Lecture 24 – Political Consolidation in Nineteenth-Century Europe and North America, 1815-1880
The Emergence of Nationalism in Europe: "As a political idea, nationalism is based on the relatively modern concept that a nation is composed of people joined together by the bonds of common language, customs, culture, and history, and who, because of these bonds, should share the same government." (Heritage, p. 761.) The emergence of nationalism in nineteenth century Europe would begin smashing many older multi-national governments to bits. It directly opposed the efforts of the Congress of Vienna to preserve older monarchies.
Creating Nations: In the first half of the nineteenth century, a new group of writers and activists spread the idea of nationalism, responding to the rise of French Nationalism during the French Revolution. They were usually historians and literary scholars who used history and literature to create a joint identity for speakers of common languages, an identity to transcend old class divisions. They collected and published older literature in that language to create a past. Nationalists fought to dictate the official language of schools and government. Even local dialects had to be supressed, such as Occitan in southern France, Catalan in eastern Spain, and rural dialects in England. In some areas, scholars tried to resurrect 'purer' forms of modern languages, in most cases essentially creating new languages from scratch. These languages formed foci for unity, but progress in imposing them was slow.
Meaning of Nationalism: Different nationalists had different meanings for it, whether nations were created by God or should be created to improve the life of those within them. Part of the problem was the issue of which ethnic groups were nations who deserved a territory of their own. Many small groups tried and failed to assert their right to nationhood; only large groups actually succeeded. Lesser nationalisms were suppressed—Britanny in France, Catalonians in Spain, Welsh in Britain, and so on. The defeat of the Confederacy in the USA is another example of this.
Regions of Nationalistic Pressure in Europe: Six major regions were the site of nationalistic eruptions. In Ireland, the Irish wanted freedom from England. German nationalists wanted to unite the many German lands and either incorporate or kick out Austria. Italians sought to unite a divided Italy. The Poles likewise wanted to free Poland from Austrian, Prussian and Russian rule. Inside the Austrian empire, many nationalities—Hungarians, Slovaks, Czechs, Poles, and many others—sought autonomy or independence. And in the Balkan lands of the Ottoman Empire, many Slav nationalities sought independence.
Early Nineteenth-Century Political Liberalism: Nineteenth century liberalism is NOT the same as its modern usage in the United States. 19th century Liberalism sought to overthrow the vestiges of the Old Regime: Established Churches, noble privileges, restrictions on the economy, the exclusive privileges of corporate bodies, etc. It involved minimal state intervention in the economy, and left people to live or die economically by their own strength.
Politics: European liberalism derived from Enlightenment ideas. Liberals sought to protect and extend the rights of man as set out in the French Revolution. They wanted to protect people from arbitrary government and to end special privileges for groups. Government had to be made responsible to the people. Liberals tended to be those currently excluded from political power, but whose wealth and education made them think they dserved power. (Heritage, p. 764.) They believed in meritocracy—the talented should rise to the top; conversely, they disdained nobles (unearned power) and the poor (too weak to rise) alike. Liberal political principles were used by women of the time to argue for greater rights (such as in the Seneca Falls Declaration of 1848.)
Economics: Liberal economics heavily alienated them from the working class and the poor. The rising manufacturers wanted the right to set wages and prices according to their own desire without government interference. They believed in laissez-faire—that the free market was more efficient than a government regulated one and would benefit everyone the most. They opposed old paternalistic laws which had provided help to the poor or limited hours of work or fixed the price of bread.
Relationship of Nationalism and Liberalism: Liberalism and Nationalism could be, but didn't have to be linked. Some nationalists were conservatives. However, the idea of common nationality and government was usually linked to popular sovereignty—each nation governing itself.
Liberalism and Nationalism in Modern World History: The wars of the French Revolution had shown the power of liberal ideas intertwined with nationalism and how liberalism could cross dynastic borders. European liberal ideas could be used to challenge European power in the name of nationalism, such as the revolt of the Spanish colonies against Spain. Ideals of self-government shaped the USA, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. In the twentieth century, this combination would justify the post WWII revolt of the European colonies in Africa and Asia.
Efforts to Liberalize Early-Nineteenth-Century European Political Structures: Europe only moved towards liberalism after some heavy political conflict.
Russia: The Decembrist Revolt of 1825 and the Autocracy of Nicholas I: The war with Napoleon put Russian nobles and officers in touch with French revolutionary ideas. They came to see the economic weakness of Russia and some formed secret societies to promote Enlightenment ideas. In 1825, some of these groups planned a coup for 1826. On the November 1825 death of Alexander I, it became unclear as to whether his son Nicholas or his son Constantine was the proper heir. The revelation of the army coup plans by some officers led Nicholas I (1825-1855) to take the throne as Tsar immediately. Efforts by Moscow troops to demand a Constitution and Constantine's accession to the throne led to their suppression by force and an end to hopes for liberalism in Russia. Under Nicholas I, Russia became the policeman of conservatism in Europe.
Revolution in France(1830): In 1824, Louis XVIII (1814-1824) died and was followed by his brother Charles X (1824-30), who considered himself King by Divine Right. He began pushing more conservative measures through the legislature. In 1830, after liberals gained ground in the Chamber of Deputies in an election, Charles tried to stage a royalist coup in the Four Ordinances (July 25, 1830), "which restricted freedom of the press, dissolved the recently elected Chamber of Deputies, and called for new elections under a franchise restricted to the wealthiest people in the country." (Heritage, p. 706) The people now rose up and fighting ensued in Paris, killing 1800. On August 2, Charles abdicated and left France for exile in England. The liberals formed a new cabinet and proclaimed the liberal Duke of Orleans, Louis Phillipe, King of the French (1830-48). The goal was the creation of a government similar to that of England—a Constitutional Monarchy. Catholicism ceased to be the official religion, the Charter of 1830 served as a Constitution, and the vote was somewhat extended. Louis lived a life of simplicity and renounced claims to make law. But the working class still suffered poverty and was unhappy with the status quo.
The Great Reform Bill in Britain (1832): After the Glorious Revolutio of 1688, the system of representation in Britain for Parliament was increasingly out of sync with economic and demographic realities. Many seats were rotten bouroughs, essentially owned by a single or a handful of land owners where once a town had flourished...centuries ago. The rising middle class often found itself disenfranchised. And only members of the Church of England could vote when an increasing proportion of the population didn't belong to it. The Act of Union of 1800 had united Ireland and Britain with one Parliament...from which the majority of Irish—Catholics—were excluded. In the 1820s, the Irish fought for 'Catholic Emancipation', which would allow Catholics to vote and hold office. In 1829, the Prime Minister, the Duke of Wellington and fellow Tory (Conservative) Robert Peel got Parliament to give Catholics the vote to avoid a civil war; this also necessitated removing restrictions on other Protestant groups as well (in 1828). The pressure for change now became irrepressible. In 1830, many reformers came to power in Parliament and Wellington's ministry collapsed. The Whigs formed a government under Earl Grey (1764-1845). Two bills, one to increase the franchise, and the other to end rotten bouroughs failed in Parliament, so Grey called a new election for 1832, which returned a very strongly pro-Reform Bill majority. The House of Commons passed it, but the house of Lords tried to block it until the King agreed to keep creating Lords until Reform had a majority. The Lords now caved in. The electorate was increased by 50% (about 200,000 men). However, property remained the basis of voting. Britain now became a confident Liberal-dominated state in which political changes would come fairly smoothly, compared to the rest of Europe, with a gradual extension of the franchise. British people, even unions, accepted the liberal goals of competition and individualism. The Second Reform Act of 1867 would extend the franchise into the upper levels of the working class, nearly doubling the number of voters. And it was the Conservatives, led by Benjamin Disraeli (1804-81) who did it, in hopes of appealing to the working class' nationalism and by Conservative willingness to restrain the excesses of industry.
Gladstone and Disraeli: The 1868 election, however, brought William Gladstone (1809-98), leader of the Liberals, to power. His 1868-74 ministry marked the apogee of British Liberalism in the classical style. He established an exam system for the civil service, broadened and liberalized educational access, introduced the secret ballot and ended the sale of military ranks. He was followed in 1874 by Disraeli, who used legislation to attack the problems of industry to gain working class support and lower class warfare. He pushed through improvements of sanitation and helped provide better housing for the working class.
The Irish Question: The Irish increasingly wanted to govern themselves. Charles Stuart Parnell (1846-1891) led the drive for home rule. By 1885, he held the balance of power in Parliament with his 85 followers. The Liberals (originally 318 strong) allied with him but the attempt to pass Home Rule foundered when the 'Liberal Unionists', 93 Liberals who opposed Home Rule, defected to the Conservatives (248 strong). The new Conservative ministry of Lord Salisbury could block Home Rule but failed to appease the Irish. The issue became a suppurating wound in the side of British politics, blocking reform. When it was finally passed in 1914, first World War I, then the Irish rebellion of 1916 prevented it being applied.
1848—Year of Revolutions in Europe: In 1848, a wave of nationalist and liberal revolutions spread across Europe in a tide. Economic recession and famine created pressure for change. Urban liberals appealed to the working classes for aid against the upper class. However, their failure to follow up political reforms with the economic aid the working classes needed meant the working class abandoned them to royal retaliation in the backlashes which overthrew many of the brief-lived liberal governments. The result was failure for many of these revolutions. In France, the Second Republic was established from 1848-51, only to fall back under the control of the Napoleonic dynasty under Louis Napoleon from 1851-70. In Germany, many local coups failed after a few months. In Italy, Italian nationalists flared up only to be crushed. An attempt at a Hungarian revolt was crushed. Liberalism now receded; when Japan looked to Europe for models in the late nineteenth century, they would look to militaristic Germany.
Testing the New American Republic
Towards Sectional Conflict: The issue of slavery nearly destroyed the United States in the mid-nineteenth century. The Southern USA was heavily dependent on cotton grown by slavery, while the North was increasingly industrial and anti-slavery. Further, southern political influence was weakening as the North grew more populous, causing the south to lose power in the House of Representatives. From 1830 on, Southerners were increasingly defensive about the institution of slavery, and an increasing number of Northerners wanted to eliminate it.
Missouri Compromise of 1820 and the Mexican War: In theory, the 1820 Compromise had settled the issue of slavery by drawing a line across the western territories and declaring land north of the line would be for free states and south of it for slave states. But the Mexican War (1846-8) and the Annexation of Texas (1846) added huge new lands south of the line. (Modern California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico, plus Texas itself, independent from Mexico since 1836 and home to plantation slavery. These lands had made up a third of Mexico but now were part of the US, bringing 100,000 Hispanics with them.) Outside Texas, slavery had been illegal in those lands for decades. Southerners wanted to make these into slave states; many Northerners wanted them to remain free. The conquered areas were so thinly settled that things might have stayed peaceful for a while. However, in 1849, the Gold Rush began in California. This rapidly pressed California’s population and built pressure for statehood. California applied to be a free state—ie, whites only, no slavery. However, part of California was south of the 1820 line, and it would have tipped the balance of the Senate, as no slave territories were available to balance it yet.
The Compromise of 1850
Taylor’s Position: President Zachary Taylor endorsed popular sovereignty to the surprise of many—let Californians decide for themselves. He called for immediate admission of New Mexico and California (basically as free states). The South opposed this plan.
Clay’s Compromise: Henry Clay put forward his last great proposal, a four part compromise:
Admission of California as a Free State
Popular Sovereignty for Utah and New Mexico
End Slave Trade in District of Columbia
Pass a Fugitive Slave Law
But Clay’s compromise measures all failed, defeated in the Senate, despite Daniel Webster stepping into the ring to sacrifice his political credit to support it.
Stephen Douglas Takes Command: Stephen A. Douglas, senator from Illinois, stepped in to create separate bills and build a special majority for each one. The result settled the crisis, though it left no one really happy.
The Fugitive Slave Law
Provisions: The Constitution made provision for the creation of laws to extradite those who owed forced service in a state. The Fugitive Slave Law required state authorities to cooperate with federal attempts to capture and return escaped slaves; it was wildly unpopular in the North. It also created a force of federal commissioners to hunt down slaves; there was no statute of limitations and those who failed to cooperate could be fined and jailed; cases were tried in special courts with a financial incentive to convict.
Black Associations: The 400,000 free Blacks in the North feared for their lives and freedom and formed associations to resist any attempt to re-enslave them. Some fled to Canada.
States Rights: Those who opposed the Fugitive Slave Act in the North called on ideas of states’ rights, arguing that the Fugitive Slave Act overrode the ability of free states to declare themselves free of slavery. Another example of how States Rights tends to be used to try to defy actions of the Federal government which people in a locality don’t like but can’t override directly. It also shows such ideas held credence in the North and the South.
Results: Most blacks in the North remained free, but many recent escapees were hauled back to the South. It produced a massive anti-slavery backlash in the North, heightening fear of ‘The Slave Power’.
Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Harriet Beecher Stowe: Stowe published Uncle Tom’s Cabin in 1851, which became the signature book of Abolition. Stowe’s story is a stirring melodrama of slave families torn apart by slavery and of an old slave, Uncle Tom’s attempts to protect the younger slaves from the harsher aspects of slavery. It includes a dramatic slave escape in the middle of winter of a young mother and her child, a fair range of masters from the kind to the hideously cruel, and Stowe’s own advocacy of what might be called ‘Christian passive resistance’ to slavery. She did not endorse violent slave uprisings, but called on slaves to resist any evil commands as best they could without violence.
The Firestorm: Northerners loved the book and bought it in droves; Southerners went crazy. It sold 300,000 in the first year, and 3 million copies in America by 1861. Despite the sympathetic portrayal of most masters as three-dimensional men of both conscience and cruelty, Southerners hated it.
The Problem of Kansas:
Douglas and the Transcontinental Railroad: Douglas wished to run a railroad from Chicago to the Pacific. This required the organization of the Kansas-Nebraska territories and the clearing out of the Indians. This required settling if they would be free or slave territories.
The Kansas Nebraska Act: 1854. It provided that Popular Sovereignty would be applied at the time of state formation; it assumed Kansas would go slave and Nebraska go free. It thus repealed the Missouri Compromise and touched off a firestorm.
Bleeding Kansas: Both sides recruited settlers to go to Kansas and fight for control of it. “Beecher’s Bibles” were rifles purchased by funds raised by Congregationalist minister Henry Beecher.
Fraudulent Election of 1855: A March 1855 election was rigged by people coming over from Missouri to vote; it returned a pro-slavery legislature. Free states assembled in Topeka; pro-slavery in Lecompton.
Civil War: Fighting now erupted from the fall of 1855 to the spring of 1856.
“Sack of Lawrence”: May 21, 1856: Pro-slavery forces attack Lawrence, Kansas, damaging the town and looting. No one actually dies. Three days later, John Brown goes on a killing spree in revenge.
Beating of Sumner: Senator Charles Sumner is mugged on the Senate floor by SC Representative Preston Brooks for his insults towards SC senator Andrew Butler during a speech on the Kansas fighting.
The Rise of the Republican Party: The Republican Party now emerged as the party of anti-slavery, combined with pro-business and anti-immigrant sentiments. Because it only drew support from the North, it marked an unravelling of the two nation-wide parties—the Democrats and the Whigs.
The Buchanan Administration: James Buchanan (1857-1861) is virtually universally considered the worst president of the USA in its history. His administration had no understanding of Northern anti-slavery sentiments and no ability to reconcile the two halves of the country.
The Dred Scott Decision: A slave taken to a free state and a territory then back to a slave state, named Dred Scott, sued for his freedom. Buchanan may have asked for a broad decision relating to slavery in the territories. He got it. Chief Justice Roger Taney argued Blacks were not citizens of the United States, so Scott could plead no case. Secondly, he argued that the Missouri Compromise had been unconstitutional; you could not ban slavery in the territories. Blacks and Republicans went crazy; many now gained a renewed fear of “the Slave Power”, which sought to deprive citizens of their rights.
The Lecompton Constitution: Buchanan appointed Robert Walker to act as governor; Walker came into conflict with the pro-slavery constitutional convention elected in 1857 over the problem of slavery (Free staters had boycotted for fear of a repeat of the last election.) The convention produced a pro-slavery constitution, even as a disputed legislature election produced a free state majority after Walker threw out some questionable votes. Buchanan fired Walker and submitted it to Congress. Northerners went berserk and successfully killed it in Congress.
The North-South Divide:
Economically: The North was booming in population and wealth and becoming industrial. The Lower South remained mired in a slave-agricultural economy with few cities. The Upper South was flourishing and moving economically towards a more Northern model. It remained dominated by a slavery-based elite, but that elite was losing its grip. Furthermore, the booming West was linked by rail to the North.
Socially: The North was increasingly becoming a class-stratified society dominated by cities; the South remained dominated by a planter elite with aristocratic ethics, and a larger class which sought that status. However the cities of the Upper South were moving towards the North.
Culturally: The South espoused a more aristocratic ethos of honor and violence. Southerners were more likely to be armed and to have military training in the case of the elites. The South was also more poorly educated and lacking in people trained in mechanical skills, though the Upper South was improving on those.
Slavery: Slavery acted as a wedge issue, but it also influenced the south to develop differently—whites united around their superiority to blacks and even poorer whites could feel aristocratic by comparison. Militia had to be formed to deal with possible slave revolts. The economy remained agricultural and industry was discouraged in the Lower South.
John Brown’s Raid:In 1859, a group of particularly stupid abolitionists saw fit to sponsor John Brown’s plan to start a slave revolt in Virginia. It failed miserably, probably because it was created by a raving lunatic, and involved things like trying to arm revolting slaves with pikes. Against guns. Brown was caught, tried, and executed. Southerners were outraged and grew in hatred of abolitionists.
The Election of 1860: The Democrats split and Abraham Lincoln (1861-5) defeated two rival Democrats and the Constitutional Union Party to emerge as president by plurality. Seven southern states (South Carolina, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas) seceded and formed the Confederate States of America in Montgomery, Alabama (March 1861), and four years of Civil War ensued.
The Civil War: After the outbreak of violence at Fort Sumter in April 1861, four more states (Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas) seceded, joining the new Southern Confederacy, which used a version of the US constitution modified to protect slavery and block use of federal money to help industrial and commercial development. 600,000 American soldiers died, and the confederacy was ultimately defeated. The war strengthened Federal authority and instituted a period of rule by veterans. It also led to Reconstruction, a failed 12 year long attempt to force the South to change its politics, economy, and social structure. The failure of Reconstruction ensured domination of the south by racist ex-Confederates who would oppress Southern blacks for the next 80 years. Nevertheless, slavery was permanently abolished and the 14th-15th amendments lay the groundwork for future expansion of the rights of Americans, even if that potential lay fallow for decades. Free labor would now dominate US history. And industry would rule the American economy and dominate its politics for decades.
The Canadian Experience: Until 1763, most of modern eastern Canada was under French control, though settlement was very thin. After 1763, the British took over but did not deport the French settlers; after 1783, 30,000 loyalists to the British crown fled from the new USA to Canada. Relations with the US were pretty tense in the early 19th century. By the 1830s, tensions were arising between new and old settlers and between settlers and the British.
Road to Self-Government: After the First Reform Act, the British were determined to avoid another American Revolution. The Earl of Durham was sent to investigate, and advocated creating institutions of self-government in 1839. The two provinces of Upper and Lower Canada should be united. In 1840, they were given a joint legislature with two chambers.
Keeping a Distinctive Culture: Ongoing conflicts within and the fear of the US without lead to the North America Act of 1867, which created a Canadian Federation with a parliamentary style of government, retaining the monarch as a figurehead.
Mid-Century Political Consolidation in Europe: In the 1850s-70s, massive political consolidation was taking place in Europe as Germany and Italy were reunited after centuries of division. War made these changes possible.
The Crimean War (1854-6): Russia had been encroaching upon the Ottoman provinces of Moldavia and Wallachia (in modern Romania). In 1853, the Russians attacked the Ottomans because the Ottomans had made the French the protector of Christians in the Holy Land. France and Britain now intervened to prevent Russia taking control of Istanbul. The war bogged down in the Crimea and became very bloody. New military technology, such as the breech-loading rifle, was beginning to exalt defense over offense. The weakness of Russia now became evident, shifting the balance of power as Russia could no longer plausibly enforce the Vienna settlement. Disease actually killed far more men than combat: The British, French, and Sardinians lost 252,000 men, but only 70,000 died from combat. The Russians lost between 60-100,000 men, mostly of disease.
Italian Unification: Some Italians, like Guiseppe Mazzini (1805-1872) and Guiseppe Garibaldi (1809-1882) sought to create an Italian republic by a popular rebellion. However, the Italian middle and upper class looked to unification by one of the Kingdoms in Italy. Unification would come due to the manueverings of Count Camillo Cavour (1810-1861), prime minister of the Kingdom of Piedmont. The Kingdom of Sardinia had obtained the Piedmont in 1815. It had tried and failed to defeat Austria during the 1848 revolutions. King Victor Emmanuel (1849-1878) picked liberal monarchist Cavour to serve as prime minister in 1851. Cavour carried out liberal reforms to strengthen the kingdom and gain foreign sympathy; Sardinia fought in the Crimea to get future French aid. In 1859, France and Piedmont joined forces to drive the Austrians out of Lombardy, crippling their influence in Italy, though they retained Venetia in the northeast. Later that year, the states of central Italy largely voted to join Piedmont. The next year, Garibaldi led a revolution in Southern Italy; Cavour swept south, conquered the Papal States and forced Garibaldi into submission. Piedmont now held all of Italy except Rome and Venetia. In March 1861, Victor Emmanuel was declared King of Italy. In 1866, Italy conquered Venetia during the Austro-Prussian War, and seized Rome in 1870 during the Franco-Prussian War.
German Unification: The key figure was Prussian Prime Minister, Otto von Bismark (1815-1898). King William I (1861-88) of Prussia tried to build up the Prussian military but was blocked by the Prussian Parliament, dominated by liberals. William turned to Bismark in 1862 to get things done. Bismark came from traditional Junker (noble) stock. Bismark set about uniting Germany to try and build public support for a stronger military and monarchy. As part of this, he deliberately antagonized Austria so as to unite Germany against Austria. First he attacked the Danes in 1864 to seize Schleswig-Holstein. Then he turned on Austria in 1866, crushing the Austrians in a brilliantly fought war. Prussia annexed several German states and united the rest of Germany north of the Main river into the North German Confederation.
Franco-Prussian War and the German Empire: A dispute over the possibility of a relative of the King of Prussia becoming King of Spain was trumped up by Bismark to turn into a cause celebre, an excuse for war. The south german states backed Prussia against France and the French were crushed to the surprise of everyone. Napoleon III was overthrown and Paris was seized. The remaining German states bowed to Prussia and the German Empire was declared. France would now become the Third Republic.
Unrest of Nationalities in Eastern Europe: The Habsburg lands remained under absolutist monarchy and old-school agriculture. The last Habsburg, Francis Joseph (1848-1916), had imposed a German-dominated central government after the defeat of the 1848 Hungarian revolt. But Austrian defeat in 1866 at the hands of Prussia led to the Hungarians rising again to demand more power. The Compromise (Augsleich) of 1867 created a dual monarchy—the division of the lands into an Austrian and a Hungarian state, each with their own legislature. Only the military and foreign policy were held in common. But many other nationalities were kept suppressed, yet yearned for autonomy or independence. By 1900, the Czechs had begun protesting especially loudly. This forced Francis Joseph to rule by decree. In Hungary, the Hungarian Magyars oppressed everyone else. Rising nationality issues created international stability issues as nationalities divided between multiple states sought to reunite. Many Balkan Slavs looked to Russia for protection and help. Some Austrian Germans even wanted unity with Bismark's Germany.
Racial Theories and Anti-Semitism: Medieval Europe had rooted its racial thinking in the Biblical account of Genesis. Efforts at scientific classification of the branches of humanity in the 18th century helped lead, along with evolutionary theory, to 'scientific' thoeries of race in the nineteenth century, which provided a scientific gloss for older prejudices against other peoples which had grown out of the Age of Exploration and the practice of slavery in the Atlantic world. However, racism didn't necessarily divide people as 'white', 'black', 'yellow'. It could also divide nationalities against each other, proclaiming the glory of the 'Anglo-Saxons', while painting the Irish as gorilla-men. Linguistic studies of the 18th century had led to postulation of a common origin of most European languages with those of India and Iran, all rooted in a theoretical 'Aryan' culture.
Arthur de Gobineau: French racist Arthur de Gobineau (1816-1882) connected the Aryans to racial theories in his four-volume Essay on the Inequalities of the Human Races (1853-54). Gobineau blamed the problems of Europe on the dilution of Aryan blood by inferior races. He saw little hope to reverse this degeneration.
Houston Stewart Chamberlain:Houston Stewart Chamberlain (1855-1927) put racism on a 'scientific' basis in his Foundations of the Nineteenth Century (1899). He championed the idea that biology determined culture and intellectual capacity. He used contemporary genetic theory to show how selective breeding could undo racial decay. However, he also condemned the Jews as unfit, contributing to the rise of anti-semitism (hatred of the Jews).
Anti-Semitism and the Birth of Zionism: Religious anti-semitism derived from the Middle Ages, getting its first major boost from the massacre of Jews by departing German Crusaders in 1097. Since the French Revolution, Jews in Austria, Germany, Britain, and France had been able to enter civic life without legal penalties, though they faced continuing prejudice. However, the economic problems of some and the success of some Jews in finance capitalism led to rising anti-Jewish sentiment on the Continent in the late 19th century. Jews were attacked as unassimilable, that Judaism was in their blood. Some Jews responded by becoming strongly nationalist, calling for creation of a Jewish state. Austro-Hungarian Jew Theodore Herzl (1860-1904) was one of the founders of Zionism, author of The Jewish State (1886), a book in which he called for creation of a new Jewish state based on liberal rights and values. He aimed his appeal at the poor Jews of the East European ghettos with a call for socialist reforms.