Nation Building around Europe after the revolutions included a variety of elements: “franchise expansion, social reform, schooling the nation, and creating traditions.” Franchise expansion according to Levack furthered the economy of the country and in many cases strengthen the entire nation, as said on page 726, “These political leaders regarded franchise reform as a way to avoid socialist revolution by incorporating potential revolutionaries within their system”.1 Giving the middle class and working class something to lose prevents any sort of revolution, as we said in class one day, you only go to a revolution when you have nothing to lose.
Social Reform also furthered the development of a nation; most of these reforms happened because the government was afraid of rising political parties in their respective countries. Social reform in this context refers to the government allowing or sponsoring social welfare, work unions, and work regulations.1 For example, in Germany, Chancellor Otto von Bismarck started the most social reforms because he was “alarmed by how popular the German Social Democratic Party was getting.1 Some of these reforms included: “laws to attract the working class” , “sickness benefits”, accident coverage for industrial settings, “old-age pensions, and finally disability insurance.”1 Eventually other countries such as Britain took on very similar reforms, they even included state purchased lunches for schoolchildren. The goal for these changes in my opinion were to appease the middle class and lower class to prevent the revolutions like before.
Another form of social reform, but its own category in Levack, was schooling the nation. An education provided the government with a way to standardize language, this was extremely important to create a sense of unity within a nation and to eliminate small town dialects and bonds. Not only did they standardize language but they also enforce a political campaign such as singing patriotic songs.1 A common belief in our current society is that our children are our future, so educating the children of the nation back in the 1800s was the best idea for a nation to start building.
Directly correlated with schooling in my opinion is the inventing of traditions. Traditions start of early in one's life, such as the singing of a patriotic...