Map Exercise 14: Revolution and Nationalism in the Nineteenth Century (This exercise includes 8 maps)
The long nineteenth century began with the final defeat of Napoleon's armies and the Congress of Vienna. At the Congress, attended by all the European powers, but dominated by Metternich, the primary focus was on maintaining a balance of power. This Concert of Europe, as it was called, was predicated on the idea of international peace and stability. The ideological underpinnings of the Congress were clearly conservative. Although the forces of liberalism unleashed by the French Revolution and Napoleon were temporarily diverted, they did emerge again throughout the remainder of the nineteenth century, specifically during the revolutions of 1848. None of these revolutions were entirely successful but from each outbreak of revolutionary fervor, working and middle class people learned valuable lessons. At the same time, so too did the governments of Europe.
The history of the nineteenth century can be written from the standpoint of major themes. We have already mentioned two: conservatism and liberalism. But the nineteenth century is also the story of nation-building buttressed by the powerful ideology of nationalism. Although German unification was fashioned by nationalism, there is little doubt that the unification of the German states was largely the work of one man, Bismarck. And while Germany and Italy were unified by the 1870s, the Austro-Hungarian Empire had solidified its borders as best it could. Meanwhile, the Ottoman Empire had become the "sick man of Europe." The nineteenth century ended with a Second Industrial Revolution and great efforts on the part of the great powers to colonize the globe.
Major questions to consider in this exercise include:
• How did the French Revolution create both liberalism and conservatism?
• What connections can be made between the various revolts and revolutions from 1820-1848 and industrialization?
• What forces hindered the unification of Germany and Italy?
• What special problems faced the Austro-Hungarian Empire before and after the Dual Monarchy?
• Did the Congress of Vienna provide the conditions for lasting peace and international stability?