• After 1848 , nationalism in Europe drifted away from its association with democracy and revolution .
  • Conservatives often mobilised the nationalist sentiments to promote state power and achieve political dominance .
  • This process was first observed in the case of Germany and Italy when they unified as nation - states .


Germany - Can the army be an architect of the nation ?

UNIFICATION OF GERMANY (1866-71) - Teachoo.jpg

  • The nation - state of Germany was governed by an elected parliament till 1848 .
  • The parliament was repressed by the combined forces of the monarchy and military and the attack was supported by large landowners (Junkers) of Prussia .
  • After this, Prussia took the responsibility of national unification which was carried by its chief minister Otto von Bismarck .
  • Three wars , with Austria, Denmark and France , were won by the Prussian army .
  • In January 1871 , the Prussian King, Kaiser William I , was crowned as the emperor of Germany at a ceremony held at Versailles .
  • This nation building process in Germany demonstrated the dominance of Prussian power.
  • Strong emphasis was placed at modernising currency, banking, legal and judicial systems.
  • The Prussian model became an example for Germany.


Italy Unified



  • Like Germany, Italy also had a long history of political fragmentation .
  • Italians were scattered over several dynasty states along with the multi - national Habsburg empire.
  • In the middle of the 19th century, Italy was divided into 7 states .
  • Out of 7 , only 1, Sardinia Piedmont , was ruled by an Italian princely house .
  • The north region was ruled by Austrian Habsburgs , the centric regions were ruled by the Pope whereas the southern regions were ruled by the Bourbon kings of Spain .
  • Even the Italian language had many forms depending upon the regions it was spoken in.
  • During the 1830s , Giuseppe Mazzini had sought to put together a program for a Unitary Italian Republic .
  • He had also formed a secret society called Young Italy for achieving his goals but failed .
  • These failures , of 1831 and 1848 , meant that the mantle fell on Sardinia - Piedmont under its ruler King Victor Emmanuel II to unify the Italian states through war.
  • Only a unified Italy offered a possibility of economic development and political dominance .
  • Chief minister Cavour led the movement to unify the Italian regions .
  • Through tactful diplomatic alliance with France , Cavour was able to defeat the Austrian forces in 1859 .
  • Large number of armed volunteers , under the leadership of Gieseppe Garibaldi joined the fray.
  • The troops marched to South Italy and the kingdom of Two Sicilies in 1860 and won against the Spanish rulers .
  • In 1861 , Victor Emannuel II was elected the King of united Italy .


The Strange case of Britain

  • Britain has always been considered as a model of a nation or nation - state by scholars .
  • It was only after the 18th century that Britain became a nation and it was a result of a long - drawn out process and not just sudden upheaval or revolution .
  • As the English nation steadily grew in wealth, importance and power , it was able to extend its influence over the other nations of the island .
  • As the kingdom grew , its parliament was dominated by Englishmen and other ethnicities like the Scottish, Welsh or Irish were suppressed systematically.
  • The Act of Union (1707) between England and Scotland resulted in the formation of the ‘United Kingdom of Great Britain’ .
  • As a result of this act , the Scottish Catholic Clans suffered terrible repression as they were forbidden to use their Gaelic language , wear their national dress and were driven out of their homeland .
  • Just like the Scottish Catholic Clans , the Irish Catholics suffered a similar fate and all of their revolts , including the one led by Wolfe Tone in 1798, failed and suppressed .
  • Finally, Ireland was also incorporated in the United Kingdom in 1801 .

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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.