Discuss How Nationalism Spread Across Europe with Napoleon but Was Repressed for a Generation Under the Congress of Vienna and Concert of Europe Until the Revolutions of 1848

Topics: Congress of Vienna, Liberalism, Europe Pages: 3 (868 words) Published: January 4, 2013
Nationalism was formed with the idea that a nation is made up of people who are joined together by common language, customs, cultures and history. It held the belief that one should be loyal to the people of their nation, not a king or empire. Nationalists believed that people of a single nationality should unite under a single government. The concept of Nationalism emerged in the French Revolution and was spread to the rest of Europe by Napoleon’s conquests.

Nationalism was used by Napoleon to make France a great power in Europe. Nationalism helped France to develop a national language which was taught in schools to replace local dialects. This unification of language helped the people of France to feel closer to each other, with more in common. It also helped the country in its economics and politics. As Napoleon conquered more areas in Europe, Nationalism rose. Nationalism is what led to the unification and creation of countries within Europe. It also brought about the idea that the power of a country was based on its people.

As Napoleon conquered more countries, kings and empires started to panic. The spreading idea of Nationalism meant that people would start to rebel against them as leaders. But as Nationalism spread, it became a powerful weapon against Napoleon. People who at first welcomed France because it helped to liberate them, now felt that they were being taken over by a foreign conqueror. The people of other countries turned against France and it became a part of the downfall of Napoleon.

After the defeat of Napoleon, the European heads of government held a series of meetings called the Congress of Vienna. The purpose was to establish long lasting peace and stability in Europe. It was scheduled to last four weeks but went on for eight months. The most influential member of this group was the foreign minister of Austria, Prince Klemens von Metternich. Like most European aristocrats, he disagreed with what he felt were...
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