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What was the attitude of Austria to liberalism and nationalism in the first half of the 19th century?

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Introduction

History Essay No. 1 Nicholas Larsen 2.U HL "What was the attitude of Austria to liberalism and nationalism in the first half of the 19th century?" 1 Word count: "What was the attitude of Austria to liberalism and nationalism in the first half of the 19th century?" : All Europe countries, except Great Britain, had an absolute rule, controlled by the nobles and a head of state who had supreme power above all, deciding the destiny of all citizens of the nation. The seat of power was always inherited by a relative of the former king; this could result in an incompetent ruler for the state, who could not be overthrown because of the lack of democracy, but this was often extremely hard since the king was "chosen by God", therefore had the Roman Catholic Church and the army supporting him. The conflicting rule from Absolute monarchy was liberalism wanting a constitution. Democracy includes a package of civil rights and equality between all three social classes, which would strip the monarch of all his supremacy. The competition between constitution and absolute monarchy was introduced in France in 1789-99 during the revolution, when the King was overthrown by liberalists. The French revolution later became a light beacon for liberalists and nationalists all over Europe, and a worst case scenario for all absolute leaders. ...read more.

Middle

The differences between the two classes were the same all over Europe, though mostly in Austria and German states3 where they still were culturally mixed, and led by unfair leaders. Not only the population of the "Dual Monarchy" and the 39 German states were inspired by the flow of liberalism and nationalism throughout Europe. "Italy", a culturally and economically mixed area, was also inspired by the French constitution, and was helped by Napoleon to create and build up a democracy in many areas. The Napoleonic era4 was a large step towards a constitutional state in Italy; this was a large problem for Metternich. He did not want anybody to inspire his "people"5 with ideas of independence and civil rights. Metternich also had valuable areas in northern Italy6, where he enjoyed a large flow of money, since he had control and had large influence in the two major areas called Venetia and Lombardy, both with large industrial and large capitals; Milan and Venice. Letting the locals possessing power in such a critical period would simply kill off Metternich's power both in Italy and Austria, resulting in a total loss of influence in the economy and discussions made in Europe. Metternich needed to stop the actions in Italy quickly, before they could succeed and spread the message of constitution and independence. ...read more.

Conclusion

This was a general question mark for all liberal members of the middle classes all over Europe. Many got help from nations abroad, and were led by strong characters to fight the authority, stirring up revolutions and wars for many years, until 1848 when five countries started a chain reaction of revolutions, all started by France12. The middle class could at least strike with support from the working class, when they were suffering from the increasing population, increasing taxes, housing problems, food shortage and many other points that made the all the workers fed up, therefore willing to be part of a revolution. Prince Metternich's opinion towards liberalism and nationalism was strongly negative, although it was clear that his middle class were not satisfied by the amount of influence and unity, and he could also see that his workers and peasants were all suffering. Money could not be earned out on the agrarian sector, and living in the city was directly deadly. Metternich was too busy living his life around the nobles who were all fine with the amount of culture and economic safety they had. Liberalism and Nationalism were a direct threat towards his plans for his Multi-National state and the areas around it that he also dominated. Sadly for him in the end, he was struck by the revolution wave, flowing across Europe, washing the noble families away from their throne. Contents Page 1. Front page 2. Contents page 3. Introduction + Body 4. + 6. Body 7. Body + Conclusion 8. ...read more.

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