From Mobilization to Revolution - Essay Example

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In the paper “From Mobilization to Revolution” the author analyses nationalist sentiments among nation-states, which turned to the acquisition of territory and prestige which led them to imperial adventurism. Nationalism had much to do with the outbreak of World War I…
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From Mobilization to Revolution
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Download file to see previous pages Nationalist sentiments among nation-states turned to the acquisition of territory and prestige which led them to imperial adventurism. Nationalism had much to do with the outbreak of World War I. The defeat of the Axis powers after the Great War also saw the break-up of the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires. Many of their former territories became independent nations through treaties after the war, and the Paris Peace Conference firmly placed the principle of national self-determination and equality among nations (Columbia Encyclopedia).
Napoleon was the dominating force in Europe by the end of the 18th century. The French emperor created the Confederation of the Rhine which grouped the individual German states bringing them together for the first time. This conglomeration of formerly separate states brought about a rise in nationalism which started in the northern states. After Napoleon's defeat at the Battle of Leipzig by Russia, Prussia, Britain and Austria, this Confederation also collapsed. Napoleon's defeat brought about the beginning of the Congress of Vienna which was formed to restore the balance of power in Europe and ensure that France would be unable to once again expand beyond its pre-war boundaries. The countries who participated in Leipzig were the principal players in the Congress of Vienna. Lands which formerly formed part of the French Empire were partitioned among the victorious powers. Prussia traded the Grand Duchy of Warsaw for Saxony with Russia. The other powers became anxious with the growing power of Prussia, and so it agreed to take only two-fifths of Saxony to prevent the formation of a coalition against it by the other powers. The Coalition then created the German Confederation which was similar to the Confederation of the Rhine, under the leadership of Austria. The four major powers of Russia, Prussia, Austria and Britain then became the first European Council and they would meet to discuss the keeping of peace in Europe.
The Austrian prince Metternich established a co0nservative and reactionary system which effectively undermined the liberalism introduced during the age of Napoleon. Nationalistic tendencies which harked from the Confederation of the Rhine were squelched. However, liberalism began to resurface after several years of oppression from the Metternich administration. Uprisings were begun by liberals and peasants in the German states seeking reforms. The individual princes of the German states were caught unprepared by these radical movements and were forced to grant parliaments and constitutions, eliminating feudal structures and appointing liberal ministries. The liberal revolutionaries created the National Assembly which intended to unify the whole of Germany as a liberal and constitutional state. After disagreeing with Austria, Prussia tried to unify Germany under the klienduetsch plan which involved the unification of all German states with the exclusion of Austria and under Prussian leadership. The Assembly finalized the constitution in 1848 with King Frederick William appointed as Germany's first emperor. However, the National Assembly did not wield enough power to see its plans through and eventually Frederick cancelled the constitution and invoked his divine right to rule Germany. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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