[Back to Modern Europe Syllabus]

Paul Halsall
Modern Western Civilization

Class 19: Nationalism and the Decline of Cosmopolitanism

I. Introduction

Today looking at Nationalism. We are going to try and get an

idea of why it was most successful creed of the 19th Century,

and also look at its most dramatic effects - the creation of

two major European states - Germany and Italy.

We are also going to take special note of how nationalism

changes and spreads.

II. Cosmopolitanism

The Enlightenment

-common language - Latin and French (eg in Russia)

-universality of Reason

-common intellectual world for educated middle class and


-Austrian Empire - best example.

III. Music

A. Cultural Nationalism

1. Jean Sibelius - Finnish

Finlandia, Opus 26, 1899

banned in 1917.

2. Bedrich Smetana (1824-1884) - Czech

Vltava (The Moldau) from Ma Vlast (My Fatherland)

3. These both illustrates the cultural nationalism that was

original to German and Italian nationalism.

Later on in the Century spreads to other nations, and

was especially seen in Music-

Norway - Edvard Greig, Poland - Chopin

Czechoslovakia - Smetana, Dvorjak

Russia - Mussorgsky, Borodin, Rimsky-Korsokov

Associated movements revived old folktales

B. Liberal Nationalism

Guiseppe Verdi (1813-1901), "Va, pensiero" -

Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves from Nabucco 1842

The "Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves", Va Pensiero, from Verdi's

opera Nabucco (1842) attained great political significance.

Va Pensiero became the Italians' song of liberation, for,

in the oppressed Hebrews, they found a symbol of their own

longing for reunification with Lombardy, which was occupied

by Austria. The unison chorus (one of the few da capo choruses

in all opera) became the underground "national hymn", a sort

of National Anthem, with people yearning to be free of the

Austrian domination of the country.

Verdi became V.E.R.D.I

Vittorio Emmanuale Rei de Italia

Viva Verdi becomes a political thing to shout in

Milan's La Scala opera house.

This is a more obviously political message than Smetana's.

C. Triumphal Nationalism

1. Guiseppe Verdi (1813-1901)

Triumphal March from Aida 1871

This opera was written 30 years after Nabucco and we can

hear a change in nationalism. It is no longer cultural,

or even a yearning to be free. Now it is triumphalsitic,

exalting one people over another - this was not

necessarily Verdi's own view of the matter.

Aida written in 1871 to celebrate the opening of the Suez

canal, became the model for a choral opera. Aida is a work

in the grand style, a tragic love story against a freely-

invented plot about a war between Egypt and Ethiopia. The

`triumphal act' depicts Egypt's victory over Ethiopia,

whose prisoners are lead in chains across the stage.

The trumpets, one and half meters long, were specially

designed for this opera. Although Verdi, as well as being

a great composer, was a famous liberal, the triumphal

scene well illustrates the attractions of overbearing


2. Edward Elgar

Pomp and Circumstance March No 1

Adopted, with the help of Marie Lloyd as "Land of

Hope and Glory"

D. This music illustrates the way nationalism tended to develop

over the 19th Century. But the development was not uniform.

It began in France, moved quickly to Germany. Only later in

the century did it spread to Slavic countries, which had been

dead as nations for centuries, with languages surviving only

as peasent tongues - Czechs, Norwegians, Poles, Rumanians.

Eg Smetana could not speak Czech at first. The University

of Prague is the oldest German university.

Make clear the idea that nationalism spreads in waves.

IV. Origins of Nationalism

A. What is a Nation?

-not a state

-not a political entity

-common history

-common language [problem in Eastern Europe]

-common religion

-self-determind ideas

B. Liberty, Equality and Fraternity

French revolutionary ideas stressed the rights of the

people. The people come to have their own significance

as a unit.

C. Reaction to French Revolution

The French spread their ideals all over Europe. But they

              dominated the other countries. People in these other

countries took up the ideals of the French rev. and

applied them to their own situation, especially in Germany.

The last part of the war against Napleon was known as the

War of Liberation in Germany. There had never been a united

German state, but Germans saw what power a united France had


D. Romanticism

An intellectual reaction against the Enlightenment

emphasis on reason. Looked more to emotion and feeling as

sources of truth. This had been growing up in Germany in

the late 18th/early 19th Century.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau - in Emile in 1762 had already

begun to long for the natural man.

Feeling for ones country was promoted by romantics, along

with feeling for birds, trees and nature.

V. Cultural Nationalism

A. Johann Gottfried Herder (1744-1803)

Oddly enough one of the earliest people to promote cultural

              nationalism was German, but did it because he was inspired

by the Letts. Herder lived in Riga a German town in Latvia.

He was interested in Lettish culture. He felt each nation

had its own "nature" which should be respected.

Herder also applied these ideas to his own German culture

- in opposition to cosmopolitan French Culture. The Grimm

brother were his followers. Collecting Fairy tales was to

              preserve Germany's true nature.

B. Two German Romantics-

1. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) - Germany's

greatest poet.

2. Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1762-1814)

German Philosopher - German Idealism saw the world as a

creation of subjective egos. - ie the world is created by

humankind. The world is like it is because strong willed

people make it like it is (GREAT MAN IN HISTORY IDEA).

Addresses to the German Nation began in 1807 - by the

will of the people Germany could rise as one great nation.

C. Cultural Nationalism goes hand in hand with romnanticism,

and is a huge middle class movement.


Scotland: Sir Walter Scott, Ossian

Germany: Grimm's Fairy tales

England: Folklorism

Russia: Use of peasent music.

VI. Liberal Nationalism

A. Nationalism is initially linked with liberals who,

especially in Germany and Italy lead the call for unity

versus the old rulers.

B. The idea of the people making up the nation and nationalism

can go well together - idea of popular sovereignty.

Liberals in Germany especially tended to stress the power

of the state to unify - more than English liberals.

C. Failure of Liberal Nationalism in 1848

Nationalist liberals lead all 1848 revolutions but none

obtained their goals - 1848 marks, especially for Germany

and Italy the beginning of a new sort of nationalism.

Unification is supported by the liberals, but it is kings,

not the people who bring it about.

D. This failure marked a break between liberalism and

nationalism but one that perhaps inherent.

VII. Political Unification

This is covered quite well all textbooks. Here I am

more concerned you get a good idea of what nationalism was.

VIII. Italy

A Story of three men - Cavour - the statesman, Mazzini - the

publicist, and Garibaldi - the soldier.

A. Until 1850 Italy was dominated by Austria, and a battle

ground for the great powers. 8 States. Italy was a

geographical expression.

B. Between 1815-1848 - many Italians began to want national

Unity - but many more apathetic.

C. The Kingdom of Sardinia/Piedmont, only Italian dynasty

was the natural leader.

D. The Pope opposed nationalism: some wanted him to unite Italy.

E. Carbonari - a secret italian republican society. Revolts

in 1820 and 1831.

F. Guiseppe Mazzini(1805-1872): Prophet of Italian Nationlism

Young Italy - to drive Austria out.

Roman Republic of 1848-49

Used Tuscan as Italian Language - harking back to Dante.

Perhaps 2% of the Italian pop, spoke Tuscan - Mazzini

needed a translator to speak to the Italian crowds.

G. Unification came by Military and Diplomatic means.

H. Count Camillo Cavour(1810-1864):

Semi-liberal minister of Kingdom of Sardinia. 1851 to 1861.

He built Sardinia into a modern and economically sound state.

1. Cavour's Aims

To Bring Northern Italy under Sardinia's control

To show Piedmont as a serious power - eg he entered troops

in the Crimean War. Not concerned with the South

2. His methods were as much diplomatic as military.

Cavour used France to engineer a war with Austria in

1859 - War of Independance

[Battle of Salferno - leads to the Red Cross]

-Got hold of Lombardy and smaller Northern states

-also got most of papal states, but not the area around

Rome. (1860)

-New Kingdom of Italy proclaimed with Victor Emmanuel I.

I. Guiseppe Garibaldi(1807-1882) and the Red Shirts

With British Help landed in Sicily and then swept through

the old Bourbon kingdomof Naples.(1860)

So despite Cavour, Southern Italy becomes part of the

Italian state. This Garibaldi forced on Cavour, but

Garibaldi had to accept a Monarchy.

J. Italy takes advantage of Austro-Prussian war of 1866 to get

hold of Venetia - due to a previous agreement with Bismarck.

K. The Final Act - 1871 - Franco-Prussian war

France had to withdraw troops from Rome. Italian state

troops move in and take Rome - united Italy.

L. Italy United but Divided

North and South

Pro-State and Pro-Pope parties

-pope becomes "Prisoner of the Vatican"

-not solved unitl 1929 and the Concordat with Mussolini.

-Huge class divisions

IX. Germany

A Story of three wars.

A. After 1848 Prussia was strongest state in Germany. If Germany

was to be united it would have to be by Prussia.

William I (1861-1888) had a problem of controlling the

Prussian Parliament and getting money - he recruited

Bismarck. 1862. Had been Ambassador to Russia and France.

(and in 1848 to Frankfurt Assembly)

B. Otto von Bismarck(1815-1898)

1. Most remarkable political leader of late 19th Century.

Rules Prussia from 1862, and Germany from 1871, to 1890,

as Chancellor.

2. Debates about him-

Did he intend to pursue the course of actions which led to

the unification of Germany when he began, or did luck play

a part?

Did the manner in which Germany was united seriously

pervert the German nation and political character, and

lead to Germany's history in the 20th Century?

3. Blood and Iron - Speech to Parliament 1862 - Bismarck saw

Germany would not be united by the liberals who had no

power base, but rather by blood and iron.

4. But we should be aware that his policy also was away of

deflating the power of liberals in the Prussian state.

He fulfilled their goals better than the did. He did it

by ignoring the law when it suited him.

C. The Unification of Germany

1. Zollverein 1834: Pushed idea of non-Austrian Germany.

2. 1848 - Frankfurt Assembly - Klein- or Gross Deutschland.

3. War with Denmark 1864

Schleswig-Holstein - cause of the dispute.

Austria supports Prussia.

4. War with Austria 1866 - lasts 7 weeks

Austria isolated from France and Russia

Victory meant Austria gave up its role in Germany.

5. North German Confederation - 1866

Structure of Bundesrat and Reichstag.

6. War with France 1870-71 - Over Spanish Marriages.

-Bismarck doctors the Ems telegram to insult France.

-Brings Southern Germany into war with France, claims


-Prussia Wins - 1870 - Battle of Sedan.

7. The German Empire 1871

a. Empire proclaimed in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles

in 1871.

b. All German state, maintaining some independence agree

to join a German Empire.

c. United German Parliament:

the Bundesrat,

lower house called the Reichstag.

D. Germany is united by semi-authoritarian nationalism.

The manner of Germanys unification effects the kind of state

it is. Not a liberal democracy, but a slightly limited

monarchy, still dominated by the old ruling class, and not

the bourgeoisie as in other countries.

German political history for the rest of the century

was to be about the attempts to keep control of the

state by that old prussian ruling class.

E. The new German Empire is the most important new

political fact in Europe from 1871 on. It transforms

the balance of economic, military and international

power. The remarkable growth of industry soon enables

it to challange Great Britains leadership.

X. Austria-Hungary

A. After 1866 and the defeat by Prussia there is an internal

crisis in Austria.

B. Solved by the Ausgleich/Compromise of 1867

Austria becomes Austria-Hungary

The Hungarians achieve virtual independance -the so called

Dual Monarchy.

But Hungary larger than the area covered by Magyar speakers

- so there are still tensions in the Habsburg lands.

C. Unfulfilled Slavic Nationalism in Poland and Serbia

D. Growth of Anti-Semitism in Austria

-Jews presented as not part of any nation

-Jews presented as cosmopolitan

-Anti-semitism grows especially in Vienna.

XI. Effects of Defeat of 1870 in France

-Fall of Louis Napoleon

-The Third Republic - lasts until 1940.

-Liberal Nationalism still important - given Frances lack of

conflict over self-definition.

XII. Nationalism in the Late 19th Century

A. By 1875 the idea of the nation-state had triumphed.

Governments now looked for citizen participation as a factor

in their effectiveness.

B. Major sources of future discontent would arise from the

demands of labour to be admitted to the political process,

and the demands of small nations that wanted to be but were

not yet nation-states.

C. Major sources of danger would come from nations attempts to

promote their own interests.

D. In the older nations - Jingoism

E. New Imperialism after 1848, esp after 1870.

1. Britain - after 1776

2. France - after 1830

3. Germany - after 1870

4. Russia Expands Eastward