Nationalism In Europe Essay

1194 words - 5 pages

Nationalism in Europe

Nineteenth century Europe, exploding with Nationalism, shows us how powerful a nation can be when united for a common cause. Nationalism is the love and devotion to ones country, where devotion stands for the spirit to protect the needs and ideals of the nation. Nationalism acted as a unifying force in Europe for much of the nineteenth century when unification movements were frequent. The unification of Italy and Germany, are prime examples of nationalism at work.
By the end of the French revolution and Napoleanic wars, nationalism was growing rampant among the neighboring countries of France leading to an increasing amount of unification motions. The extraordinary unification of these two divided areas proves how a strong sense of nationalism truly is a unifying force.
The early eighteen hundreds was a time of separation for the "Geographic Expression" which we call Italy is today. All that held back Italy from its unification (1859-1919) was the power complex's of a few greedy officials such as the Pope and Local rulers who feared losing land and power; Most of all however was the Austrian power overhead who wished to maintain a weaker neighbor to the south. Fed up with disunity, an Italian nationalist named Guisseppe Messini founded a secret society called "Young Italy". It was the duty of this society to overthrow foreign tyrants such as Austria and establish an Italian republic for which the leader is voted upon. Messini, also known as the "Soul", was the true benefactor who excited the people of Italy to unite. As made evident in Document 1, the people united and prepared to defend there needs as a uniting country. This excerpt from the French Levée en Masse dating back as far as 1793, during the French revolution. Though thousands of miles away and more than thirty years before any of Italy's own reformation acts, the idea behind this excerpt is the same. The only way to defeat a common enemy, whether it be foreign tyrants of your own corrupt monarch, is to come together and work as a whole to take the nation into your own hands.
The "Brains" of the Italian unification is said to be a man by the name of Count Camillo Cavour. Cavour, a well-educated politician, is the contributor of the main plan to the unification. Appointed by King Victor Emanuel of Sardinia, Count Cavour became the new Prime Minister there. As Prime Minister of Sardinia, the economy was improved, the military power increased (for the upcoming unification), and most importantly, he overthrow Austria with the help of Napoleon III, winning back North Italian land. As in document 2, the only objective that Cavour was concerned with was the expelling of foreigners to "elevate the Italian people in intelligence and moral development. With the foreign threat eliminated, Italy could also become a very "powerful and glorious" nation. Even after the drastic changes made by Count Camillo Cavour, the Italian unification was still...

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