Which Factor was Responsible for the Rise of Nationalism in Europe?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 9th, 2023

The Factor Responsible for the Rise of Nationalism in Europe is the growth of nation-states and new national identities in place of earlier multiethnic empires that resulted in the rise of nationalism in Europe due to cultural, ethnic, and political policies. It began with the Enlightenment in the middle of the eighteenth century. It gained traction in the early 19th century due to the Industrial Revolution and the rise of the middle class. These changes gave rise to the nation-replacement states of the global dynastic empires of Europe.

Rise of Nationalism in Europe

Nationalism was the intellectual force behind Europe’s transformation. The rise of nationalism was encouraged by the events of the French Revolution and the subsequent Napoleonic wars.

Some nations, such as Germany and Italy, were created by merging several regional states under a single national identity. Others, including Poland, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Greece, were established because of rebellions against the Russian or Ottoman Empires.

Factors Responsible for the Rise of Nationalism in Europe

The factors responsible for nationalism in Europe are as follows:

  • The decline of Feudalism: Federal lords were the main impediment to nationalism’s emergence, and without their eradication, nationalism might have suffered significantly.
  • Foreign Rule: The people were oppressed by the foreign overlords, who also treated them cruelly and barbarously. This inspired the spirit of nationalism in them and helped the people to unite against foreign control.
  • Weakening Authority of the Pope: In the Middle Ages, the Church held a supreme and exalted position and exercised immense power. However, the Reformation and Renaissance movements spread widespread awareness and reduced the control of the Pope. As a result, many countries established their own national churches and states.
  • Vienna Settlement: After the Napoleonic Wars, the Vienna settlement tried to suppress the nationalist and revolutionary forces of Europe. But this provoked the population of the subjects, who then started the national independence movement.
  • Wars: Nationalism began with wars in both France and England. The national sentiment was aroused by the Hundred Years’ War between the two nations of France and England.

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