The years round about 1830 were momentous for the progress of a cause little regarded in 1815, the cause of nationality. About the same time the word ‘nationality’ was first used as a term with a special political significance. It was accepted by the Academie Francaise in 1835. In 1834 a Russian, Pletkov, spoke of it (Narodnost) as a new word of unclear meaning; it was rapidly becoming current in Czech and Italian and had for some time been known in Germany (Nationalitat or Volkstum) and England. To define it was not easy. In the ’sixties the Frenchman Buchez commented that the word had had a prodigious success, although people did not know whence it came and perhaps because they did not know what it meant. And he added ‘It means not only the nation, but also the something in virtue of which a nation continues to exist even when it has lost its autonomy’. Political scientists have since essayed elaborate definitions, but it may well be that Buchez’s vague formula is as good as any and that it was precisely because of its vagueness that the word had become so popular: ‘Each theorist, each party, each country was able to read into it what it wished, what justified its own aspirations.’ For liberals it implied liberty and a degree of popular sovereignty—thus Mazzini could speak of ‘the progressive principle which constitutes British nationality’; for conservatives the maintenance of native traditions and an established order of society; for others a community spiritually bound by a common heritage of language and culture or one linked by bonds of blood or a special relationship to a homeland. Some saw in the movement of nationalities a step towards universal brotherhood, while others gave their allegiance to the nation-state as a supreme and final entity. The dominant emphasis might vary from decade to decade and from East to West; but, whatever it was, here was a word which quickly became charged with emotional content and, with its fellows ‘nation’ and ‘nationalism’, connoted a dynamic force of immense potentiality.
Already by 1830 the cause of nationality was fully equipped. Philologists and historians, poets and journalists, had played their part in rekindling the national spirit of Greek and Serb. Exiles, voluntary or perforce, had quickened the Philhellenism or pro-Belgian feeling of Frenchmen and Englishmen. The symbols, so potent in rousing popular enthusiasm, needed only to be adapted from the armoury of the French Revolution—the tricolour, the national song or anthem, the national costume, the national festivals, the National Guards. The fundamental concepts underlying the cause, the attributes which helped to give it its appeal, had almost all been worked out or invented by the pioneers of nationalist thought or action in the later-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries. In the years 1830-70 they were reiterated and diffused with such effect as to transform political thinking and to remould the European map. A tenet largely unacceptable to the ruling circles of 1815 was widely held or had to be reckoned with in 1860. A leading English political writer, John Stuart Mill, could then declare that it was ‘in general a necessary condition of free institutions that the boundaries of governments should coincide in the main with those of nationalities’. By 1862 Lord Acton could describe the theory of nationality as the most attractive of subversive theories at the present time ‘and the richest in promise of future power’. By 1871 that power had been demonstrated in the unification of Italy and Germany.
The successes of nationality achieved by the early ’thirties had modified the distribution of sovereignty, thereby infringing two important principles, the sanctity of the treaties of 1815 and the integrity of the Ottoman empire. But the breaches were limited, the principles were still adhered to in the main by the great powers concerned and the Concert of Europe still subsisted (see ch. X). The story of the Serbians, the Roumanians and the Greeks had demonstrated that no subject nationality was likely to win political freedom unaided; while that of Greece and Belgium, areas of particular strategic importance, had shown that frontiers would still be determined primarily by the interests of the great powers. Much then would depend on how far a power or group of powers would further the efforts of nations struggling to be free.
By 1832 the outlook was unpromising. England’s intervention in Belgium had been governed by fear of French expansion, and her intervention in Greece had aimed to check Russia as much as to champion the Greeks. That aim once achieved, she preferred narrowly to restrict the infant Greek kingdom and to keep the remainder of Turkey-in-Europe intact. Thus Greek patriots were unsatisfied and dreamed for decades of liberating the Greeks beyond the frontiers and of the ‘Great Idea’ of reviving a Greek empire at Constantinople. But it was not ideological sympathy that moved British governments. Although her institutions became more liberal after 1832 and she was increasingly looked to as an ensample and champion of liberalism, England’s main principles of foreign policy continued to be the preservation of peace, existing treaties, and the balance of power (see ch. X, p. 267).
The events of 1830-1 showed also that little could be expected of Russia. So long as her conservatism buttressed that of Prussia and Austria, so long as she deprived the Poles of such liberties as they had enjoyed in the Congress Kingdom, so long might Russia seem to nationalists throughout Europe to be a formidable adversary. Yet such a view was susceptible to qualification. She had aided the Greeks and the Serbs as a protector of co-religionists and to further her designs on Turkey. Much might depend on whether Russia was satisfied with her gains by the Treaty of Adrianople in 1829, or whether she wished to proceed with the break-up of Turkey-in-Europe.
It was, however, above all to France that liberals and nationalists had looked in 1830-1. But their hopes that France would once again take up the sword as an emancipator of oppressed peoples were disappointed. Louis Philippe and his advisers well knew that she was unfit to go crusading or to face a new European coalition. The ‘historic’ subject nationalities thus had little to hope for from governments: still less could the little-known, forgotten, ‘unhistoric’ peoples expect their claims to be countenanced. They must all prepare to work out their own salvation.
This was what their leaders sought to do, and not without optimism, which was encouraged by the intellectual climate of the western liberal countries and perhaps by the diagnosis of shrewd observers that Austria, the chief obstacle, the great multi-national state, was but a colossus with feet of clay. Already in 1831 Victor Hugo had declared that everywhere there could be heard ‘the dull sound of revolution,...pushing out under every kingdom its subterranean galleries from the central shaft which is in Paris’. Whatever the attitude of their governments, such cities as London, Brussels, Berne, Zurich, Geneva, and above all Paris, served as nurseries of nationalism in the years before 1848. It was in London that Mazzini, par excellence ‘the Italian in England’, spent the larger part of his long exile. It was in Paris that the great Polish poet Adam Mickiewicz lectured and wrote. It was to Paris that rich Roumanian boyars sent their sons. These cities of the West gave asylum to refugees from many lands, Germans, Italians, and above all Poles, and their relative freedom of press and association provided admirable opportunities for propaganda. Thus Paris was an international capital, and the sympathies of large-hearted men and women in many countries, the meeting of exile with exile, the comings and goings of refugees and the founding of newspapers and associations gave the nationalism of the ’thirties and ’forties a strong cosmopolitan flavour.
Nor were these cities passive hosts. ‘Friends of Poland’ and ‘Friends of Italy’ followed on the Philhellenes of the ’twenties. Literary figures such as Michelet and Browning, Quinet and Swinburne were won for the cause of nationalities, or at least of some particular nation. Moreover, literature itself was a powerful inspiration. French writers in particular combined literary power with political appeal. Lamennais’ Paroles d'un croyant (1833-4), with its fervent denunciation of the ‘oppressors of the nations’, went through many editions, and Lamartine’s Histoire des Girondins (1847) was read as eagerly in Dublin, Athens, Budapest and Bucharest as it was in Paris. In this sense France seemed to be cast for the role of ‘mediator and interpreter among the nations’. Moreover, her dead and living prophets were such that many still believed she would again become the great liberator. Small wonder that the Russian Herzen recalled how he entered Paris ‘with reverence, as men used to enter Jerusalem and Rome’. Small wonder that in 1848 expectation rose to fever-pitch and that the Second French Republic was immediately invested with the character of a romantic and fearless crusader.
But the view of Paris as the Mecca of exiles and of France as the only true paladin must be qualified. There were Italians who distrusted their neighbour and Germans who reacted violently against her. Moreover, the studies of German scholars, above all of Herder (1744-1803), had given an impetus to a linguistic nationalism, not necessarily associated with liberalism, whose effect was far-reaching in central and eastern Europe (cf. ch. XV, p. 391). Herder had also initiated the idea of ‘Volkstum’ or folk-nation, an organic historical group, which replaced the traditional concept of the state, and this idea was developed by influential writers of the nineteenth century. Through their influence and the prestige of her universities Germany came to be a rival centre of attraction, and the men who fell under their spell tended to think of nationality in terms of language and power rather than of community of purpose and free institutions.
Such are some of the more conspicuous features in the background to the movement of nationalities in the ’thirties and ’forties. In the foreground, nationalism as a mood is widely discernible. It may be seen in the nation-state with a long history, such as France; in the nation-state newly emerged, such as Belgium; in the loose federations—such as Germany and Switzerland—which aspired to closer union; in the historic temporarily subject nations, such as Poland; and even among those which were only beginning to recapture a lost cultural heritage.
In Great Britain it would be difficult to speak of a nationalist ‘movement ’. Such nationalism as existed manifested itself in a continued insular pride, in dislike of the traditional foe notwithstanding the ententes or alliances of the days of Louis-Philippe and Napoleon HI, in the popularity of Lord Palmerston, in the activities of individuals who promoted colonial expansion and settlement despite the Little Englandism of Whitehall, and in the egoism of Irish landlords and of increasingly powerful and wealthy industrial and commercial interests. But the British government had real nationalist ‘movements’ to contend with in Ireland, whose wrongs had moved Hugo and were likened to their own by the Czechs.
The Act of Union of 1801 abolishing the Dublin parliament and giving Ireland representation at Westminster had proved a bitter disappointment, since Irish interests were still subordinated to English. Eventually, in 1840, Daniel O’Connell, ‘the Liberator’ of the Catholic emancipation struggle, decided to revive agitation for repeal of the act and founded what was soon called the Loyal National Repeal Association. Two years later some young lawyers, the nucleus of what became a ‘Young Ireland’ party, independently founded The Nation, a weekly, which aimed ‘above all, to direct the popular mind and the sympathies of educated men of all parties to the great end of Nationality... which will not only raise our people from their poverty, by securing to them the blessings of a Domestic Legislature, but inflame and purify them with a lofty and heroic love of country—a Nationality of the spirit as well as of the letter’. For men such as John Pigot, one of the youngest of the group, ‘this matter of nationality’ was, as he wrote in 1847, ‘a sacred religion; and I mean the word in its highest sense’. At first welcome and unexpected allies for O’Connell, they eventually broke with a repeal association which had deteriorated in the hands of his son, and founded a new organisation, the Irish Confederation, in 1847. But it split upon policy, whether to act constitutionally or by violence, and endured for only eighteen months. In 1848, when revolution in France encouraged even the more cautious to urge their supporters to arm and drill and to plan their own uprising, the government naturally took stringent measures. Extra troops were sent over; John Mitchel, a foremost advocate of insurrection, was tried for sedition and condemned to deportation; and in July the Habeas Corpus Act was suspended. These events provoked the conspirators into premature action which ended in fiasco. It was hoped to base a widespread insurrection upon Kilkenny and Tipperary, to hoist the green banner and declare an Irish Republic; but the rebel troops were unready and few responded to the call. In fact Young Ireland, like so many other movements which attained notoriety in 1848, was the work of intellectuals, ill-prepared and ill-organised. Unsupported by the influential hierarchy, these men had little touch with the mass of hunger-stricken peasantry, to whom subsistence and religion mattered more than politics. As one of them confessed, ‘The Confederates know no more of Ireland than the Cockneys do’.
For a while after this debacle the country was ‘deader than at any period since 1800’. But the men of 1848 did not abandon hope. After a decade they renewed their activities, and from the United States, or in Ireland itself, began in 1858 to organise the Irish Republican Brotherhood or Fenians, a secret society which aimed at reverting to Wolfe Tone’s methods of well-prepared conspiracy in order to destroy British rule by force. This was, in keeping with most nationalist endeavours of the ’fifties and ’sixties, a more realistic design than the 1848 plan of carrying the country on a wave of enthusiasm: but it was mis-timed. The Fenians came too late to exploit Great Britain’s embarrassments during the Crimean War and the Indian Mutiny. Their outrages advertised their cause and induced Gladstone to conciliate Irish opinion by disestablishing the Irish church (see ch. IV, pp. 100-1), but they hardly shook British rule. Indeed, until the rise of Sinn Fein, perhaps the most important aspect of Irish nationalism lay in the great transatlantic emigration which had begun in the ’thirties and which attained huge proportions in the ’forties and ’fifties. The Irish nationalists concentrated in the United States were a more massive political force than the Poles of the Polish Great Emigration dispersed through many countries of Europe. They strengthened existing anti-British feeling in the U.S.A. and their money and sympathy provided nationalists in Ireland with powerful backing. The U.S.A. replaced France as the land to which such Irishmen looked for inspiration and aid.
In France the nationalism of the mid-century, bom of defeat and the wish to continue to play the part of a great nation, manifested itself in periodic xenophobia and in the recurrent desire for the overthrow of the 1815 treaties and for a vigorous foreign policy (see chs. x and XVII). In these years it was still part of the revolutionary tradition and its main standard-bearers were men of the left who regarded themselves as the true heirs of the great revolution. But, self-contained within frontiers which were largely natural, envied by Treitschke because she had neither an Ireland nor a Poland, France was little affected by ambitions to link up with supposedly kindred nationalities. Michelet might wish her to collaborate especially with her Latin ‘sisters’, Italy and Spain, and kinship of language and culture may have been a powerful argument in support of French designs on Belgium or for assisting the Roumanians, but there was no Pan-Gallicism and all that Latin co-operation produced was the Latin Monetary Union of 1865. Vocal though they might be, French nationalists affected policy but little before 1848.
In the lesser states of northern and western Europe nationalism also acquired significance. Among the Scandinavian peoples the study of folk-lore, history, and philology, made each more conscious of its distinctness from the others. It fostered a more sturdy national consciousness, especially among Norwegians and Danes. In Norway, although this was almost wholly linguistic and literary in expression, it was a necessary prelude to eventual political separation from Sweden. In Denmark, the chief sufferer in the Napoleonic wars, it stimulated a vigorous response to a new challenge. Denmark had lost Norway to Sweden. She now found her hold over Schleswig and Holstein menaced by the penetration of nationalist German influences. Her reaction to the danger was closely bound to the desire to end absolutism, and this raised delicate constitutional issues.
Schleswig and Holstein were, according to Royal Letters Patent of 1846, independent states having nothing in common with Denmark except the person of their sovereign, who was duke in each. Holstein, the southernmost, was a member of the Germanic confederation and its people were almost wholly German. Schleswig, with its considerable Danish, mainly peasant, population, had for so long been linked to the Danish crown that emotionally the Danes regarded it as an indissoluble part of their inheritance. An incident in 1842, when a deputy was evicted from the Schleswig Estates for insisting upon his right to address them in Danish, deeply stirred Danish opinion. In the next two years several associations were founded for the defence of Danish interests, and the Danish liberals became a National Liberal party which pressed for the incorporation of Schleswig in Denmark. They triumphed in 1848: a new king, Frederick VII, was persuaded to abolish absolutism and the news of the February Revolution in Paris, arousing nationalist enthusiasm in Copenhagen still further —‘Denmark to the Eider’ (the river boundary between Schleswig and Holstein) was the slogan of the day—led to the formation of a new radical and nationalist ministry which declared that Schleswig would be united with Denmark by a common liberal constitution. The German majorities in the Estates of the duchies immediately retorted by declaring them independent and requesting their formal admission into the Germanic confederation. The Frankfurt Assembly met this request and asked Prussia to send troops to their support: thus Denmark’s Liberal Nationalists involved their country in a war which lasted intermittently for nearly three years and was ended only by the intervention of the great powers (ch. X, p. 265). The Treaty of London of 1852 marked a return to something like the status quo: the integrity of the Danish monarchy was reaffirmed, the special position of the duchies was recognised, and the vexed question of the succession to the reigning duke (for Frederick VII had no heir and the duchies were subject to Salic law) appeared to have been satisfactorily settled.
But this compromise pleased neither Danish nor German nationalists. Before long tension revived and in 1863 the Danes, who had consistently rejected proposals that the frontier should be determined by plebiscite, attempted to effect that closer union with Schleswig which they had failed to achieve in 1848. Once again a new king, Christian IX, was forced to approve a new constitution which separated Schleswig from Holstein and bound it more nearly to Denmark. Once again German reactions were violent, and this time the cards were so cunningly played by Bismarck as eventually to secure both duchies for Prussia. This time there was no effective outside intervention because the western powers could not agree upon any effective common action (see ch. XIX). The tenacity of Denmark’s nationalists had thus brought nemesis upon her: the Prussian government ignored the provision for a plebiscite made in the Treaty of Prague (1866) and she lost both duchies in perpetuity except for northern Schleswig, which she recovered when at long last a plebiscite was held in 1920.
The war of 1864 also tested the reality of the wider northern nationalism known as Scandinavianism or the Pan-Scandinavian movement. Although the Romantic movement had made Norwegians, Danes, and Swedes more conscious of their differences, a number of intellectuals had emphasised the broad similarities of history, tradition, and culture, and suggested that closer intellectual interchanges and political friendship would enable the North to play a greater part in Europe. Scandinavianism was the consequence, in some sense a retort, albeit a feeble one, to Pan-Germanism and Pan-Slavism. It had a strong appeal to students in all the Scandinavian universities, and to the National Liberals in Denmark, and the notion of Scandinavian solidarity was sufficiently compelling for 5000 Swedish troops to be sent to protect the Danish island of Funen in 1848. But Russia frowned on any idea of wider co-operation and Scandinavianism never obtained any firm hold in Sweden or Norway. In 1863-4 the Swedish king, Charles XV, who sympathised with it, was eager to help Denmark, but his government made so many conditions that in the end nothing was done. And the number of Swedes and Norwegians who volunteered to fight for the Danes was significantly small. ‘The Scandinavian movement burst like a soap bubble. It had been difficult to maintain the union already existing between Sweden and Norway; still less could there be any reasonable hope of extending it.’
In the Netherlands the situation differed in many ways. Although Pan-Germans cast covetous eyes on Holland, there was no debatable territory such as the duchies to cause a Dutch-German problem, and the main linguistic issue which developed was one internal to Belgium. But there was a certain broad similarity in that nationalist feeling was at its peak in Holland and Belgium, just as in Denmark and the duchies, immediately before and after the breach which finally separated them.
In Holland the Dutch had shared their king’s resentment at the Treaty of XVIII Articles and had supported him when he had thrown his army into the balance in order to obtain more equitable terms of separation from Belgium. But when he persistently refused to recognise the modified territorial settlement prescribed by the Treaty of XXIV Articles of November 1831, although it was more favourable to Holland, and although the great powers were resolved to maintain it, his subjects began to weary of a policy which kept considerable forces under arms and involved heavy taxation. By 1839, when at last he accepted the treaty, such nationalism as existed found vent not so much in denunciation of Belgium as in demands for constitutional revision which would give the elected representatives of the people a greater share in the direction of policy.
The Belgians, on the other hand, aggrieved by the Treaty of XXIV Articles, had protested vigorously against the loss of East Limburg, Maestricht and what had become the new Grand Duchy of Luxemburg. In 1839, when the Belgian Chamber was called upon to ratify the agreement, the representatives of the surrendered territories recorded their opposition in moving terms which anticipated those of the deputies of Alsace and Lorraine in 1871. For a while a nationalism of an irredentist character continued to exist. But before long most Belgians accepted the inevitable consequences of the determination of the great powers, the danger of invasion, and the restrictions upon an adventurous foreign policy imposed by a condition of guaranteed neutrality. For the surrendered populations this was the easier because the Dutch and Luxemburg administrations were mild, while in Belgium national pride found compensation in the development of free institutions, and in the rapid growth of industrial and economic power (see ch. II and p. 191).
Within Belgium, however, a separate problem arose which was in part a legacy of the Dutch connection, in part a product of the Romantic impetus given to linguistic and historical studies. Whereas French had long been the dominant tongue, William I had insisted on making Dutch the official language. At the same time a linguistic and literary movement had begun among the Flemings of which Jan Frans Willems (1793-1846) was the protagonist. Poet, philologist and publicist, he assiduously proclaimed the greatness of the Flemish language and literature and inspired a small but devoted band of disciples. Once launched, the movement grew, aided by many popular writers in the ’thirties and ’forties. The Flemish lion from the shield of the counts of Flanders was adopted as ‘the symbol of the Flemish government’ and a new patriotic song, ‘The Lion of Flanders’ was widely sung. When Hendrik Conscience (1812-83) prefaced the first edition of his Lion of Flanders (1839), with the words: ‘There are twice as many Flemings as there are Walloons. We pay twice as much in taxes as they do. And they want to make Walloons out of us, to sacrifice us, our old race, our language, our splendid history, and all that we have inherited from our forefathers’, the possibility of political implications became clear. It was not, however, until 1856 that the government appointed a commission to inquire into the ‘Flamingants’ grievances. Its recommendations were so sympathetic to them that they served as their platform for years to come. They urged that Flemish should be used in all business between the Flemish provinces and the central government, in the schools in Flanders, in Ghent university, and in the law-courts upon the request of a defendant. They proposed that a Flemish Academy should be created to protect Flemish culture, and that the army should be divided into Flemish-and French-speaking regiments. In spite of such findings, however, political opinion was not much stirred: the Liberals who were in power most of the time before 1870 had little sympathy for the ‘Flamingants’ and saw no need to make concessions. The movement remained primarily intellectual without any specific political organisation of its own. Its leaders aimed, not at separatism, but at making Belgium into a bilingual state, urging that national unity did not depend upon unity of speech. In this they might well cite the arresting example of Switzerland.
Switzerland, to be sure, before 1848 had a national problem so grave that it could be resolved only at the price of civil war; but it was not provoked or exacerbated by any rivalry of languages within or without. Pan-Germans might lay claim to German-speaking Switzerland as well as to Holland and Denmark, and individual German-Swiss might feel the pull of Germany, but there was no practical dilemma of colliding nationalisms as in Schleswig. The Swiss national movement was an attempt to solve the problem of the political and economic structure of the state, and it was embittered by confusion with a religious conflict. Essentially it was concerned with an internal question, though neighbouring great powers sought to intervene.
The Diet and Vorort created by the Federal Pact of 1815 had, like the Diet of the Germanic Confederation, proved cumbersome and ill-fitted to prevent either foreign interference or domestic obstruction from particularist interests. These, indeed, were dominant; and the cantons’ jealousy for their own political sovereignty was matched only by the almost medieval chaos of the country’s economic arrangements, its coinage, weights and measures, customs, tolls and postal services. Swiss nationalists, then, like German, sought a more effective central government and a more rational and unified economic system, better fitted to the needs of a country in which industrialisation was beginning to make rapid strides. The effervescence of 1830-1, which had led several cantons to adopt liberal institutions, encouraged the liberal-nationalists and radicals to campaign for a revision of the Federal Pact and the conversion of the federation of states (Staatenbund) into a federal state (Bundesstaat) on liberal fines. The revisionist proposals in the early ’thirties were, however, frowned on by Mettemich, and bitterly opposed by the more conservative, predominantly Catholic and rural, cantons. In consequence they came to nothing. But vigorous party strife continued, and the radicals spread their ideas both through the press and at the shooting festivals which they organised.
A crisis arose in 1844 when the Great Council of Lucerne decided to entrust the direction of the canton’s higher education to the Jesuits. Although it was acting within its rights its decision looked like a provocative retort to earlier anti-clerical measures in Aargau. Such conduct by a leading canton could not, in the tension of the time, remain a purely cantonal issue, and what had originally been a quarrel between disbelievers and Ultramontanes turned into a nation-wide struggle in which eventually (1845) the seven Catholic cantons formed a defensive league or Sonderbund, while the anti-Jesuit movement led to election victories which gave the radicals an absolute majority in the Diet. Thereupon the radicals were eager to fulfil their programme. A majority of the Diet, representing over 80 per cent of the population and over 90 per cent of its wealth, was induced to vote both for the dissolution of the Sonderbund, on the grounds that it contravened the Federal Pact, and for the revision of the pact itself. When the Sonderbund refused to disband, civil war resulted. Once again Metternich and his conservative friends were eager to intervene, but the radical victory was so swift and thorough—the war lasted less than a month—that their desires were frustrated. The government of the Confederation pointed out that the powers had no legal right to mediate or to prevent Switzerland from amending her constitution as she thought fit. As has been said of one of the Swiss notes, ‘there was a new tone of self-reliance in the document’; in ‘foreign policy the Sonderbund War meant Switzerland’s final release from tutelage, and complete national independence’. The military triumph of the nationalists in 1847 made possible the Federal constitution of 1848. This established a more unified state with a permanent executive, which alone had the right to direct foreign policy and control customs, and which had appreciable powers of supervision over the home policy of the cantons. The transformation was facilitated by the moderation both of General Dufour, whose humanity in the campaign against the Sonderbund made reconciliation easier for the defeated cantons, and of the radical leaders in rejecting the temptation to create a unitary state and to override the historic traditions of cantonal autonomy in the interest of doctrinaire principles. It was exemplified by the ban on any new capitulations with foreign powers for the hire of Swiss mercenary troops and on the acceptance by any civil or military officers of the reformed Confederation of rewards of money or honour from foreign governments. The magnitude of the achievement was not impaired by the radicals’ failure to fulfil their dream of a federal university and federal training colleges for teachers from which ‘a new Helvetic spirit’ might be disseminated; for, although the Swiss in the main preferred to leave education to their cantonal authorities, they ‘now stood united in face of the outer world, as a people with a fully developed national feeling’.
Since Switzerland at that time was, as Ochsenbein said, a replica of Europe in miniature, the rest of Europe had followed the Sonderbund struggle with passionate interest. Nowhere was this more so than in Italy and Germany, to many of whose exiles the Swiss gave shelter.
After the collapse of the Carbonari movements and the 1830-1 risings it was Mazzini, the Genoese whose state had been merged in Piedmont, who most insistently preached the cause of Italian unity. His revolutionary society, ‘Young Italy ’, founded in July 1831 at Marseilles, was the chief agency through which he sought to educate his compatriots. The deeds of the Risorgimento are recounted elsewhere (see ch. XXI); here it is possible only to say something of the ideas and writings which helped to inspire Italian nationalism and contributed to the development of the concept of nationality itself. Mazzini’s fundamental ideas were set out in Young Italy, the society’s newspaper of the same name, and developed in his prolific subsequent writings. Independence, unity, and liberty, this last to be secured through a republic, must be the triple goal. Through the republic the nation would be made, and by the nation Mazzini explained that he meant ‘the totality of citizens speaking the same language, associated together with equal political and civil rights in the common aim of bringing the forces of society... progressively to greater perfection’. For him nationalism was never divorced from liberalism, although its basis was partly linguistic. That basis might lead him to say ‘Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica and the smaller islands between them and the mainland... belong undeniably to you...’; but he recognised limits and believed in natural frontiers—for Italy the ‘sublime and undeniable’ frontiers from the mouth of the Var to the mouth of the Isonzo. ‘As far as this frontier your language is spoken and understood: beyond this you have no rights.’ His conception of Italian nationality was not exclusive and his dominant ideal was the recreation of the moral unity of mankind. ‘Unity of man was to overcome the dispersion of modem man in an industrialised mass civilisation Unity of nation was to bind all the free individuals of democracy into a community of liberty and equality Unity of mankind was to assure the peace and collaboration of all nations Rome was to be the symbol of this threefold unity.’ Where France had failed—and he held that she had failed greatly in not supporting the Italians in 1830—Italy would show men how to use their new-won freedom aright.
Characteristically undaunted after the failure of Young Italy’s revolutionary attempt in Piedmont in 1833, Mazzini founded a still more ambitious society called ‘Young Europe’, which met on 15 April 1834 to draw up a pact of fraternity, a kind of holy alliance of the youth of the nations to fight for liberty, equality, and fraternity. ‘To constitute humanity so as to enable it through a continuous progress as quickly as possible to discover and apply the law of God’: that, he declared, was the mission of Young Europe: ‘Every people has its special mission, which will cooperate towards the general mission of Humanity. That mission is its Nationality. Nationality is sacred.’ Like Young Italy, Young Europe was soon involved in unsuccessful revolutionary activity; it was subdivided into national communities which soon quarrelled and the Swiss authorities were obliged to suppress it in 1836 and to expel its members. But, although both societies were doomed to failure, and Young Europe in particular was a typically utopian product of romantic internationalism, they set an example which was imitated far and wide, from the groups calling themselves Young Ireland and Young Serbs in the nineteenth century to the Young Turks or Young Chinese of the twentieth.
Mazzini’s were not the only works of the ’thirties and ’forties to proclaim Italy’s national destiny. Gioberti’s Moral and Civil Primacy of the Italians (1843) was notable not only because it espoused a federal instead of a unitary solution of Italy’s national problem and forecast a new role for the Papacy, but because it spoke in such exalted terms of Italy’s function as the creative and redeeming nation, the eldest son in a patriarchal household with all that son’s rights and privileges. Poets such as Berchet, known as the Italian Tyrtaeus, and Gabriel Rossetti, both exiles in England, Mameli, author of the famous hymn Fratelli d'Italia, Giuseppe Giusti and many more wrote stirring patriotic songs; the operas of Verdi such as I Lombardi (1843) and Ernani (1844) occasioned patriotic demonstrations; Machiavelli and Dante were rediscovered as prophets of Italian independence, and history knew a new vogue with the writings of men such as Manzoni (1785-1873), Carlo Troya (1784-1858), Cesare Balbo (1789-1853), Michele Amari (1806-89) and others, of whom it has been said: they ‘had two things in common: serious, diligent research and enthusiasm for the Italian cause... most of these works... went in a short time through several editions. History studied... with such eagerness was... itself a sign that Italians were conscious of, or at least eager to discover, the moral unity of their history.’ Mazzini’s advertised distrust of France, Gioberti’s desire to avoid revolution or ‘the most sad or most shameful expedient of foreign help’, and the self-confidence resulting from so much patriotic literature contributed, too, to the prevalent feeling that Italy could work her own salvation. The Italian movement in 1848, like its German counterpart, had nothing specifically French about it; ‘it was the Roman ideal of Mazzini and Gioberti which was the source of the patriotic ideology which impelled the university students to join the volunteer battalions hurled against the ‘Tedeschi’. The events of the ’thirties and ’forties gave a great impetus to Italian nationalism but removed it considerably farther from its Napoleonic source; and France’s inaction in 1848-9 meant a further weakening of French influence.
The great parallel to Italy of an historic nation with a splendid cultural tradition seeking effective political unity was Germany. The words nation and nationality might be sometimes applied to individual German states by contemporaries; but what they described is better met by the term particularism. Essentially German political nationalism aimed at the creation of a strong German national state. This was an ideal which attracted men of all kinds: its strongest advocates were among those whose states had been mediatised; it appealed to conservatives as well as to liberals; they differed over the means rather than the ends.
The German Confederation of 1815 was as unsatisfactory a political force as the Swiss. The nature of men’s discontent with it was well expressed in 1847 by a conservative Bavarian nobleman. The German people, he declared, had attained its majority:
The nation demands a share in public administration One reason for discontent is universally diffused This is the impotence of Germany among other States... Austria asserts herself far too little because she is lacking in internal strength;... Prussia... is only admitted on sufferance among the great Powers.. .while the rest of Germany for ever plays a minor part as a mere camp-follower. No one will deny that it is hard.. .to be unable to say abroad: ‘I am a German’—not to be able to pride himself that the German flag is flying from his vessel, to have no German consul in cases of necessity, but to have to explain, ‘I am a Hessian, a Darmstadter, a Btickeburger; my Fatherland was once a great and powerful country, now it is shattered into eight and thirty splinters.’
Two main strands of influence, sometimes separate, sometimes merging, sometimes conflicting, helped to give German nationalism its strength and colouring. One derived from the French Revolution and Napoleon; the other from a native cultural tradition of which Herder was the most brilliant champion. He had collected German folk poetry and urged the Germans to cultivate their own language. He had, as has been seen, conceived the idea of the ‘folk-nation’, and had declared that the German national spirit required German territorial unity. This new note was accentuated by many writers during and after the Napoleonic wars. Fichte (1762-1814) anticipated List when he advocated economic selfsufficiency, and Gorres foreshadowed later Pan-German claims when he demanded the formation of a greater Germany which would include Denmark. Jahn (1778-1852), who extolled Arminius as a national hero, was the precursor of Quinet’s professor1who in 1842 described Germany’s political objective as a return to the Treaty of Verdun; just as the anti-French patriotic songs of Arnim and Arndt (1769-1860) anticipated those of Becker and Schneckenburger in 1840 when war with France again seemed imminent (see ch. XIX). Adam H. Muller (1779-1829) also was the ancestor of a long line of nationalists who glorified war as investing states with personality and giving them outline and solidity. The nationalist trend had been further strengthened by the philosophy of Hegel (1770-1831), who represented the Germanic spirit as that of a new world in process of becoming, exalted the state based on power, and discerned in Prussia its best exemplar, as well as by the jurists, Savigny (1778-1861) and others, who interpreted German law as something derived from the whole past of the nation, from its innermost being and its history.
By 1830, then, there already existed a considerable body of nationalist literature, significant because of the prestige of some of its authors and because it rejected many ideas derived from France and attempted to put something which was regarded as peculiarly German in their place. The reaction against the recent conqueror and hereditary foe (Erbfeind), as Gorres first described France, was thus intellectual as well as material, and it was profound. Fed by Romantic yearnings for power and by legends of the superior creativeness of the German, it lent to German nationalism an exclusiveness not indeed peculiar to it, but which expressed itself earlier there and as brutally as anywhere. German nationalists turned their backs on France and scorned the Slavonic peoples in the East. Their attitude implied a rejection of the universal values of western civilisation. Thus, paradoxically, in an age when Germany was producing great classical scholars, other Germans were belittling the classical heritage. As Fichte had rejoiced in what he described as the refusal of the ancient Germans to accept the protection of the Roman empire in order that they might remain ‘pure Germans’, so in the ’forties learned ‘Germanisten’ were seeking to purge away corruption by substituting German for Roman law throughout the German lands.
The nationalist note was also sounded in economic writings, notably by Friedrich List (1789-1846). List attacked economic liberalism as materialist and cosmopolitan and urged the need for a planned national economy—nationality he claimed as the distinctive character of his system and protective tariffs he deemed essential until Germany was fitted for the ultimate goal of universal free trade. But List’s views of economic necessity or advantage went far beyond tariff walls. He wished the Zollverein, which he called ‘one of the most important attributes of German Nationality’, to extend ‘over the whole coast from the mouth of the Rhine to the frontier of Poland including Holland and Denmark'. Both these naturally Germanic countries would enter the German Confederation, which would then obtain ‘what it is now in need of, namely fisheries and naval power, maritime commerce and colonies’. Moreover, he conceived it to be Germany’s mission to lead in world affairs, to civilise wild and barbaric countries, and to populate those still uninhabited. Thus the Pan-German was transcended by the imperialist. Such dreams were not unique—in 1849, for instance, Prince Chlodwig of Hohenlohe-Schillingsfuerst was urging that Rhodes, Cyprus and Crete should be won from the Turk and peopled with German immigrants: ‘We shall thereby obtain a splendid outlet for thousands of the proletariat, we shall gain a seaboard and a mercantile navy, marines and sailors. Nor must Syria and Asia Minor be forgotten German Consulates, filled by efficient men, are among the most pressing tasks of the Imperial Executive.’
Attempts to realise such visions still lay far in the future. But in 1848 and 1849 the enthusiasm for the Danish war and the treatment of the Poles both showed how firm a hold nationalism had gained. German liberals, especially in the south and west, had shown much sympathy for the Poles since 1830 and in the spring of 1848 the Vorparlament at Frankfurt resoundingly declared Poland’s restoration a ‘holy duty of the German nation’. But this resolution was of no more practical value than the similar declarations of the French National Assembly six weeks later. There was indeed a brief Polish-Prussian honeymoon (cf. p. 397), favoured on the Prussian side by the belief that war with Russia was imminent and that Prussia would then need the fullest co-operation of her Polish subjects. The Prussian government announced a ‘national reorganisation’ of the Grand Duchy of Posen (Poznan) and seemed ready to sponsor some measure of Polish autonomy. But the effervescence and uncertainties of the following weeks speedily brought the two peoples into armed conflict and, once Russian intervention in Germany was no longer to be feared, German affection rapidly cooled. Nationalism in the sense of the will to dominate prevailed over liberal-nationalism with its belief in selfdetermination, and in the Frankfurt Assembly at the end of July only 101 out of 575 deputies voted that the partition of Poland was a shameful wrong which should be righted by the re-establishment of Polish independence. The majority, who upheld Prussia’s right of conquest and claim to civilise an inferior people, and were willing to sanction a proposed partition of Posen wholly disadvantageous to the Poles, included several who called themselves liberals. The divorce between liberalism and nationalism became manifest and German liberalism was dangerously weakened in the process (see p. 397).
The picture thus far presented by the growth of nationality in western and western-central Europe is relatively simple and self-contained. In eastern Europe, however, it is infinitely more complex because of the variety of peoples involved and their conflicting aspirations.
The great multinational empires, Russia, Austria, and Turkey, were each faced with nationalist movements of varying intensity. In Russia and Turkey the movements were geographically peripheral, affecting Turkey’s Balkan subjects and Russia’s non-Russian western lands from Finland to the Ukraine. For Austria, however, they were central and directly threatened the empire with disintegration from which it was rescued only by Russian intervention. This intervention was the most striking demonstration in the nineteenth century of the solidarity of conservative powers menaced by revolutionary liberalism and nationalism. The Austrian empire survived; the Russian empire crushed the Poles when they once again revolted in 1863; but Turkey, although bolstered by the western powers in her greatest crisis between 1840 and 1870, had subsequently to make significant concessions to Balkan nationalism. Apart from the new Roumanian state the nationalist ferment in these vast areas left the European map unchanged. Great struggles had, however, taken place and great issues had been raised. Among peoples whose very existence had been forgotten, such as the Estonians and the Bulgars, national feelings had begun to stir. But, significant as they were for the future, the movements of non-historic peoples did not seriously endanger the existing state system. It was the stubbornness of the historic nationalities, such as the Poles and the Hungarians, which presented the gravest challenges to the established order. The nationalism of these and the other greater subject-peoples had proved itself a potent force, which would have been still more formidable but for the internal divisions and mutual rivalries that enabled the Habsburgs, for example, to play off Croat against Magyar and the Russians to bid for the support of the Polish peasantry against the Polish landed nobility. Moreover, it had accentuated the antagonisms of the leading historic peoples within the two empires—of Magyars against Germans and of Poles against Russians. But by 1870 those antagonisms had been very differently resolved. In the Habsburg empire the German elements were not strong enough to dominate indefinitely both Magyars and Slavs and so, with the Ausgleich of 1867, the former Magyar enemy was taken into partnership (see ch. XX). In the Russian empire, on the other hand, the ruthless attempt to obliterate Polish nationalism after 1863 rent the two leading Slav peoples still farther asunder and appeared to doom the one to limitless subordination. It also added one more to the many queries raised by the national movements—What of the Slavs? Could they be united more easily than the Latins? Was Pan-Slavism the reflection of a formidable force, a new and mighty super-nationalism or something as insubstantial as Scandinavianism? And, above all, what were the designs of the greatest Slav state? Was Russia never to harness nationalism to her own chariot?
In fact Russia was the only one of the three empires which could be said to have a nationalism of its own. This was in part the product of an old tradition, handed down by those who wished to preserve an Orthodox and holy land from the corruption of western ideas, and strengthened by the spread of western liberalism and by the shock received by autocracy from the Decembrist rising. At the same time, the national spirit, roused by the invasion and defeat of Napoleon, was further quickened by the fresh shock of Polish revolt. In consequence, although the government for the most part had little sympathy with the extravagant notions of some nationalists and Pan-Slavists, official policy and the objectives of the Slavophiles, in these years the chief intellectual defenders of the old tradition, to some extent coincided. Officially nationalism was reflected in a russifying policy which was largely maintained during the reign of Nicholas I, relaxed during the first years of Alexander II, and reintroduced after the Polish revolt of 1863 (see ch. XIV). Initially this naturally bore most hardly upon the lands recently in revolt, Russian Poland and the hitherto largely polonised lands of Lithuania and White Russia. There administration was entrusted to Russian officials, the University of Vilna was closed, the Russian language was made obligatory for official business, and large estates were confiscated and transferred to Russian ownership. The Lithuanian Statute was abrogated in Lithuania proper and in 1842 the name Lithuania disappeared as an administrative term, when the ‘government’ was divided into three departments. The educational aspect of this policy was part of the aim of Count Uvarov, Minister for Education from 1833 to 1849, to develop native Russian culture. It was he who, in a famous memorandum, declared that instruction should be based on ‘the truly Russian and conservative principle of orthodoxy, autocracy and nationality (Narodnosty (see ch. XIV, p. 363). In 1835 the first chairs in Slavonic languages and literature were established; and under his patronage the Slavophile review Moskvityanin was founded in 1841.
Russification, however, while it cowed Russian Poland and Lithuania for a generation, did not eradicate Polish culture. The Baltic German nobility, whose influence was powerful at St Petersburg and who were determined to maintain their Germanic culture as well as their social and economic privileges, resisted it strongly; and it only temporarily checked an incipient nationalism among the Ukrainians, shifting its centre for a while from Kiev to Lwow in Austrian Galicia. It is indeed arguable that russification succeeded most under the guise of religion: as in 1839 when some of the Orthodox in communion with Rome, known as the Uniates, were induced to rejoin ‘the ancestral all-Russian Church or as in 1836 when the establishment of an Orthodox see at Riga was followed by the conversion of many Latvian and Estonian peasants.
The application of russifying policies was always governed primarily by considerations of defending the autocracy from the dangers of revolutionary subversion and political separatism. Thus the Ukrainian nationalists of the secret society of SS. Cyril and Methodius, founded in 1846, were severely dealt with because they opposed autocracy and serfdom and hoped for a democratic confederation of all Slav peoples. On the other hand, the primarily literary nationalisms of the northern Baltic countries developed unhindered, for they constituted no obvious political or social danger. In these lands literary movements led to an increasing use of the vernacular and to the appearance of the Finnish national epic, the Kalevala, in 1835, and the first Estonian epic, the Kalevipoeg, in 1857. But in the semi-autonomous Grand-Duchy of Finland, politically and socially much the most advanced of the three nations, the linguistic struggle was one between Finnish and Swedish, which, after long years of Swedish rule, was in 1830 still the dominant tongue. The ‘Finnomen’, or champions of Finnish speech, were the counterpart of the ‘Flamingants’ of Belgium, seeking equality for their own language. They achieved their goal in 1863 when a language ordinance placed Finnish on an equal footing with Swedish in all matters pertaining to the Finnish-speaking part of the population. The Russians could afford to humour the Finnomen in such an issue. Indeed, it is a striking measure of the difference in the histories of Poland and Finland, despite the similarities of their status before 1830, that in 1863, the year in which the Poles revolted again and were once more ruthlessly repressed, the Finns obtained their language ordinance and their Diet was summoned for the first time for fifty years, while in 1864 a separate Finnish unit of money was introduced (cf. ch. XIV, p. 376).
If Finnish nationalism thus seemed innocuous, so did those of the smaller, largely peasant, communities of Estonia and Latvia. Their very existence was partly obscured by the periodic tension between the dominant German and Russian cultures: ‘even in the ’sixties none of the Baltic Germans believed in any future for the Latvian and Estonian tongues, much less in any political future of the Baltic peoples’. Yet within less than a century the linguistic movements of these peoples and of the Finns had broadened into vigorous political nationalisms which added three new states to the European community.
The Slavophile movement, which with its successor Pan-Slavism represented the intellectual aspect of Russian nationalism, was a growth of the ’thirties and ’forties (see ch. XIV). It borrowed much, often without acknowledgment, from western, especially German, thought and literature. Its adherents had no close organisation or clearly defined political aim, but, just as much German Romantic writing extolled the uniqueness of German civilisation compared with that of the West, so they glorified the uniqueness of Russia and announced that she too had a mission, ‘to transcend nationality by becoming the archetype of universal humanity’. Profoundly religious, deeply conservative and suspicious of a governmental machine centred at St Petersburg, they represented in their own way a fervent popular nationalism. It cannot be shown that they had any direct influence upon Russian foreign policy, but their debates with their rationalist opponents, the westerners, marked a fascinating phase of Russian intellectual history, and they encouraged the growth of another scarcely less amorphous but strongly nationalist movement, namely Pan-Slavism.
Although there were men in Russia in the ’thirties and ’forties, such as Pogodin and Tyutchev, who have sometimes been classified as Pan-Slavs, Pan-Slavism as a movement originated among the Slavs of the Austrian empire and was inspired by two Lutheran Slovak scholars, Jan Kollar (1793-1852) and Josef Safarik (1795-1861). Their main concern was to effect a cultural revival and to make their fellow Slavs aware that they had a common cultural heritage. But the works of both aroused passionate enthusiasm, less for their scholarship than for the visions of Slav greatness which they evoked.
Thus Kollar, whose ‘Daughter of Sava’ has been called the national bible of early Pan-Slavism, lamented that he would not see the ‘great age of Slav dominion’ when the sciences would flow through Slav channels, and Slavonic dress, manners and song would be fashionable on the Seine and on the Elbe. Thus, too, Zagreb patriots were enthralled when they saw the map in Safarik’s Slav Ethnography, and were astonished to see that the Slav nation was spread so far. To such enthusiasts, from Croatia to the Ukraine, the free and equal union of all Slavs appeared as a new and splendid ideal. While scholars continued their work many Austrian Slavs wished to see a more striking assertion of Slav solidarity. Consequently in 1848, partly by way of riposte to German and Magyar pressures, a Slav Congress was called in Prague. 341 delegates assembled in June amid scenes of rejoicing and expectation: ‘The new Slav tricolor blue, white and red was everywhere seen; shouts of “ Slava ” replaced the usual “Heil” or “Vivat”...the Slovak song “Hej Slovane” became a demonstrative assertion of Slav national vitality.’ A Slav mission to spread freedom and enlightenment was proclaimed and the delegates considered sending a petition to the Austrian emperor, drafting a manifesto to the Slav world, and appealing to the European nations to arrange a general congress for the settlement of international disputes. The whole episode was highly characteristic of 1848. The sponsors hoped that the congress would be the first of a series: but it was the first and last for many years, because the Whitsun rising in Prague and the subsequent repression brought it to an untimely end. It has been called a Pan-Slav conference, but apart from the Austrian Slavs there were only a few delegates from Prussian Poland and only two from Russia. And for all the expressions of good-will and unity it failed to agree upon any serious problems at issue between Slav and Slav.
In fact the Slav world was hopelessly divided. There was the religious division between the Roman Catholics, such as the Poles, Czechs, and Croats, and the Orthodox led by Russia; there was something of a dividing line between the Slavs within the Habsburg empire and those outside it; and there were divisions between those within. Except perhaps in the Balkans, the lesser Slav peoples on the whole profoundly distrusted Russia’s expansionist ambitions and her absolutism. At the same time within the Austrian empire Slovak nationalism conflicted with Czech, the Ruthenians detested the Poles, and Slovenes and Serbs preferred to develop their own individuality rather than merge it within a larger South Slav union. Ambitious Serbs or Croats dreamed of a Greater Serbia or a Greater Croatia which they would dominate.
But the fiasco of 1848 did not mean the disappearance of Pan-Slavism as an ideal, either revolutionary, as with the exiled adventurer Bakunin, who regarded the overthrow of the Habsburgs and the establishment of a federation of free and equal Slav republics as an essential condition of general revolution, or conservative, as with the Pan-Slavs in Russia. After the death of Nicholas I, in the greater intellectual freedom of Alexander II’s reign, the question of Russia’s mission, the idea that she was the natural leader not merely of the Orthodox but still more of fellow Slavs was increasingly canvassed in Russia and it was to Russia that the centre of Pan-Slav ambitions shifted. And in the ’fifties, and still more the ’sixties, the disappearance of the earlier generation of Slavophils, the emancipation of the peasants, and the unification of Italy and Germany all encouraged the champions of the Slavs against the West to become more stridently materialist and nationalist. This was all the more understandable because of Russia’s great development since 1830. As Hans Kohn has said, ‘By 1860 the educated Russian felt that European culture was part of his heritage, that Russian intellectual life was in its full development, that Russia was, not only in size and population, the first country of Europe’. So in 1867 Russian Pan-Slavs organised a new Slav conference, in Moscow this time, and Pan-Slav propaganda, conducted by powerful journalists such as Katkov (1818-87), made considerable headway, gained influential converts, even in the imperial family, and had a forceful protagonist in Ignatyev, Russian ambassador at Constantinople from 1864 to 1877. After the Ausgleich of 1867 had dashed the hopes of the Austro-Slavs, Russian Pan-Slavs could hope to win their sympathies, and, significantly, the Moscow congress was attended by eighty-four delegates from Austria-Hungary, including several Czechs. The Pan-Slavs, moreover, made a special bid to act as patrons of the Serbs and Bulgars. But not until after 1870 were they able to exercise any real influence upon Russian foreign policy.
If further proof were needed of the unreality of any dream of a voluntary union of all Slavs under Russian leadership it would be provided by the Poles, many of whom, like their poet Krasinski, regarded Russia as the embodiment of evil, and spoke of the Russians contemptuously as ‘Asiatics’. They were conspicuous absentees from Moscow in 1867. The course of Polish history, already so contrary to the main stream of European development, also affords the greatest exception to the chronicle of nationalist victories of the mid-nineteenth century. Whereas Italians, Germans, Hungarians and Roumanians all triumphed to a greater or lesser extent, Poland by 1870 seemed farther than ever from the recovery of national independence.
Partitioned between three great states, the Poles were split anew by the great emigration of 1831. Nearly ten thousand fled to western Europe, mainly to France. Although in Poland as in Hungary the nobles and gentry commonly regarded themselves alone as the nation, the emigrants included workers and peasants and middle-class folk who shared the national pride and were ready to fight and suffer for Poland. They soon fell into two main groups, the aristocratic, eventually headed by Prince Adam Czar-toryski in Paris, and the democratic, represented by the short-lived ‘National Committee’ of the historian Joachim Lelewel, by the Community of the Polish People in England, and other bodies. Socially their aims were very different and each looked to different means to effect Poland’s rebirth. While all vainly hoped that some government would allow the formation of a Polish legion, Czartoryski and his friends put their main trust in diplomacy, whereas the democrats, Mazzini-like, looked rather to secret societies and fresh insurrections.
Their revolutionary efforts, no more successful than Czartoryski’s diplomacy, merely worsened the lot of their fellow-countrymen at home. The 1830 revolt had led both to a period of repression in Russian Poland and to an intensification of the germanising policy begun by Prussia in the Grand Duchy of Posen in 1825. The 1833 attempt to raise Galicia likewise strengthened the germanising tendencies of Austrian administration; while the rising of 1846, which demonstrated that the peasantry for the most part prized freedom from serfdom above freedom from the Habsburgs, ended in the disappearance of the surviving vestige of Polish territorial independence, the nominally autonomous Free City of Cracow, and its incorporation in the Habsburg empire. The consequences of 1848 were similar. Although the Polish cause gained widespread advertisement in the assemblies and on the battlefields, although Polish exiles fought in every revolutionary or national army, advertisement and fighting were without avail for Poland herself. The conflict of German and Pole after their brief fraternisation widened the gulf between the two nations and led to a renewal of germanisation in Posen; while in Galicia disturbances following upon similar hopes of autonomy provoked the bombardment of Cracow and Lwow and induced the Austrian authorities to encourage the growing antiPolish national consciousness of the Ruthenians. Thereafter there was to be insurrection only in Russian Poland, which had not stirred in 1848. The Poles of Austria and Prussia, convinced by bitter experience that revolt was hopeless, preferred to work for national consolidation through the maintenance of their national culture, and through social and economic reform, and looked to legal and parliamentary machinery for the defence of their rights (see ch. xx).
A similar tendency developed in Russian Poland where Alexander II’s new policy of conciliation led to a general amnesty and the creation of an Agricultural Society and a Warsaw Academy of Medicine. Moderate men like the Marquis Wielopolski believed that through co-operation with the Russian government it would be possible to reconstruct Poland’s ill-balanced society, return to the constitutional status of 1815 and strengthen the country economically and politically. But emigrants like Mieroslawski, for all the setbacks of 1848, remained unrepentant insurrectionists; and, when the aristocratic wing of the emigration was discredited through failure to secure consideration of the Polish question by the great powers at the Congress of Paris in 1856 (cf. ch. XVIII, p. 490), they began once more to come into their own. There were good reasons why Russian Poland should now be their chosen ground. The change in Russian policy had aroused great expectations there and caused something of an intellectual ferment. A new generation remembered little of the horrors of 1830-1 and was readily fired by Mieroslawski’s secret agents and the tales of the returning exiles, while the resurrection of Italy in 1859-60 led many a young Pole to dream of emulating the deeds of Garibaldi. To such enthusiasts the tsar’s concessions were negligible and co-operation with the conqueror a contemptible course. After a great demonstration in Warsaw in February 1861, however, Alexander sanctioned several administrative and educational reforms and appointed Wielopolski to supervise their introduction. This conciliatory policy might for a while have succeeded, had not the Poles unwisely raised the demand for the return of the eastern border-lands lost in 1772. Such a request was inadmissible for any Russian government, since these provinces were regarded generally in Russia as integral parts of the Russian state. The tsar’s refusal aggravated the situation, and in January 1863 a conscription decree provoked the long-threatened rising. Yet the outbreak found the revolutionaries divided, there was no single political or military direction and the great mass of the people, the peasantry, were largely apathetic in spite of the democrats’ efforts to court them. ‘Only in the cities, among the young officials and the sons of officials as well as in the artisan class, and in the country among the lower gentry, was the sentiment for war hearty and general.’ In these circumstances, and when the great powers were too divided to intervene effectively on Poland’s behalf, the result was a foregone conclusion. The rising was followed by repression even more ruthless than that of 1830-1, and in resuming its russification policy the Russian government was widely supported by Russian opinion. The ‘Kingdom’ of Poland became the ‘Vistula Territory’. Russian became the official language of administration and its teaching was made compulsory even in village schools, while religious instruction in Polish was forbidden. At the same time the Russian land-reform policy aimed at convincing the Polish peasant that the tsar was his only friend. Such vestiges of self-government as had hitherto distinguished Russian Poland now disappeared. After the great disillusionment of 1863 a new generation of Poles would follow the example of their compatriots in Posen and Galicia and settle down to a programme of ‘organic work’ such as had already been gaining favour before the rising. Land reform, the consequential ample supply of emancipated peasant labour, and railways, enabled them to develop industrially and capture many Russian markets.
The Lithuanians, whose fortunes were inextricably bound up with those of the Poles, suffered likewise. Such cultural revival as they had experienced before 1830 contained no hint of an eventual struggle for a national independence apart from that of a free Poland. They had rebelled alongside the Poles in 1830 and in 1863 many again answered the Polish call. But they too were divided. A new element, the Populists, emerged who, as well as championing social reform, envisaged action independent of Warsaw. When the revolt started they set up their own committee at Vilna to administer Lithuania. When the revolt collapsed russification was intensified under the ruthless rule of Muraviev. All printing of Lithuanian books in Latin characters was forbidden. Roman Catholic parochial schools were closed and colonies of ‘Old Believers’ were imported to strengthen the Russian elements in the country. The failure of the revolt meant a grave setback for a national cultural movement which had grown independently and had in no wise caused the outbreak. It had repercussions also in the Ukraine where, although the Ukrainians had been deaf to Polish appeals, the Russians seized the opportunity to try and stamp out a cultural nationalism which might conceal separatist leanings.
The Polish rising of 1863 was not followed by any great new exodus. The phase of heroic exile was over. The Great Emigration of 1830 had played its part for more than a generation but had achieved no concrete gain. Yet spiritually it had been of immense importance, for it had inspired a great and ardently nationalist literature. ‘It proved to be neither the politicians nor the secret agents nor the diplomats of the Emigration who saved Poland, but the poets.’ In his Books of the Polish Nation (1832) and other poems in prose and verse Mickiewicz developed the new concept of his country’s Messianic role among the nations, the great martyr in the cause of human freedom: the same theme was the inspiration of Krasinski’s (1812-59) stirring poem ‘Dawn’ (1843); while Siowacki (1809-49) taught his fellow-countrymen that they must die nobly for the day of ultimate regeneration. These and other lesser writers in exile became the veritable moral leaders of divided Poland. Their works found their way into the homeland in spite of censors and customs officials and contributed to maintain a spiritual unity which transcended artificial boundaries and defied the efforts at germanisation and russification by the ruling states.
The Habsburg empire, the second of the great eastern European powers, remained throughout the great upholder of the ancient principle of dynastic property in countries and the great antagonist of national selfdetermination. There was no Austrian nationalism in the sense that there was a nationalism of the French or the Danes: but the Germans and the Magyars, the Italians and the Poles, the four leading historic peoples of the empire, felt strongly that they were superior and the non-historic subject peoples inferior beings. The antipathies thus expressed were often returned with interest and were intensified by the growth of national sentiment during the ’thirties and ’forties. What Grillparzer had written in 1830, ‘The Hungarian hates the Bohemian, the Bohemian hates the German, and the Italian hates them all’, was still truer in 1848-9. It enabled the authorities in Vienna to continue to apply the ancient maxim of ‘divide and rule’, notably in the great crisis of 1848-9, which shook the empire to its foundations (see chs. XV and XX). Had it not been for the problem of the subject races, the dynasty’s continued control of the armed forces except in Hungary, and Russia’s readiness to intervene, the breakup of Habsburg power between the four master peoples might have been accomplished at that time; for not only did the Magyars and Italians bid for independence, but the Poles were eager to recreate the nucleus of an independent Poland and the Austrian Germans felt a strong pull towards Anschluss or incorporation in a Greater Germany.
The nationalism of the Habsburg peoples contained an admixture of western liberal influences, especially in the leading cities such as Vienna, Budapest and Prague. This was reflected in the growth of a political press, which included such notable papers as Karel Havlicek’s Prague News (1846) and Lajos Kossuth’s Pesti Hirlap (1841), of societies with political aims, such as the Czech Repeal Association (so called after O’Connell’s Irish organisation), and in the demands for local autonomy and for measures of political and social reform which would curtail the privileges of a predominantly feudal aristocracy and give some share of power to the lesser gentry and middle classes. It was this more-or-less national liberalism which provoked the mainly urban revolutions of March 1848 and produced the spate of constitutional demands with which the Vienna government was subsequently faced. But the liberal constitutional cause was soon bedevilled by the problems of nationalism.
The government of Mettemich had maintained a lofty indifference towards the cultural renaissance which affected almost every people of the empire, leading each to cherish and develop its own tongue and to glorify its own past. Paradoxically then, the ’thirties and ’forties, so often simply dismissed as politically reactionary, were for Magyars and many Austrian Slavs a golden age of literature, scholarship, and linguistic development. Poets like Petofi (1823-49) in Hungary, historians such as Palacky (1798-1876) in Bohemia, and philologists such as Ljudevit Gaj (1809-72) whose Short Outline of Croat-Slovene Orthography (1830) paved the way for the development of the modem unified Serbo-Croatian language, were men of whom any people might be proud. But the political effect of their activities was to increase national pride, sensitivity, and exclusiveness, and to stimulate conflicting claims. The enmity of Czech and Pole or Pole and Ruthene was, however, overshadowed by still greater national problems which partly transcended frontiers. On the one hand there was the possible danger of being crushed between the upper and the nether millstones of a great new Germany and of a formidable absolutist Russia. On the other there was the existing evil of Magyar intolerance.
The first danger was most clearly seen by the Czechs, who, like the Poles of Posen, had no wish to be swallowed up in a Great Germany. Bohemia with Moravia and Austrian Silesia had been included in the German confederation in 1815 without reference to the Bohemian estates; but all that had happened since had accentuated the Czechs’ feeling of separateness. Accordingly, when in 1848 their historian Palacky was invited to be a deputy to the German National Assembly in Frankfurt, he refused on the grounds that he was a member of a nation ‘which never regarded itself nor was regarded by others... as part of the German nation’ and because the Germans would inevitably seek to ‘undermine Austria ...whose preservation, integrity and consolidation’ was essential as a bulwark against Russian expansion, not only for his own people, but for the whole of Europe. What he and Slavs who thought like him wanted was equality within, not separation from, the Austrian empire—its transformation, not necessarily upon a strictly ethnic basis, into a federation in which the Slavs would play the part befitting their numbers and abilities (cf. ch. XX, pp. 523-4). They were Austro-Slavs, whose hostility to the Magyars also made them the readier to support the central government, which had promised increased autonomy and reform.
The exclusive character of Magyar nationalism was indeed one of the factors which enabled Vienna to triumph in the end. Despite the antiquity of her institutions Hungary had never fully become a nation in the western sense. In a population of eleven millions the dominant Magyars numbered only five millions. Nobles and intellectuals of Slovak or other non-Magyar origin such as Kossuth and Petofi might be wholly magyarised, but for the most part the ruling Magyar nobility had failed to assimilate their largely peasant non-Magyar subjects or to reconcile them to their rule. In the ’thirties and ’forties the coincident growth of nationalism among the subject peoples and among the Magyars themselves naturally increased a tension already overt—the linguistic legislation of 1843-4 which made Magyar compulsory in official business and public instruction had, for instance, caused violent recriminations between Magyars and Croats and done much to further the Illyrian or Yugo-Slav cause in Croatia.
In the spring of 1848 a change could be hoped for. There were young democrats in Pest who won the sympathies of Serbs and Roumanians and ‘realised that a Hungarian Constitution would only be practicable if it... took into account the particular interests of each of Hungary’s various nationalities’. The spontaneous risings of Serbs in some south Hungarian towns in March were not at first specifically anti-Magyar, and from Novi-Sad Serbs concerned mainly with the abolition of feudalism sent a friendly delegation to Pest. Again, while the Roumanians of Transylvania protested against the decision of the Diet of Kolozsvar (at which they were not represented) to vote for union with Hungary, they were ready to accept it once the emperor had assured them that the new Hungarian government would protect their nationality by special legislation, set up Roumanian schools and employ the Roumanian language in all branches of administration. Only the Croats, who had long enjoyed a certain autonomy, were from the first uncompromisingly hostile.
But Kossuth and the new men in power did not appreciate the strength of the new nationalism of the subject peoples or understand how closely it was bound up with the desire for autonomy. They thought that they should be good Hungarians, just as Alsatians and Bretons were good Frenchmen, content with the grant of civil rights, and when a Serbian delegation asked for autonomy it was refused. The consequence was a revolt of Hungarian Serbs which, backed by the Orthodox church, became increasingly nationalist and led to the setting up of a Serbian National Assembly in May. Nevertheless the lesson was lost upon Kossuth and his colleagues. In August, in the Hungarian Parliament, Baron Wesselenyi vainly pleaded for the introduction of the Roumanian statute promised by the emperor. Kossuth denounced the Roumanians as leading conspirators against Hungary and firmly rejected the grant of any special position to Roumanian, Serb, or Slovak, because it would endanger the unitary state and Magyar predominance. Thus inevitably the subject peoples came to side with Vienna against Budapest. But this did not bring them autonomy, once Vienna achieved control or was confidently swinging back to absolutism. With the overthrow of the Hungarians in August 1849 the experiment of a unitary Austrian empire was launched and despite cultural concessions to various nationalities a new period of progressive germanisation was inaugurated. In Transylvania even the Saxons lost their old autonomy and the Roumanians waited in vain for the fulfilment of the imperial promises of 1848. A few years later Russia could complain bitterly of Austrian ingratitude: already this was something well known within the Habsburg empire, where the disappointed complained that ‘the nationalities which support the Government suffer and those that oppose it are rewarded’. But disappointment was for many softened by material benefits in the prosperous ’fifties; and when the fortunes of the empire once again were jeopardised by defeat in war and by financial difficulties the dogged nationalism of the Hungarians was strong enough to force upon the emperor the Compromise or Ausgleich of 1867. This finally extinguished the hopes of Austria’s Slav nationalists, for it established the joint Austro-Hungarian supremacy which endured until the empire fell.
In the Ottoman empire, the third and weakest of the great eastern powers, nationalism had begun to operate in three ways. It stimulated the Balkan Christians to a new desire for freedom from the Muslim yoke; it led them to rebel against the religious and secular hellenisation which had resulted from the control of administration and religious life by the Phanariot Greeks; and, as everywhere among subject peoples, it entailed a rebirth of cultural life, a rediscovery of past history and the gradual differentiation of one little-known Balkan people from another. But since these nations were relatively small and materially weak it also raised the question how far they could hope for complete autonomy and whether liberation from Turkey must not involve domination by Russia or Austria, Turkey’s European neighbours by land.
The history of Greece, Serbia, and Montenegro had by the ’thirties suggested that autonomy was a practical end where it was aided by geography. The history of the Principalities, however, suggested that elsewhere it might be more difficult to achieve, for, although since 1821 their Roumanian inhabitants had been allowed native instead of Greek hospodars or governors, the Treaty of Adrianople of 1829 had established a Russian military occupation which lasted until 1834 and a protectorate which was effective until the Crimean War. Yet neither Russian nor Turkish power prevented the growth of a national consciousness. As early as 1835 the British Consul in Bucharest had written of ‘the desire of the whole people’ for union under a foreign prince, ‘one neither Russian nor Greek’. This desire was strengthened by the education of well-to-do young Roumanians in western Europe, especially France, and by the growth of native institutions such as the Academy of Jassy, founded in 1835. In 1846, moreover, the abolition of customs barriers between the two Principalities was, as in Germany (see ch. XIX), an economic forerunner of political union. But this goal was attainable only after Russia, who with Turkey intervened to suppress the short-lived liberal and social revolutions of 1848 and whose troops again occupied the Principalities at the outset of the Crimean War (see ch. XVIII), had been seriously crippled.
Russia’s defeat in that war had the paradoxical consequence of weakening Turkey, whose preservation from Russian encroachments had been the main object of the western powers. The great powers now took a more direct interest in the Balkans, and a pretension to a kind of collective tutelage supplanted Russia’s claim to exclusive protectorate over her coreligionists (see p. 488). The achievement of Roumanian ambitions was facilitated, Montenegrin independence was confirmed, and the Crimean War together with the Italian War of 1859 encouraged other Balkan peoples to bolder designs for emancipation, aggrandisement, and the partition of Turkey-in-Europe.
For the Roumanians self-help and French support were the decisive factors. After 1848 many Roumanian liberals had returned to France where their national cause found powerful advocates in men such as Michelet, Quinet, Cousin, and eventually Napoleon III himself. Napoleon welcomed opportunities to display his genuine sympathy with the cause of nationality and to strengthen French prestige in the Near East (see ch. XVIII). His government canvassed the idea of union at the Paris Congress of 1856, and, although it was momentarily unsuccessful, French influence encouraged the development of a situation in which the unionist forces could triumph. In 1859 both Principalities elected the same native prince, Alexander Cuza, and the powers, preoccupied by the imminence of war between France and Austria (see ch. XVII), were obliged to accept the fait accompli. But few native princes had been wholly satisfactory, and in 1866, when the powers were once more preoccupied by the prospect of war between two of them (see chs. XVII, XIX), the Roumanians again seized their opportunity. They forced the now unpopular Cuza to abdicate, and chose a foreign prince, Charles of Hohenzollem, to be their ruler. At the same time their national assembly substituted the name Roumania for that of the United Principalities. Once again the powers reluctantly bowed to the fait accompli. Although nominal Turkish suzerainty continued until 1878 a new nation state had come into being; in doing so it had at least partly demonstrated the truth of the lesson already apparent in 1830-1, that a subject nationality could achieve statehood only with the aid of some great power. At the same time, like Greece, it was a nation state with an irredenta. Already in lectures as early as 1843 Michael Kogalniceanu, later one of free Roumania’s statesmen, had claimed as his country all the territories inhabited by Roumanians.
By 1870 the political climate had also perceptibly changed elsewhere in the Balkans. In 1862 Great Britain had ceded the Ionian Islands to Greece, and Palmerston had justified the action as ‘a natural arrangement’ owing to their nearness to Greece and their ‘identity of race and of language and religion’. In Serbia, where men aspired to make their country the Piedmont of the Balkans, Prince Michael, one of the ablest and wisest of the Obrenoviches, had in 1867 secured the evacuation of the Turkish garrisons and won such prestige that Greeks and Bulgars looked to him for support. By allying with Greece and Montenegro and winning recognition from Bulgarian revolutionaries as potential ruler of a great South Slav federation which would include Bulgars as well as Serbs he anticipated the grand alliance of Balkan Christian peoples which was the prelude to the first Balkan war of 1912. But the great war of liberation did not materialise in the nineteenth century, for Michael was assassinated in 1868 and his successors lacked both his ability and his boldness. Nevertheless the restlessness of the Greeks and the advances made by the Serbs and Roumanians could seem to justify those who believed that the heirs of Turkey in Europe would be not Austria and Russia, but the Balkan peoples themselves.
The re-emergence of the Bulgarians gave further support to such a view. They were a peasant people for long so much hellenised that until the publication of the work of the Slovak scholar Venelin (1802-39), described on his tomb at Odessa as the ‘Awakener of Bulgaria’, ‘even the most celebrated scholars... knew very little of the Bulgarian language’. As with so many other ‘unhistoric’ peoples, early Bulgar nationalism expressed itself chiefly through the founding of schools and development of education in the vernacular. But it also took the form of a demand for a national church independent of the Greek Patriarchate at Constantinople, and when the Turks, acting upon the principle of divide and rule, eventually agreed and set up an independent Bulgarian exarchate in 1870, bitter Greek hostility was aroused. At the same time revolutionary secret societies in the manner of the Italian Carbonari, Greek Hetairia, or Serb Omladinu, sprang up, and Bucharest and Novi-Sad became the headquarters of Bulgarian exiles who dreamed of recreating a great Bulgaria or Southern Slav federation. It was, however, clear that the visions of a great Greece and a great Bulgaria were incompatible. If the Balkan peoples were to be Turkey’s heirs they were only too likely to fall out over the heritage.
One people must finally be mentioned which, having had no' fatherland in modem history, might seem to have small claim to be regarded as a nation. The Jews, who numbered rather more than three millions in 1830 and about seven millions in 1870, had long been a predominantly European people by domicile, but they were still in many places despised and persecuted. Throughout these forty years the majority, from two-thirds to three-quarters, lived a life apart in the great Yiddish-speaking Pale of Poland and western Russia. By comparison their numbers in individual western European countries were insignificant—but it was from the West that there had sprung those principles of humanitarianism and enlightenment which most powerfully operated for the improvement of their lot. They were excluded altogether from Spain until 1869, liable to expulsion from a Swiss canton such as Basle until 1866, and in parts of Italy confined to the ghetto again after the fall of Napoleon—in Piedmont, for instance, until 1848 and in Rome for most of the time until 1870. In the Danubian principalities, where their numbers increased considerably during the years 1830-70 owing to overcrowding in the Russian Pale, they were subjected to bitter persecutions, and in the Russian empire they were obliged to live within the Pale and debarred from any professions but those of artisan and trader. But by 1830 there were many parts of western Europe such as the Netherlands, France, and various German states, in which they enjoyed religious freedom and equal rights of citizenship; some in which Jewish families like the Rothschilds already wielded conspicuous financial and political influence.
This emancipation had revolutionary consequences for the Jewish communities concerned, since it led to their secularisation and assimilation to the other citizens of the states in which they were domiciled, and to the gradual supersession of Yiddish—until the end of the eighteenth century the language of the majority of European Jews—by the vernacular tongues. This change and the accompanying movement to improve Jewish education occasioned bitter controversy, for Yiddish was a bulwark of Jewish separateness and orthodoxy, and by the stricter Jews the mixing of Jewish children with Gentiles in state schools and the adoption of the Gentile custom of preaching in the vernacular were regarded as anathema. The processes of assimilation, the absorption of foreign learning and alien traditions, resulted in a partial disintegration of the old, closely knit Jewish communities. In compensation, however, wealthy emancipated Jews who remained loyal to their people and religion could intervene or organise as never before on behalf of their less fortunate fellows. Thus when thirteen Jews were charged with the ritual murder of a Capuchin friar and his assistant at Damascus in 1840, Sir Moses Montefiore and Adolphe Cremieux, supported by the British and French governments, secured their release. Sir Moses, moreover, went on to obtain from the Porte a hatti humayun abolishing the peculiar disabilities of the Jews in Turkey and placing them on an equality with its other non-Muslim subjects. ‘For the first time since the fall of Jerusalem’, wrote a Jewish author, ‘Israelites of different nations took counsel and action together for general defence against a common peril. The latent national consciousness sprang into overt existence, and the New Israel of modem times was born... before 1840 what corresponded to Zionism was mainly religious and only unconsciously national.’ On the other hand, failure to secure from the papal government the release of Edgar Mortara, a Jewish child abducted in 1858, suggested the need for permanent bodies to defend Jewish interests. So there came into being the Board of Delegates of American Israelites (1859-78) in the U.S.A., modelled upon the long-established (1760) Board of Deputies of British Jews, and in Europe in 1860 the more important Alliance Israelite Universelle, whose aim was ‘to work actively everywhere on behalf of the emancipation and the moral progress of Israelites and to lend efficient aid to all who suffer from the fact of being Israelites’. By 1870 these bodies had done much useful work, and despite continued persecutions in Roumania the lot of the Jews had much improved in many parts of Europe, including even Russia. Meanwhile some had found relief elsewhere. There was a significant movement of Jews to the U.S.A., particularly from Germany and the Habsburg empire in and after 1848, some because of their part in the revolutions, some in flight from renewed anti-semitic outbreaks or because they were fired by the ‘On to America’ (Auf! nach Amerika!) movement launched in Prague in April 1848, some because they were disillusioned and weary of the Old World (europamilden), and some lured by Californian gold. Trivial in comparison, but of great interest in view of later Zionism, were a few settlements in Palestine and the various projects of individual writers and associations, especially in England, urging a restoration of the Jewish people to their biblical homeland.
Between 1830 and 1870 nationalism had thus made great strides. It had inspired great literature, quickened scholarship and nurtured heroes. It had shown its power both to unify and to divide. It had led to great achievements of political construction and consolidation in Germany and Italy; but it was more clearly than ever a threat to the Ottoman and Habsburg empires, which were essentially multi-national. European culture had been enriched by the new vernacular contributions of little-known or forgotten peoples, but at the same time such unity as it had was imperilled by fragmentation. Moreover, the antagonisms fostered by nationalism had made not only for wars, insurrections, and local hatreds—they had accentuated or created new spiritual divisions in a nominally Christian Europe. The movement towards cosmopolitanism encouraged by eighteenth-century enlightenment and by many of the principles of the French Revolution was arrested by the self-isolation of German nationalism and by the revulsion of Slavophiles and Pan-Slavs against the West: and the new cleavages were deepened as peasant emancipation and universal suffrage enabled nationalists to harness the masses in their cause. For the Romantics before 1848 the true brotherhood of a universal republic of liberated nations had not seemed a fantastic dream. But, despite the multiplication of peace societies, the growth of international socialism, and practical devices of international co-operation such as the Red Cross, the story of nationalism since 1848 had made such a goal infinitely remote. Bismarck and Cavour had shown what could be achieved by Realpolitik, and the urge to dominate and expand had become more insistent as nationalism itself became more exclusive, populations expanded and industrial power showed its strength. Nationalism and the cause of nationalities had immensely gained in impetus. They promised to be the basis and driving force of future states, but Acton was not alone among contemporaries in viewing them with disquiet and in believing the theory of nationality to be a retrograde step in history. Proudhon, regarding the course of events from a very different angle, saw in it a grave obstacle to social progress, Herzen, whom Kohn calls ‘one of the few Russians who fully valued individual liberty and the freedom of the West’, denounced exclusive nationalism as a principal obstacle to the development of universal liberty; and Emile de Laveleye, a shrewd Belgian publicist, declared that it filled him with anxiety and sometimes with anguish: ‘It mocks at treaties, tramples on historic rights, puts diplomacy in disarray, upsets every situation... and to-morrow perhaps will unleash accursed war.’