Although conservatism was deeply entrenched across the Continent by 1850, many of the liberal and nationalists goals of the early nineteenth-century had been achieved.
Italy and Germany were each united under constitutional monarchies.
The Habsburg emperors accepted constitutional governments and recognized the liberties of the Magyars of Hungary.
France had become a republic.
Liberalism and democracy flourished in Great Britain.
Most liberal and nationalist developments in Europe occurred under conservative political leadership.
Leaders had to find new ways to secure the loyalties of their subjects.
Section One: The Crimean War (1853-1856)
Build-up to war
Russia wanted to extend its influence over the Ottoman Empire.
In 1851, yielding to French pressure, the Ottoman sultan had assigned care of certain holy places in Palestine to Roman Catholics which angered Russia.
Russia wanted to extend its control over the Ottoman provinces of Moldavia and Walachia which they occupied in the summer of 1853 under the pretext that they wanted to protect the Orthodox Christians in that region.
Shortly after, the Ottoman Empire declared war on Russia.
Great European powers watched the events unfold as they didn’t want to see Russia grow too powerful.
France and Britain declared war on Russia
First war covered by correspondents and photographers who exposed the ill-equipped and poorly commanded armies of both sides.
British and French seized the Russian fortress at Sevastopol in 1855 and the war ended shortly thereafter.
Peace Settlement and Long-term Results
Treaty of Paris (1856)
Russia was required to:
surrender territory near the mouth of the Danube River
recognize the neutrality of the Black Sea
renounce its claim of protector of Orthodox Christians in the Ottoman Empire
Austria forced Russia from Moldavia and Walachia.
The Concert of Europe was shattered by the Crimean War
Since the great powers easily squashed the rebellions of 1848, they started to treat the Vienna settlement with less reverence
Generally, following the Crimean War, nations became adventurous with their foreign policies.
Section Two: Reforms in the Ottoman Empire
Sultan issued a decree called the Hatt-I Sharif of Gulhane
Ottoman leaders sought to reorganize the empire’s administration and military along European lines.
Tanzimat (Reorganization) Era in Ottoman History (1839-1876)
Liberalized the economy, ended the practice of tax farming, and sought to eliminate corruption.
Granted civic equality to Ottoman subjects regardless of faith
Spelled out the rights of non-Muslims in the empire
Given equal obligations for military service and equal opportunity for state employment and admission to state schools
Western schools emerged in the Ottoman Empire
Nationalism and autonomy in the Ottoman Empire
In some regions, like Tunis and Egypt, local leaders were virtually independent of Istanbul.
Balkan wars of the late 1870s
Resulted in the independence of, or Russian or Austrian domination over, most of the Ottoman Empire’s European holdings
Greater efforts to modernize the army and economy by building railways and telegraphs
Political modernization took place in 1876 when the Ottoman sultan proclaimed a constitution on the model of that of Europe.
Constitution called for a parliament consisting of an elected chamber of deputies and an appointed senate but left the sultan’s power mostly in tact
Reformists officers in the Ottoman army who were in charge of the Ottoman government when war broke out in 1914
Section Three: Italian Unification
Carbonari (“charcoal burners”)
one of several secret republican societies established in Italy following the Congress of Vienna
Giuseppe Mazzini (1805-1872) and Young Italy Society
became the most important nationalist leader in Europe
the goal was to drive Austria from the peninsula and establish an Italian republic
Mazzini and Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807-1882)
led insurrections in Italy to promote unification
Count Camillo Cavour (1810-1861)—the Prime Minister of Piedmont—made unification possible through secret diplomacy and military force.
Piedmont—in northwestern Italy—was the most independent state on the Italian peninsula.
Congress of Vienna established Piedmont as a buffer between French and Austrian ambitions
King Victor Emmanuel I (1849-1878)
hired Cavour to be his Prime Minister
Cavour was a proven successful politician and was deeply imbued with Enlightenment ideas.
Cavour was a strong monarchist and rejected republicanism.
Promoted free trade, railway construction, etc, in order to prove to the rest of Europe that Italy was capable of governing itself
Established National Societies throughout Italy in order to proclaim the benefits that unification would bring the Italian peninsula.
King Victor Emmanuel I and Cavour sought help from France to defeat Austria
Cavour helped the French and British in the Crimean War by sending 10,000 troops to help them capture Sebastopol and subsequently earned a spot at the peace conference where his artful diplomacy impressed Napoleon III of France.
By opposing Mazzini and his nationalist uprisings, Cavour preached a moderate liberal, monarchist alternative to both republicanism and reactionary absolutism in Italy.
Cavour and Napoleon III met in 1858 and worked out a plan to bait Austria into a war in Italy.
War with Austria
On June 4, the Austrians were defeated at Magenta, and on June 24 at Solferino.
Meanwhile, revolutions had broken out in Tuscany, Modena, Parma, and the Romagna provinces of the Papal States.
Although the coalition of French and Piedmont’s troops was crushing the Austrians, Napoleon III concluded peace with Austria at Villafranca.
Piedmont received Lombardy and later that year, Parma, Modena, Tuscany, and the Romagna voted to unite with Piedmont.
Venetia, however, remained under Austrian control.
Cavour decided to pursue complete unification of northern and southern Italy.
Cavour sent Garibaldi with 1,000 troops to capture Palermo and went on to capture the kingdom of Naples and most of the territory in the Papal States, except Rome itself which was reserved for the papacy.
In 1860 Naples and Sicily voted to join a united Italy.
The New Italian State
In March 1861, Victor Emmanuel II was proclaimed king of Italy.
Clerics were appalled at the conquest of the Papal States.
In the South, people opposed domination by the northern Piedmont.
The new government
Parliament consisted of two houses
senate appointed by the king
chamber of deputies elected by a narrow franchise.
King as supreme executive
Conquest of Venice and Rome
Venice joined a united Italy after Italy agreed to enter an alliance with Prussia against Austria in the Austro-Prussian War.
France protected Rome until the Franco-Prussian War in 1870 when they withdrew; Rome was annexed by Italy and made its capital.
Italia irredenta, or ”unredeemed Italy” was one reason for Italian support for the Allies against Austria and Germany during World War I as Austria still maintained possession of the cities of Trent and Trieste in Italy.
Section Four: German Unification
A unified Germany, which two generations of German liberals had sought, was actually achieved for the most illiberal reasons.
Although unification seemed impossible in 1850, a series of domestic political changes and problems within Prussia occurred that led to unification.
In 1858, Frederick William IV was determined to be insane and his brother, William I, took over the throne and William, less idealistic than Frederick William IV, immediately enlarged the Prussian military.
The Prussian Parliament, created by the constitution of 1850, refused to approve the new taxes to increase the size of the army and the monarchy and Parliament came to a deadlock.
Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898)
Came from the Junker nobility
Attended a university and displayed an interest in German unification
In the 1840’s he was elected to the provincial diet and earned a reputation for being reactionary but later mellowed into a conservative.
He became Prussian ambassador to Russia and France
Bismarck was appointed prime minister in 1862
He immediately moved against the liberal Parliament
Bismarck claimed that the Prussian constitution permitted the government to carry out its functions on the basis of previously granted taxes; therefore, taxes could be collected and spent despite parliamentary refusal to vote them.
The army and bureaucracy supported this interpretation of the constitution.
Bismarck sought ways to use German nationalism as a strategy to enable Prussian conservatives to outflank Prussian liberals.
The Danish War (1864)
The kings of Denmark had long ruled over the duchies of Schleswig-Holstein but the Danish Parliament attempted to make them part of Denmark in 1863.
Prussia and Austria sent their militaries to prevent the move.
Convention of Gastein
Austria was put in charge of Holstein and Prussia in charge of Schleswig.
He gained Russian support by helping squash a revolt that broke out in Poland.
He persuaded Napoleon III to stay neutral in an Austro-Prussian conflict.
In April 1866, Bismarck promised Italy Venetia if it attacked Austria in support of Prussia when the war broke out.
The Austro-Prussian War (1866)
Conflict between Austrian and Prussian troops erupted over the administration of Schleswig and Holstein.
One June 1, 1866, Austria appealed to the German Confederation to intervene in the dispute.
Bismarck claimed that this request violated the provisions of the Convention of Gastein and declared war on Prussia.
Seven Weeks’ War
Prussia defeated Austria at Koniggratz in Bohemia..
Britain symbolized the confident liberal state in the late nineteenth-century.
The British did not have to create new liberal institutions—as they already had them—and then learn how to live within them.
The Second Reform Act (1867)
Due to the rise in social respectability of the working classes in England, many in England agitated for the expansion of the franchise.
Organization led by John Bright (1811-1889) brought this issue to Parliament and in 1866, Lord Russell’s Liberal ministry introduced a reform bill that a coalition of traditional conservatives and antidemocratic liberals defeated
Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881) and the expansion of suffrage
Conservative leader in the House of Commons who proposed a reform bill in 1867 that was amended by Liberals so much that increased the number of voters from approximately 1,430,000 to 2,470,00
Thus, large numbers of working class males joined the ranks of the electorate.
Disraeli, knowing reform was inevitable, decided that the Conservatives should take credit for it and believed it would help solidify Conservative control in British government.
Gladstone’s Great Ministry (1868-1874)
This era witnessed the culmination of classical British liberalism and saw the following reforms:
institutions that remained the preserve of the aristocracy and the Anglican church were open to people from other classes and religious denominations.
competitive examinations for the civil service replaced patronage.
purchase of officers’ positions in the army was abolished.
voting by secret ballot was introduced
Education Act of 1870
government assumed the responsibility for establishing and running elementary schools
Disraeli in Office (1874-1880)
Disraeli succeeded Gladstone as prime minister in 1874
Both men believed social reform was necessary but disagreed on the means.
Whereas Gladstone looked to individualism, free trade, and competition to solve social problems, Disraeli believed in paternalistic legislation to protect the weak and ease class antagonisms.
Public Health Act of 1875
Biggest legislation of Disraeli’s term but it was primarily the work of his home secretary, Richard Cross (1823-1914)
This act reaffirmed the duty of the state to interfere with private property to protect health and physical well-being.
Artisan Dwelling Act of 1875
Government became involved in providing housing for the working class
The Irish Question
In 1880, Gladstone became prime minister again after an agricultural depression and an unpopular policy undermined the conservative government of Disraeli.
Major issue of Gladstone’s second term: The Irish Question
Irish nationalists promoted the idea of “home rule” for Ireland.
Irish Land League
led by Charles Stewart Parnell (1846-1891)
they wanted a land settlement since much of the land in Ireland was owned by Protestants of English descent
Irish land act of 1881 strengthened tenants’ rights
Parnell organized Irish members of Parliament to agitate for home rule in Parliament; an opportunity arose in the election of 1885 when the Irish votes were needed by Gladstone to win the election.
Gladstone announced his support for Irish home rule
Then, a group known as Liberal Unionists joined the Conservatives and defeated home rule for the Irish.
Ireland remained firmly under British control.
In 1903, the Conservatives sponsored a bill that carried out the final transfer of land to tenant ownership.
Home Rule Bill of 1912 granted this right to Irish but it was not to be implemented until after World War I.