What is the difference between the “princely nationality of aristocracies or royal races” and “the nationality of the peoples,” according to Mazzini? How is his concept of “the social”related to nationalization? 

THIS WEEK: SOMETHING DIFFERENT Please locate an image (artwork, political cartoon, etc.) from the era between 1848 and 1871 to include with your reply. In other words, find visual representation of the topic in your answer or an image from the era that represents nationalism related to your answer. Let’s spice up our text-based answers a bit.

You should be able to add an attachment in your reply. If you can’t do that, try to add a link to an image. (Please post safe links, no explicit or otherwise off topic images or links allowed!) Provide a short caption of the image so we know how it applies. The caption does not have to be attached to the image, but it can be if you want to do it that way. Feel free to be creative, or not. 🙂 If you are unable to do this portion of the assignment for technical reasons, please let me know over email.


1) From Carl Shurz “Reminiscences”

Carl Shurz was a young German excited by the revolutionary spirit of 1848. Describe his desires for Germany, and identify his expressions of nationalism. What did he participate in to promote German nationalism?

2) From Giuseppe Mazzini, “Europe: Its Condition and Prospects”

What is the difference between the “princely nationality of aristocracies or royal races” and “the nationality of the peoples,” according to Mazzini? How is his concept of “the social”related to nationalization?

3)From Sándor Petőfi (1823-1849)The National Song of Hungary, 1848.

The third stanza of the song says: “A miserable wretch is he / Who fears to die, my land for thee! / His worthless life who thinks to be / Worth more than thou, sweet liberty!” How would you interpret these words? Is there a connection between this and Robespierre’s essay “On the Principles of Government” from 1793?

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Week 5: Nations and Nationalisms

Giuseppe Mazzini (1805-1872)

The founder of Young Italy (1831) was perhaps the leading figure in liberal nationalism. He saw

the creation of a democratic Italian state as crucial to Italy’s development.

Europe no longer possesses unity of faith, of mission, or of aim. Such unity is a necessity in the

world. Here, then, is the secret of the crisis. It is the duty of every one to examine and analyse

calmly and carefully the probable elements of this new unity. But those who persist in

perpetuating, by violence or by Jesuitical compromise, the external observance of the old unity,

only perpetuate the crisis, and render its issue more violent.

There are in Europe two great questions; or, rather, the question of the transformation of

authority, that is to say, of the Revolution, has assumed two forms; the question which all have

agreed to call social, and the question of nationalities. The first is more exclusively agitated in

France, the second in the heart of the other peoples of Europe. I say, which all have

agreed to call social, because, generally speaking, every great revolution is so far social, that it

cannot be accomplished either in the religious, political, or any other sphere, without affecting

social relations, the sources and the distribution of wealth; but that which is only a secondary

consequence in political revolutions is now the cause and the banner of the movement in France.

The question there is now, above all, to establish better relations between labour and capital,

between production and consumption, between the workman and the employer.

It is probable that the European initiative, that which will give a new impulse to intelligence and

to events, will spring from the question of nationalities. The social question may, in effect,

although with difficulty, be partly resolved by a single people; it is an internal question for each,

and the French Republicans of 1848 so understood it, when, determinately abandoning the

European initiative, they placed Lamartine’s [Note: A French poet and politician] manifesto by

the side of their aspirations towards the organisation of labour. The question of nationality can

only be resolved by destroying the treaties of 1815, and changing the map of Europe and its

public Law. The question of Nationalities, rightly understood, is the Alliance of the Peoples; the

balance of powers based upon new foundations; the organisation of the work that Europe has to


. . .

It was not for a material interest that the people of Vienna fought in 1848; in weakening the

empire they could only lose power. It was not for an increase of wealth that the people of

Lombardy fought in the same year; the Austrian Government had endeavoured in the year

preceding to excite the peasants against the landed proprietors, as they had done in Gallicia; but

everywhere they had failed. They struggled, they still struggle, as do Poland, Germany, and

Hungary, for country and liberty; for a word inscribed upon a banner, proclaiming to the world

that they also live, think, love, and labour for the benefit of all. They speak the same language,

they bear about them the impress of consanguinity, they kneel beside the same tombs, they glory

in the same tradition; and they demand to associate freely, without obstacles, without foreign


domination, in order to elaborate and express their idea; to contribute their stone also to the great

pyramid of history. It is something moral which they are seeking; and this moral something is in

fact, even politically speaking, the most important question in the present state of things. It is the

organisation of the European task. It is no longer the savage, hostile, quarrelsome nationality of

two hundred years ago which is invoked by these peoples. The nationality . . . founded upon the

following principle:-Whichever people, by its superiority of strength, and by its geographical

position, can do us an injury, is our natural enemy; whichever cannot do us an injury, but can by

the amount of its force and by its position injure our enemy, is our natural ally, -is the princely

nationality of aristocracies or royal races. The nationality of the peoples has not these dangers; it

can only be founded by a common effort and a common movement; sympathy and alliance will

be its result. In principle, as in the ideas formerly laid down by the men influencing every

national party, nationality ought only to be to humanity that which the division of labour is in a

workshop-the recognised symbol of association; the assertion of the individuality of a human

group called by its geographical position, its traditions, and its language, to fulfil a special

function in the European work of civilisation.

The map of Europe has to be remade. This is the key to the present movement; herein lies the

initiative. Before acting, the instrument for action must be organized; before building, the ground

must be one’s own. The social idea cannot be realised under any form whatsoever before this

reorganisation of Europe is effected; before the peoples are free to interrogate themselves; to

express their vocation, and to assure its accomplishment by an alliance capable of substituting

itself for the absolutist league which now reigns supreme.

Giuseppe Mazzini, “Europe: Its Condition and Prospects,” Essays: Selected from the Writings,

Literary, Political and Religious of Joseph Mazzini, ed. William Clark (London: Walter Scott,

1880), pp. 266, 27778, 29192.

Sándor Petőfi (1823-1849)

The National Song of Hungary, 1848

RISE, Magyar! is the country’s call!

The time has come, say one and all:

Shall we be slaves, shall we be free?

This is the question, now agree!

For by the Magyar’s God above

We truly swear,

We truly swear the tyrant’s yoke

No more to bear!

Alas! till now we were but slaves;

Our fathers resting in their graves


Sleep not in freedom’s soil. In vain

They fought and died free homes to gain.

But by the Magyar’s God above

We truly swear,

We truly swear the tyrant’s yoke

No more to bear!

A miserable wretch is he

Who fears to die, my land, for thee!

His worthless life who thinks to be

Worth more than thou, sweet liberty!

Now by the Magyar’s God above

We truly swear,

We truly swear the tyrant’s yoke

No more to bear!

The sword is brighter than the chain,

Men cannot nobler gems attain;

And yet the chain we wore, oh, shame!

Unsheath the sword of ancient fame!

For by the Magyar’s God above

We truly swear,

We truly swear the tyrant’s yoke

No more to bear!

The Magyar’s name will soon once more

Be honored as it was before!

The shame and dust of ages past

Our valor shall wipe out at last.

For by the Magyar’s God above

We truly swear,

We truly swear the tyrant’s yoke

No more to bear!

And where our graves in verdure rise,

Our children’s children to the skies

Shall speak the grateful joy they feel,

And bless our names the while they kneel.

For by the Magyar’s God above

We truly swear,

We truly swear the tyrant’s yoke

No more to bear!


Carl Schurz (1829-1906)


One morning, toward the end of February 1848, I sat quietly in my attic chamber, working hard

at my tragedy of Ulrich von Hutten, when suddenly a friend rushed breathlessly into the room,

exclaiming: “What, you sitting here! Do you not know what has happened?”

“No; what?”

“The French have driven away Louis Philippe and proclaimed the Republic!”

I threw down my pen—and that was the end of Ulrich von Hutten. I never touched the

manuscript again. We tore down the stair, into the street, to the market square, the accustomed

meeting place for all the student societies after their midday dinner. Although it was still

forenoon, the market was already crowded with young men talking excitedly. There was no

shouting, no noise, only agitated conversation. What did we want there? This probably no one

knew. But since the French had driven away Louis Philippe and proclaimed the republic,

something of course must happen here, too. Some of the students had brought their rapiers along,

as if it were necessary to make an attack or to defend themselves. We were dominated by a

vague feeling as if a great outbreak of elemental forces had begun, as if an earthquake was

impending of which we had felt the first shock, and we instinctively crowded together. Thus we

wandered about in numerous bands—to the Kneipe, where our restlessness, however, would not

suffer us long to stay; then to other pleasure resorts, where we fell into conversation with all

manner of strangers, to find in them the same confused, astonished, and expectant state of mind;

then back to the market square, to see what might be going on there; then again somewhere else,

without aim and end, until finally late in the night fatigue compelled us to find the way home….

now we had something more important to do—to devote ourselves to the affairs of the

fatherland. And this we did by seeking again as quickly as possible the company of our friends,

in order to discuss what had happened and what was to come. In these conversations, excited as

they were, certain ideas and catchwords worked themselves to the surface, which expressed more

or less the feelings of the people. Now had arrived in Germany the day for the establishment of

“German Unity,” and the founding of a great, powerful, national German empire. First in line the

convocation of a national parliament. Then the demands for civil rights and liberties, free speech,

free press, the right of free assembly, equality before the law, a freely elected representation of

the people with legislative power, responsibility of ministers, self-government of the communes,

the right of the people to carry arms, the formation of a civic guard with elective officers and so

on—in short, that which was called a “Constitutional form of government on a broad democratic


Republican ideas were at first only sparingly expressed. But the word democracy was soon on all

tongues, and many, too, thought it a matter of course that if the princes should try to withhold

from the people the rights and liberties demanded, force would take the place of mere petition.

Of course the regeneration of the country must, if possible, be accomplished by peaceable

means. A few days after the outbreak of this commotion I reached my nineteenth birthday. I


remember to have been so entirely absorbed by what was happening that I could hardly turn my

thoughts to anything else. Like many of my friends, I was dominated by the feeling that at last

the great opportunity had arrived for giving to the German people the liberty which was their

birthright and to the German fatherland its unity and greatness, and that it was now the first duty

of every German to do and to sacrifice everything for this sacred object. We were profoundly,

solemnly, in earnest.

Great news came from Vienna! There the students of the university were the first to assail the

Emperor of Austria with the cry for liberty and citizens’ rights. Blood flowed in the streets, and

the downfall of Prince Metternich was the result. The students organized themselves as the

armed guard of liberty. In the great cities of Prussia there was a mighty commotion. Not only

Cologne, Coblenz, and Trier, but also Breslau, Königsberg, and Frankfurt-am-der-Oder, sent

deputations to Berlin to entreat the king. In the Prussian capital the masses surged upon the

streets, and everybody looked for events of great import.

While such tidings rushed in upon us from all sides like a roaring hurricane, we in the little

university town of Bonn were also busy preparing addresses to the sovereign, to circulate them

for signature, and to send them to Berlin. On the 18th of March we too had our mass

demonstration. A great multitude gathered for a solemn procession through the streets of the

town. The most respectable citizens, not a few professors, and a great number of students and

people of all grades marched in close ranks. At the head of the procession Professor Kunkel bore

the tricolor—black, red, and gold—which so long had been prohibited as the revolutionary flag.

Arrived in the market square, he mounted the steps of the city hall and spoke to the assembled

throng. He spoke with wonderful eloquence, his voice ringing out in its most powerful tones as

he depicted a resurrection of German unity and greatness and new liberties and rights of the

German people, which now must be conceded by the princes or won by force by the people. And

when at last he waved the black-red-gold banner, and predicted to a free German nation a

magnificent future, enthusiasm without bounds broke forth. People clapped their hands; they

shouted; they embraced one another; they shed tears. In a moment the city was covered with

black, red, and gold flags, and not only the Burschenschaft, but almost everybody wore a black-

red-gold cockade on his hat.