The economic and political philosophy that opposed state intervention in
economic affairs, supported free trade, competition, and individual initiative
as the key to success; this philosophy was, above all, an attack on privilege,
on the aristocrats, on the Anglican Church; liberals believed that talent alone
should dictate a man's advancement in the world; supported in England by
A political and economic philosophy that supported state intervention in the
economy on behalf of the disadvantaged; supported the maintenance of traditional
institutions of privilege in the name of preservation of tradition and custom
that worked in the past; supported in England by Benjamin Disraeli.
May 1848-June 1849. German national parliament that tried and failed to create
a united German state during the 1848 revolutions. First meeting in May 1848,
the convention was populated by middle class civil servants, lawyers, and
intellectuals dedicated to liberal reform. However, after drawing the
boundaries for a German state and offering the crown to Friedrich Wilhelm, the
Kaiser refused in March 1849, dooming hopes for a united, liberal Germany, and
the Frankfurt assembly dissolved soon after.
Peace of Paris
1856; ended the Crimean War; Russia relinquished its claim as the protector
of Christianity in the Ottoman Empire and the Black Sea was neutralized among
all powers; solidified a complete defeat for Russia.
Popular votes on one question or issue on the ballot; Camillo di Cavour used
these to legitimize Sardinia's role as the central nation in unification as he
arranged these votes in every province to be annexed by Sardinia into the
The notion that politics must be conducted in terms of the realistic assessment
of power and the self-interest of individual nation-states, and the pursuit of
those interests by any means, often ruthless and violent ones; used skillfully
by Camillo di Cavour and Otto von Bismarck in their policies toward
Literally, "resurgence"; the name given to the movement for Italian unification
because the movement hoped to bring Italy back to its former ancient glory
through unification into one political entity; succeeded with proclamation of
Italian state in 1861, finally completed with annexation of Rome in 1870.
An institution in Russia and many eastern European states in which peasants were
legally tied to the land that they farmed and could not leave that land without
expressed permission from the baron or landowner; created an immobile peasantry
and a form of slavery; ended with the Emancipation of 1861.
Russian Tsar 1855-1881; known as a reformer for his Great Reforms program
that included changes in education, judicial matters, military readiness, and
expression freedom; issued the Emancipation edict of 1861 to free the serfs;
but his record only shows him to be a half-hearted reformer, never really
interested in compromising any element of his power; assassinated in 1881 by a
radical because of his lackluster performance as a reformer.
Otto von Bismarck
1815-1898; German chancellor and architect of German unification under the
Prussian crown; ruthlessly used realpolitik in his endeavors; instigated
fabricated conflicts with Denmark, Austria, and France to acquire the land he
believed should be part of the German Empire.
Camillo di Cavour
1810-1861; Sardinian prime minister and architect of Italian unification under
Sardinia's crown; skillfully used realpolitik and his understanding of
international relations to enhance Sardinia's stature as a European power and
use the French-Austrian conflict to his advantage.
1809-1882; scientist, biologist. Sparked by a visit to the Galapagos Islands on the
HMS Beagle, Darwin
On the Origin of Species By Means
of Natural Selection
in 1859. Darwin's
ideas dramatically affected
societal self-conception, challenging the uniqueness of man and the relation of man to God, spurring
the development of the scientific field of
and less scientific
ideas such as Social Darwinism.
1804-1881; leader of the Conservative Party, dedicated to government
intervention and the maintenance of traditional institutions of privilege for
tradition and stability purposes; his government passed the Factory Act of 1875,
setting a maximum of a fifty-six hour work-week; the Public Health Act,
establishing a sanitary code; the Artisans Dwelling Act, defining minimum
housing standards; and the Trade Union Act, permitting picketing and other
peaceful labor tactics.
Italian patriot, democrat, and freedom fighter; once Italian unification seemed
possible, after the defeat of Austria, he led a legion of Italian fighters
through the Kingdom of Naples, liberated province after province to create a
unified Italian state; forced to relinquish his territory to Camillo di
Cavour's Sardinian lands in the name of unification.
1809-1898; leader of the Liberal Party in Great Britain, though he began his
career as a Tory; main advocate of the liberal approach to government--no
tariffs, free trade, no government intervention; his government abolished
tariffs, cut defense spending, lowered taxes, kept budgets balanced, reformed
the civil service into a merit-based promotion system, and made elementary
education available to and mandatory for everyone.
1809-1891; chief architect of the redesigned Paris under Napoleon III; known
for his utter disregard for established neighborhoods when he redesigned Paris
as a home for the upper and middle class bourgeoisie of France; Haussman's
redesigned Paris, known for its wide boulevards, straight roads, museums, and
pristine arrangement, thus served as the model for countless other cities
throughout the world.
American president, elected 1860; led Union during the American Civil War and
dedicated himself to the forcible reunification of the United States. See the SparkNote
on Abraham Lincoln
1818-1883; German political philosopher and founder of scientific socialism;
Italian patriot and democrat committed to the unification of Italy under a
liberal democratic government; leader of the Young Italy organization, a group
of mostly Italian youths and democrats who pledged to work toward a united
1808-1873; formerly Louis Napoleon and nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte; won in the
presidential election in France in December 1848, but took dictatorial powers on
December 2, 1851 and took the monarchical title; can be considered the first
modern politician due to his mastery of communication and appearances to
maintain the grandeur of France; known for his economic prosperity, rejuvenation
of Paris, and support of Italian unification; defeated in Franco-Prussian
American Civil War
1861-1865; conflict between the North and the Confederate South over states'
rights, federalism, economic rights, and, to some extent, slavery. The Civil
was an example of the forcible unification of a
union using realpolitik.
1853-1856; war that pitted Russia against the alliance of Britain, France, the
Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Sardinia; Russia wanted warm water ports on
Black Sea and thus hoped to take advantage of weakening Ottoman Empire; France
and Britain feared an upset to the balance of power in Europe; emerged as an
absolute military defeat for Russia.
Emancipation of the serfs
1861; by the Emancipation Edict offered by Alexander II; ended the
institution of serfdom in Russia after centuries of its use; most probably done
because the government needed an effective pool of men from which it could
conscript thousands into the army; after the defeat in the Crimean War, this
was one of the efforts taken to strengthen the weak Russian military.
July-September 1870; conflict between France and Prussia over a fabricated
insult allegedly made by the French ambassador to the Prussia king; Prussia
defeated France and her own territory and took Alsace-Lorraine from France and
laid siege to Paris until the country gave in; overthrew the government and set
up a parliamentary system in Paris.
Tsar Alexander II's changes that he directed from above; changes in
education, the judiciary, the military, expression rights, etcetera all seemed
to follow an enlightened, liberal perspective; however, upon careful review of
these reforms, it is obvious that these were grudging reforms with little real
1854-1855; Russia's heavily fortified chief naval base in the Black Sea, lying
on the Crimean peninsula; after just under one year of constant battle and being
under siege by French an British, the Russian abandoned the fortress, blowing up
their fortifications and sinking their own ships; one example of the harsh
battles of the campaign.
Seven Weeks' War
1866; war between Prussia and Austria, named for its very short duration; was a
fabricated conflict over administration of Holstein; complete victory for
Prussia; Prussia gained Holstein and put an end to all Austrian involvement in
German affairs, clearing a major obstacle to German unification.