Compare and Contrast nation building in the United States, Italy, and Germany in the 19th century.
The fall of Napoleon in the early 19th century had awoken a spirit of nationalism and sparked the unification of many countries around the world. The Congress of Vienna restored territories conquered by Napoleon, but it distributed land in ways that methodically kept certain territorial areas from uniting to form large, possibly powerful countries. Nonetheless, people across Europe fought for unification. For some – like Italy – unification meant unifying states into a single country; for others, specifically Germany, unification was a means for one state to make itself the leader of a confederation. The United States took note of such global nationalism, began their own campaign of nation building and nationalism within North America. While Italy viewed unification as a means of political stability and protection against foreign aggression, the United States and Germany elaborated upon such ideas and sought to establish themselves as the sole leaders of large areas of land – something that would afford them with great spheres of influence.
For centuries, Italy was dominated by foreign and local princes; however, people in Italy felt a strong sense of identification, not with their leaders, but within with their local regions. These small states felt the need to form one unified Italy – something they felt would help protect them against future territorial expansion campaigns. While the Congress of Vienna redistributed European lands and established a means to keep peace, Italian cries for unity were largely ignored by Metternich (de facto leader of the congress, from Vienna) and Italy was divided among many nationalities and groups. Metternich allotted Northern Italy to the control of his own people, the Austrians, Tuscany and Modena to the Hapsburg Princes, the Papal States to the pope, Parma to Marie Louise (Napoleon’s wife), Piedmont and Sardinia to the...
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