Impact of the French Revolution on the 19th Century Europe Essay

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Nationalism was a main product of the French Revolution; it had an enormous effect on 19th- century Europe. Nationalism evolved from cultural unity in language, history and territory. Through this common cultural unity, nationalists attempted to create a similar political unity. Nationalism is the belief that an ethnic group has a right to statehood and emphasized collective unity. It emerged from two main ideologies, Romanticism and Liberalism. Romanticism’s intrinsic idea was the assertion of nationalism that became a central theme of Romantic political philosophy and art. Liberalism’s primary concept was the freedom and political influence for the population collectively which would result in greater dominance of the liberal leader. Essentially there were revolts by the middle class who were unhappy with their social and political conditions. Prompted by Napoleon III of France, Napoleon III’s dictatorship showed how the national state and its programs appealed to both the rich and poor, conservative and radical. (Evans, 2011) Nationalism’s growth led to government and politicians to respond effectively to the political and social demands of the people. The widespread effect of nationalism led to the unification of nation states.
Nationalism led to the unification of Germany. In 1865-1871, the prime minister of Prussia Otto von Bismarck used nationalism to unify the originally separated German provinces. He united the German states through a series of “wars of unification” against Denmark, France and Austria. (Acemoglu, 2009) In 1871, William I of Prussia became Kaiser of Germany and this marked the Second Reich. Nationalism also led to the unification of Italy. Although the Italian peninsula shared a common language, they hav...

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...proletariat but it was the first time in history where the population successfully revolted against the monarchy and established a Republic. Although in 1799, the revolution seemed to have failed, by 1815 it appeared nullified and had widespread results. Feudalism that had been a part of Europe since the 9th century was abolished and the Napoleonic Code established social order and contractual relations. The French Revolution unified France and through nationalism enhanced the power of the national state. The revolution alongside with the Napoleonic Wars also destroyed the ancient structure of Europe and spread nationalism all over Europe. The widespread anomaly of nationalism led to the unification of Germany and Italy. The French Revolution is undeniably one of history’s most monumental events and its impact has had an irrevocable effect on 19th- century Europe.

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