Nationalism in Modern Europe
November 29, 2007
Sacrificing Principles in the Name of Nationalism: Giuseppe Garibaldi
Revolution swept across the world landscape like wildfire. The 1800’s for the European continent and their colonies was widespread with a war of ideals, principles, and the fights for independence. The old order, which had been re-established after the fall of the French Emperor Napoleon certainly had no place in the Enlightenment period, which emphasized the radical ideals of the right of the individual and held government’s to be responsible to their people. The many foreign dominated territories of what would eventually become a unified Italy found them selves in the midst of the struggle between old and new, and it was an Italian patriot by the name of Giuseppe Garibaldi that would sacrifice his early republican ideals somewhat to achieve the unification of Italy, and eventually drive out all foreign occupants. Therefore I believe Garibaldi’s nationalist pride and hatred of imperialism is what forced him to sacrifice most of his republican principles and turn to the monarchy of Piedmont-Sardinia to achieve his ultimate goal: The unification of Italy at all costs.
To better understand the unification process, the people behind it, and the reasons for its occurrence, an overview of the state of Europe in the late 1700s and 1800s is extremely beneficial. The concept of nationalism began during the French Revolution. Several regimes later in a span of about ten years saw the rise of Napoleon, a General and militaristic character that sought French domination of all Europe. Nationalism had driven his ego as well with the French people so high they eventually blundered in the cold Russian winter, lost considerable amounts of power and territories, and Napoleon was exiled. The conservative monarchs of Europe sought to clean up the mess Napoleon and the French had caused and re-establish their...