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The Rise Of European Nationalism In The 19th Century

683 words - 3 pages

The rise of European nationalism in the 19th Century brought with it an overabundance amount of change that would definitively modify the course of history. The rise of nationalism in one country would rouse greater nationalism in another, which would in turn, motivate even greater nationalism in the first, progressively intensifying the cycle that eventually concluded in a World War. Nationalism as an ideology produced international competition which inspired absolute allegiance to an individual’s nation state. The ideology was fueled by industrial commerce and imperialistic developments which led to nation-states pursuits of outcompeting rival nations.
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Von Ihering went from criticizing Bismarck’s war with Austria as “incited so shamelessly and with such horrifying frivolity” (Von Ihering, 176) to admiring him as “a German Cavour and Garibaldi as Germany’s political messiah” (von Ihering 177). This complete and absolute transformation of belief about Bismarck was sparked by a commanding sense of national pride. Von Ihering ultimately glorifies Bismarck as the redeemer of the German nation, making him the embodiment of all nationalist sentiments of the past, finally uniting in pursuit of a finally unified German nation-state. Von Ihering conveys his pride by saying:“this spirit that animates little Prussia, this spirit that lifts us all out of a state of impotence and ignominy and gives to the name of Germany in Europe a lustre and a tone that it has not had for a thousand years” (von Ihering 177-178). Those like von Ihering underwent an almost overpowering sense of empowerment presented by the increasing esteem of their nation, stimulating even larger allegiance to the nation as the basis of...

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