Summary of Europe in mid-1800s and rise of nationalism
As Napoleon’s attempt to regain power during his “100 Days” drew to a close in 1815, Britain, Russia, Austria, and Prussia began meeting in 1814 as the Congress of Vienna to restore the royal families to their places of power, including the Bourbons in France. The Holy Roman Empire of 360 states was reorganized to form 38 German states in the German Confederation. In 1871, these 38 states would unify to become the country we know today as “Germany”.
In 1848, liberalism, a belief that arose from the Enlightenment and stressed the importance of civil liberties and rights for the individual, swept across Europe. Due in part to these liberal movements, nationalistic revolutions broke out in Germany, Austria, Italy and France. In Austria’s empire, for example, there existed Germans, Czechs, Poles, Croats, Serbs, Hungarians, Italians and more. Many of these peoples wanted a country of their own. Austria crushed the 1848 uprisings and the revolutions in Austria and the rest of Europe failed, at least for now. Only after World War One were many of these people given their own country when Austria lost the war. Still the revolutions of 1848 brought a lot of nationalistic feelings to the nations and peoples of Europe that would soon have important, history-making effects.
The Unification and Creation of the States of Germany and Italy in 1871
In 1871, two new countries were created under nationalistmovements; Italy and Germany. In Germany, a prime minister named Otto von Bismarck was the driving force behind Germany’s unification. Bismarck said, “The great questions of the day will not be decided by speeches and the resolutions of majorities, but by