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in 1848 liberal and nationalist sentiments in Europe erupted in a series of revolutions

but the revolutions of 1848, after a brief moment of success, ultimately failed

liberals throughout Europe proved unable to establish and consolidate political power,

and conservatives in the end retained control of most states

but national feeling grew more intense after 1848

by 1871 both Italy and Germany came into being as new nation-states

the United States, in the early 1860s, was torn apart by a prolonged and bloody civil

war, which was in part fought over different concepts of nationhood

Canada came into being in 1867 by a British act of parliament, but the new state faced

the problem of having to integrate French and English elements with widely different


Japan faced the problem of attempting to adopt Western industrialism with

extraordinary speed without losing its own identity

it was a new age-of revolutions, limited wars, changing ideologies, and nation-building

The Revolutions of 1848

Metternich had feared that revolution in one European state would inspire other


he had special fears for the multi-national Austrian Empire, and he attempted to

suppress the national aspirations of all groups

Metternich s fears were justified by events

when a revolution did break out, it usually sparked others

1848 was the most revolutionary year in the history of the West

only England and Russia escaped serious uprisings in 1848

in 1848 a revolution in France once again gave the lead to Europe

discontent mounted both among the lower middle class and the growing body of


opposition to the regime arose particularly among republicans who sought

participation for more people in the political life of the nation

the pattern of revolution, established in 1789, was repeated

all the revolutionaries agreed on a republican form of government, and a provisional

government was established until elections could be held in April

the February Revolution in France raised the hopes of nationalists and liberals all over


within a month the Austrian Empire was shaken by national and liberal uprisings

throughout the Italian peninsula people rose in revolt

other peoples in the Austrain Empire soon demanded national autonomy

the Vienna revolution was at first successful

in the German states revolution was directed against Austria, the state which had the

most to lose from German unification

the German nationalist revolutionaries turned to Prussia for leadership

the revolutionary forces varied in their composition from one area to another

in Paris workers joined with intellectuals

in Vienna students and intellectuals led the way

in Hungary the revolutionaries were aristocrats who fought for autonomy from Austria

in Italy some members of all classes supported insurrections and backed the attempt of

Piedmont to unite Italy

in the German states 1848 was, as one historian has called it, a revolution of the


by mid-1848 Europe was convulsed by revolutions; a year later, most of these

revolutionary movements had failed

one reason for this failure was the inability of the revolutionaries to remain united

while people could agree to overthrow the old regimes, they could not agree on the

shape of the new order

not everyone greeted revolution with joy

the professional armies of Europe often continued to support the old regime

nationalities who sought freedom and autonomy for themselves denied the same

freedom to others

as President of the Second Republic, Louis Napoleon proceeded to liquidate the

republican regime

the country voted overwhelmingly in his favour; France thus chose to have both its

second Napoleon and its Second Empire

another republican experiment had failed

in the Austrian Empire the Hapsburgs managed to regain control

one of the revolutionary outbursts had occurred in the Papal States, the territory in

Italy under the rule of the Pope

a constituent assembly was called by the revolutionaries, and in Febraury 1849

Mazzini s group proclaimed the establishment of a democratic Roman Republic

as other European states began to restore stability, they turned their attention to Rome

all Catholic areas joined forces to defeat Mazzini and restore the Pope, who returned

to Rome in 1850

Italian nationalists would never let him or the rest of Italy forget that he was brought

back by foreign troops fighting against Italians

Consequences of the Failure of 1848

if intellectuals and ideas-especially liberalism and nationalism-helped to make the

revolutions of 1848, they were also partly responsible for their failure

liberalism stood for rational discourse, freedom, and constitutional government

in 1848 it became clear that intellectuals and ideas would not by themselves make a

successful revolution

a strong current of anti-intellectualism appeared in central Europe after 1849

many, though not all, nationalists abandoned liberalism as an ideology for change and

adopted a new realistic policy

if nationalism was to succeed it could not rely on liberal methods, but must adopt a

policy of force

realism and power were viewed as the way of the future

nationalists were ready to ally with anyone who could help them achieve their ends

liberalism remained the political philosophy of the middle class and a powerful force

where that class was numerous

liberalism was particularly strong in England, France, the United States, Belgium, and


the working class of the Industrial Revolution often rejected the laissez-faire

economics of liberalism

labourers blamed the failure of 1848 on the middle class, and many turned from

liberalism to revolutionary socialism

the failure of the revolutions of 1848 also created a community of exiles

The Unification of Italy and Germany

what moved the great majority of people in the mid nineteenth century was not

socialism or liberalism, but nationalism

the nationalist revolts of 1848 ended in failure, but national aspirations did not

disappear; they became more intense in Italy, the German states, the Hapsburg lands,

and the Balkans

in 1850 Italy was a geographical area, not a state; Germany was a group of many

sovereignties; and Austria was an empire of many peoples

by 1871 Italy and Germany were nation-states

The Crimean War

the Crimean War of 1854-56 cleared the way for the restructuring of both Italy and


it began as a dispute over the area now known as Rumania, then under the control of

the Ottoman Empire

the Congress of Paris in 1856 arranged the peace

for the first time in centuries, Russia had lost a European war

for those with nationalist ambitions, the weakness of the conservative states of Europe

was a good omen

the growth of industry and the development of new technology resulted in the

production of new weapons, such as machine guns, which made killing more grisly and


the competition in war technology of the last half of the nineteenth century actually

began in the period after the Crimean War

Cavour and Italy

the small Italian principality of Piedmont-Sardinia joined in the Crimean War

Count Camillo di Cavour (1810-61) understood that only those who take part in a war

can particiapte in the peace

the Piedmontese slodiers fought well and Cavour earned a place at the conference

table when peace came

national unification had been a passion in the Italian peninsula since the time of


revolutionary secret societies committed to a republican solution began to appear in

the 1830s and 1840s

the most famous and dashing revolutionary leaders was Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807-82)

he was a liberal soldier of fortune who had fought in Latin America in the 1830s and

had joined Mazzini in Rome in 1848

on the other hand, a group of Italian theologians and laymen proposed a loose

federation with the Pope at the head

Cavour was both a Piedmontese patriot and an Italian patriot

he helped to reorganize the economy on modern lines, encourage financial growth, and

stimulate the building of railways

Cavour did not think Mazzini s ideas and methods could succeed or create anything


only diplomacy and war, he believed, could bring about the national revival of Italy

the real enemy of Italy in 1848 was Austria

in July 1858 Piedmont and France signed the Pact of Plombieres, agreeing to make

war on Austria so that Lombardy and Venetia might be aaannexed to Piedmont

the agreement was limited to the unificaion of northern Italy

the first step in the plan was to provoke Austria

Austria actually declared war first on April 20, 1859

though Lombardy was annexed by Cavour, Venetia remained in the hands of Austria

in 1860 Garibaldi used the success of Piedmont in the north to unite the south

Garibaldi took control of Sicily in July 1860 and then moved on to the mainland

on September 8, 1860, he entered the city of Naples, uniting the south of Italy

Cavour feared that Garibaldi would invade Rome

an Italian parliament met at Turin in 1861 and declared Italy a constitutional monarchy

with Victor Emmanuel as King

Cavour died in 1861 at the moment of his greatest success

his methods raised enormous problems

a war was instigated simply to further the cause of the nation-state

in 1866 Italy united with Prussia in a war against Austria, but it was unsuccessful

during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, French armies were too busy losing to

Prussia to protect Rome

not all Italians were thrilled to join the united nation-state, nor were all problems


immense poverty continued

large numbers of devout Catholics did not give their support to the liberal,

constitutional regime

Bismarck and Germany

as a result, Prussia became the centre of German nationalism

Bismarck was a Junker, a member of the Prussian aristocracy

he believed in monarchical principles and had little use for republican, liberal, or

socialist ideas

as a Prussian nationalist, he did not want German unification to submerge Prussia

he was also a realist who did not attempt to do away with the Prussian constitution; he

knew that if he went too far, he could produce a revolutionary situation

in 1864 Bismarck joined with Austria in a war against Denmark; Denmark was quickly


Bismarck used the desire for a German nation-state and Prussia s dominant economic

position to unite some of the German states against Austria

while liberals and conservatives in Prussia had different concepts of nationalism, they

were all swept along by the feeling for unity

German intellectuals were more willing to support Bismarck after the failures of 1848

Bismarck was aware of the obstacles to German unification

he realized he would have to defeat Austria and silence its claims to German leadership

in order to enable Prussia to bring about German unification

he embarked on a most extraordinary demonstration of Realpolitik

militarily, he prepared for war with Austria

diplomatically, he prepared by isolating his enemy: he brought about an alliance with

Italy; he pacified France with vague promises of territory; he hinted to Russia that

Prussia would support its Mediterranean claims; and he calculated that England would

not intervene as long as he did not challenge its empire

Bismarck wanted a short and decisive war with Austria because if it was a long one,

other powers might enter

Bismarck brought on the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 by provoking a disagreement

between Austria and Prussia over the occupation of Schleswig-Holstein

the war lasted only seven weeks and ended in a great victory for Prussia

the Seven Weeks War resulted in the creation in 1867 of the North German


Bismarck had succeeded in creating the largest German entity since the middle ages

as a result of war and defeat, the Austrian Empire was weakened

Austria-Hungary became a dual monarchy under the Hapsburgs

Bismarck realized that if he wished to unify the rest of Germany, he must defeat


as he had done before, Bismarck manufactured a crisis in order to start a war

the crisis was precipitated in 1870 by the question of succession to the Spanish throne

the Franco-Prussian War, begun in July 1870, was effectively ended on September 2

with the defeat of Napoleon III at Sedan

the south German states sided with Prussia

the German armies completely shattered the French

now the balance of power had clearly shifted

before a treaty was signed with France, Bismarck took the final step in German


the south German states joined the North German Confederation to create the

German Empire

The Periphery of the West: National Problems

in the decades of the 1850s and 1860s national issues were also important in some

areas outside Europe

in 1850 the United States was at the beginning of a constitution battle which

threatened its existence as a nation

tension persisted between peoples of English and French origin

Japan had been deliberately closed to outsiders for several centuries; but it was now

under pressure to change from both inside and outside forces

by 1870 the United States had gone through a civil war and survived as one entity,

Canada had come into existence as a nation, and Japan was transforming itself into a

Western state and a world power

The United States: Sectionalism, Nationalism, and Civil War

the division in the United States was over the larger question of state sovereignty

the northern portion of the country had developed industrially while the South had

become a one-crop agricultural region, relying on cotton and slavery for its prosperity

Abraham Lincoln (1809-65) came to represent those who defended a strong central


he was opposed to the spread of slavery into new territories as they became part of the

United States

Lincoln promised he would accept slavery as long as it was not extended

federal authorities regarded this as an act of rebellion, and civil war began

from 1861 to 1865 the United States suffered through the bloodiest war in its history

the war ended slavery in the United States and it enabled the country to survive and

grow as a single nation

Canada: Unity and Dominion Status

to the north of the United States lay a series of British colonies with origins in early

French and English settlements

Durham recommended that all Canadian-English and French-be united under one


in 1840 an Act of Union brought together Lower Canada, which was mainly French,

and Upper Canada, which was mainly English, into one political unit

general discussions for such a confederation were begun in 1864; the result was the

passing of the British North America Act by the British parliament in 1867

the act established a new country, the Dominion of Canada, which included Lower and

Upper Canada-Quebec and Ontario-and two of the maritime provinces-New

Brunswick and Nova Scotia

a federal parliament was established to govern the whole country, and each province

was given its own legislature

Manitoba and British Columbia joined the Confederation as provinces in 1870 and

1871, respectively; P.E.I. in 1873; Alberta and Saskatchewan in 1905; and

Newfoundland, as the tenth province, in 1949

without a revolution, a group of colonies had become a state

a precedent was set by England in allowing and encouraging colonies to become a

state and run their own internal affairs

Canada remained part of the British Empire closely linked to Britain in economic,

cultural, and diplomatic affairs

Japan: Tradition vs. Westernization

Europeans knew little about Japan in 1850

Japanese society was highly traditional, so some contact with the West did occur

by 1850 there were two potent forces of change in Japan: first, domestic discontent

with policies of the shogunate; second, American and European pressures forcing

Japan into diplomatic relations with the rest of the world

treaties were soon made with the United States which opened ports for American

trade and provided for an exchange of diplomats

Japan consciously began to Westernize

though strong localisms persisted, many feudal privileges were ended, and government

became more centralized

Japan was given a constitution in 1889

economic growth was fostered by a combinatinon of government initiative and private


the government attempted to provide political stability and a sound financial

atmosphere, and to encourage industrial development

it also sponsored railways, telegraph lines, and shipbuilding

family-business enterprises grew up and became very powerful institutions

in some enterprises Japan began to compete with the major in dustrial countries

economic growth at home was accompanied by expansion overseas

by 1905 Japan was competing successfully with European powers

in only a few decades Japan had undergone an industrial revolution

Japan was now a world power

The End of French Continental Ascendency-The New Balance of Power in 1871

Germany now became the single most important state on the European continent

it was large in territory and population, had great industrial potential, a strong armed

force, and a vibrant culture

France could no longer set the pace for the European continent

England expanded its empire; Austria-Hungary stumbled along; and Russia was held

back by slow economic development and reactionary governments

while the new Italy took its place alongside the great powers, many doubted that it

belonged there

Mazzini s dream had not come true-nationalism did not increase the harmony among

peoples, but often increased antagonism and created an atmosphere of animosity,

suspicion, and revenge

Europe became an armed camp in the name of national defence, and everyone feared

the possibility of a general European war

technology strengthened national units and gave the central governments of all states the

ability to control their hinterland

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