Nationalism and National Unification in Nineteenth-Century Europe

John Breuilly

in The Oxford Handbook of the History of Nationalism

Published in print March 2013 | ISBN: 9780199209194
Published online May 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History

 Nationalism and National Unification in             Nineteenth-Century Europe

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  • European History
  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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This chapter defines unification nationalism as successful pan-nationalism, considers its distinctive features as a form of nationalism and traces the transformative impact of such nationalism on the political geography of modern Europe. The focus is upon the German, Italian, and Polish cases and the role played by nationalist ideas, sentiments and, above all, movements in the different paths to nation-state formation. There are brief comparisons with other nationalist movements in nineteenth century Europe. The contrast between the strong Polish nationalist movement and its failure before 1918 and the success in achieving unifications by the arguably weaker German and Italian nationalist movements is used to identify the key conditions for nationalist success and how such conditions in turn shape the character of nationalism.

Keywords: Pan-nationalism; unification nationalism; nationalist doctrine; nationalist sentiment; nationalist politics; national movement; legitimation; elite coordination; mass mobilization; Risorgimento

Article.  12224 words. 

Subjects: History ; European History ; Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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