- Pages: 3
- Word count: 699
- Category: Nationalism
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19th Century Europe was greatly influenced by Nationalism. Nationalism sparked change in Europe through sovereignty and autonomy. Nationalism broke down aging empires and acted as force for disunity. In an act of loyalty to their country, people brought unification to Italy and Germany, the Ottoman and the Austro-Hungarian empires began to crumble, and the outburst of wars such as the Franco-Prussian War and the Seven Weeks’ War came about.
Nationalism was a key factor in building nations. Throughout the years Italians were growing impatient and dissatisfied under foreign rule. Count Cavour was responsible for the brains behind the unification of Italy. He believed that releasing the Italians from foreign rule would not only leave the country authoritative and superb but also supply the people with intelligence and knowledge (Doc. 3). Italian Nationalists looked up to the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia because of their power over the Italian states. In 1848, the kingdom had adopted a liberal constitution. So to the middle class liberals, unification under Piedmont Sardinia was appealing.
Giuseppe Garibaldi, the leader of army of nationalists, captured Sicily. After marching across the Italian mainland their was an agreement to let the Sardinian king rule. Like Italy, Germany achieved national unity around the same time.
The Austrian Empire took over the German confederation; however, Prussia was prepared to unify them. Prussia had a mainly German empire. Therefore, nationalism truly unified Prussia. When Bismarck took control, he was a master of realpolitik. Bismarck’s method for uniting Germany was through blood and iron (Doc 5). He believed that the power of Germany should be allocated over all German People. In his eyes, war was the only option to achieving success.
When nationalism emerged in the 19th Century, ethnic conflict threatened and eventually wiped out some of the remaining empires. After the Prussians victory in the Austro-Prussian War, Prussia gained control of the newly organized North German Confederation. Pressured by the Hungarians, Emperor Francis Joseph of Austria split his empire in half, declaring Austria and Hungary independent states. Nationalism continued to breakdown this empire for more than 40 years until after World War 1 were it broke into several separate nations.
Nationalism was the key ingredient in the separation of states including the Czechs, Romanians, Austrians, Italians, Serbians and Hungarians, throughout the Austro-Hungarian Empire (Doc. 7). The Ottoman Empire soon began to weaken as well. The Ottoman Empire was controlled by ruling Turks. The Empire granted equal citizenship to all people under their rule after they felt pressure from British and French. This action angered conservative Turks who were against change and caused strain in the empire. In response to nationalism, similar to the Austrian Empire, the Ottoman Empire began to crumble soon after World War 1.
Nationalism in nations caused outbreaks of War. Bismarck purposely stirred up border conflicts with Austria over Schleswig and Holstein. The tensions caused Austria to declare war on Prussia in 1866. This argument was known as the Seven Weeks’ War. The Prussians won a devastating victory. People who truly have faith in their country will find success in war (Doc 4.) As a result of Prussian victory, Austria had to accept Prussian annexation of more German Territory. Prussia took control of Northern Germany.
By 1867, only a few southern German states remained independent from Prussian control. Bismarck felt he could win the support of southerners if they faced a threat from outside. Frances national anthem urged the French to fight for their values and to take a stand. They must fight till the finish to liberty or death (Doc. 2). The French declared war on Prussia in 1870. The Prussian army quickly headed for northern France. The Franco Prussian war was the final stage in German Unification. Nationalism began spreading to people in southern Germany, where they finally accepted Prussian leadership. Bismarck used what he believed was the key factor to success, Blood and Iron.
Nationalism brought about much loyalty throughout Europe. Nationalism sparked unification of Italy and Germany, breakup of aging empires such as Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian, and eruptions of war including Franco-Prussian and Seven Weeks’ War. Nationalism had a major influence on 19th Century Europe.