Are the Italian and German states comparable?
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While in the early nineteenth century, one can speak of Italy or Germany, because these entities have not yet emerged and remain fragmented into many kingdoms, duchies and principalities, in 1871, it is strikingly these two countries that have achieved their unity and may emerge as new powers of the European concert. Within a few decades, these two states, as we know them today, were established on the European stage. They seem to share some experience: dismembered States under Austrian influence, both having suffered from the French occupation, who witnessed the emergence almost simultaneously of a national awareness and a failed attempt to liberal movement and unity.
The parallels are striking and even strengthened by the simultaneity of these two mergers; it illustrated by the consistency of the completion dates of the process. We are thus led to consider in more detail the existence of a certain symmetry in their race for the unity, and this, in relation to each stage of unification. The idea of such a parallel was exploited by the "Nazarenes", the pre-Romantic Germans. The question of German and Italian units has been marked throughout the whole nineteenth century and in the light of history, the question even now has, as in the past, undeniable legitimacy: Are
German and Italian states comparable?
To answer this question, we must emphasize that the origins of these processes appear common (I) and demonstrate that their implementation has many analogies (II), but the state remains at the end of course a national phenomenon marked by the specificities of each country (III).
The movement of unity will be realized in the second half of the nineteenth century, and is rooted in the national revolution's aborted attempts until 1848 both in Italy and Germany. These insurrections that have been repeated are the expression of a common evolution of minds and institutions.
The Revolution contributed to the awakening of a strong national sentiment, which marked the emergence of concept of national sovereignty. The ideas and example of the French Revolution spread in Europe, the rejection of absolutism led to research by the people for a new legitimacy. There was therefore parallel to a weakening of the dynastic principle the emergence of the principle of nationality in the beginning of the nineteenth century. This was truly a revolution in the European intellectual context expressed through engagement in the struggle against French rule.
Rulers exploited the emerging aspirations for unity: Prussia maintained the anti-French sentiment, many Germans rallied to it in the 1810s in hopes of driving France and Germany to build unity, Austria encouraged the Italians to rebel against French rule. However, the Treaty of Vienna of 1815 buried the principle of nationality and restored the legitimacy of monarchy, without taking into account the aspirations of Germany and Italy. Metternich said that "Italy is a geographical expression."
This naturally led to reactions from supporters of the unity of the two countries. If the national political movements were low until 1848, a major cultural movement was growing on both sides.
Tags: Treaty of Vienna, national awareness, Nazarenes