaction against the arbitrary rule & the people of the subjected countries started nationalist movements for their independence.

1. DIVISION OF ITALY INTO MANY STATES------Italy which was the leader of Renaissance, became a very weak & powerless country in the 16th century. Italy lost its unity & got divided into many states which on their part always quarreled among themselves thus became weak.

2. FOREIGN RULE----Foreign invaders took advantage of Italy’s weaknesses& invaded it over &over again. France & England established its rule over a great part of Italy. Napoleon had conquered the whole of Italy. Thus foreign rule remained a hurdle in the path of Italian unification.

3. CONGRESS OF VIENNA---- After the downfall of Napoleon Italy was again divided into many small states. Lombardy Venetia were handed over to Austria while Parma, Tuscany & Modena were handed over to France. Even old rulers were restored to their respective thrones. Thus the Congress played havoc with the task of Italian unification.

4. THE POPE OF ROME----- He was keeping Rome & its adjoining territories under his dominance. He was acting as the head of entire Christian countries of the world & thus proving to be a great hurdle in the path of Italy’s unification.

5. REACTIONARY RULERS ------- Even those states which were under the dominance of Italian rulers were not at all cooperative with the nationalists. They were reactionaries &were ever ready in curbing the nationalist feelings & thus proving a great hurdle in the way of Italian unification.

1. There were many hurdles & an obstacle in the way of the Italian unification but Count Cavour, the Sardinian Prime Minister with his great tact & diplomacy overcame all those hurdles & was instrumental in uniting Italy. . Italy had to pass through a period of many revolts & consequently certain reforms were introduced by some states.

2. Like Germany, Italy also was divided into a large number of states; the most powerful among them was Sardinia. Like the German chancellor Bismarck, the Italian Prime Minister, Cavour also adopted the policy of war & diplomacy. In his mission he was supported by many Italian patriots like Mazzini & Garibaldi.

3. By supporting France & England against Russia in the Crimean war (1854-56), Cavour had extracted their reciprocal support against Austria. In 1859, he attacked Austria & got Lombardy for Sardinia.

4. Later on the states of Tuscany, Modena, Parma & the Papal states also joined hands with Sardinia.MeanwhileGaribaldi marched into the Island of Sicily & later on into Naples, with his revolutionary forces & liberated these kingdoms to join Sardinia.

5. In1866 A.D. as a result of the Prusso-Austrian war, Venetia was also given to Sardinia for rendering help to Bismarck.

6. Later in 1870 A.D. France vacated Rome during the Franco-Prussian War. Thus even Rome became a part of Sardinia & in this way the final unification of Italy was achieved in 1871A.D. It must be remembered that like Germany, Italy too remained a monarchy as he forces of democracy were not yet so strong & monarchy was the need of hour.

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