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The Ism's Of Europe Essay

937 words - 4 pages

The French Revolution and Napoleonic wars came, for a moment, to an end in the nineteenth century allowing rulers to reestablish the old order. But because the Western world had been changed it would not go back to the old ways, therefore, creating new ideologies. Three of these ideologies became commonly known as conservatism, nationalism and socialism. Of the three, socialism has had the greatest and most devastating effect on world history.
Coming off of the defeat of Napoleon, European rulers met at the Congress of Vienna, striving to keep peace and stability among the countries across Europe. These various rulers made legitimate monarchies to preserve institutions and worked with each other to balance their powers so that no other country would be able to dominate Europe. These so called “peace arrangements” became the start of a new order called Conservatism. Conservatism means “an ideology based on tradition and social stability that favored the maintenance of established institutions, organized religion, and obedience to authority and resisted change, especially abrupt change”(Spielvogel p. 678) Edmund Burke, one of the first philosophers to establish Conservatism, wrote in his book, Reflections on the Revolution in France, “the state ought not to be considered as nothing better than a partnership agreement in a trade of pepper and coffee, to be taken up for a temporary interest and to be dissolved by the fancy of the parties” (Spielvogel p.443) meaning that no generation should have the right to destroy a partnership but instead should have the duty of preserving and transmitting the partnership to the next generation. Other Conservatives believed in the same idea of having a strict obedience to political authority along with a strong religion for social order. They were unwilling to accept liberal demands for civil liberties and representative governments. The demands of the middle class for individual rights, supported by the higher classes, resulted in various revolts and wars among the lower class people. Conservatism promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and opposes rapid change in society. Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others oppose modernism and seek a return to the way things used to be. Although the conservative forces became powerful, a stronger movement overthrew the Conservatives, commonly known as Nationalism embodying the beliefs of the people.
Nationalism means, “A sense of national consciousness based on awareness of being part of a community… that becomes the focus of the individual’s primary political loyalty” (Spielvogel p. 680). This new social order became an extremely powerful ideology that changed the forms of government even to this day. Various countries believed that different nationalities should be allowed to have diverse forms of governments allowing for individual freedoms. But after the French Revolution,...

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