Nationalism and Liberalism of the French Revolution

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In 1948 the people of Europe grew weary of the corruption and economic problems within their governments. France was the first to act and soon the rest of Europe followed. Metternich once said that “When France sneezes the rest of Europe catches cold”. Austria was another country that was not pleased with their government and status of social classes. The driving force behind the revolutions in Europe was the ideologies of nationalism and liberalism. Nationalism is the pride in one’s own national group based on culture language and history, and often led to the desire for an independent political state (notes / McKay 691). Liberalism is the ideology of equality and liberty. Liberals also sought after “equality before the law as well as individual freedoms such as freedom of the press, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom of arbitrary arrest (McKay 691). France and Austria’s premature revolutions aching for political reform, fueled by nationalism and liberalism, ended as quickly as they began.

The revolutionaries of France and Austria both wanted the same three things; a constitutional government, independence and unification of national groups, and an end to serfdom (notes). Liberals were unhappy in Austria because the Austrian government was reactionary and started breaking up liberal institutions as they were formed. Liberals were not pleased by this because, since the industrial revolution people started thinking for themselves. The people of Austria did not want their overbearing government to keep making corrupt laws that did not help the country as a whole. Liberals in France and Austria wanted a constitution calling for a new government because most of the citizens could not vote. The law in France stated that in order for you to vote you must own land. The majority of the middle working class rented apartments which shut them out from all government decisions and elections. To an extent Nationalism was a factor in both...
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