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Session 2: The Rise of Nationalism

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Session 2: The Rise of Nationalism

  • Internet and/or print resources on the Revolutions of 1848

  • Web site such as Encyclopedia of 1848 Revolutions. http://www.ohiou.edu/~Chastain/contents.htm
Instructional Activities

1. Explain to the students the reasons for the rise in nationalism in the 1800s in Europe. Reasons may include the following:

  • National pride

  • Economic competition

  • Democratic ideals

  • Influence of certain writers, such as Goethe

2. Brainstorm with students a list of things that would cause them to have feelings of national pride.

3. Explain how the agreements at the Congress of Vienna stirred nationalistic feelings as well as discontent. Points may include the following:

  • The agreements conflicted with the rising desire for democracy.

  • Different ethnic groups were spread throughout several countries (e.g., Slavs could be found in Germany, Austria, Russia, and Italy).

  • The agreements did not appeal to the increasing number of supporters of liberalism, who were found among the middle class, college students, and factory workers.

4. Discuss the various revolts against the decisions made at the Congress of Vienna, such as the Revolutions of 1848. Include the reason for the revolutions, the major happenings, and the impact they had.

5. Explain how Great Britain was able to avoid the revolutionary events on the continent in the early to mid-1800s. Information should include the following:

  • Britain was no longer an absolute monarchy, so the people already had a say in their government.

  • Britain already had begun some reforms, such as abolishing slavery and expanding political reforms (e.g., the Reform Bill of 1832, which expanded the electorate).

6. Direct students to make a chart comparing Great Britain and France in the period between 1815 and 1848. When they are finished, have them share their charts with the class to create a large class chart detailing this comparison.

Session 3: Unifications of Italy and Germany


  • Outline map of Italy

  • Pre-unification map of Germany

  • Political cartoon about Bismarck, available on the Internet

  • Web sites such as the following:

Map of Europe in the Nineteenth Century. http://www.fsmitha.com/h3/map36pol.html

“Count Cavour.” http://www.ohiou.edu/~Chastain/ac/cavour.htm

The Anthony P. Campanella Collection of Giuseppe Garibaldi. http://www.sc.e.du/library/spcoll/hist/garib/garib.html

“Papal States.” http://www.ohiou.edu/~Chastain/ip/papalsta.htm

“Otto von Bismarck.” http://www.ohiou.edu/~Chastain/ac/bism.htm

Instructional Activities

1. Discuss with students the unification of Italy, including the following information:

  • Count Cavour, the Sardinian (Piedmont) minister, was responsible for unifying northern Italy under the Piedmont monarchy.
  • Garibaldi, a nationalistic leader of the “red shirts” in southern Italy, overthrew the monarch in that area. Even though he preferred a republic, he turned the area over to Cavour, leaving the Papal States as the last holdout.

  • In 1870, the Papal States were forced to join the unification, leaving them only with what is today the Vatican.

Distribute copies of an outline map of Italy, and instruct students to draw on the map the different Italian states and annotate when each state entered the unification process.

2. Discuss with students the unification of Germany, including the following information:

  • Otto von Bismarck, the “Iron Chancellor” of Prussia, led the unification process for Germany around the state of Prussia.

  • Bismarck’s actions reflected the Machiavellian Realpolitik belief, which justifies all means to achieve and hold power.

  • The Franco-Prussian War of 1870 was the final step in the German unification process and helped lay the foundation for World War I, in which France was punished severely and lost territory to Germany.

Have students look at a European map prior to the unification of Germany and locate Prussia. If the textbook does not have this map, visit http://www.fsmitha.com/h3/map36pol.html.

3. Display a political cartoon relating to Bismarck, and have students analyze it as a group activity.

4. Instruct students to predict the impact of the unification of Italy and Germany on European politics. Possible responses may include the following:

  • The unification introduced two more major powers into Europe.

  • Italy and Germany now must compete with other countries that have a head start on industrial and colonial development. To counteract this inequality and unite Germany, Bismarck will mastermind and win the Franco-Prussian War.
  • France will seek revenge for the Franco-Prussian War.

  • Alliance systems may develop in Europe.

  • Military buildups will occur among competing European nations.

Session 4: Assessment


  • Attachment A: Sample Assessment Items
Instructional Activities

1. Distribute copies of Attachment A, and have students complete the assessment.

Attachment A: Sample Assessment Items

An asterisk (*) indicates the correct answer.

1. The Congress of Vienna

A supported Napoleon’s attempt to unify Europe.

B restored European monarchies.*

C established democracies in Europe.

D reaffirmed the existing European political boundaries.

2. The unification of southern Italy was accomplished by

A Count Cavour.

B Bismarck.

C Giuseppe Garibaldi.*

D Napoleon.

3. The Franco-Prussian War led to

A an independent France.

B an alliance between France and Prussia.

C the establishment of an independent Prussia.

D the creation of a German state.*

4. What was the significance of the Code of Napoleon?

A It was the first European constitution.

B It was adopted by all European countries within ten years.

C It established a series of rights and laws that did not rely on earlier customs.*

D It specified a return to a limited monarchy in France.

5. Attempting to restore Europe as it had been before the French Revolution and Napoleonic conquests, the Congress of Vienna left a legacy of two new political philosophies, liberalism and

A socialism.

B conservatism.*

C imperialism.

D anarchism.

6. Otto von Bismarck coined this term to describe his political philosophy of “doing what works instead of what would be ideal.”

A Zollverein

B Realpolitik*

C Junker

D Mein

7. The Congress of Vienna tried to accomplish all of the following tasks EXCEPT

A compensation for damages.

B restoring legitimate monarchs.

C restoring balance of power.

D returning Napoleon as leader.*

8. What leader of the Congress of Vienna opposed the formation of a unified Italian state?

A Count Camillo de Cavour

B Otto von Bismarck

C Clemens von Metternich*

D Giuseppe Garibaldi

9. The “red shirts” under Garibaldi defeated opponents using guerilla warfare, a military style best described as

A large groups of well armed men fighting in the open.

B a duel between commanders.

C small groups striking enemies unexpectedly.*

D fighting in a jungle.

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