The Quest for National Unity
What role did individual personalities play in the Revolutions of 1848? What obstacles did Italy and Germany face in the process of unification?
The forces of nationalism unleashed by the French Revolution of 1789 affected all European nations. In 1848, a series of revolutions broke out across Europe, led mainly by middle and working class people who desired a voice in social, political and economic matters of state. Although largely a failed effort, the Revolutions of 1848 perhaps taught European monarchs a valuable lesson. Is it correct to suggest that Otto von Bismarck created the seeds of what would eventually erupt as the Great War of 1914-1918?
- Fichte, Address to the German Nation (1807)
Although he is best known for his role in German Idealism, Fichte also was instrumental in the development of German Romantic nationalism.
- Cavour, Letter to a Friend Expressing Moderation (1833)
Because he had little faith in the independent action of the people, Cavour took a moderate or liberal line regarding Italian unification.
- Garibaldi and the Sicilian Expedition
In his Memoirs, Garibaldi described the Sicilian expedition of 1860 and how his Redshirts captured Naples.
- Mazzini, An Essay On the Duties of Man Addressed to Workingmen (1898)
Mazzini argued that only a popular uprising could create the conditions necessary for the unification of Italy.
- The Compromise (Ausgleich) of 1867
The Compromise of 1867 created the dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary, one result of which was discord between the unrepresented ethnic minorities of the empire.
- Bismarck, Speeches on the Prussian Constitution
Bismarck believed that the force of arms was necessary for German unification and here he discusses the right of the king to do what is necessary to prep[are Germany for impending conflict.
- Bismarck, The Ems Telegram
In his memoirs Bismarck relates the events of the Ems Telegram (July 1870) which precipitated the Franco-Prussian War.
- The Reestablishment of the German Empire, January 18, 1871
This document illustrates how the German Empire was reestablished at Versailles on January 18, 1871.
Topic: The Quest for National Unity