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Nationalism in Europe. Lijin Golden. Major Topics. Meaning- Nationalism and Nation States Feature of the painting of Frederic Sorrieu French Revolution Napoleon Bonaparte Rise of Nationalism in Europe Factors contributed for the growth of Nationalism in Europe

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major topics
Major Topics

Meaning- Nationalism and Nation States

Feature of the painting of Frederic Sorrieu

French Revolution

Napoleon Bonaparte

Rise of Nationalism in Europe

Factors contributed for the growth of Nationalism in Europe

Age of Revolution: 1830-1848

Unification of Germany

Unification of Italy

Greek War of Independence

Role of Women in nationalist struggle


The words ‘nation’ and ‘nationality’ are derived from the Latin word ‘Natus’ which means a ‘race’. Devotion, love and patriotic feelings for one’s own nation is called Nationalism. It is feeling of political consciousness and unity among the people of the state.

define nation state
Define- Nation State

A nation state is one, in it’s the majority of the residents as well as the rulers develop a sense of common identity and shared history and traditions.

feature frederic sorrieu painting fig 1
Feature- Frederic Sorrieu painting (Fig:1)

In1848, Frederic Sorrieu, the French artist prepared a series of four prints visualising his dream of world made up of ‘Democratic and Social Republic’.

In his first print of this series shows people of America and Europe-men and women of all ages and social classes marching in a long train and offering homage to the Statue of Liberty.

In his utopian vision, people of the World are grouped as distinct nations, identified through their flags and national costume.

Leading the procession, USA and Switzerland, that time they were already nation state


France- identifiable by the revolutionary tri colour just reached the statue.

Its followed by Germany- bearing black, red and gold flag but interesting thing German people did not yet exist as a nation state- the flag they are carry is an expression of liberal hope in 1848 to unify the German speaking people in to a nation- state under a democratic constitution.

Following the German peoples, the people of Austria, the Kingdom of two Sicilies, Lomabardy, Poland, England, Ireland, Hungary and Russia

From the heaven Christ, Saints and angels graze upon the scene.

They have been used by the artist to symbolise fraternity among the nation of the World.

feature of the statue of liberty
Feature of the Statue of Liberty

The artists of the time of then French revolution personified Liberty as a female figure. The torch of enlightenment she bears in one hand and the Charter of the Rights of Man in the other. On the ground in the foreground of the image lie the shattered the remains of the symbol of absolutist institutions.

ernst renan and his idea about nation
Ernst Renan and his idea about Nation

He was a French philosopher (1823- 92)

He delivered a lecture at the University of Sorbonne in 1882 and this lecture subsequently published as a famous essay entitled- ‘Quest-cequune nation?’ (What is a Nation). In this essay he criticises the notion suggested by others that a nation formed by a common language, race, religion or territory.

(Page No.4)



Litterly, a government or system of rule that has no restraints on the power exercised. In history, this term refers to a form of monarchical government that was centralized, militarised and repressive.


A vision of a society that is so ideal that is unlikely to actually exist.


A direct vote by which all the people of a region are asked to accept or reject a proposal

what is the importance of french revolution to compare with other revolutions
What is the importance of French revolution to compare with other revolutions

The first clear expression of nationalism came with the French Revolution in1789.

Before 1789, France was full fledged territorial state under the control of absolute monarchy.

As a result of the French revolution the power had transferred from the monarchy to the body of French Citizens.

The revolution proclaimed that it was the people who would henceforth constitute of nation and shapes its destiny

The French revolution had very much influenced the other revolutions also

What steps did the French revolutionaries take to create a sense of collective identity among the French Revolution

The French Revolution was broke out in 1789. The revolutionaries of France took the following steps to create a sense of collective identity among the French People.

1. The ideas of fatherland (La Patrie) and the Citizen (Le citoyen) laid emphasis on the notion of united community enjoying equal rights under a constitution.

2. A new French flag of tri colour was chosen to replace the former French monarch.


3. An elected body of the active citizens, known as National Assembly, was formed manage the state affairs.

4. New hymns were composed and martyrs were commemorated all in the name of nation

5. A centralised system was set up to formulate uniform laws for all citizens within French territory

6. All customs duties were abolished and uniform system of weights and measures was adopted.

7. Regional language were discouraged and French was adopted as the common language of the nation.

formation of jacobin clubs
Formation of Jacobin Clubs

The news and events related with the French revolution reached in different cities of Europe.

The students and the other members of educated middle classes started the Jacobin Clubs.

Their activities and campaigns prepared the way for the French armies to move in Holland, Belgium, Switzerland and Italy also and the armies carried the idea of nationalism abroad.

the role of napoleon in french revolution or administrative reforms of napoleon
The role of Napoleon in French Revolution (Or) Administrative Reforms of Napoleon

He was a great French general, who won many battles for the revolutionary France.

During his period most of the European nations were under the control of the monarchical form of government.

If any territory came under his control he introduced many reforms already he had introduced in France

He destroyed the democracy in France however in the administrative field he introduced many revolutionary principles


In 1804, he introduced a Civil Code known as Napoleonic Code gave the privileges based on birth, established equality before law and secured the right to property. This Code was exported to the regions under French Control.

He abolished the Feudal system and freed the peasants from serfdom and manorial dues.

In the towns- guild restrictions were removed. Transport and Communication were improved.

Peasants, Workers, Artisans and New businessmen enjoyed lot of freedom

Introduced uniform laws, standardized weights and measures and a common national currency for to exchange the goods from one place to another.


Initially many places like Holland and Switzerland as well as the cities like Brussels, Mainz, Milan and Warsaw the French armies were welcomed for to bring the liberty.

But this initial enthusiasm turned in to tensions and became clear that the new administrative arrangements did not go hand in hand with political freedom

Increased taxation, Censorship and the desire for conquer in the rest of Europe considered as the disadvantages of his administration.

He was defeated in the battle of Waterloo in 1815 and had sent him as a prisonerto spent his last days in a small island St.Helena where he died in 1821.

civil code of 1804
Civil Code of 1804

In 1804, Napoleon he introduced a Civil Code known as Napoleonic Code gave the privileges based on birth, established equality before law and secured the right to property. This Code was exported to the regions under French Control.

europe in the 18 th century
Europe in the 18th Century

The map of Europe in the mid of the 18th century was so different from today. Germany, Italy and Switzerland were not countries. All these were split in to different kingdoms.

There were number of monarchies within western and Central Europe.

The people belonged to different ethnic groups

Austria- Hungary were comprised the Habsburg Empire

The people in this empire belonged to different ethnic groups.

The territories under the monarchy included the Alpine regions, Austria, Sudetenland and Bohemia


Some people they spokes Germany and others Italian

The Hungarians spoke Magyar and a number of other dialects.

In Galicia, the aristocracy spoke polish

Beside these three groups- Bohemians and Slovaks to the North, Slovenes in Carniola, Croats in South and the Roumans to the east in Transylvania.

These difference were not helpful in promoting a feeling of commonness among the people.

The idea of nationalism emerged in these countries after a period of time.

how did the idea of nationalism and n ation state emerged in europe
How did the idea of Nationalism and Nation State emerged in Europe?

Rise of Middle Class

Within Europe, there were two classes of people. There were the Aristocrats and Peasants.

The aristocrats made a homogenous social group. They spoke French and their families were united by matrimonial connections. They comprised the high Society. Their number were very small but the power they enjoyed enormous.

The majority of the population comprised the peasants who worked as a tenants owned by the aristocracy.

The estates were relatively small in Western Europe, but in the East and Central regions, the estates were vast in size. They were cultivated by the serfs.


The industrialization brought important change in these two social groups.

Apart from the aristocrats and peasants a new group were emerged.

The Industrial workers, industrialists, businessmen and Professionals.

These groups were educated and liberal in their attitude, and they were known as Middle Classes.

With the abolition of aristocracies in Europe, these groups though small in number but assumed great significance.

The idea of nationalism were propagated by the Middle class that stood for the abolition of privileges based on birth.

liberal nationalism
Liberal Nationalism

Middle class was for individual equality and freedom.

In political terms, which means all people were treated as equal before law.

Citizens were governed by institutions that had been formed with the consent of the people.

There was no place for aristocracy or privileges based on birth and there was no special privileges for the clergy also.

The right to hold the property was upheld by the liberals during the 19 century in Europe.

The equality before law should not be mixed with universal suffrage or every citizen having the right to vote.


The Napoleonic Code did not provide for voting rights to all citizens.

Women were excluded from the lists.

Women and those without property had to agitate for political rights in the 19th century.

In the economic sphere, liberalism stood for the freedom of markets and abolition of state imposed restrictions on the movement of goods and capital.

Before the introduction of Napoleonic code Germany was divided in to 39 states and possessed own currency, weights and measures.

Duties were often levied according to the weight or measurement of the goods.


It was a time consuming calculation.

These are some of the obstacles faced by the commercial classes, they argued for the creation of unified economic territory

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

The union abolished tariff barriers and reduced the number of currencies from over thirty to two.

The creation of the network of the railway stimulated the mobility and helped these economic interest to national unification.

A wave of economic nationalism strengthened the wider nationalists sentiments growing at the time.