At the end of the 19th century, Germany was experiencing the so-called “reading revolution” as a part of the growing liberalist trends in the country. National language and national identity were viewed as the two essential components of the future German republic: republicanism gave birth to the new meaning of the German language as “point of orientation, focus of value, source of identity, and locus of allegiance” (Blackbourn 43). Since that time, the new essence of German republican identity was inseparable from the German language and German culture that were deeply embedded into German understanding of republican freedom.
In distinction from Germany, Italy passed a long way to becoming a radical form of nationalist monarchy, but the roots of Italian nationalism stemmed from Guiseppi Giribaldi’s devotion to republic as the ultimate and the most appropriate form of the state order in Italy (Haas 104). Despite his tragic defeat, Giribaldi was able to plant the seeds of nationalism as the instrument that organized masses around their national values and that fused previous cleavages across class boundaries.
In Italy, “monarchism and nationalism worked together to create a new member of the European family of nations”, but it is clear that without liberalist and republican influence of the neighboring states, Italy would hardly arrive to a new vision of collectivistic nationalism as a part of Italian way to social and economic prosperity (Haas 109). Conclusion Nationalism is frequently considered to be a political offshoot of liberalism. Liberalism was an important component of nationalism in Europe, but was not the direct source of nationalist moods. Rather, its modified republican form has become the source of revolutionary nationalist ideas.
In the 19th century Europe, the striving for a new republican order was inseparable from the striving to establish the new meaning of cultural and national identity; that is why the journey of republicanism across Europe has actually resulted in the development of a completely new cultural and national vision of democracy, with Germany and Italy signifying the triumph of nationalism in the new political order in Western Europe.
Blackbourn, D. The Long Nineteenth Century: A History of Germany, 1780-1918. Oxford University Press, 1998. Haas, E. B. Nationalism, Liberalism, and Progress. Cornell University Press, 1997.