Nationalism in 20th Century Europe

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Assess to what extent the French revolution was the main factor in the growth of nationalism during the 19th century. Throughout the 19th Century nationalism became an increasingly important ideology. In fact, M.S. Anderson states, “The most important political fact of the nineteenth century in Europe was the growth of nationalism”. In some cases it took the form of regions seeking independence from the country they were currently part of. In others bigger countries formed out of smaller states with what they saw as a common identity. The common ground between the two was that they felt they belonged with people of the same ancestry to themselves, either in terms of. The days of multi-national empires were drawing to a close. The main catalyst in the nationalist movements across Europe was the French Revolution. In fact, it was during which that the term ‘nation’ was first used, and La Marseillaise, which was written during the period was the first national anthem of any state. It was also after this that state holidays started to be popular. During the Revolution itself, military victories abroad created a sense of national pride that had not been experienced before. France’s Declaration of the Rights of Man, 1789 states, “The principle of all sovereignty resides essentially in the nation. No body or individual may exercise any authority which does not proceed directly from the nation.” This is firm evidence of the birth of modern Nationalism in the shape of the French Revolution. The fact that a large amount of the population were in the army created a sense of comradeship and a sense that everyone was literally fighting for a common goal. French armies continued into Holland, Belgium, Switzerland in the last decade of the 18th century, therefore spreading the idea of nationalism to foreign countries which also included Germany and Spain. The Napoleonic era further fed the nationalist flame, but this time it was German and Italian Nationalism....
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