Through a focus on any two countries, explain how nations developed over the 19 th century.
We will focus on the development of the German and Italian nation-states in the 19th century, considering the following points
(i) Political fragmentation Till the middle of the 19th century, the present-day states of Germany and Italy were fragmented into separate regions and kingdoms ruled by different Princely Houses.
(ii) Revolutionary uprisings 19th century Europe was characterised by both popular uprisings of the masses and revolutions led by the educated and liberal middle classes. In the case of the German people, the middle classes belonging to different German regions came together to form an all German National Assembly in 1848.
However, on facing opposition from the aristocracy and military and on losing its mass support base, it was forced to disband.
In the Italian region, during the 1830s, revolutionaries like Giuseppe Mazzini tried to establish an Italian Republic. However, the revolutionary uprisings of 1831 and 1848 failed to unite Italy.
(iii) Unification with the help of the Army After the failure of the revolutions, the process of unification was pursued by the aristocracy and the army in both these nations.
Germany united was united by the Prussian Chief Minister Otto von Bismarck with the help of the Prussian Army and bureaucracy. Prussia fought three wars with Austria, Denmark and France over seven years and won. It completed the process of unification. Finally, the German Ehnpire was proclaimed in 1871. Italy United:
The Italian state of Sardinia-Piedmont played the role of uniting Italy, similar to that played by Prussia in the case of Germany. Count Camillo de Cavour (the Chief Minister of Sardinia-Piedmont) led the movement to unite the separate states of 19th century Italy with the help of the army and an alliance with France.
The regions annexed by Giuseppe Garibaldi and his Red Shirts joined with the Northern regions to form a united Italy in 1861. The Papal states joined it in 1870.