• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How significant were the obstacles to German Nationalism between 1815 and 1919?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How significant were the obstacles to German Nationalism between 1815 and 1919? Between 1815 and 1919, numerous obstacles to the advancement and establishment of German Nationalism appeared and their significance, both individual and holistically, is a major area of debate for historians. Initial obstacles to nationalism in the period were the impact of the Vienna Settlement, repressive conservative powers such as Metternich, and a general consensus against nationalism. Later obstacles that were particularly apparent during the 1848 revolutions were the divisions between nationalist groups and the paricularism of the German people. Throughout the period, an obstacle to nationalism was the loyalty to things other than the nation, these being: Catholicism, Socialism and, perhaps, Communism. It must also be noted that, to a certain extent, nationalism was an obstacle to itself, due to its 'chameleon-like' nature, The 1815 Congress of Vienna and creation of the German Confederation was initially a very strong obstacle to nationalism, but later in the period became less significant. Although it is often argued that the Treaty did lessen the number of German states from 350 to 39, and was therefore a move toward unity and German Nationalism, this is an extremely superficial interpretation. ...read more.

Middle

An obstacle to German Nationalism that was consistently active up to World War One was the loyalty of the German people to their individual states. Particularism was particularly evident in the pre-unified Germany, in which the German people did not generally consider themselves 'Germans'. For example, a Bavarian would consider themselves a 'Bavarian' and not a 'German'. This attitude was also present with the rulers of the individual German states who jealously guarded their sovereignty and blocked even modest moves toward the strengthening of common bonds. This loyalty to the state and the state's self-protection meant that nationalist feeling was difficult to cultivate. However, most German states still entered into the Zollverein at some point, thus showing that they were not totally unwilling to accept some form of political unity - though the Zollverein was by no means set up initially as a form of political unity and few states joined it during its initial stages, but it did come to represent a sort of political union between German states and those that joined it at a later date were aware of this, the states were also clearly prepared to accept economic nationalism. ...read more.

Conclusion

The proximity of Germany to Russia made Communism a distinct danger, it must also be noted that the most prominent Marxists of the time, Marx and Engels, were German. However, the perpetual fear of Communism evident in Germany through the later part of the period meant that Communism was not a significant danger to German Nationalism. The obstacles to German Nationalism were much more significant in the earlier part of the period than the later one of the late 19th Century onwards. During the early 19th Century, there were numerous physical obstacles to German Nationalism, such as Metternich and the Treaty of Vienna, which were not in effect later in the period. The divisions between German Nationalists were also, to a certain extent, overridden between 1870 and 1918 - though they did emerge again after the German defeat and the Treaty of Versailles. The obstacles to nationalism that occurred in Germany after 1870 were more intangible than they had been previously, and mostly consisted of a drawing away of loyalties from the state - and not always effectively so. These obstacles were much less significant than they had previously been. 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 essays

  1. To what extent was Bismarck responsible for German unification?

    However, what actually remains of Bismarck's Germany today? Geographically, the great German Empire stretching from Kļæ½nigsberg in the east to Alsace-Lorraine in the west is hardly as vast today as it was before 1914, due to so much having been given up due to the first and second world wars.

  2. Assess the view that the failures of the Congress of Vienna outweighed the successes.

    spoke of peace and stability in terms of a proper balance.'43 However, different states interpreted the balance of power concept to suit their own interests, and it can be argued that the Statesmen were too concerned in their own nationalistic aims, to establish a real balance in Europe, constituting a significant failure of the Settlement.

  1. What were the obstacles to German Unification immediatly before the 1848 Revolutions

    central Europe, condones democracy and therefore one of the fundamental drives for unification, if a unified Germany could not elect its own rulers it would be no better than being controlled by France like in the early 19th century, therefore Metternich because of his opinion of democracy and his position

  2. Russian Nationalism and the Soviet Revolution

    In considering the Slavophiles, it becomes apparent that there was not one, but many branches of Slavophile movements. Some were to the left of the political spectrum, noting that progressive ideas such as democracy were intrinsic to the concept of Russian-ness, as proved by what they considered to be the rough democracy of medieval Novgorod.

  1. How Effectively Did Irish Catholic and Nationalist Leaders Advance Their Cause 1801-1921 ?

    Support for Sinn Fein in 1914 was limited and the organisation was ignored by the authorities. However this had changed by 1917 when there were 250,000 members and their popularity had increased partly due to the inaccurate link to the Easter Rising that they promoted.

  2. How effectively did Irish Catholic and Nationalist leaders advance their cause in the years ...

    It is clear that the Fenians had not been effective at this point; their failure with the revolution in Dublin was down to poor organization and British spies infiltrating their ranks. In 1867 the Fenians acted again, attempting to free one of their imprisoned leaders, Captain Kelly.

  1. Bismarcks appointment of Minister President of Prussia (1862) was the most important turning point ...

    been very different from that with which we are familiar if it existed at all. The creation of the Zollverein in 1834 was a critical turning point for German nationalism, formed from the Prussian Customs Union in 1818. Thomas Nipperdy described the creation of the Zollverein as "the outstanding event in all-German history".

  2. Was Germany a meaningful concept by 1815?

    Frederick the Great was an enlightened absolute monarch who ruled Prussia from 1740-1786. He was a brilliant military leader and it was under his control that Prussia became a semi great power. From an early age he enjoyed the music and arts, so when the ideas of Enlightenment swept across Europe, he was naturally interested.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work