The Role of the Individual and Society in the Late 19th Century, Nationalism

1986 Words8 Pages
The Role of the Individual and Society in the Late 19th Century, Nationalism

A young boy of both German and Italian heritage opens a book on his ancestry. The

earliest recordable links he can trace from his Italian and German roots are two tribes.

The tribes are very similar in all aspects that he can discern. The German people have

the same interests, occupations, religions, and traditions. Identical traits are seen in the Italian tribe. The boy questions, however, if these people can really be his ancestors. After all, he is German and Italian and the tribesmen all identify themselves with present day cities and provinces. Is he Sicilian and Bavarian instead of Italian and German? As the boy reads on he finds out that in the late nineteenth century, his ancestors suddenly identified themselves as German and Italian, what he expected they would be from the start. So, what happened? Divided between the conservative elite and the common liberal, Italy and Germany became unified nations through the institution of a strong military, economy, government, and the influence of a rich ancestry. Each member of society was affected by the move towards nationalism in different ways; the monarchy, liberals, and working classes in Italy and Germany

embodied the results of nationalism throughout Europe.

The conservative contingency of both Italy and Germany believed that the only way they could build a strong country that would withstand the tests of time was through the building of a strong economy. By building up a large amount of money from the group of territories in the nation through taxes and other sources of government finance, Italy and Germany could build respect among other nations and join the elite of Europe. T...

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1. David Blackbourn, The Long Nineteenth Century A History of Germany, 1780-1918. New

York; Oxford University Press, 1997.

Notes: The novel contributes to the analyzation of the role of the individual in nineteenth century society by giving a history of the move for unification in both Germany and Italy. It provides a detailed account of historical events, focusing on all aspects and roles in German society. The book only touches on Italian unification, but it provides a good base for understanding the basic details of what took place. It goes on into World War I to show some of the effects of unification and the advance of unification in the form of alliances. The major strong point of the work, and the thing that helped me the most in my paper, was it's focus on nationalism as it pertained to each part of society in Germany.
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