The bonds that unite and the forces to divide.  Nationalism is both.  Nationalism during the nineteenth century create a historical landslide of changes.  The aging empires of Russia, Austria-Hungary and the Ottomans could no longer maintain stability within their multi-ethnic, multi-linguistic,  and religious territories.  People with common bonds greatly desired their own autonomy and were willing to fight to the death to gain it.  Conversely, nationalism help solidify the German speaking territories of central Europe and the Italian speaking nation-states of the southern peninsula.  Both Germany and Italy became powerful unified nations with help from their charismatic leaders.  As nationalism grows in strength and prowess during the nineteenth century, it slowly helps set the stage for history's first world war.


Title: Nationalism

I.  Nationalism - The Basics

A.  Nationalism is the feeling of pride, devotion and loyalty to ones country 

B.  6 bonds that unify a people

1.  common religion

2.  common language

3.  common ethnicity or ancestry

4.  common history

5.  common land

6.  common culture

C.  Nationalism can be divisive like a "bomb" 

1.  Strong empires began to splinter during the 1800's because of the multi-cultural make-up of its people

2.  The common bonds created a strong desire for common peoples to rule themselves rather than a foreign emperor

D.  Nationalism can be bring unity like a "magnet"

1.  Splintered nation-states that speak the same language and share borders desire one government, one set of laws, one flag, one nation

2.  The common bonds during the 19th century formed new, powerful nations

II.  "The Magnets" or Unification Movements

A.  Italy - Since the fall of the Roman Empire, Italy was composed of several autonomous states with outside power of France, Austria and Spain fighting for influence over the Italian peninsula.  Several nationalist leaders emerge, although not always in agreement, they help forge a united Italy in 1871


1.  Giuseppe Mazzini fought for freedom and unification of all Italian speaking people by forming the "Young Italy" 

a.  called the "soul" of Italy for his fiery speeches and writings

b.  led revolts and fought for democracy and social justice

2.  Count Camillo di Cavour, the prime minister of the Kingdom of Sardinia used shrewd diplomacy to win freedom for Italy

a.  signed treaties with France and started war with Austria to rid northern Italy of both

b.  called the "brains" behind the unification movement

3.  Giuseppe Garibaldi led a small nationalist army from the south of Italy to fight for Italian freedom and unification

a.  called the "sword" of Italy for his gallant and heroic fighting

b.  led an army of nationalist called the "Red Shirts" from the south

4.  Victor Emmanuel II was king of Sardinia and later becomes the King of the United Kingdom of Italy

a.  despite bringing the Italian speaking states together under the same crown, Italy struggles with internal and external bickering

b.  one conflict was with the Roman Catholic Church and the pope who had ruled over Rome and now became the capital city of Italy

B.  Germany - 39 German speaking provinces led by the largest state, Prussia worked to form a united Germany by 1871

1.  Prussian King Wilhelm I and his conservative Junker prime minister Otto von Bismarck provide the leadership and vision for a united Germany

2.  Bismarck delivered a speech to the liberal parliament stating that "questions of the day will not be settled by speeches...but by blood and iron"

3.  Bismarck used treaties and created incidents to provoke first Austria-Hungary and later France to fight, forcing the splintered German states to work together and fight a common enemy

1.  Seven Weeks' War with Austria wins the previous Danish territory of Schleswig and Holstein

2.  Franco-Prussian War of 1867 helped the southern Germans to support the Prussian leadership of Bismarck and Wilhelm

4.  In 1871, King Wilhelm I was crowned Kaiser of Germany after defeating the French.  The Second Reich had begun.

C.  Zionism - a call for a Jewish homeland

1.  Theodor Herzl - fought for the creation of the Jewish state of Israel 

2.  Reaction to anti-Semitist movements, like the Russian pogroms or attacks on Jews

D.  India - in reaction to British rule, nationalist organizations form to fight for Indian rights and eventual home-rule

1.  Indian National Congress

2.  Muslim League

III.  "The Bombs" or Divisiveness Movements

A.  Ottoman Empire - the "sick old man of Europe" captured the essence of this aging empire

1.  multinational empire could no longer be held together by the sultan;  too many ethnic groups seeking their own national identity

2.  Young Turks seize control from the sultan and seek to strengthen Turkish nationalism and end western influences

3.  The Muslim Turks lead a campaign against the Christian Armenians killing millions framing history's Armenian Massacre

B.  The Balkans - as the "sick old man of Europe" loses control over southern Europe, the western powers seek to gain land and control

1.  The Balkans turns into the "tinder box" or "powder keg";  a volatile region dangerously close to igniting a violent reaction

2.  Ethnic groups include Serbs, Greeks, Romanians, Muslims, Albanians, Croatians, Bulgarians, Russians

3.  Pan-Slavism, a nationalist movement let by the Russians looked to unite all Slavic peoples

4.  Austria-Hungary was another failing empire that desperately looked to maintain its political power over much of the Balkans including Serbia

C.  Austro-Hungarian Empire - Emperor Francis Joseph of Austria ruled over his split kingdom and fought nationalist movements throughout the second half of the nineteenth century

1.  Empire ruled over Hungarians, Germans, Croats, Poles, Austrians, Serbs, Italians and Slovaks

2.  Ethnic groups demanded more and more autonomy

3.  Serbian nationalism against the Austro-Hungarian Empire eventually becomes the spark that ignites the "power-keg" of Europe and begins the first world war 


Key Terms

Blood & Iron Otto von Bismarck's policy using war, not democratic speeches and representative government, to unify the German states
Franco-Prussian War 1870 war Bismarck designed to spark nationalism among the German speaking states;  Germany successfully defeated France
Indian National Congress nationalist congress aimed at increasing democracy and modernizing India; mostly Hindu leaders;  looked to eventually gain "home-rule" from Great Britain
Kaiser title taken by William I of Prussia king meaning emperor
Junker wealthy conservative landowning class of Germany who opposed liberal ideas
Muslim League nationalist group of Indian Muslims with a goal of protecting the rights of the minority Muslims;  eventually seeking a separate independent state for Muslims (Pakistan)
nationalism sense of pride, love and devotion for one's nation rooted in the common bonds of language, territory, ethnicity, history, religion or culture
nation-state political identity of a independent state made up of people with a common culture
Pan-Slavism nationalist movement aimed at uniting all Slavic peoples;  movement created great conflict within the Balkan territory (southern Europe) leading to World War I
Realpolitik "politics of reality" meaning tough power politics which lacked idealism
Red Shirts nationalist Italian army led by Giuseppe Garibaldi successfully marched from the southern tip of the peninsula to the north
Young Italy Italian nationalist organization made up of "under" 40 year olds led by Giuseppe Mazzini with idealistic goals of uniting the Italian with goals of states democracy & social justice 
Young Turks group of Turkish nationalist who overthrew the sultan, and sought to strengthen the Ottoman empire and end the influence of western imperialism
Zionism Jewish nationalist movement started by Theodor Herzl calling for the establishment of an independent Jewish state


Before and After

Before Nationalism (Causes)

French & American Revolutions

  • both sparked feelings of autonomy, democracy, equality and justice
  • demonstrated the power of the people and promoted loyalty to the state not the king


  • philosophes promoted democracy, natural rights, justice, equality and government for the people 

Industrialism & the rise of the middle class

  • the general rise in the standard of living led to social and political reforms
  • common past and experiences and culture brought people together


  • competition between industrialized nations over foreign interests sparked tensions


After Nationalism (Effects)


  • political leaders, artists, composers and authors appealed to the people's desire for nationhood

Power Conflicts

  • rival nations fight for territory and political influence


  • nations needed to protect national interest
  • increases in production of military technologies
  • the size of armies grew largest in history

Balance of Power is Challenged

  • Congress of Vienna set up a balance of power in Europe
  • Nationalism and growing militarism upset this balance

World War I

  • nationalist tensions is a primary cause leading to the first world war


People to Know

Otto von Bismarck

Kaiser Wilhelm I

Count Camillo Cavour

King Victor Emmanuel II

Giuseppe Garibaldi 
Giuseppe Mazzini

Czar Nicolas I


Must, Good & Nice to Know
Must Know

6 bonds of Nationalism


Blood & Iron Policy

German Unification

Otto von Bismarck

Italian Unification

Giuseppe Garibaldi

Red Shirts

Giuseppe Mazzini

Young Italy

Breakup of Ottoman Empire

Breakup of the Austro-Hungarian Empire

Breakup of Russian Empire


Good to Know


Seven  Weeks' War

Franco-Prussian War


Louis Napoleon (Napoleon III)


Theodor Herzl



Armenian Massacre

Indian National Congress

Muslim League

Nice to Know

Danish War

Frederick William IV

Emperor Francis Joseph




Claude Monet

Edgar Degas

Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Ludwig van Beethoven

Frederic Chopin

Franz Liszt

Victor Hugo



Regents Questions

From the August 2002 Exam...
"Not by democracy or liberal standards will our goal be achieved but by blood and iron. Then we will be successful, no nation is born without the traumatic experience of war."
—Otto von Bismarck
19.  This statement was used to justify a policy of
1.  ethnocentrism
2.  militarism 
3.  containment
4.  appeasement 


From the January 2003 Exam....
26.  Which 19th century ideology led to the unification of Germany and of Italy and to the eventual breakup of Austria-Hungary and of the Ottoman Empire?
1.  imperialism
2.  nationalism
3.  liberalism
4.  socialism

From the January 2003 Exam...
31.  Growing nationalism and militarism in Europe and the creation of secret alliances were
1.  reasons for the rise of democracy
2.  causes of World War I
3.  requirements for economic development
4.  reasons for the collapse of communism
Answer:  2

From the June 2000 Exam...
Base your answers to questions 19 and 20 on the statements below and on your knowledge of social studies.


Statement 1: "This organization is created for the purpose of realizing the national ideal: the union of all Serbs."
—Bylaws of the Black Hand
Statement 2: ". . . people . . . would think themselves happier even under their bad government than they might be under the good government of a foreign power."
—Mohandas Gandhi, adapted from Indian Opinion, 1905
Statement 3: ". . . above all, we want Germany to be considered one land and the German people one people."
—Heinrich von Gagern, The Call for German Unity
Statement 4: "We ardently wish to free Italy from foreign rule. We agree that we must put aside all petty differences in order to gain this most important goal. We wish to drive out the foreigners not only because we want to see our country powerful and glorious, but also because we want to elevate the Italian people in intelligence and moral development."
—Count Camillo di Cavour, 1810–1861
19.  The foreign power referred to in Statement 2 is
1.  Russia 
2.  Brazil
3.  Great Britain
4.  Japan
20.  Which idea is expressed by all the statements?
1.  War is a means of achieving national policies.
2.  Industrial growth is critical to a country’s prosperity.
3.  Social class differences are the source of all conflicts.
4.  Self-determination of the people is an important goal


Regents Practice Questions Oswego City School District's regents exam preparation website.  Offers short review summaries and drill and practice questions 
Interactive Geography  Interactive political maps set up in a fun quiz format.  Terrific way to practice identifying world regions, the continents, oceans and countries.  Do you know where Paraguay is?
Interactive Timeline Interactive timeline that is great for researching quick biographies or reviewing important events.



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