Topic: EconomicsTrade

Last updated: February 1, 2020

In 19th century, Europe nationalism rose up radically making a big impact on the history of Europe. The main cause of the nationalism in 19th century was the effect of the French revolution which spread the idea of liberalism and national self-determinism. Napoleon and Napoleonic code also affected the politicians which cause political transformation in Europe. German and Italian unification was the fruit of the nationalism in 19th century. German and Italian reunification has similarities and differences.
Both Germany and Italy were influenced by the French Revolution and Napoleon Bonaparte. Italy admired Napoleon, at first, because of his Italian campaign in 1796. Napoleon and his armies were treated with high regard for their education of liberalism and nationalism to the Italian people. The united Kingdom of Italy and other reforms are credited to Napoleon. However, as time went by Napoleon became more of a dictator and the people of Italy began resist his power. Over in Germany Napoleon reduced over three-hundred states to only thirty-nine states calling it the confederation of the Rhine. Both Austria and Prussia were defeated by Napoleon and in result Prussia modernized and advanced her army and government to fight back. This birthed the Battle of Leipzig in 1813 when Prussia led other German states to defeat Napoleon.
In 1814-1815 the Congress of Vienna, which was composed of leaders from European countries and Russia, met to negotiate long term peace plan for Europe after the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars. They wanted to restore old boundaries and resize main powers so they could balance each other out. The German Confederation was formed but put under the control of Austria. Italy was redivided into many smaller states again which were controlled by mainly Austria. These finial decisions lead many German and Italian patriots very angry with the Congress of Vienna and Austria.
Both Germany and Italy had strong leadership to help their unification become possible. Prussia only needed one strong leader, appointed by their king Wilhelm 1, Minister-President Bismarck. Bismarck unified Germany through his style of politics which was known as realpolitik and his idea of foreign policy called “Blood and Iron”. With these two ideas Bismarck successfully lead Germany through three wars. The Denmark war, which he teamed up with Austria to gain land from Denmark. In the second war, Austro- Prussian war also known as the seven weeks war, Bismarck teamed up with Italy to gain control of Austrian land-giving Italy Venetia. The final war, the Franco-Prussian war, was instigated when Bismarck published an altered version a diplomatic telegram with Wilhelm insulting France. With this France declared war on Prussia. Fear of once again being controlled by France the southern states of Germany allied with Prussia thus completing the unification of Germany. However, Italy had three leaders for their unification; Mazzini, Garibaldi, and Cavour. Giuseppe Mazzini formed a group called “young Italy” leading Italy to a nationalist movement called Risorgimento. His attempt failed and he, along with others, was exiled. Giuseppe Garibaldi joined Mazzini in his movement, was exiled, but then came back. He became an Italian military leader of a group known as the red shirts. The conquered Sicily and Naples putting them in the hands of King Victor Emmanuel 11. Camillo Cavour was appointed prime minister of Sardinia by king Victor Emmanuel 11. Through his diplomacy he formed alliances with Prussia and France. He gained control of northern Italy.
Other similarities between both countries unification process was the economic advantage of the leading state. Germany’s leading state was Prussia and with their Zollverein which was created under the Prussian Customs union. The Zollverein came into act in 1818 and strengthened ties with German states leaving Austria to suffer repercussions. While Italy did not have anything like the Zollverein but they did have a financially intelligent prime minister in the state of Piedmont. Cavour was able to increase the amount of trade through the peninsula with the help of the railway tracks.
These two countries fighting for their unification encouraged other ethnic groups to fight for their independence. In the Austrian Empire the Hungarians revolted against the empire which resulted in the Compromise of 1867. Under this compromise Austria and Hungary became separate but equal states and became known as the Austria-Hungarian Empire.


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