19th Century Liberalism

Topics: French Revolution, Liberalism, Nationalism Pages: 2 (378 words) Published: March 14, 2013
Nationalism as a radical idea of the early 19th century was destined to have an enormous influence in the modern world. In this ideology we find some points standing out, firstly nationalism has normally evolved from a real or imagined cultural unity supporting itself especially in a common language, history, and territory. Nationalists also have usually sought to turn this cultural unity into political reality and modern nationalism had its immediate impact in the French Revolution and the Napoleonic wars. This kind of movement emerged in the early nineteenth century. Though the restored order of Metternich which from 1815-1848 did suppress the revolutionary challenge, it nevertheless had to reconcile itself to some of the demands that had been made earlier and moderate constitutions were granted by most states. Post-revolutionary nationalism was the greatest threat to Metternich's restored order. The idea of national self-determination was repellent to Metternich. It not only threatened the existence of the aristocracy but also threatened to destroy the Austrian Empire and revolutionize central Europe. Between 1789 and 1848 nationalism in the form of republicanism was generally associated with liberalism and its hostility to the Old Order. Liberals believed that each people, each national group, had a right to establish its own independent government and seek to fulfill its own destiny. But nothing could alter the fact that the age of nationalism had arrived, and so, on one level, the idea of Europe fragmented into particularism of the national ideal. But this did not all mean that the new system of nation-states was without norms. As Europe consolidated into fewer but larger states, the idea of Europe took on a normative role as a regulative idea.

From 1848 onwards, when liberal, or republican, nationalism failed to stage a successful revolution against the Old Order, nationalism became progressively less concerned with the original republican ideal. From...
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