5 Steps to a 5: AP European History 2024 - Bartolini-Salimbeni B., Petersen W., Arata K. 2023

STEP 4 Review the Knowledge You Need to Score High
20 Mass Politics and Nationalism


Summary: In the nineteenth century, increased political participation by the masses supported the growth of nationalism, encouraged by some in the Romantic movement who idealized traditional culture and nationalist struggles. This resulted in the establishment of the nation-state as the dominant unit of European political organization. The unifications of Germany and Italy by the conservative aristocracy, the nationalities problem of Austria-Hungary, the fall of the Second Empire in France, and the growth of democracy in Great Britain are among the topics reviewed in this chapter on the effects of growing political participation and nationalism.


Key Terms:

Image Carbonari Secret groups of Italian nationalists active in the early part of the nineteenth century. In 1820, the Carbonari had briefly succeeded in organizing an uprising that forced King Ferdinand I of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies to grant a constitution and a new Parliament.

Image Risorgimento The mid-nineteenth-century Italian nationalist movement composed mostly of intellectuals and university students. From 1834 to 1848, the Risorgimento attempted a series of popular insurrections and briefly established a Roman Republic in 1848.

Image Junkers A powerful class of landed aristocrats in nineteenth-century Prussia who supported Bismarck’s plan for the unification of Germany.

Image Realpolitik A political theory, made fashionable by Bismarck in the nineteenth century, which asserted that the aim of any political policy should be to increase the power of a nation by whatever means and strategies were necessary and useful.

Image The nationalities problem The name given to the conflict between the ten distinct linguistic and ethnic groups that lived within the borders of Austria-Hungary and their German-speaking rulers.

Image Russianization Alexander III’s attempt, in the 1880s, to make Russian the standard language and the Russian Orthodox Church the standard religion throughout the Russian Empire.

Image Chartism A movement in Britain (1837—1842) in support of the People’s Charter, a petition that called for universal manhood suffrage, annual Parliaments, voting by secret ballot, equal electoral districts, the abolition of property qualifications for Members of Parliament, and the payment of Members of Parliament.

Image Nationalism This term is often conflated with patriotism, but the differences are both subtle and important. Nationalism means a strong sense of national identity based on commonalities like language, culture, ethnicity, and traditional homeland. It can be either a unifying force (Italy, Germany) or a fragmenting one (Greece, Austrian Empire). In its later usage, nationalism is distinguished from patriotism in that, though both entail love of country, nationalism has connotations of national superiority, sometimes manifesting in aggression.

Key Individuals:

Image Otto von Bismarck

Image Count Camillo Benso di Cavour

Image Giuseppe Garibaldi

Image Emperor Franz Joseph

Image Charles-Louis Napoleon Bonaparte (Napoleon III)

Image Tsar Alexander II

Image Tsar Alexander III

Image Benjamin Disraeli

Image William Gladstone



In the hundred years following the fall of Napoleon’s empire, classes of people who were traditionally left out of the politics of Europe’s nations and empires demanded participation in a variety of ways. One context in which the advent of mass politics contributed to significant change was in the triumph of the nation-state as the primary unit of political organization.

Nationalism and State-Building

Over the course of the nineteenth century, nationalism triumphed over all other competing ideologies. In areas where people lived under foreign domination, nationalism was used by conservative statesmen to bring about the unification of Italy and Germany. In the Habsburg Empire, the nationalist aspirations of ethnic minorities worked to undermine Austrian domination. In France and Russia, the force of nationalism was used to end the remaining dreams of liberals and to strengthen the hold of autocratic rulers.

The Triumph of Conservative Nationalism

In the first half of the nineteenth century, liberals and nationalists tended to ally themselves against the forces of conservatism. Both believed that political sovereignty resided in the people, and they shared an optimistic belief that progress toward their goals was inevitable. Campaigns for liberal reform (which attempted to break the conservative aristocracy’s grip on political power and to promote individual rights) tended to merge with the struggle for national rights or self-determination. Accordingly, most liberals supported the idea of free and unified nation-states in Germany and Italy, the rebirth of Poland, and Greek independence; most conservatives opposed these ideas.

However, both partial victory and eventual defeat drove a wedge between liberals and nationalists. When liberals won temporary victories over conservative aristocrats between 1830 and 1838, fundamental differences between the agendas of liberal reformers and nationalists began to emerge. The emphasis on individual liberty and limited government did not mesh well with the nationalist emphasis on the collective national tribe or with the desire of nationalists for a strong national government. In short, liberals believed in promoting the rights of all peoples; nationalists cared only about promoting their nation’s interests.

When, in 1848, the more radical liberal agenda of democratic reform emerged as a wave of revolutions across Europe, the conservative tendencies of nationalism came to the fore. Nationalists not only shared the conservatives’ belief in the value of historical traditions, they tended to mythologize the past and dream of a return to an era of national glory. Ultimately, however, what drove a wedge between liberals and nationalists was the failure of liberals to hold the power they had temporarily seized. As the conservative reaction in the second half of 1848 smashed liberal movements and revolutions everywhere in Europe, nationalists dreaming of a strong, unified country free from foreign rule increasingly turned to conservative leaders. Both the unification of Italy and the unification of Germany were primarily engineered by and for the conservative aristocrats.

The Unification of Italy

The Forces Against Unity in Italy

The settlement after the defeat of Napoleon in 1815 had greatly disappointed those hoping for an Italian nation-state. The Italian peninsula consisted of separate states controlled by powerful enemies of Italian nationalism:

• The Habsburg Dynasty of Austria controlled, either directly or through its vassals, Lombardy and Venetia in the north, and the duchies of Tuscany, Parma, and Modena.

• The pope governed an area known as the Papal States in central Italy.

• A branch of the Bourbon dynasty (which ruled France) controlled the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies in the south.

• An Italian dynasty, the House of Savoy, controlled both the island of Sardinia in the south and Piedmont in the northwest.

In addition to political divisions and foreign interests, the Italian peninsula was also divided by economic and cultural differences. The northern areas of the peninsula benefited from industrialization and, consequently, internal migration of southerners looking for work. The southern areas, and the islands of Sicily and Sardinia, suffered from latifundismo, or the control of vast amounts of land by a tiny proportion of the population.

Latifundismo also accounted for the larger numbers of southern Italians immigrating into the Americas—more than four million by the early part of the twentieth century, going primarily to the United States, Argentina, and Brazil in search of “pane e lavoro” (bread and work).

Culturally, the peninsula retained use of many dialectical variations on Italian, which hampered unification. Socially and politically, the middle-class merchants and manufacturers, located mostly in the north, wanted a greater degree of unity for easier trade and tended to support liberal reforms; they were opposed by the staunchly conservative, traditional landed elites.

Italian Nationalism to 1850

Italian nationalism had been forged in opposition to Napoleon’s rule. After 1815, dreams of a unified Italy were kept alive in secret societies like the Carbonari, secret clubs whose members came mostly from middle-class families and from the army. In 1820, the Carbonari had briefly succeeded in organizing an uprising that forced King Ferdinand I of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies to grant a constitution and a new Parliament. But Austrian troops, with the blessing of the Concert of Europe, crushed the revolt. The Austrians put down a similar revolt by the Carbonari in Piedmont from 1831 to 1832.

In the 1840s, Giuseppe Mazzini’s Young Italy had carried the banner of Italian nationalism. Both a Romantic and a liberal, Mazzini fought for the establishment of an Italian republic that would serve, as he believed ancient Rome had, as a beacon for the rest of humanity. By mid-century, Mazzini had forged a movement known as the Risorgimento, which was composed mostly of intellectuals and university students who shared his idealism. From 1834 to 1848, the Risorgimento attempted a series of popular insurrections, briefly establishing a Roman Republic in 1848 until it was crushed (like its liberal counterparts throughout Europe) by the forces of reaction. In defeat, it was evident that the Risorgimento had failed to win the support of the masses.

Cavour and Victory over Austria

At mid-century, Count Camillo Benso di Cavour, the chief minister of King Victor Emmanuel II of the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia, emerged as the new champion of Italian nationalist hopes. Cavour differed from Mazzini and other leaders of the Italian nationalist movement in several significant ways. He was a conservative aristocrat with ties to the most powerful ruler on the peninsula, King Victor Emmanuel II, and not a middle-class intellectual. He supported the idea of a constitutional monarchy rather than that of a republic. Cavour was, in short, a cautious and practical statesman. Not an idealist, Cavour was an opportunist.

Cavour sought to increase the amount of territory under the control of the Piedmont whenever possible and to weaken the opponents of Italian unification by playing them against each other. Between 1855 and 1860, Cavour took advantage of several such opportunities and managed to unite all of northern Italy under the Piedmont region. In 1855, he brought the Piedmont region and its army into the Crimean War on the side of England and France, who were fighting Russia. This resulted in no immediate gains, but the peace conference afforded Cavour the opportunity to denounce the Austrian occupation of Italian lands. In 1858, Cavour reached a secret agreement with Napoleon III of France and gained the promise of French support should Austria attack the Piedmont region. The following year, Cavour goaded the Austrians into attacking by mobilizing forces and refusing an ultimatum to disarm. French and Piedmontese troops defeated the Austrians at the Battles of Magenta and Solferino, and drove Austrians out of Lombardy. Further gains by the Piedmont region were thwarted by Napoleon III’s abrupt signing of the Treaty of Villafranca with the Austrians. By 1860, however, the majority of the northern and north-central duchies shook off their Austrian rulers and voluntarily united with the Piedmont region.

Garibaldi and Victory in the South

The success of northern Italians in throwing off Austrian domination inspired their southern counterparts. A series of peasant revolts, tinged with anti-Bourbon sentiment, arose in the south. Southern Italian nationalists found a different kind of leader in Giuseppe Garibaldi and, in 1860, launched a series of popular uprisings, which put all of southern Italy under his control. The southern nationalist movement differed from its northern counterpart in several significant ways. Garibaldi was a Romantic nationalist who had been an early supporter of Mazzini. The southern nationalist movement was a genuine revolt of the masses, rather than the political maneuverings of a single kingdom. Garibaldi hoped to establish an Italian republic that would respect the rights of individuals and improve the lot of the peasants and workers.

In May 1860, Garibaldi raised an army of 1,000 red-shirted Italian patriots and landed in Sicily to aid a peasant revolt underway there. In a few short months, Garibaldi and his red-shirts provided leadership to a nationalist revolt that took control of most of southern Italy and set its sights on Rome.

The Kingdom of Italy and the Completion of Italian Unification

Cavour publicly condemned Garibaldi’s conquests but secretly aided them. When Garibaldi’s troops began to threaten Rome, Cavour persuaded Napoleon III, who had sworn to protect the pope, to allow the Piedmontese army to invade the Papal States in order to head off Garibaldi. By September 1860, Piedmont controlled the Papal States and set up a ring around Rome.

When Piedmontese forces, led by King Victor Emmanuel II, met Garibaldi and his forces outside Rome in September 1860, Garibaldi submitted and presented all of southern Italy to Victor Emmanuel; in the end, Garibaldi’s dream of a unified Italy was stronger than his commitment to the idea of a republic. In March 1861, the Kingdom of Italy was formally proclaimed. It was a constitutional monarchy under Victor Emmanuel II with a parliament elected by limited suffrage. It consisted of all of the Italian peninsula, except the city of Rome (which was still ruled by the pope and protected by French troops) and the province of the Veneto (which was still occupied by Austrian troops). The Veneto became part of the Kingdom of Italy during the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 and the unification of Italy was completed when Rome (with the exception of Vatican City) followed during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870.

The Unification of Germany

Forces Against Unity in Germany

Unlike Italy, Germany in the middle of the nineteenth century was free of direct foreign domination. It existed as a loose confederation of independent states. Within that loose confederation, several forces worked against national unity. Profound cultural differences existed between the rural, conservative, Protestant north and the urban, liberal, Roman Catholic south. The individual German states each had a long history of proud independence. Habsburg Austria continued to exert a powerful influence on, or controlled, a large portion of the German confederation.

Prussian Leadership

With the failure of the liberal Frankfurt Assembly in 1848, leadership in the German nationalist movement passed to Prussia. Prussia was a strong northern kingdom ruled by the Hohenzollern dynasty and supported by a powerful class of landed aristocrats known as Junkers. Prussia also had the strongest military in Germany, and in 1845, Prussia led the way in establishing the Zollverein, a large free-trade zone, consisting of all German states but excluding Austria. This combination of military and economic power led many Germans to look to Prussia for leadership.

Bismarck and War with Denmark and Austria

In 1861, Prussia’s new monarch, William I, wanted to reorganize and further strengthen the military, but the liberal legislature resisted, and a power struggle between the monarch and the legislature ensued. William I turned to the conservative Junker Otto von Bismarck to be his prime minister. Bismarck forced a showdown, and it quickly became apparent that the support of the Prussian people was with the king, the army, and Bismarck. With the power of the army behind him and the government fully established, Bismarck set out a policy to unify Germany under the Prussian crown, which came to be known as Realpolitik and asserted that the aim of Prussian policy would be to increase its power by whatever means and strategies were necessary and useful. Bismarck asserted that the unification of Germany would be accomplished by a combination of “blood and iron.”

First, Bismarck isolated France through a series of treaties, including the Three Emperors’ League (with Austria and Russia), the Reinsurance Treaty (Russia), and the Triple Alliance (with Austria and Italy). Then he quickly concluded that a war with Austria was inevitable, and he engineered one in an episode that has come to be known as the Schleswig-Holstein Affair. He began by enlisting Austria as an ally in a war with Denmark over two duchies, Schleswig and Holstein, which had large German-speaking populations. Once Denmark was forced to cede the two duchies, Bismarck provoked an argument with Austria over control of them. Bismarck’s next moves were a perfect illustration of Realpolitik in action:

• First, Bismarck obtained Italian support for a war with Austria by promising Italy the province of Venetia.

• Next, he ensured Russian neutrality by supporting Russia’s actions against its rebellious Polish subjects.

• Then, he met secretly with Napoleon III of France and persuaded him that a weakening of Austrian power was in the best interests of France.

• Finally, and only after those preparations were in place, he carried out a series of diplomatic and military maneuvers that provoked Austria into declaring war.

In the resulting Austro-Prussian War of 1866, Prussian troops surprised and overwhelmed a larger Austrian force, winning victory in only seven weeks. The result was the expulsion of Austria from the old German Confederation and the creation of a new North German Confederation, which was completely under the control of Prussia.

War with France

All that remained for Bismarck was to draw the south German states into the new Confederation. But the south (which was predominantly Catholic and liberal) feared being absorbed by the Protestant and authoritarian Prussians. Bismarck concluded that only one thing would compel the south Germans to accept Prussian leadership: a war with a powerful foreign enemy. So he set about engineering one.

The opportunity came when both France and Prussia got involved in a dispute over the vacant throne in Spain. Bismarck, with the support of the Prussian military leadership, edited a communication between Napoleon III and William I (a communication now known as the Ems Telegram) to make it seem as though they had insulted one another, which Bismarck then released to the press. Tempers flared, and France declared war. The south German states rallied to aid Prussia. Combined German forces quickly routed the French troops, capturing Napoleon III and taking Paris in January 1871.

The Second Reich

On January 18, 1871, the unification of Germany was completed. The heads of all the German states gathered in the Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles outside Paris and proclaimed William I kaiser (emperor) of the German Empire (formally the Second Reich, honoring the old Holy Roman Empire as the First Reich). The new empire took the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine from France and billed the French 5 billion francs as a war indemnity.

Mass Politics and Nationalism in the Habsburg Empire

In the dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary, mass politics continued to mean competition between nationalities for greater autonomy and relative supremacy within the empire. In an age of nation-building, the Habsburg Empire, with its Austrian minority dominating an empire consisting of Hungarians (also known as Magyars), Czechs, Serbs, Romanians, and other ethnic groups, was an anachronism. The forces of nationalism, therefore, worked to tear the empire apart. After Austria’s defeat by Prussia in 1866, the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph attempted to deal with what has come to be called “the nationalities problem.” By agreeing to the Compromise of 1867, he set up the dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary. Franz Joseph served as the ruler of both Austria and Hungary, each of which had its own parliament. This arrangement essentially set up an alliance between the Austrians and the Hungarians against the other ethnic groups in the empire. The introduction of universal manhood suffrage in 1907 made Austria-Hungary so difficult to govern that the emperor and his advisors began bypassing the parliament and ruling by decree.

Mass Politics and Nationalism in France

Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte had originally been elected president of the Second Republic in 1848. When the National Assembly refused to amend the constitution to allow him to run for a second term, he staged a coup d’état on December 2, 1851. The public overwhelming sided with Louis-Napoleon, who granted them universal manhood suffrage. They responded, in two plebiscites, by voting to establish a Second Empire and to make Louis-Napoleon hereditary emperor.

Like his namesake, Louis-Napoleon attempted to increase his popularity by expanding the Empire, but soon his foreign adventures began to erode his popularity. By 1870, the liberal parliament had begun to reassert itself. The humiliating defeat in the Franco-Prussian War brought down both Louis-Napoleon and the Second Empire, and it also set in motion a battle between monarchists and the people of Paris who, having defended Paris from the Germans while the aristocrats fled, now considered themselves to represent the nation of France. When elections in 1871 resulted in a victory for the monarchists, the people of Paris refused to accept the results and set up their own democratic government, which came to be known as the Paris Commune. The Commune ruled the city of Paris in February and March 1871, before being crushed by the French Army.

Monarchists initially controlled the government of the new Third Republic, but they remained divided between factions. By the end of the 1870s, France was governed by a liberal government elected by universal manhood suffrage. However, in the late 1880s, conservative nationalists supported an attempted coup by General George Boulanger. The attempt—which has come to be known as the Boulanger Affair—failed, but it underscored the fragility of French democracy and the volatility of mass politics in France.

Mass Politics and Nationalism in Russia

At mid-century, Russia’s government was the most conservative and autocratic in Europe. The peasants of Russia were still bound to the land by serfdom. The Crimean War (1853—1856), in which Russia essentially battled Great Britain and France for control of parts of the crumbling Ottoman Empire, damaged the reputation of both the tsar and the military. Alexander II, who ascended the throne in 1855, was determined to strengthen Russia by reforming and modernizing it. He abolished serfdom, made the judiciary more independent, and created local political assemblies.

However, Russia was plagued by its own nationalities problem. Alexander II attempted to deal with it by relaxing restrictions on the Polish population within the Russian Empire, but this fanned the flames of nationalism and led to an attempted Polish Revolution in 1863. Alexander II responded with increased repression of Poles and other ethnic minorities within the Russian Empire. And after an attempt on his life in 1866, Alexander II gave up all notions of liberal reform and proceeded to turn Russia into a police state. In response, mass politics took the form of terrorism. Radical groups like the People’s Will carried out systematic acts of violent opposition, including the assassination of Alexander II with a bomb in 1881. His successor, Alexander III, responded by waging war on liberalism and democracy. Initiating a program of “Russianization,” he attempted to standardize language and religion throughout the Russian Empire.

Mass Politics and Nationalism in Great Britain

Mass participation in politics in Great Britain in the nineteenth century (in the form of mass demonstrations and riots) provided the pressure that enabled liberals to force through the Great Reform Bill of 1832. This bill enfranchised most of the adult, male middle class.

In the decades that followed, the liberals seemed satisfied with limited reform. The rise of Chartism (1837—1842) demonstrated the degree to which the lower-middle and working classes desired further reform. Chartists organized massive demonstrations in favor of the People’s Charter, a petition that called for the following:

• Universal manhood suffrage

• Annual Parliaments

• Voting by secret ballot

• Equal electoral districts

• Abolition of property qualifications for Members of Parliament

• Payment of Members of Parliament

If enacted into law, the People’s Charter would have had the effect of creating a completely democratic House of Commons. But Parliament rejected the Charter on numerous occasions.

In 1867, the new leader of the Conservative (or Tory) Party, Benjamin Disraeli, convinced his party that further reform was inevitable and engineered the passage of the Reform Bill of 1867. The bill doubled the number of people eligible to vote and extended the vote to the lower-middle class for the first time. Additionally, the Conservatives passed a number of laws regulating working hours and conditions, and the sanitary conditions of working-class housing.

In 1884, the Liberals, under William Gladstone, again took the lead, engineering the passage of the Reform Bill of 1884. This bill included the following reforms:

• It extended the right to vote further down the social ladder, thereby enfranchising two-thirds of all adult males.

• It made primary education available to all.

• It made military and civil service more democratic.

The most significant result of the advent of mass politics in Great Britain was competition between Liberals and Conservatives for the newly created votes. In 1879, Gladstone embarked on the first modern political campaign, which came to be known as the Midlothian Campaign, riding the railway to small towns throughout his district to give speeches and win votes. Disraeli and the Conservatives countered with a three-pronged platform of “Church, Monarchy, and Empire.”

It is important to bear in mind the context within which these events took place. Nationalism cannot be wholly separated from the forces of industrialism, for it was often through government support of industry that nationalists helped increase their nations’ power and influence relative to the rest of the world. To this end, Louis Napoleon (Napoleon III) developed investment banks and encouraged massive railroad construction, and Sergei Witte of Russia imposed protective tariffs, promoted railroad construction, and solicited foreign investment. Bismarck’s Zollverein used economic policy to simultaneously strengthen Prussia and weaken a potential rival, Austria. This, in turn, gave rise to changes in social class structures, prompting social tensions with nationalists that had to be accommodated (Great Britain), coopted (Italy), or repressed (Russia, at times).

Ireland, or “the Irish Question,” provides an interesting case study of the social tensions created, or at least exacerbated, by nationalism and industrialization. The nineteenth century witnessed a rise in both the rights and duties of Great Britain’s social classes. The Reform Bills of 1832, 1867, and 1884 gave the vote to the majority of adult males, offering opportunities to participate in the previously socially restricted military, church, and civil service ranks. Elementary education was made universal. Health and housing acts contributed to a sense of well-being, thanks in large part to the benefits of industrialization.

Into this atmosphere of prosperity, however, came the difficulties caused by the gap between grand social advancements and unequal distribution of power and wealth. This imbalance was most visible in the agricultural sector and was worsened by the nationalist divide between English and Irish Protestants and Catholics. The Irish Land League, led by Charles Stuart Parnell, sought a redistribution of land because much of Ireland’s territory remained in English hands. English political opposition forces joined to defeat Home Rule, and this would leave Ireland split between Roman Catholic supporters of Home Rule and Protestant landowners.

Political and nationalist concerns brought Great Britain to the edge of civil war. Home Rule was granted in 1912, although not implemented until after World War I.

Review Questions


Multiple Choice

Questions 1—3 refer to the following passage:

I will not, sir, at present express any opinion as to the details of the Bill; but having during the last twenty-four hours given the most diligent consideration to its general principles, I have no hesitation in pronouncing it a wise, noble, and comprehensive measure, skillfully framed for the healing of great distempers, for the securing at once of the public liberties and of the public repose, and for the reconciling and knitting together of all the orders of the State. [The Ministers’] principle is plain, rational, and consistent. It is this, to admit the middle class to a large and direct share in the representation, without any violent shock to the institutions of our country. . . .

I praise the Ministers for not attempting, under existing circumstances, to make the representation uniform. I praise them for not effacing the old distinction between the towns and the counties, for not assigning members to districts, according to the American practice, by the rule of three. They have done all that was necessary for the removing of a great practical evil, and no more than was necessary.

Thomas Babington Macaulay, Speech on the Reform Bill of 1832, March 2, 1831

1. Based on the passage, which best expresses Macaulay’s position on the Reform Bill?

A. He believed the bill would be good for Great Britain.

B. He thought the bill went too far.

C. He opposed the bill.

D. He attempted to amend the bill.

2. According to Macaulay, what was the main purpose of the bill?

A. The adoption of a constitution for Great Britain

B. The enfranchisement of the middle class

C. The enfranchisement of the working class

D. The creation of democracy in Great Britain

3. Based on the passage and your knowledge of European History, who would be most likely to oppose the bill on the grounds that it was too limited in its scope?

A. A liberal lawyer

B. A radical factory worker

C. A conservative aristocrat

D. A moderate merchant

Chapter Question (Comparison)


4. Briefly explain TWO similarities and ONE difference between the unifications of Italy and Germany.

Answers and Explanations

1. A is correct because the passage states Macaulay’s belief that the bill was “skillfully framed” for “the reconciling and knitting together of all the orders of the State.” B is incorrect because the passage contains no notion that the bill went too far. C is incorrect because the passage states that he would not express an opinion on whether it should be passed. D is incorrect because the passage makes no mention of an amendment.

2. B is correct because, in the passage, Macaulay states that he understands the framing principle of the bill is “to admit the middle class to a large and direct share in the representation.” A is incorrect because the passage makes no mention of creating a constitution for Great Britain. C is incorrect because the passage makes no mention of the working class. D is incorrect because the passage makes no mention of democracy and because the Reform Bill enfranchised only the middle class.

3. B is the correct answer. The passage indicates reform is limited to the middle classes, a liberal position which would exclude a radical factory worker. Both A and D would likely be supporters as they would be members of the middle class, and thus both liberal and likely beneficiaries of the policy. C is incorrect as a conservative aristocrat, though likely to oppose the policy, would probably do so on the grounds that it was too generous, not too restrictive.

4. Suggested answer:

Thesis: The unifications of Italy and Germany were similar in two ways: (1) Both had to overcome significant economic and cultural differences between the north and the south; (2) Both were achieved by, and in the interests of, the aristocratic class. The unifications of Italy and Germany differed in that a genuine class revolt contributed to the unification process only in Italy.

Paragraph Outline:

I. Italy: The northern areas of the peninsula were more industrialized and well developed economically than the still largely rural and agricultural areas of the south; culturally, the people of the more developed northern region felt little connection to the poor people in the south. Extensive use of dialects throughout Italy also hampered unity.

Germany: significant cultural barriers existed between the rural, conservative, Protestant north and the urban, liberal, Catholic south; economically, the powerful influence of Habsburg Austria, which controlled or influenced a large portion of the German Confederation.

II. Italian unification was achieved through the efforts of Count Camillo Benso di Cavour, a conservative aristocrat who united Italy in order to create a constitutional monarchy under Victor Emmanuel II, king of Piedmont-Sardinia. German unification was achieved by Otto von Bismarck, a conservative aristocrat who united Germany under William I, king of Prussia.

III. The southern part of the Italian peninsula was originally unified by the efforts of Giuseppe Garibaldi, a Romantic nationalist who had been an early supporter of Mazzini. The southern movement was a genuine revolt of the masses, rather than the political maneuverings of a single kingdom. Garibaldi hoped to establish an Italian republic that would respect the rights of individuals and improve the lot of peasants and workers, but capitulated when given a choice by Cavour between the fulfillment of Italian unification or civil war.

Rapid Review


In the nineteenth century, increased political participation by the masses supported the growth of nationalist ideology and feeling. The failure of the revolutions of 1848 broke the fragile alliance between liberalism and nationalism. Accordingly, the unifications of Italy and Germany were achieved by and for the conservative aristocracy. Meanwhile, the Habsburg Empire was plagued by a nationalities problem and became Austria-Hungary in 1867. France’s defeat led to the fall of the Second Empire in France, and Alexander II turned Russia into a police state. In Great Britain, mass politics provided the impetus for a series of reform bills that would make the country the most democratic of European societies in the nineteenth century.

Further Resources

John Fowles, The French Lieutenant’s Woman—Victorian Era

(Made into a film in 1981)