The French and American revolutions were instrumental in spreading liberal ideas. These ideas were planted in Germany through her being hegemony of France. The states were united in their shared desire to be rid of the French. This precipitated the rise of nationalism and liberalism. Nationalism was the, “idea that the Germanic peoples had the same traditions, history and therefore should have the same nation state.”1 Beringer (1997)The role nationalism is best seen in the war of liberation from 1813-1815.
“Libertarian ideas of freedom, democracy and individual rights also spread mainly by the middle class who were historian, poets, dramatists and philosophers.”2 Beringer (1997) In the conference of Vienna 1815 an attempt to stem the rise of nationalism and liberalism, the German Confederation came into being. “Nationalism played a big role in several demonstrations Wartburg 1817(500 students demonstrate), Hambach 1832 (25000) nationalist gathering). However nationalism remained weak between 1815 and 1840.”3 Beringer (1997)
In 1848, European nationalism shifted from its relationship using democracy and rebellion. Nationalists tried to create the German Confederation into a Nation administered by liberalist ideas and democracy in the form of a parliament. This initiative toward nation-state was, crushed by the militaries of the monarchy, military and large landowners of Prussia.
On January 18, 1871, Von Bismarck assembled at the Palace of Versailles in order to pronounce the new German Empire. “Nationalism role was seen in the Balkans after 1871.There was strong competition among the European powers over trade, colonies, naval and military might. This led to a series of wars in the region and finally the First World War.” 4The rest as they say is history.
1. Jean Beringer, “A History of the Habsburg Empire 1700–1918. C. Simpson, Trans.( New York: Longman), 1997.178-215
2. Beringer, History of Habsburg, 178.
3. Ibid., 198.
4. Ibid., 215.
Beringer, Jean. A History of the Habsburg Empire 1700–1918:C. Simpson, Trans. New York: Longman, 1997.