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The Rise of Nationalism, 1815-1914
Overview, Key Understandings & Questions

Time Period Key Understandings

  • Regional and ethnic priorities compete with political motives when determining geographic boundaries of states and nations
  • Political motives are closely connected to religious priorities
  • Rebellion and ideas of social or political change often start in secrecy to incubate the initiatives
  • Dissatisfaction with government systems can bring about transitions from monarchies to democratic republics
  • Individual success in a capitalist economy can influence industrial and corporate development
  • The worldwide struggle for equality will challenge past racial, gender, and socio-economic divisions
  • Regionalism and historical precedent can influence political and geographic unification
  • Artistic and cultural movements can characterize social response to political change

Key Questions

The Unification of Italy

  • How was Italy ruled before unification? What challenges did those wishing to unify Italy encounter?
  • What contributions did Camillo Benso di Cavour make to shaping a new Italy?
  • What part of Giuseppe Mazzini's goals for Italy were realized, and what part remained unfulfilled? What might have been reasons for this outcome?

German Unification

  • What were the goals of the revolutions of 1848? How did those demands affect social movements in Germany at the time?
  • Why were there so many different ambitions and ideas among revolutionaries in Germany? How did the outcome of the Frankfurt Parliament change that situation?
  • What approach did Otto von Bismarck take to German unification? How did his approach change Germany's status in Europe?

The Congress of Vienna

  • What was the intent of the Congress of Vienna? What was its legacy for the power balance of Europe?
  • Why did the Congress of Vienna create a new map of Europe? What considerations were used in determining the new boundaries?
  • What social and religious changes were brought by the Congress of Vienna? Why did some revolutionary ideas survive in Europe even after the congress?

Capitalism and Corporations

  • Why were American capitalists able to become so wealthy during the Gilded Age? How can the actions of the capitalists be viewed in a positive light?
  • How did small numbers of capitalists gain control of their industries? What was the result for competition within an industry?
  • How were ordinary workers affected by the capitalist system during the Gilded Age? Why do you think the government allowed the capitalists' practices to continue for as long as they did?

The Rise of Socialism

  • What was the intent of Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto? How was the work responding to conditions in Europe at the time of its 1848 publication?
  • How did Marx believe socialism would change the relationship between workers and wealth? What were some possible objections to Marx's ideas?
  • Why did the Communist Manifesto have such a powerful influence on later political thinking and movements, even though it received little attention when it was published?

Feminism and Suffrage

  • What role did the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848 play in the woman suffrage movement in the United States? Why do you think it took many additional decades before American women won the right to vote?
  • Why did some British and American suffragists use "militant" tactics to spread their message? Why do you think such tactics were eventually effective?
  • How was the women's suffrage movement connected to the struggle for equality worldwide?

A Revolution in Mexico

  • How did events following Mexican independence in 1821 lead to the Mexican Revolution in 1910? What made the Mexican Revolution unlike other modern revolutions?
  • How were pre-revolution conditions in northern and southern Mexico different? How were they similar? What goals did Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata have in common?
  • How did the Mexican Revolution's outcome affect the development of the modern nation of Mexico? How did later labor movements view the Mexican Revolution?

Spirit of Romanticism

  • How did the focus of the Romantic movement differ from that of the Enlightenment? How were Romanticism and nationalism connected?
  • What themes are commonly found in Romantic art or literature? Why might artists and writers of the time have been interested in such themes?
  • How can the continuing influence and legacy of the Romantic movement still be seen today?

Realism and Social Criticism

  • How was the realist movement related to social criticism? What interests and goals did the two movements share?
  • How did realism respond to the earlier movement of Romanticism? How did realist authors use their works to explore issues of their day?
  • What contributions did "muckrakers" make to social criticism in the United States? Why do you think there was a need for such criticism at that time?

MLA Citation

"The Rise of Nationalism, 1815-1914." History Hub, ABC-CLIO, 2019, historyhub.abc-clio.com/Search/Display/2156982. Accessed 23 Mar. 2019.

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Entry ID: 2156982

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