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How Important Was Nationalism as a Cause of Revolution in 1848 - Essay Example

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In most European countries ideologies such nationalism combined with liberalism to confront the established conservative order. This paper discusses and explores the role of nationalism in causing the 1848 revolution in France and the Habsburg Empire…
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How Important Was Nationalism as a Cause of Revolution in 1848
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Download file to see previous pages uperiority in Europe became evident in 20th century, when millions of Jews were massacred in German anti Semitism campaign and the Holocaust (Tackett, 2003). It is apparent that conservatism caused social and political challenges in Europe. Consequently, other ideologies developed as suitable alternatives in the 19th century. Some of the ideologies included socialism, trade union movements and democracy. Karl Marx and Friendrich Engels are the pioneers of socialism. Socialism was the direct opposite of nationalism and liberal ideologies and it emphasized on the collective community wellbeing rather than individualism advocated by the nationalistic and liberal movements. To ensure existence of collective communism in society, socialists advocated for proactive and planned state initiated policies to bring the desired social change. In Europe, socialists opposed capitalist and laissez- faire economics vehemently. Regarding economics, socialists supported state ownership of all means of production and distribution (Periwal, 1995: 76-81). In 1848, Karl Marx and Engels published the Communists Manifesto one of the most revolutionary writings of the century produced during a period of profound economic and political changes in the European continent. The two authors argued that human existence was characterised by perpetual struggle between the existing classes of people. At every stage of human development, each ruling class was replaced by another (Marx and Engels 1998). In European context, three classes had already ruled the region, beginning with monarch that had been replaced by aristocrats. In the 19th century, socialists argued that the middle class also referred as bourgeoisie replaced aristocrats. Therefore, socialists predicted that the time for the working class...
This essay stresses that during the period of the French uprising, the Habsburg ruled the Austrian empire. Nationalism ideologies started in Hungary where demands for sovereignty within the precincts of liberalism reigned supreme. During the period, the Habsburg Empire was characterised by oppressive practices including compulsory serfdom. The persistent calls for political reforms prompted the emperor to initiate some political changes, including the abolition of serfdom. However, lack of unity among the various opposing factions hindered a concerted effort for comprehensive demands for reforms. In addition, Habsburg Empire comprised of diverse populations a situation that hindered unity of purpose and nationalism.
This paper makes a conclusion that it is apparent that nationalism was one of the most influential ideologies in 19th century. Although other ideologies especially socialism became popular, the triumph of revolutionary concept of nationalism ensured its entrenchment in the European continent for many years. The success of nationalism in France and Habsburg Empire demonstrated that national awareness is more influential in any society than the class-consciousness advocated by socialists. However, in 20th century, some political leaders, who propagated for racist nationalism for selfish political interests, misused classical nationalism that advocated for self-determination and freedom. This resulted to occurrence of serious crimes against humanity such as genocide. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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