RISE AND GROWTH OF NATIONAL STATES
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RISE AND GROWTH OF NATIONAL STATES
FORMATION AND GROWTH OF PRUSSIA
EARLY HISTORY OF PRUSSIA.
The German Ducy of Brandenberg in north central Europe on the Baltic Sea
was a part of the Holy Roman Empire. This was ruled by the Hohenzollern family,
a line of rulers, called Electors. Since the 15th Century they had gradually extended
FREDERICK WILLIAM - 1640-1688-THE GREAT ELECTOR.
Frederick made Prussia first among the German states. He centralized the
government, and raised enough money to build up a strong army. His son Frederick
I (1701-13) took the title of King of Prussia. Frederick William II (1713-40)
annexed Swedish Pomerania.
FREDERICK II (THE GREAT) - 1740-1786-GREATEST PRUSSION
As an “enlightened despot” Frederick the Great encouraged education and
religious toleration; he promoted industry and built canals, roads and bridges.
In foreign affairs, he seized the rich province of Silesia from Austria and
successfully fought off attempts to regain it in the Seven Years’ War (1756-63).
This war involved the major nations of Europe, with England on the side of Prussia,
and France helping Austria. The war was fought in America, too, but there it was
known as the French and Indian War.
In 1772 Frederick took part in the first of three partitions of Poland and
gained the western part of that country. By the time he died, Frederick had made
Prussia the most miltaristic and centralized government in all of Europe. He had
also doubled its area and army, and made it a serious rival to Austria in the
management of German affairs - long a monopoly of the Hapsburgs.
NATIONALISM AS A FACTOR IN WORLD HISTORY
THE LANGUAGE OF NATIONALISM.
Many 19th-Century authors insisted that just as a person has an inalienable
(cannot be surrendered or transferred) right to freedom, so did each nationality have
a natural right to a separate political life. The nationalist movement did more to
change the map of the world than any other single force.
Nationalism is an emotion of feeling of intense loyalty of a group of people to
their state. These loyalties may be based on geographical boundaries, one religion,
same language, common customs and traditions.
A nationality is a group of people who have such a common heritage. A
national state is an independent country consisting of such a nationality.
Patriotism means devotion to the welfare of one’s country. Chauvinism and
jingosim are extreme nationalism for unreasonable glory, especially of the sort fed
by military deeds.
FORMS OF NATIONALIST EXPRESSION.
Nationalism expressed itself in a variety of ways. It led to:
1. Changing the Map of the World. As people came under the influence of
nationalist ideas, those who were not free from foreign rule sought and fought for
their freedom. Since 1945, 40 new countries have come into existence.
2. The Development of Militarism. As the nation-in-arms became more
common, the building up of armed forces became an important expression of
3. Frequent Wars. Force was the usual method by which a nation won its
freedom or, after gaining it, sought to increase its power.
4. Imperialistic Adventures. Winning control of and exploiting undeveloped
areas of the world was part of the role of a great power. This became a dominant
motive for countries which gained nationhood fairly late - like Germany and Italy.
5. Economic Nationalism. The new national states tried to become self-
sufficient. This meant placing tariffs on foreign goods to stimulate domestic
production and having colonies serve as sources for raw materials or markets for
HOW NATIONALISM IS KEPT ALIVE.
An important force in helping nationalism grow was the state-controlled
school system. (That is why many struggles took place on the issue of state-
versus-church control of schools.) Studies in geopraphy, history, art and scientific
achievement promote feelings of pride.
STEPS LEADING TO THE UNIFICATION OF
ROADBLOCKS IN THE WAY
1. Opposition of the many petty rulers, each of whom feared the loss of power.
2. Differences in religion between the Catholic south and the Protestant north.
3. Jealousy and fear of Prussia, the largest state.
4. Rivalry between Austria and Prussia - both competed to control smaller
5. Foreign opposition form France (which did not want a large and powerful
FACTORS FAVORING UNIFICATION
1. Common language, history and cultural traditions, awakened and stimulated
by the writings of Fichte, Herder, Hegel and others.
2. The Industrial Revolution, with roads, railroads and growing trade all uniting
the German states.
EARLY EFFORTS TOWARD UNIFICATION.
1. Napoleon helped unification by (a) destroying the Holy Roman Empire, (b)
reducing the number of German states (c) stimulating nationalism in Prussia after
defeating it at Jena.
2. The Congress of Vienna (1815) created a German Conferation of 38 states,
with Austria the leader and Prussia second.
3. Formation of the Zollverein (economic union) by Prussia and other German
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House of Hohenzollern, Pan-Germanism, Austro-Prussian War, Prussia, Unification of Germany, Otto von Bismarck, German Confederation, German Empire, Second Schleswig War, William I, German Emperor, Frederick the Great, Franco-Prussian War
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