The Radicals And Liberals

Though both wanting a loss of power in the monarchies, had many differences. These differences primarily had to do with how they thought power should be distributed in the government and how drastically these distributions should be. First, many Liberals were part of the middle-class, while many Radicals, but not all, were part of the lower-class. Many Liberals wanted to give more power to elected parliaments. This idea is an interesting mix between a democracy and a monarchy. This is because even though there is still a monarchy, the elected parliaments have more power.

Since the parliaments are elected, the people have a bigger voice in their nation’s government matters. This choice still implements the monarchy system, but gives people more of an effect in government. This seems like a good idea, but another want of Liberals was to only let the educated and those who own land vote.

This was a very big issue because the lower-class didn’t have a voice in this system and couldn’t do anything about changing things to benefit them and help with their poverty.

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Even if the decisions they helped make didn’t affect their aspect of poverty, many just wanted a voice because they were a citizen of the nation too. On the Radicals’ side, even though they wanted some of the same things Liberals did, they wanted it in a more drastic way. Many Radicals wanted to change the government in huge ways. They didn’t want a monarchy to rule, but rather have a democracy, where the main body of government is the people that live in the nation themselves.

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Though this type of government was wanted during the French revolution, it was a very new idea to many parts of Europe. The Radicals gained many other ideas from the French Revolution. One of these ideas that they believed in very strongly was to let everyone have a voice in government, even the poor.

They believed that since they all lived in the same country they should be unified. They believed that if you were a citizen you would have the same rights as everyone else no matter what economic class you were in. It’s part of the idea of nationalism and how powerful a nation can be when they look at each other as fellow citizens of one nation rather then someone from a different economic class. Another difference between Liberals and Radicals was the amount of people in each group and how much they were willing to sacrifice to see their ideas be implemented. Because there was so much poverty, there were an immense amount of Radicals. During this time, specifically in France, Radicals also were willing to fight for their ideas. Though the Liberals chose to also fight, The Radicals managed to win many more of their battles and ended up implementing their ideas into the government.

I think Liberals and Radicals could possibly join together for a nationalist cause for a couple reasons. The first reason I think this could possibly happen is because they both have a similar main ideal. Both of these groups want to weaken the monarchy of their nation. Though it might seem odd that these two groups are fighting against each other since they have the same mean ideal, they both have different ways they want to achieve this ideal and they both want to do it to different extents. On one side, the Liberals wanted to weaken the Monarchy of their nation and give more power to the parliaments that they elected. This is similar to the way we have Senators and Representatives.

This liberal idea made it so that the people had some say in what happened with the nation, but there was still a monarchy that ruled over the nation. One issue many had with the liberal idea was that they also wanted to limit voting to the educated and those who owned land. This limited voting to only their economic class and the higher-class, so obviously, many people had issues with this. On the other side, Radicals wanted similar things, but not exactly in the same way. Again, they had the same main ideal and were both against the monarchy, but rather than just weaken the monarchy, Radicals wanted to fully get rid of it and make it so the people have power and choose the leaders.

They also thoroughly wanted to allow decision making and voting to all people including the lower-class. Another reason I think they could join together is because of their sense of nationalism. The people that were part of these groups, that wanted to make change in the government, felt strongly about being a citizen of their nation. If these people were dedicated enough to fight for what they thought would improve the government in the nation, I am confident they would work together to stop any threat from outside the nation. These people cared about being a citizen in their nation and I think they would work together to protect it, no matter the government in place.

There were a few aging empires that suffered from the forces of nationalism. The first empire that suffered was the Austrian empire. In 1866, Prussia beat Austria in a war that weakened Austria immensely. Later, the Austrian empire split in half, so Austria and Hungary were separate states instead of one. Because of the split, the Emperor of Austria, Francis Joseph, now ruled over the empire known as the Austro-Hungarian empire. After this new change was put in place, the effects of nationalism took place in the empire. For many years nationalists and their ideas weakened Austria-Hungary. Because of this, the Austro-Hungarian empire split apart after World War I. The second empire that suffered was the Russian Empire. Though the same dynasty ruled for over 370 years, the Russian empire eventually fell too.

The Russian Empire was a mix of many different nationalities. There were large numbers of nationalities from all over Europe under Russian rule. The forces of nationalism made the Romanov dynasty nervous. Because of this, they implemented a policy known as Russification. The dynasty used this forcing of Russian culture on all nationalities in the empire to try and limit nationalism and maintain control over all of it’s nationalities. Instead of this policy doing what they wanted, it made the forces of nationalism stronger. Because of this, like the Austrian Empire, the Russian Empire slowly weakened. After World War I and Russia’s communist revolution, the Romanov dynasty ended after so many years. A third empire that suffered was the Ottoman Empire.

The Ottoman Empire, ruled by Turks, governed a number of different nationalities. In 1856, when the Ottoman Empire was being weakened by the British and French alliance, it gave more liberties and equality to all nationalities of the empire. Many conservative Turks that were angry about this and wanted to have dominance became more fierce about nationalism. Because of this, when nationalism occurred they would go against it with unnecessary force that ruined many people’s views of the Ottoman Empire. Like the others, The Ottoman Empire fell apart after World War I. All of these empires suffered from nationalism and all eventually ended because of it.

Nationalism can be both a unifying and disunifying force for a few reasons. The main reason it can be a unifying force is because two separated nations full of people that believe in nationalism can influence or force leaders to unite nations. This not only brings the separated nations together as one, but also makes the one nation more powerful than the two by themselves. There are two good examples of this between 1840 and 1914. The first example of this is when Cavour united Italy. Though many factors of this unity were political, we can see some that do come from nationalism. A big place we see it is with Giuseppe Garibaldi and the other nationalists with him. While Cavour was uniting the northern part of Italy, Garibaldi was in the South uniting the separate areas.

Nationalism can be seen through Garibaldi’s work for its main goal. The uniting and fighting Garibaldi and his men were doing was in the name of nationalism. There were people in different areas of separated Italy that shared ideas, tradition, and culture. Garibaldi and his men were proud of the nation they came from and believed that there should be one nation of unity to be proud of, not many separated ones. Nationalism can also be seen in Garibaldi’s mission through their red shirts. By wearing red shirts they are saying, we are one nation and that we are a team and a community. The second example of nationalism being a unifying force is when Bismarck united Germany.

In this example, nationalism mainly occurs through Prussian pride. Prussians that believed in nationalism wanted to help unite Germany into one nation. This gained Bismarck soldiers and supporters as he united Germany. The reason so many people suddenly gained Prussian pride was mainly because of the first quick victory against Denmark, for Schleswig and Holstein, and because of the triumphant victories after this. The main reason nationalism can also be a disunifying force is because nations that were conquered and forced to join an empire, especially if they were being restrained, would want to separate from the empire. Through nationalism, the citizens and government of these nations would have the motivation to separate from the empire. There are three good examples of this.

The first example was when the Austro-Hungarian empire fell apart. After becoming weak from Prussia and tensions with other nations, nationalism weakened it to the point of collapse from the inside, and the many nationalities became independent. The second example is when the Russian Empire collapses. By implementing the policy of Russification, Russia made the idea of nationalism stronger. Because Russia was forcing their culture on to other nationalities, they used nationalism to weaken the Russian empire until its collapse and to the point of their independence. The final example is when nationalism caused the Ottoman Empire to weaken and make poor decisions. This weakening let to its eventual collapse. These are all reasons and examples of nationalism being both unifying and disunifying.

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The Radicals And Liberals. (2022, Jun 03). Retrieved from

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