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A History of World Societies, Sixth Edition
Web Exercises
Chapter 25: European Life in the Age of Nationalism

The previous chapter, "Ideologies and Upheavals 1815-1871," explored the impact of new ideologies - socialism, liberalism, and nationalism - on ordinary people in Europe during the nineteenth century. In 1848, these new outlooks created revolution in a variety of European locations. Despite their differences, all of these revolutions expressed the yearnings of millions of Europeans to live in nation states that pursued more economic, political, and social justice. The revolutions of 1848 suggest that a common European outlook was emerging among ordinary Europeans, not just among European elites, as explored in Chapter 18, "Toward a New World-View in the West." In the nineteenth century, millions of Europeans shared in the new technological developments, experienced the new values associated with the explosion of urban growth, and became increasingly attached to their nation states and to their individual governments. More than ever before, a common outlook emerged among the masses of Europeans. The Internet activities will explore this development.

Helpful Hints:
  • You may want to begin by printing this page. As you explore different sites, use the printout to refer back to the instructions and questions detailed in each activity.
  • On many web sites you can increase the size of the images by clicking on them. Whenever possible, use the larger images to examine fine details in photographs.
Activity One:
  • The industrial revolution that you explored in Chapter 24 continued unabated in Europe throughout the nineteenth century. Study the charts at Modern History Sourcebook: Tables Illustrating the Spread of Industrialization. Which European countries were the leading manufacturing nations by the end of the century? Which countries produced the most textiles, iron, and railroads? Which countries were the most populous?
  • After reflecting on these questions, describe the impact of industrialism on nation states in Europe during the nineteenth century. Keep in mind where industrialism spread, which countries became more industrialized than others, and how the relative industrial strength of various nations changed over time. Summarize your reflections in a paragraph or two. How do you think the spread of industrialism helped shape a common outlook among Europeans in many nation states?
Activity Two:
  • What manufacturers were producing changed over the course of the nineteenth century as well. Many historians call the period from 1870 to 1914 "the second industrial revolution". Study the timelines at Western and Central European Chronology: The Industrial Revolution 1700-1900 and Technology Chronology: The Era of Fossil Fuel Energy Sources 1700 to the Present, paying particular attention to developments from 1870 to 1914. Identify and make a list of technological breakthroughs, and try to categorize the list into topics such as "communications," "transportation," and so on. How did these inventions shape the lives of ordinary Europeans? How did they affect the growth of industry? For example, did advancements in transportation help manufacturers increase their productivity? Did these new inventions lead to new products that industrialists could manufacture?
  • Finally, read the essays at Modern History Sourcebook: Harold Baron: The Chemical Industry on the Continent. How did the emergence of the steel and chemical industries change societies and the economy of Europe in the nineteenth century? Write a brief essay (1-3 paragraphs) that offers a definition of the "second industrial revolution" and discusses how it changed everyday life in Europe.
Activity Three:
  • Increased industrialization meant greater urbanization. (You can review the growth of urban areas in Europe in the nineteenth century by examining Map 25.1 on page 794 of McKay, A History of World Societies (Sixth Edition). Historically, cities were not considered nurturing places to live. The growth of cities in the nineteenth century alarmed many intellectuals. Read the description of the new urbanization by Friederich Engels, Karl Marx's close associate, at Modern History Sourcebook: Friederich Engels: Industrial Manchester, 1844. Is his view positive? What comments does he make about sanitation, dwellings, and pollution?
  • Such commentary by Engels and others created public outrage and led to increased reform efforts. Go to Health and Hygiene in the Nineteenth Century one of the numerous essays at The Victorian Web. (Victorian refers to the values and culture during the reign of Queen Victoria in Britain, 1837-1901.) According to this site, when did city officials begin to concentrate on improving urban life in Britain? What catastrophes and which individuals were crucial in the emergence of this consensus? What was the nature of these reforms or improvements? What impact did they have?
Activity Four:
  • Urban planning became popular in European cities during the second half of the century. Probably the most famous urban planner was Baron Georges Haussmann (1809-1884). Learn more about this great planner at Georges Haussmann. To see the results of his work examine Map of Paris, 1887. What problems was Haussmann attempting to alleviate? What was his strategy?
  • Haussmann's impact was profound. Go to Richard Schermerhorn, Jr., "City Planning," a speech delivered in 1912, and read the first eleven paragraphs. What impact did Haussmann have on urban planning in the industrial world? How were city managers trying to cope with the problems of the modern city? According to Schermerhorn, which cities were most successful?
Activity Five:
  • Those who benefited most from urban reforms were the growing urban middle class. Review "The Middle Classes" on pages 800-801 of McKay, A History of World Societies (Sixth Edition). This section explains the goals, aspirations, and occupations of all the various categories of people labeled as middle class. Was there a common outlook among this group of people?
  • Read the essays and study the images at The Development of Leisure in Britain after 1850, Technology and Leisure in Britain after 1850. Go to Victorian Station: Lifestyles and click on the hyperlinks under Fashion, Etiquette, Leisure Activities, Recipes, and Rituals. Go to Victorian Station: Interior Designs and click on the hyperlinks under Interior Design, Room by Room, and Furniture. Do these essays suggest a common outlook among the middle classes of the industrial world? Did they have similar tastes in fashion, leisure activities, and manners? What made these shared outlooks possible? What role did photography, transportation technology, and other innovations of the second industrial revolution play in this development? Summarize your analysis in a brief essay (2-4 paragraphs).
Activity Six:
  • In completing Activity Five, you probably observed that middle-class status meant different sets of expectations, aspirations, and values for men and women. Most social historians argue that middle-class men and women increasingly led separate lives during this time. Review the hyperlinks in Activity Five, especially The Development of Leisure in Britain after 1850 and Victorian Station: Lifestyles. Using specific examples, analyze how "separate" men's and women's lives were for the urban middle class. What roles did they play within their families? To what values and goals did each aspire? What are your impressions on how much time they spent interacting with each other?
Activity Seven:
  • Although the middle classes of Europe in the nineteenth century may have shared similar values and outlooks, they increasingly identified their future with their nation states. As Chapter 25, "Ideologies and Upheavals 1815-1871" explored, the nineteenth century was a time of intense nationalism in Europe. This ideology led to the creation of two new nation states - Germany and Italy - and created tension in several multiethnic empires such as Austria and Russia.
  • Why did more and more people identify with the nation state as opposed to class, religion, or other demarcations? Read the Italian Giuseppe Mazzini's answer at Modern History Sourcebook: Giuseppe Mazzini: On Nationality, 1852. What does Mazzini mean when he claims that "the social
    question may, in effect, although with difficulty, be partly resolved by a single people"? What was the social question to which he was referring? Why did he believe only nation states could resolve this question?
  • Thomas Escott partly answers this question at Modern History Sourcebook: Thomas Escott (1844-1924): England: Her People, Polity, and Pursuits, 1885. In this essay, he praises the inclusion of the middle classes into Parliament. Why does he argue that this benefited Great Britain? Nationalists assumed that strong nation states could deal with the problems of the industrial era by fostering a sense of inclusion in a national community. This community could then tackle problems in ways that would benefit all groups.
Activity Eight:
  • Marxism, a socialist ideology, increasingly challenged nationalism as a means of resolving the problems of industrial society in the second half of the nineteenth century. Read the excerpts from Karl Marx's famous "Communist Manifesto" found at The Communist Manifesto of 1848. For an analysis of Marx's views, see David McNally, MARXISM: SOCIALISM FROM BELOW. Unlike nationalists, to whom does Marx look to solve the problems of the age? At one point he argues that "the modern bourgeois society that has sprouted from the ruins of feudal society, has not done away with class antagonisms. It has but established new classes, new conditions of oppression, new forms of struggle in place of the old ones." Do you believe that Marx would call nationalism a "new" condition of "oppression" and a "new" form of "struggle"? In other words, was nationalism a means to distract the working classes from their plight?
  • Marxists socialists conceived of their struggle in a global context. They urged workers in all countries to unite and overthrow "bourgeois" nation states. In this effort, Marxists organized the First Socialist International. Through organizations such as this one, they tried to develop a class consciousness that transcended national identity. For example, their anthem was the "Internationale." You can listen to this song and read its text at The Internationale. (The Real Audio File - Music Only is the best version.) How do these words appeal to class solidarity? Where does this song urge workers to seek solutions to their problems?
Activity Nine:
  • Much like the middle class, however, workers increasingly identified with their nation states. Read the goals of the German Social Democrat party at Modern History Sourcebook: German Social Democracy: The Erfurt Program, 1891. Early in this document, the party pays homage to the goals of Marxist socialism. What are the long-range goals of the party? The rest of the document lists specific demands. How would you describe these goals? Do they strive to overthrow the existing state, or do they urge reforms of the status quo? Do they focus on revolution or on improving the lives of workers?
  • The Erfurt Program reflected the work of other socialist philosophers such as Edouard Bernstein, who urged "evolutionary socialism" or "revisionism." For more on evolutionary socialism, see Modern History Sourcebook: Edouard Bernstein: Evolutionary Socialism. Why does Bernstein believe that socialist parties should focus on improving the lives of workers under the existing political systems in Europe rather than incite violent revolution? Why do you believe so many socialists were gaining faith in the ability of national governments to improve the lives of workers? What were governments doing in the nineteenth century to help workers? For example, consider Germany: Social Security History Page: Otto von Bismarck. How do Bismarck's measures reflect what McKay, A History of World Societies (Sixth Edition) calls "the responsive national state"?
Activity Ten:
  • After completing Activities Five through Eight, contemplate the following question. Was there a common outlook emerging among Europeans in the nineteenth century? If so, what was it? Consider developments in technology, living styles, class consciousness, the role of states, and the influence of ideologies such as socialism and nationalism. Answer this question in essay form.