Essay on Nationalism and Liberalism

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Often called “the People’s Spring”, the Revolutions of 1848 marked a time of political and social turmoil widespread across the European continent. It is during this time we see monarchies overthrown, the formation of new countries, and “radical ideologies” such as Nationalism, and Liberalism become the beliefs of the middle-class. The populations of European countries were growing at a rate never seen before. The masses started becoming agitated with the current monarchial system of government ruling across Europe in the nineteenth-century, and wanted change that would bring about individual freedom and equality. It is well known that the Revolutions of 1848 were multi-casual, and that there was not just one factor that can be…show more content…
During the Congress of Vienna the combined powers redrew the map of Europe, undoing many of the changes caused by the Napoleonic wars, and reinstated old rulers to their thrones. Prussia was to receive territories on the left bank on the Rhine River as a way to discourage any future French rebellion or aggression. Austria was given Lombardy and Venetia, as well as other small nationalities, in an attempt to keep the states within Italy from starting a rebellion. The kingdom of Poland was created, but was essentially made part of the Russian empire, with Czar Alexander occupying the throne. The French monarchy, the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia and Metternich’s Austrian monarchy “utilized the bureaucratized state apparatus inherited from Napoleon to repress liberals”. The redrawing of European territories was done without consideration for the peoples living within , thus feeding the already growing agitation of the people, and promoted the call for unification along nationalistic lines. The Restoration of Europe in the first half of the nineteenth century also contributed to the revolutionary movement that occurred in 1848. The leaders that assembled in the Congress of Vienna embraced the conservative idea of monarchial legitimacy, where the right to rule a government was decided by hereditary succession, with close association with the church.
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