French Revolution Essay

Published: 2020-01-17 14:21:20
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To fully explain the root cause of Modern Nationalism, one must look into what has transpired in the French Revolution. In 1789, the French revolution was born. There were transitions of power acquisition in the vital parts of Europe. On the 14th of July 1789, Bastille was under siege and on October the King Louis XVI and Royal Family was dethroned from Versailles and ended up to Paris. King Louis XVI was the ruler back then so his downfall can be equated to a total loss of order and authority.

There were several attempts to escape the ouster of King Louis XVI but unfortunately it failed. With no clear power over the vast land, an assembly was formed to have a well-rounded and organized republic comprised of Austria, Holland, Prussia and Sardinia. When the republic was formed, King Louis was executed for his tyranny which have entailed for the sprouting of the Revolutionary Tribunal. France did not participate with this ideology because of the resistance of Napoleon Bonaparte.

Napoleon Bonaparte acquired control of the Consulate to proliferate a uniform law, equality, property rights and eradication of feudalism. Geographically, France is situated between the two large clusters of the liberal advocates. Basically, the French Revolution was the clash between the liberals and the radicals. Liberalists are those people who adhere to a just society through the divine law that is hereditary through culture while radicals are those who adhere to line of thinking that change and variation from the old system must manifest for a better society.

From the clashes of the two opposing ideologies of the French Revolution, a new ideology was formed which is the Modern Nationalism. Nationalism is an ideology which focuses on the unity of the members of the nation to have a single national identity given basis to ethnicity, origin and the cultural background of these nations (Miscevic, 2005). The essence of adhering to the Nationalist Ideology is to establish a state. A state is political entity that is assumed to have a high degree of sovereignty (Miscevic, 2005).

The state has a high sovereignty because it is assumed that the power is centralized with this entity. All of the members of the nation must abide to the imposed terms and conditions made by the state. The state can be polymorphous in way that it can be democratic and also can be totalitarian. The two opposing kingdoms of Italy and Germany were united. Despite of their contrasting beliefs, they found a way to remedy the situation and push through for the development of the nation.

In 1871, they were united but the times went sour when the nation needed a sole leader of the two states. It is assumed and predicted that there will be conflict between Italy and Germany because of their adherence to Liberalism and Nationalism, respectively. Guissepe Mazzini was a radical revolutionary thinker that viewed the Italy as a state under an umbrella of control by a foreign authority. He wanted to free Italy from nationalistic ideology that it has adhered to since he was a liberalist.

With his propaganda mission, he was put into bars in Italy. His revolutionary act were extremely refuted by the nationalist view hence he did not stop pursuing his effort of shifting Italy to a liberal state. Nationalism is a good ideology but it has some loopholes like any other ideologies. Some of them are: it is too predictive and presumptuous, why, because it always aims to unite people that are completely different from one another. Cultural relativism can be an issue for nationalism.

Second, the selection of state that will be the center of authority, this is very important hence no one could tell what possible qualities should a good state possess and it all boils down to who has the greater means of production. Lastly, it assumes that the world possesses a harmonious relation, but in reality, we are driven by conflict.


Cody, D. (2007). French Revolution. The Victorian Website. Hartwick College. Retrieved on November 6, 2007 from http://www. victorianweb. org/history/hist7. html Spitzer, A. (2005). Tocquevilles Modern Nationalism. Oxford Journals.

University of Iowa. Retrieved on November 6, 2007 from http://fh. oxfordjournals. org/cgi/content/abstract/19/1/48 Chastain, J. (2004). Guissepe Mazzini. Encyclopedia of 1848 Revolutions. Retrieved on November 6, 2007 from http://www. ohiou. edu/~chastain/index. htm Chew, R. (1995). Napoleon I: Emperor of French. Lucidcafe Website. Retrieved on November 6, 2007 from http://www. lucidcafe. com/lucidcafe. html Miscevic, N. (2005). Nationalism. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved on November 6, 2007 from http://plato. stanford. edu/entries/nationalism/#1. 2

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