Bruce Morrison » Nationalist Revolutions Sweep the West, 1789–1900

Nationalist Revolutions Sweep the West, 1789–1900

Inspired by Enlightenment ideas, nationalist revolutions sweep through Latin America and Europe. Bold new movements emerge in the arts.


Section 1: Latin American Peoples Win Independence

Section 2: Europe Faces Revolutions

Section 3: CASE STUDY: Nationalism

Section 4: Revolutions in the Arts


Section 1: Latin American Peoples Win Independence

Spurred by discontent and Enlightenment ideas, peoples in Latin America fight colonial rule.


Colonial Society Divided


A Race and Class System

-Latin America has social classes that determine jobs and authority:

-Peninsulares—born in Spain, they head colonial government, society

-Creoles—American-born Spaniards who can become army officers

-Mestizos have both European and Indian ancestry

-Mulattos—Have both European and African ancestry

-Slaves, Indians are at the bottom of society


Revolutions in the Americas


Revolution in Haiti

  • Haitiis first Latin American territory to gain freedom
  • Toussaint L’Ouvertureleads slave revolt against French (1791)
  • Toussaint eventually dies in French prison in 1803


Haiti’s Independence

  • Jean-Jacques Dessalinesdeclares Saint Domingue a country in 1804
  • Saint Domingue becomes first black colony to win independence
  • RenamedHaiti, means “mountainous land” in the Arawak language


Creoles Lead Independence


The Spread of Enlightenment Ideas

  • Enlightenment ideas inspire Latin American revolutionaries


Creole Leaders

  • Simón Bolívar—wealthy Creole leadsVenezuela in revolution
  • José de San Martín—leader ofArgentinean revolutionary forces


Bolívar’s Route to Victory

  • Venezueladeclares independence in 1811; Bolívar wins war by 1821


San Martín Leads Southern Liberation Forces

  • Argentinaindependent in 1816; San Martín helps free Chile
  • Bolívar’s and San Martín’s armies drive Spanish out ofPeruin 1824


MexicoEnds Spanish Rule


A Cry for Freedom

  • Padre Miguel Hidalgo—priest who launches Mexican revolt (1810)
  • 80,000 Indian and mestizo followers march onMexico City
  • José María Morelos—leads revolt afterHidalgo’s defeat, but loses


Mexico’s Independence

  • Mexican creoles react; Iturbide declaresMexicoindependent (1821)
  • In 1823, Central America breaks away fromMexico


Brazil’s Royal Liberator


A Bloodless Revolution

  • Napoleon invadesPortugal; royal family moves toBrazil (1807)
  • Portuguese court returns toPortugalafter Napoleon’s defeat (1815)
  • Portuguese princeDom Pedrostays behind in Brazil

-accepts Brazilians’ request to rule their new country

-officially declares Brazil’s independence (September 1822)

  • By 1830, nearly all Latin American regions win independence


Section 2: Europe Faces Revolutions

Liberal and nationalist uprisings challenge the old conservative order of Europe.


Clash of Philosophies


Three Philosophies

  • In early 1800s, three schools of political thought conflict inEurope
  • Conservative—landowners, nobles want traditional monarchies
  • Liberal—wealthy merchants, business owners want limited democracy
  • Radical—believe in liberty, equality; want everyone to have a vote


Nationalism Develops


Nationalism and Nation-States

  • Nationalism—loyalty to nation of people with common culture, history
  • Nation-state—nation with its own independent government
  • In 1815 Europe, onlyFrance,England, and Spain are nation-states
  • Liberals and radicals support nationalism; conservatives do not


Nationalists Challenge Conservative Power


Greeks Gain Independence

  • Balkans—region ofEurope controlled by Ottomans in early 1800s
  • Greecegets European help to gain independence from Turks


1830s Uprisings Crushed

  • Belgian, Italian, Polish liberals and nationalists launch revolts
  • By the mid-1830s, conservatives are back in control


1848 Revolutions Fail to Unite

  • Ethnic uprisings inEurope, especially in the Austrian empire
  • Liberals hold power for short time, lose to conservatives by 1849


Radicals Change France


Conservative Defeat

  • In 1830,France’sCharles X fails to restore absolute monarchy


The Third Republic

  • In 1848,Parismob overthrows monarchy, sets up republic
  • Radicals split by infighting; moderates control new government
  • 1848 constitution calls for elected president and parliament


France Accepts a Strong Ruler

  • Louis-Napoleon—Napoleon’s nephew—elected president
  • Later takes the title of emperor, promotes industrialization


Reform in Russia


Serfdom in Russia

  • Czars fail to free serfs because they fear losing landowners’ support


Defeat Brings Change

  • Russia’s lack of industrialization leads to military defeat in Crimean War
  • Alexander II—czar who determines to make social and economic changes


Reform and Reaction

  • In 1861, czar frees serfs, but debt keeps them on the same land
  • Reform halts when Alexander is assassinated by terrorists in 1881
  • Driven by nationalism,Alexander IIIencourages industrialization


Section 3: Nationalism - CASE STUDY: Italy and Germany

Nationalism contributes to the formation of two new nations and a new political order in Europe.


Nationalism: A Force for Unity or Disunity


Two Views of Nationalism

  • Nationalistsuse their common bonds to build nation-states
  • Rulers eventually use nationalism to unify their subjects

-Three different types of nationalist movements:

-unification merges culturally similar lands

-separation splits off culturally distinct groups

-state-building binds separate cultures into one


Nationalism Shakes Aging Empires


The Breakup of the Austrian Empire

  • Austriaincludes people from many ethnic groups
  • 1866 defeat forces emperor to split empire intoAustriaandHungary -still ruled by emperor


The Russian Empire Crumbles

  • After 370 years, Russian czars begin losing control over empire
  • Russification—forcing other peoples to adopt Russian culture -policy further disunitesRussia, strengthens ethnic nationalism


The Ottoman Empire Weakens

  • Internal tensions among ethnic groups weakens empire
  • Rulers grant citizenship to all groups, outraging Turks


Cavour Unites Italy


Cavour Leads Italian Unification

  • Camillo di Cavour—prime minister ofkingdom of Sardinia in 1852
  • Gets French help to win control of Austrian-controlled Italian land


Garibaldi Brings Unity

  • Giuseppe Garibaldi—leads nationalists who conquer southernItaly
  • Cavour convinces Garibaldi to unite southernItalyand Sardinia
  • Garibaldi steps aside, allowing king ofSardiniato rule
  • Control of Venetia, Papal States finally unitesItaly


BismarckUnites Germany


Prussia Leads German Unification

  • Prussiahas advantages that help it unify Germany:

-mainly German population

-powerful army

-creation of liberal constitution


Bismarck Takes Control

  • Junkers—conservative wealthy landowners—supportPrussian Wilhelm I
  • Junker realpolitik masterOtto von Bismarckbecomes prime minister
  • Realpolitik—power politics without room for idealism
  • Bismarckdefies Prussian parliament


Prussia Expands

  • Prussiaand Austria fight Denmark, gain two provinces
  • Quick victory makes other German nations respectPrussia


Seven Weeks’ War

  • Bismarckcreates border dispute with Austria to provoke war
  • Prussiaseizes Austrian territory, northern Germany
  • Eastern and western parts of Prussian kingdom joined for first time


The Franco-Prussian War

  • Bismarckprovokes war with France to unite all Germans
  • Wilhelm is crownedkaiser—emperor of a unitedGermany—at Versailles
  • Bismarckcreates a Germany united under Prussian dominance


A Shift in Power


Balance Is Lost

  • In 1815 the Congress of Vienna established five powers in Europe: -Austria,Prussia,Britain, France, and Russia
  • By 1871,Britainand Prussia (now Germany) have gained much power
  • Austriaand Russia are weaker militarily and economically


Section 4: Revolutions in the Arts

Artistic and intellectual movements both reflect and fuel changes in Europe during the 1800s.


The Romantic Movement


The Ideas of Romanticism

  • Romanticism—interest in nature; preferring emotion, individuality
  • Romanticism linked to folk traditions and nationalism


Romanticism in Literature

  • Poetry, music, and painting are the arts best suited to romanticism
  • Many British romantic poets believe nature is the source of beauty
  • Germany’sJohann Wolfgang von Goethe is a great early romanticist
  • A leading French romanticist writer isVictor Hugo


The Gothic Novel

  • Gothic horror novels taking place in medieval castles become popular
  • One of the earliest and most successful is Frankenstein


Composers Emphasize Emotion

  • Composers abandon Enlightenment style of music
  • Ludwig van Beethovenleads the way from Enlightenment to romanticism
  • Some composers draw on literature or cultural themes


The Shift to Realism in the Arts



  • Realism—art style attempting to depict life accurately
  • Paintings and novels in this style show the working class


Photographers Capture Reality

  • Daguerreotypes, earliest photographs, are surprisingly real
  • William Talbot invents negative, allows copies of a photograph


Writers Study Society

  • Charles Dickensand Honoré de Balzac write about society, class
  • Some realist literature sparks reforms in working conditions

Impressionists React Against Realism


A New Movement

  • Impressionism—art style that tries to capture precise points in time


Life in the Moment

  • Impressionists likeClaude Monetportray life of rising middle class
  • Edgar DegasandPierre-Auguste Renoir also leading impressionists
  • Impressionist composers use music to create mental pictures