Chapter 13: The Consolidation of the Large Nation-States,
63. Backgrounds: The Idea of the Nation State
1. Before 1860, France and Britain were the two most prominent nation states. The main political organizations were small
states comprising fragments of a nation and large empires made up of many sorts of peoples and ruled from above by
dynasties and bureaucracies.
2. Since 1860-1870, a nation state system has prevailed, with the small and large peoples of the world increasingly thinking of
themselves as nations, entitled to sovereignty and independence. Nationalism has united people into larger units and broken
large into smaller.
3. A nation-state is: “one in which supreme political authority somehow rests upon and represents the will and feeling of its
inhabitants. There must be a people, not merely a swarm of human beings.” They have a sense of community, sharing a
language, belief in common descent (or racial origin) or a sense of common history and future; a common religion,
geographical home, and external menace. In summary, they are a community, committed to a collective destiny.
4. Nineteenth century governments needed to gain support from their subjects to effectively rule. They typically increased
political participation and created or extended liberal and representative institutions. Territorially, they unified pre -
existing states --causing wars.
B. The Crimean War, 1854-56
1. The war was one of a long series of Russo-Turkish wars. Russia took Bessarabia in 1829 and coveted Wallachia and Moldavia
(now Romania; see map on p. 625). Ostensibly, the cause was Russia’s claim to protect Christians in the Ottoman Empire.
But France considered the Empire their sphere of influence--long term trade and political relations, and currently plans for a
Suez Canal. Britain also opposed the Russian advance, and Piedmont joined to get a voice in the peace.
2. Britain successfully blockaded Russia, both in the Baltic and Black Sea regions; all fighting was on the Crimean Peninsula.
Austria mobilized and forced Russia to withdraw from the Danubian provinces (Romania). A new Russian emperor,
Nicholas II, agreed to peace terms after a brutal, indecisive war.
3. Peace of Paris, 1856: Great powers agreed to maintain the integrity of the Ottoman Empire, with Russia pushed back and
Rumania and Serbia recognized as self-governing principalities within the Ottoman Empire. The Black Sea and Danube River
were internationalized. All seemed amicable, but the settlement of Vienna was in trouble; the two great protectors of the
status quo, Russia and Austria, were now weak. Change was coming, first in Italy.
64. Cavour and the Italian War of 1859: The Unification of Italy
A. Italian Nationalism: the Program of Cavour
1. Italy was composed mainly of status quo powers, with governments remote from the people: Lombardy (Milan) and
Venetia (Venice) controlled by Austria; the Papal States, possessions of the Pope; and the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies,
under Bourbon rulers. Only Sardinia (Piedmont) ruled by the House of Savoy was Italian.
2. Risorgimento--Italian spirit of nationalistic resurgence--had been given unity as a moral crusade by Joseph Mazzini.
However, the Pope had been turned against radical romantic republicanism, and the military efforts of Piedmont had failed.
3. The failures of 1848 showed Count Camilio di Cavour, Prime Minister of Piedmont, what to do: He made Piedmont a model of progress,
efficiency and parliamentary government; he weakened the power of the Church. Following the new “politics of realism,” he worked
secretly with republicans (whom he disliked). He joined the q him of France’s role in Italy. Napoleon was convinced of the need to unify
nations, and saw the fight in Italy as a way to win support from French liberals.
4. Cavour tricked Austria into declaring war on Piedmont; the French army rushed to help, winning two great battles.
Revolutionary agitation broke out all over Italy --and Napoleon had problems: he didn’t really like rev liberals; Prussia was
mobilizing on the Rhine; and French Catholics were upset about the threat to the Pope’s territories. Thus he made a separate
peace with the Austrians, giving only Lombardy to Piedmont. But revolutions kept spreading; Tuscany and other small states
threw out their rulers and joining Piedmont. Britain recognized the changes, and Napoleon III acquiesced--after getting Nice
B. The Completion of Italian Unity
1. Giuseppe Garibaldi , a fiery republican of Piedmont, created his Red Shirts for an armed filibustering expedition into southern Italy.
Local revolutionists in the Two Sicilies quickly joined in; the combined forces now began a march on Rome. Cavour, fearing the
scandal of invading the lands of the Pope, marched a Piedmontese army through the Papal States and linked up with Garibaldi. Radical
red republican and monarch Victor Emmanuel rode through the streets; unified Italy was a fact.
Unification was finished by adding Venetia and Rome.
2. “So Italy was ‘made’....It had been made by the long high-minded apostolate of Mazzini, the audacity of Garibaldi, the
cold policy of Cavour, by war and insurrection, by armed violence endorsed by popular vote.”
C. Persistent Problems after Unification: Nationalistic Italians continued to look to “unredeemed Italy”--irredentism, a policy aimed at the Trentino,
Trieste, Nice, Savoy, and Tyrol. Popes refused to reconcile with the new Italy after losing the Papal States; patriots tended to be anti-clerical,
and Catholics a bit less than patriotic. The south remained the land of priest, landlord, and impoverished
find more resources at oneclass.com
find more resources at oneclass.com
peasant, spurned by northerners; lawlessness in Sicily and Naples did not disappear with the overthrow of the Bourbons. Few
had the right to vote, and parliamentary life was unrealistic and corrupt. The revolutionary movement shifted from
republicanism to Marxism, anarchism, and syndicalism.
65. Bismarck: The Founding of a German Empire
A. France and Russia had kept Germany divided and weak, but now Germans had become nationalistic --with overtones of national
superiority and emphasis on group loyalty as opposed to individual liberty, and a sense of historical destiny. The failure of 1848
brought an exaggerated admiration for die Macht, power. After the 1848 revolution the old states were restored: the kingdoms
of Hanover, Saxony, Bavaria, and Würtemburg, along with 30 small states ranging in size down to the free cities of Hamburg
and Frankfurt. But within the framework, the Zollverein had produced great economic change; coal and iron production
surpassed France and the German cities were growing, linked by railroad and telegraph.
B. Prussia in the 1860s: Bismarck. Prussia had always been the most precarious of the great powers, and after 1815 it had appeared
stagnant. The population had grown to 18 million, but the army had stayed the same size. The liberal Parliament opposed the
Junkers and refused appropriations to expand the army. Prussia got a new Chancellor in 1862, Otto von Bismarck--a Junker
intellectual, an obstinate Prussian who distrusted the West, liberalism, and socialism. His watchwords were Duty, Service, Order,
God. Pragmatic and opportunistic, he saw unification as the only means to build Prussia. To defeat parliament, he simply ordered
the taxes collected, and the obedient Germans paid. Prussia had its new army. When the liberals complained, Bismarck replied:
"Not by speeches and majority votes are the great questions of the day decided--that was the great error of 1848 and 1849--but
by blood and iron."
C. Bismarck’s Wars: The North German Confederation, 1867
1. Even liberals felt Schlesswig and Holstein should be German, and the Danes in 1863 moved to annex Schlesswig. The Diet of the
German Confederation was outraged and called for war. Bismarck, seeking to enlarge Prussia, disguised his actions by joining with
Austria against Denmark. Prussia quickly took Schlesswig, and Austria took Holstein. Bismarck knew conflict with Austria would soon
arise. Meanwhile he isolated Austria: he won England’s non-intervention, got the support of Russia (angry at Austria over the Crimea),
and promised Venetia to Italy. France was busy with Mexico. He then proposed that the German Confederation be run by a popular
assembly elected by ums --weakening Austria’s influence.
2. Bismarck then picked a quarrel with Austria over Holstein, leading to war between Prussia and both Austria and the states of
the German Confederation, the Seven Weeks War. The Prussian army was well trained and armed with the new rapid -fire
needle gun, and moved rapidly by the new railroads. The war was over and peace made before the rest of Europe knew what
was happening. The result was the North German Confederation, a union of 21 states including Hanover which the Prussians
completely dominated. The German states south of the Main River--Austria, Bavaria, Baden, Würtemburg --remained
independent and disunited. The new state was ruled by the King of Prussia with a Reichsrat for the states and a Reichstag for
the people, elected by a.m.’s
3. . Bismarck negotiated and gained the support of the Socialists.
D. The Franco-Prussian War (1870)
France was upset over foreign policy; Mexico had proved a failure, and the unification of Italy and growing power of Prussia
were disturbing. Talk of war was rampant, increasing the fears of the southern Germans. The Spanish succession proved just the
situation Bismarck needed. Spain asked Prussia’s royal Hohenzollern family to provide a monarch; the offer was refused three
times, but Bismarck got Spain to make a fourth offer, which was accepted. The French were upset, and in a conversation at Ems
Leopold Hohenzollern agreed to withdraw his name. The French ambassador asked for a promise to never accept the crown, but
the king refused. Bismarck took the cable of this very ordinary interchange, compressed the message to make it seem as though
both sides were being insulting, and released it to the press. Both sides demanded war; the French were especially provoked by
the appearance of the telegram on July 14. Napoleon III, under pressure, declared war. Again, Bismarck had studied the situation
well: the British were upset with France, the Italians wanted Rome, and Russia saw a chance to get back into the Black Sea. And
again, the war was short, with democratic France basically unprepared. The war was over with the Battle of Sedan, 9/2/70. The
Parisians (shades of 1791!) fought on, besieged and alone, for another 4 months, before surrendering.
E. The German Empire, 1871
1. Bismarck dictated peace terms at Versailles while the siege continued. The German Empire was proclaimed, with the king of
Prussia as emperor. As France had no government, Bismarck insisted that France elect a constituent assembly by a.m.’s. He
then demanded reparations of 5 billion gold francs and the cession of Alsace and Lorraine (Alsace had been part of France
for 200 years). The French were forced to sign the Treaty of Frankfurt in May of 1871. France was to seek revenge
(Revanche!) f or the next 45 years.
2. Germany was now the main European state, having outwitted the politicians of Europe (even the Germans). Even the liberals applauded
the results and passed a bill forgiving Bismarck for his tax collection policy of the 1860s. Within the new Empire, the local monarchs
kept their titles, but real power was Prussian. Each state did keep its own laws, government, and constitution--but the emperor had full
legal control over the foreign and military policy. “The German Empire in effect served as a mechanism to magnify the role of Prussia,
the Prussian army, and the East-
3. Prussian aristocracy in world affairs.”
66. The Dual Monarchy of Austria Hungary
Austria survived, dramatically changed. Emperor Francis Joseph allied with the reactionary Catholic hierarchy. He was incapable of greatness,
decisiveness, perseverance--and lived in a fairy-tale court. He tried centralization, using German efficiency to build the
find more resources at oneclass.com
find more resources at oneclass.com