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The Habsburg Empire - Teachoo.jpg

  • Germany , Italy , and Switzerland were divided into kingdoms , duchies and cantons whose rulers were having autonomous territories .
  • There was rule of autocratic monarchs in Eastern and Central part of Europe within which lived diverse peoples.
  • There was no sense of common identity or common culture between them.
  • These people often spoke different languages and belonged to different ethnic groups.
  • The Habsburg Empire which ruled over Austria-Hungary , was a patchwork of many different regions and peoples.
  • The Habsburg empire included the Alpine regions of - the Tyrol , Austria, Sudetenland.
  • In Bohemia , the aristocracy was predominantly German speaking.
  • The Habsburg Empire also included the I talian-Speaking provinces of Lombardy and Venetia.
  • In Hungar y half of the population spoke Magyar, while the other half of the population spoke other varieties of dialects.
  •  Polish was spoken by the aristocracy in Galicia.
  • There also lived a mass of subject peasant peoples - Bohemians and Slovaks to the north , Slovenes in Carniola , Croats to the south , and Roumans to the east in Transylvania.
  • These differences did not easily promote a sense of unity however the only tie holding these diverse groups together was allegiance to one emperor.


The Aristocracy and the New Middle Class

Features of Aristocracy - Teachoo.jpg

Classes emerged after Industrialisation - Teachoo.jpg

  • On the continent, socially and politically a landed aristocracy was the dominant class.
  • The members belonging to the aristocracy class were united by a common way of life they lived which cut across regional divisions.
  • Members belonging to aristocracy owned estates in the countryside and town-houses.
  • For the purpose of diplomacy and in high society they spoke French.
  • They were often connected by the ties of marriage.
  • The aristocracy was numerically a small group .
  • Peasantry class contributed to the majority of the population.
  • In the west, vast areas of land were farmed by tenants and small owners.
  • In Eastern and Central Europe the pattern of landholding was characterised by vast estates which were cultivated by serfs .
  • The growth of industrial production and trade in Western and part of Central Europe meant the growth of towns and the emergence of commercial classes .
  • The existence of commercial classes was based on production for the market.  
  • In England , Industrialisation began in the second half of the eighteenth century , but in France and parts of German states it only came around in the nineteenth century.
  • In the wake of Industrialisation, new s ocial groups emerged - a working class population, middle classes made of industrialists , businessmen and professionals.
  • The ideas of national unity following the abolition of aristocratic privileges gained popularity among the educated , liberal middle classes.


What did Liberal Nationalism Stand for ?

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Idea of Liberalism

  • Idea of Unity is closely related to the idea of Nationalism.
  • ‘Liberalism’ derives from the Latin root liber , meaning free.
  • For middle classes , the idea of liberalism stood for freedom of the individual and right to equality of all before the law.
  • Politically liberalism stands for the concept of government by consent.
  • Liberalism also stands for end of autocracy and clerical privileges , formation of a constitution and representative government by the parliament.
  • Liberalism also stands for the protection against private property.
  • Equality before law does not particularly stand for universal suffrage.
  • In France , before the French revolution, the right to vote and to get elected was granted exclusively to property-owning men.
  • Men who were without property and women were excluded from political rights.
  • Adult males enjoyed suffrage for a brief period of time only under Jacobins.
  • With the introduction of Napoleonic code , all adult males went back to limited suffrage rights and women were reduced to the status of a minor , who were considered as subjects to authority of fathers and husbands.
  • In the economic sphere liberalism stands for freedom of markets and abolition of state-imposed restrictions on the movements of goods and capitals.



Formation of Custom Union or Zollverein - Teachoo.jpg

  • Each state had their own currency, weights and measures . These conditions were proving to be an obstacle in economic exchange .
  • In 1834 , a customs union or Zollverein was formed at the initiative of Prussia and joined by most of the states.
  • The union abolished tariff barriers and reduced the numbers of currencies from over thirty to two.
  • The Network of Railways stimulated mobility .


A New Conservatism after 1815

  • European governments were driven by a spirit of Conservatism, following the defeat of Napoleon in 1815.
  • Conservatives were of the idea that traditional institutions of states and society should be protected.
  • In 1815, Britain , Russia , Prussia and Austria who collectively defeated Napoleon met at Vienna.
  • The Congress of Vienna was hosted by the Austrian Chancellor Duke Metternich.  
  • In 1815 , The Treaty of Vienna was signed with the aim to undo all the changes brought in Europe during the Napoleonic wars.

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Changes in Europe after Treaty of Vienna 

  • The Bourbon Dynasty rose to power after being deposed during the French Revolution.
  • France lost all the territories it had annexed during the reign o f Napoleon.
  • Series of states set up on the boundaries of France to prevent French expansion.
  • The Netherlands which included Belgium was set up in the north and Genoa was added to Piedmont in the south.
  • Prussia was provided with new important territories while Austria was given control over northern Italy.
  • The German Confederation of 39 states was left untouched.
  • Russia provided part of Poland and Prussia given a portion of Saxony.
  • Monarchy was restored in Europe.
  • Conservative regime was again set up in the societies of Europe. 
  • Conservative regime was autocratic , they did not tolerate criticism against them.
  • They sought to curb activities that questioned the legitimacy of autocratic governments.
  • They imposed censorship laws to control what is said in the newspapers , plays and songs.

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The Revolutionaries

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  • Giuseppe Mazzini was an Italian revolutionary.
  • He was born in Genoa in 1807 and later became a member of a secret society of the Carbonari.
  • He was sen t into exile at the age of 24 for attempting a revolution in Liguria.
  • He later on founded  two more underground societies, Young Italy in Marseilles and Young Europe in Berne .
  • Mazzini believed Italy cannot be a patchwork of small states and kingdoms .
  • Mazzini believed that Italy needed to be forged into a single unified republic having a wider alliance of nations.
  • More secret societies were set up in Germany , France , Switzerland and Poland.
  • Conservatives were frightened by Mazzini’s relentless opposition to monarchy and his vision of democratic republic.
  • Mazzini was described as ‘the most dangerous enemy of our social order ’ by Metternich.

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Davneet Singh

Davneet Singh has done his B.Tech from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. He has been teaching from the past 13 years. He provides courses for Maths, Science, Social Science, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science at Teachoo.