CBSE class 10 Rise of nationalism in Europe

The Rise of Nationalism in Europe

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Frédéric Sorrieu (Introduction)

  • FrĂ©dĂ©ric Sorrieu (17 January 1807 – 26 September 1887) was a French engraver, printmaker, and draughtsman.
  • He was notable for the liberal and nationalist revolutions in France and in Europe.
  • One of his works, La RĂ©publique universelle dĂ©mocratique et sociale, (The universal democratic and social republic) was a series of four prints envisioning his dream of a world made up of ‘democratic and social republics’.

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In 1848, Frederic Sorrieu, a French artist, prepared a series of four prints, visualizing his dream of a world made up of democratic and social republics’, as he called them.

  • The peoples of Europe and America – men and women of all ages and social classes – marching in a long train, and offering homage to the Statue of Liberty as they pass by it.
  • The Statue of Liberty recognise the torch of Enlightenment in one hand and the Charter of the Rights of Man in the other.
  • In Sorrieu’s Utopian vision, the people of the world are grouped as distinct nations, identified through their flags and national costumes.
  • Leading the procession are USA and Switzerland, followed by France and Germany. Following Germany are Austria, Kingdom of the two Sicilies, Lombardy, Poland, England, Ireland, Hungary and Russia.
  • From the heavens above, Christ, saints, and angels gaze at the scene. The artist symbolizes fraternity (mutual support within a group) among the nations of the world.


  • Absolutist: Monarchical government
  • Utopia: An imagined place or state of things in which everything is perfect.
  • Absolute monarchy: It is a type of government form of monarchy in which all governmental power and responsibilities arise from a monarch.
  • Republic: It’s a state where the people and their elected representatives hold the supreme power.
  • Socialism: It is an economic theory, system or movement, where the production and distribution of goods is done, owned, and shared by the citizens of a society.
  • Nation-state: In which the citizens share a sense of common identity.
  • Nationalism: A feeling of pride in your own country.
  • Aristocracy: A class or group of people believed to be superior. (rank, wealth, or intellect)
  • Universal Suffrage: The right of all adult citizens to vote in an election.
  • Conservatism: Commitment to traditional values and ideas with opposition to change or innovation.
  • Habsburg Empire: The Empire that ruled Austria, Hungary, including the Alpine region of Tyrol, Sudetenland, and Bohemia.
  • Ottoman Empire: Turkish empire was ruled by the Caliph – the spiritual and temporal head of the Muslims.
  • Plebiscite: A direct vote by which all the people of a region are asked to accept or reject a proposal.
  • Ethnic: It relates to a common racial, tribal or cultural origin or background that a community identifies with or claims.
  • Allegory: When an abstract idea is expressed through a person or a thing. An allegorical story has two meanings, one literal and one symbolic.
  • Romanticism: A cultural movement, which aimed at developing a particular form of national sentiment and promoting a feeling of collective heritage as the basis of a nation.

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The French Revolution and the Idea of the Nation

  1. The political and constitutional changes that came in the wake of the French Revolution.
  • Revolution led to the transfer of sovereignty from the monarchy to a body of French citizens.

Measures and practices introduced by the French revolutionaries for collective identity:

  • The idea of la patrie (the fatherland) and le citoyen (the citizen) is emphasized.
  • A new French flag, the tricolor, was chosen to replace the former royal standard.
  • The Estate General was elected by the active citizens and renamed the National Assembly.
  • New hymns were composed.
  • Oaths were taken.
  • Martyrs commemorated.
  • A centralized administrative system was implemented.
  • Formulated uniform laws.
  • A uniform system of weights and measures was adopted.
  • French became the common language of the nation.

The revolutionaries declared that it was the mission and the destiny of the French nation to liberate the peoples of Europe from despotism.

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Napoleon destroyed the democracy in France and introduced the Civil code of 1804 – also called the Napoleonic Code.

  • Snatch the privilege based on birth.
  • Established equality before the law
  • Secured the right of property

Code is only for the regions under French control.

In Dutch, Switzerland, Italy and Germany napoleon simplified the administration system.

  • Freed peasants from serfdom and manorial dues.
  • Transport and communication system improved.
  • Peasants, Artisans, and businessmen enjoy freedom.

French armies were required to conquer the rest of Europe. The increased taxation system forced the conspiration of the French Armies.

The Making of Nationalism in Europe:

In mid-eighteenth-century Germany, Italy and Switzerland were divided into kingdoms, duchies, and cantons whose rulers had their autonomous territories.

Such differences did not easily promote a sense of political unity.

The Aristocracy and the New Middle Class

The aristocracy dominated Europe socially and politically.

Compared to this small group of aristocracy, the majority of the population was made up of the peasantry.

With industrialization, new social groups came into being: a working-class population and middle classes made up of industrialists, businessmen, and professionals.

It was among the educated, liberal middle classes that ideas of national unity following the abolition of aristocratic privileges gained popularity.

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What did Liberal Nationalism Stand for?

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.

Economically, liberalism stood for the freedom of markets and the abolition of state-imposed restrictions on the movement of goods and capital.

Reasons for the demand for the free market.

At the time of napoleon 39 states. 

All the different merchants possess their own currency and weight and measures.

Merchant traveling from Hamburg to Nuremberg to sell their goods would have to pass 11 customs barriers and pay a customs of about 5% for each one of them (11 x 5 = 55% tax).

The measures of clothes and other products are different in different states.

This custom is an obstacle to economic exchanges and growth. 

In 1834, a customs union or Zollverrein was formed at the initiative of Prussia and joined by the most of the German states.

The union abolished tariffs and barriers and reduce the number of currency over thirty to two.

A New Conservatism after 1815

After the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, European governments were driven by a spirit of conservatism.

Conservatives believed that established, traditional institutions of state and society should be preserved.

On the other hand, many did not propose a return to the society of pre-revolutionary days.

In 1815, representatives of the European powers – Britain, Russia, Prussia, and Austria, met at Vienna to draw up a settlement for Europe.

Hosted by Austrian Chancellor Duke Metternich, the delegates drew up the Treaty of Vienna of 1815.

The Age of Revolutions: 1830-1848

In July 1830, Bourbon Kings were overthrown by liberal revolutionaries who installed a constitutional monarchy with Louis Philippe at its head. The July Revolution sparked an uprising in Brussels which led to Belgium breaking away from the United Kingdom of the Netherlands. In 1821, Greeks struggled for independence.

The Romantic Imagination and National Feeling

Culture played an important role in creating the idea of the nation: art and poetry, stories and music helped express and shape nationalist feelings.

Romanticism is a cultural movement that sought to develop a particular form of nationalist sentiment. Language also played an important role in developing nationalist sentiments.

The Russian language was imposed everywhere and in 1831 an armed rebellion against Russian rule took place which was ultimately crushed.

Hunger, Hardship, and Popular Revolt

Europe faced economic hardships in the 1830s. The first half of the nineteenth century saw an enormous increase in population all over Europe. The rise of food prices or a year of bad harvest led to widespread pauperism in town and country. In 1848, food shortages and widespread unemployment brought the population of Paris out on the roads.

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The Revolution of the Liberals

In 1848, a revolution led by the educated middle classes was underway. Men and women of the liberal middle class demanded the creation of a nation-state on parliamentary principles – a constitution, freedom of the press, and freedom of association.

A large number of political associations came together in Frankfurt to vote for an all-German National Assembly. On 18 May 1848, 831 elected representatives marched to take their places in the Frankfurt parliament convened in the Church of St Paul.

The Constitution drafted for the German nation was headed by a monarchy, subject to a Parliament. The Crown was offered to Friedrich Wilhelm IV, King of Prussia but he rejected it and joined other monarchs to oppose the elected assembly. The Middle Class dominated the Parliament and a large number of women participated in liberal movement.

Women formed their own political associations, founded newspapers and took part in

political meetings and demonstrations, but they were still denied suffrage rights during the election of the Assembly.

In the years after 1848, the autocratic monarchies of Central and Eastern Europe began to introduce the changes that had already taken place in Western Europe before 1815. Thus, serfdom and bonded labour were abolished both in the Habsburg dominions and in Russia.

1848 : The Revolution of the Liberals

  • The revolutionary movement began in Italy against European monarchies with a local revolution in Sicily in January 1848, and, after the revolution of February 24 in France, the movement extended throughout the whole of Europe.
  • The aim of the revolution is removing the old monarchical structures and creating independent nation-states.
  • In Germany, Italy, Poland and the Austro-Hungarian Empire, men and women of the liberal middle class began demanding a constitution, and national unification.
  • The 1848 revolution was led by the educated middle class along with the poor, unemployed starving peasants and workers in many European countries for fulfilling their demands of constitutionalism with national unification.
  • In German regions, large number of political associations whose members were middleclass professionals, businessman and prosperous artisans came together in the city of Frankfurt and decided to vote for all German National Assembly.
  • On 18th May 1948, the Frankfurt Parliament was convened in the Church of Saint Paul by members elected from various political associations.
  • A large number of women had participated actively and formed their own political associations founded newspaper, took part in political meetings and struggled for right to vote.
  • In Austria, new ministers promised to grant constitutions, the monarchy withstood the storm, and in Prussia King Frederick William IV, who led the movement for the unification of Germany, hoisted the black, red, and gold flag that had become the symbol of German unity. The German governments agreed to the convocation of three constituent assemblies at Berlin, Vienna, and Frankfurt by which democratic constitutions were to be drafted for Prussia, Austria, and Germany.

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Short Notes on Giuseppe Mazzini

  • Giuseppe Mazzini was born on 22 June 1805, in Genoa, Italy
  • He was an Italian politician, journalist, writer, and activist.
  • He played very important role in liberal nationalism.
  • He plays an important role for the unification of Italy and spearhead of the Italian revolutionary movement.
  • He became a member of the Carbonari, (a secret association with political purposes.)
  • Mazzini organized political society (1.) Young Italy in Marseilles, and (2.) Young Europe in Berne.
  • He was elected as a member of the Constituent Assembly and acquired the responsibilities of framing a constitution for the roman public.

Short Notes on Giuseppe Garibaldi

  • Giuseppe Garibaldi was an Italian freedom Fighter.
  • In 1833 he joined Young Italy Movement with Mazzini.
  • In 1834 he participated a republican uprising in piedmont.
  • After the surpassed of the uprising he flee to South Africa and lived till 1848.
  • In 1854 he supported Victor Emmanuel II in efforts of Unification of Italy.
  • His 30,000 army popularly known as Red Shirts.
  • In 1867 Garibaldi lead an army of volunteer to the unification of Italy.

The Making of Germany and Italy:

Germany Unified

After 1848, Prussia took on the leadership of the movement for national unification.

Its chief minister, Otto von Bismarck, was the architect of this process carried out with the help of the Prussian army and bureaucracy.

Three wars were fought over seven years with Austria, Denmark, and France.

Eventually, Prussia emerged victorious and completed the process of unification.

Italy Unified

  • During the middle of the nineteenth century, Italy was divided into seven states, of which only one, Sardinia-Piedmont, was ruled by an Italian princely house.
  • During the 1830s, Giuseppe Mazzini had sought to put together a coherprogramamme for the unitary Italian Republic.
  • Chief Minister Cavour led the movement to unify the regions of Italy.
  • A large number of armed volunteers under the leadership of Giuseppe Garibaldi joined the fight.
  • In 1861, Victor Emmanuel II was proclaimed king of united Italy.

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Marianne and Germania

Marianne and Germania were respective female allegories for the French and the German nation. They stood as personifications of ideals like ‘liberty’ and ‘the republic’. The importance of the way in which they were portrayed lay in the fact that the public could identify with their symbolic meaning, and this would instill a sense of national unity in them.

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