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The Rise of Nationalism in Europe Book PDF Free Download
Chapter 1: The Rise of Nationalism in Europe
In 1848, Frédéric Sorrieu, a French artist, prepared a series of four prints visualising his dream of a world made up of ‘democratic and social Republics’, as he called them. The first print (Fig. 1) of the series, shows the peoples of Europe and America – men and women of all ages and social classes – marching in a long train, and offering homage to the statue of Liberty as they pass by it.
As you would recall, artists of the time of the French Revolution personified Liberty as a female figure – here you can recognise the torch of Enlightenment she bears in one hand and the Charter of the Rights of Man in the other. On the earth in the foreground of the image lie the shattered remains of the symbols of absolutist institutions.
In Sorrieu’s utopian vision, the peoples of the world are grouped as distinct nations, identified through their flags and national costume. Leading the procession, way past the statue of Liberty, are the United States and Switzerland, which by this time were already nation-states.
France, identifiable by the revolutionary tricolor, has just reached the statue. She is followed by the people of Germany, bearing the black, red, and gold flag. Interestingly, at the time when Sorrieu created this image, the German people did not yet exist as a united nation – the flag they carry is an expression of liberal hopes in 1848 to unify the numerous German-speaking principalities into a nation-state under a democratic constitution.
Following the German peoples are the peoples of Austria, the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, Lombardy, Poland, England, Ireland, Hungary, and Russia. From the heavens above, Christ, saints and angels gaze upon the scene. They have been used by the artist to symbolize fraternity among the nations of the world.
This chapter will deal with many of the issues visualized by Sorrieu in Fig. 1. During the nineteenth century, nationalism emerged as a force that brought about sweeping changes in the political and mental world of Europe. The end result of these changes was the emergence of the nation-state in place of the multi-national dynastic empires of Europe.
The concept and practices of a modern state, in which a centralized power exercised sovereign control over a clearly defined territory, had been developing over a long period of time in Europe.
But a nation-state was one in which the majority of its citizens, and not only its rulers, came to develop a sense of common identity and shared history or descent.
This commonness did not exist from time immemorial; it was forged through struggles, through the actions of leaders and the common people. This chapter will look at the diverse processes through which nation-states and nationalism came into being in nineteenth-century Europe. The first clear expression of nationalism came with the French Revolution in 1789.
France, as you would remember, was a full-fledged territorial state in 1789 under the rule of an absolute monarch. The political and constitutional changes that came in the wake of the French Revolution led to the transfer of sovereignty from the monarchy to a body of French citizens.
The revolution proclaimed that it was the people who would henceforth constitute the nation and shape its destiny. From the very beginning, the French revolutionaries introduced various measures and practices that could create a sense of collective identity amongst the French people.
The ideas of la patrie (the fatherland) and le citoyen (the citizen) emphasized the notion of a united community enjoying equal rights under a constitution. A new French flag, the tricolor, was chosen to replace the former royal standard. The Estates General was elected by the body of active citizens and renamed the National Assembly.
New hymns were composed, oaths taken and martyrs commemorated, all in the name of the nation. A centralized administrative system was put in place and it formulated uniform laws for all citizens within its territory. Internal customs duties and dues were abolished and a uniform system of weights and measures was adopted.
Regional dialects were discouraged and French, as it was spoken and written in Paris, became the common language of the nation. The revolutionaries further declared that it was the mission and the destiny of the French nation to liberate the peoples of Europe from despotism, in other words to help other peoples of Europe to become nations.
When the news of the events in France reached the different cities of Europe, students and other members of educated middle classes began setting up Jacobin clubs. Their activities and campaigns prepared the way for the French armies which moved into Holland, Belgium, Switzerland and much of Italy in the 1790s. With the outbreak of the revolutionary wars, the French armies began to carry the idea of nationalism abroad.
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NCERT Solutions Class 11 Social Science Chapter 1 The Rise of Nationalism in Europe
1. What steps did the French revolutionaries take to create a sense of collective identity among the French people?
- The ideas of ‘La Patrie’ (the fatherland) and ‘Le Citoyen’ (the citizen) emphasised the notion of a united community enjoying equal rights under a constitution.
- A new French flag, the tricolour, was chosen to replace the former royal standard.
- New hymns were composed, oaths taken and martyrs commemorated, all in the name of the nation.
- A centralised administrative system was put in place, and it formulated uniform laws for all citizens within its territory.
- Internal customs duties and dues were abolished, and a uniform system of weights and measures was adopted.
- Regional dialects were discouraged and French, as it was spoken and written in Paris, became the common language of the nation.
- The revolutionaries further declared that it was the mission and the destiny of the French nation to liberate the peoples of Europe from despotism. In other words, to help other peoples of Europe to become nations.
2. Who were Marianne and Germania? What was the importance of the way in which they were portrayed?
Female allegories were invented by artists in the nineteenth century to represent the nation.
- Marianne, a popular Christian name – underlined the idea of a people’s nation.
- Her characteristics were drawn from those of Liberty and the Republic – the red cap, the tricolour, the cockade. Statues of Marianne were erected in public squares to remind the public of the national symbol of unity and to persuade them to identify with it.
- The image of Marianne was marked on coins and stamps.
Germania became the allegory of the German nation. In visual representations, Germania wears a crown of oak leaves, as the German oak stands for heroism.
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