That nationalism had taken hold in Italy before 1848? Give reasons for your answer. Plan 1- Intro. What is nationalism? Who was interested and involved in the movements? Who were not? Many powers working for and against and Italian unification. Models for Italian unity, some failed, others succeeded in playing an important part in the unification. 2- Political apathy and superstition of Italian society- did not interest majority of Italy. 3- BUT in 1940 economic and social developments were changing- Agricultural crisis, encouraging peasants to partake in revolutionary action. 4- Language differences and lack of communication.
Piedmont Sardinia and Kingdom of the two Sicilies – French, Papal States- Latin, Austrian governed areas- German. 5- BUT Secret societies- spreading ideas 6- Influence of Austria. 7- BUT New rulers, influencing society, replacing the previous autocratic rulers. 8- Conclusion. Nationalism is patriotic feelings, principles, or efforts. In Italy, it was a loyalty to a state, and a belief that only in a united country could its citizen’s flourish. As the governments in the separate States of Italy, especially the Austrian rulers, became more oppressive, the Italian society became more discontented.
Some of the Upper Class Italian citizens were aware of the need for reform, as they were educated and wealthy yet had no political status, and no influence to their governors, so they started to lead the political movement. There were also many leaders up to 1848 influencing the Italian society with different ideas and beliefs, and caused revolts. Some leaders failed, holding back nationalism, others played an important part in the spreading nationalism throughout Italy. Nationalism was held back mainly due to apathy. 90% of the Italian Population was illiterate and dependant on a particular type of farming.
Nationalism therefore was not a key issue in their day-to-day lives as priorities were food and survival. Also, being illiterate, nationalist ideas could not spread to these people, as they were not able to read any ideas, nor interpret the nationalist messages in the literature, music and art. However, in the beginning of the 1840’s there was an economic crisis. The Italian economy was based on agriculture, yet Italian farming was inefficient. Foreign countries began to use more advanced farming methods, so there was overseas competition.
The peasantry were affected and this led to them being attracted to the Liberal reformers, and participating in riots. This sudden participation and interest in the reforms was because it affected the peasants’ lives: the quality, and chance of survival. This meant now most of the 90% of the Italian population who were peasants were now interested in nationalism, showing a dramatic increase in coverage over Italy of nationalism. Although Italy was geographically suited to unification (there are no mountains separating different parts of Italy), there was a lack of communication.