Class 10 History Chapter 1 Notes Download

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  • The first clear expression of nationalism came with the French Revolution in 1789.
  • The French Revolution proclaimed that it was the people who would henceforth constitute the nation and shape its destiny.
  • The revolutionary ideas spread in Europe after the outbreak of revolutionary wars and the rule of Napoleon.
  • In early nineteenth century Europe, national unity was allied to the ideology of
  • After the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, European governments were driven by a spirit of Conservatism, which led to repression and drove people to oppose monarchical
  • Giuseppe Mazzini, an Italian revolutionary, set up ‘Young Italy’ in Marseilles (France) and ‘Young Europe’ in Berne (Switzerland).
  • Mazzini was described as ‘the most dangerous enemy of our social order’, by Metternich, the Austrian Chancellor, who hosted the Vienna Congress.



  • Liberalism and nationalism became associated with revolution in many regions of Europe such as the Italian and German states, the provinces of the Ottoman Empire, Ireland and Poland.
  • The first upheaval took place in France, in July 1830.
  • Thr Greek War of Independence was another event which mobilised nationalist feelings among the educated elite in Europe.
  • Culture played an important role in creating the idea of the nation. Art and poetry, stories, music helped express and shape nationalist feelings.
  • Romanticism was a cultural movement which sought to develop a particular form of nationalist sentiment.
  • Language too played an important role in developing nationalist sentiments.
  • The 1830s saw a rise in prices, bad harvest, poverty in Europe. Besides the poor, unemployed and starving peasants, even educated middle classes, revolted.
  • In 1848, an all-German National Assembly was voted for in Frankfurt.
  • The issue of extending political rights to women became a controversial one.
  • Conservative forces were able to suppress liberal movements in 1848, but could not restore the old order.
  • After 1848, nationalism in Europe moved away from its association with democracy and revolution.
  • In 1848, Germans tried to unite into a nation-state.
  • Prussia took the lead under its Chancellor, Otto von Bismarck. Three wars over seven years with Austria, Denmark and France ended in victory for Prussia and a unified Germany.
  • In January 1871, Prussian king, William I, was proclaimed German Emperor at a ceremony at Versailles.
  • Italy was fragmented, before unification it was a part of the multinational Habsburg Empire in the north, centre under the Pope and the south under the Bourbon kings of Spain.
  • Three Men – Giuseppe Mazzini, Chief Minister Cavour and Giuseppe Garibaldi played a leading role in unifying Italy during the 1830s.
  • In 1861, Victor Emmanuel II was proclaimed the king of united Italy.
  • In Britain, the formation of the nation state was not the result of a sudden upheaval but was the result of a long-drawn-out process.
  • The Act of Union (1707) – united Scotland and England and “the United Kingdom of Great Britain” was formed.
  • Ireland was forcibly incorporated into the United Kingdom in 1801. A new British nation was forged.




  • People and artists in the 18th and 19th centuries personified a nation.
  • In France, Marianne became the allegory of the French nation, while Germania became the allegory of the German nation.
  • By the 1870s nationalism no longer retained its idealistic liberal democratic sentiment but became a narrow creed with limited ends.
  • The major European powers, manipulated the nationalist aspirations of the subject peoples in Europe to further their own imperialist aims.
  • People everywhere developed their own specific variety of nationalism.
  • The idea that societies should be organised into nation-states came to be accepted as natural and universal.


Q.1. Write a note on Giuseppe Mazzini.

Ans. Giuseppe Mazzini was an Italian revolutionary, born in Genoa in 1807. He was a member of the secret society of the Carbonari. At the age of 24, he was sent into exile in 1831 for attempting a revolution in Liguria. He founded underground societies named ‘Young Italy’ in Marseilles and ‘Young Europe’ in Berne, whose members were like-minded young men from Poland, France, Italy and the German States.

Q.2. What steps did the French revolutionaries take to create a sense of collective identity among the French people?


State any three measures and practices introduced by French revolutionaries to create a sense of collective identity among French People. [2010 (T-2)]

Ans. The steps taken to create a sense of collective identity amongst French people by the French revolutionaries included

  • Ideas of la patrie (the fatherland) and le citoyen (the citizen) emphasising the notion of a united community enjoying equal rights under a constitution.
  • A new French flag, a tricolour.
  • A new National Assembly elected by active citizens.
  • New hymns, oaths and martyrs commemorated in the name of the nation.
  • Centralised administrative system.
  • Uniform system of weights, measures and abolition of internal customs.
  • Discouraging regional dialects and promoting French as a common language of the nation.


Q.3. Write a note on Count Camilo de Cavour.


Who was Count Camilo de Cavour? State any two of his contributions?   [2011 (T-2)]

Ans. The failure of revolutionary uprisings, both in 1831 and 1848, meant that the mantle now fell on Sardinia-Piedmont under its ruler, King Victor Emmanuel II to unify the Italian states through war. Chief minister Cavour, who led this movement to unify the regions of Italy, was neither a revolutionary nor a democrat. Like many other wealthy and educated members of the Italian elite, he spoke French much better than he did Italian. Through a tactful diplomatic alliance with France engineered by Cavour, Sardinia-Piedmont succeeded in defeating the Austrian forces in 1859.

Q.4. Write a note on the Greek War of Independence.

Ans. The Greek War of Independence mobilised nationalist feelings among the educated class in Europe. Since the 15th century the Ottoman Empire had made Greece its territory. In 1821 the Greeks struggled against this and a nationalist movement began. Exiled Greeks and many West Europeans who admired ancient Greek culture supported the Greek nationalists. Poets and artists lauded Greece as the cradle of European civilisation and mobilised public opinion to support its struggle against a Muslim empire. After the war, the Treaty of Constantinople was signed in 1832. It recognised Greece as an independent nation.

Q.5. Write a note on the Frankfurt Parliament.




Explain any three features of the Frankfurt parliament.

[2011 (T-2)]

Ans. Middle-class professionals, businessmen, wealthy artists and artisans came together to vote for an all-German National Assembly. They met at Frankfurt on 18 May, 1848, and 831 elected representatives walked to take their places in the Frankfurt Parliament convened in the Church of St. Paul. A Constitution was drafted for a German nation which was to be headed by a monarchy, subject to a Parliament. However, Friedrich Wilhelm IV, King of Prussia, rejected the offer to head such a monarchy and opposed the elected assembly. The opposition grew stronger eroding the Parliament. As the middle-class members in the Parliament dominated, they gave no credence to the demands of artisans and workers and so lost their support. The troops were called and the Assembly was also disbanded.

Q.6. Write a note on the role of women in nationalist struggles.




Explain the role of women in the nationalist struggles of Europe.

[2011 (T-2)]

Ans. The issue of extending political rights to women was a controversial one within the liberal movement, in which large numbers of women had participated actively over the years. Women had formed their own political associations, founded newspapers and taken part in political meetings and demonstrations. Despite this, they were denied suffrage during the election of the Assembly. When the Frankfurt Parliament convened in the Church of St. Paul, women were admitted only as observers to stand in the visitors’ gallery.

Q.7. Briefly trace the process of German unification.

Ans. In the 1800s, nationalist feelings were strong in the hearts of the middle-class Germans. They united in 1848 to create a nation-state out of the numerous German States. But the monarchy and the military got together to repress them and they gained support from the landowners of Prussia (the Junkers) too. Prussia soon became the leader of German unification movement. Its Chief Minister Otto von Bismarck was the architect of the process with support from Prussian army and Prussian bureaucracy. The unification process was completed after Prussia won wars with Austria, Denmark and France over seven years time. In January 1871, the Prussian king, William I, was proclaimed the German Emperor in a ceremony held at Versailles.

Q.8. Who were Marianne and Germania? What was the importance of the way in which they were portrayed?


  • Female allegories were invented in the 19th century.
  • In France, she was christened Marianne, underlining the idea of a people’s nation.
  • Marianne’s characteristics resembled that of Liberty and Republic, i.e. the red cap, the tricolour and the cockade.
  • Marianne’s statues were erected in public squares to remind the public of the national symbol of unity and to persuade them to identify with it.
  • Marianne’s images were marked on coins and stamps.
  • Germania became the allegory of the German nation.
  • In visual representations, Germania wears a crown of oak leaves, as the German oak stands for heroism.

Q.9. Explain what is meant by the 1848 revolution of the liberals. What were the political, social and economic ideas supported by the liberals?


What were the political, social and economic ideals supported by the liberals in Europe? [2011 (T-2)]

Ans. The term ‘liberalism’ derives from the Latin root liber meaning free. The middle-class believed in the individual’s freedom and that the law must view everyone with equality. On the political front, liberalism denoted government by consent. Liberalism had also symbolised the autocracy’s end and no more clerical privileges. This was followed by a constitution and representative government through Parliament, especially after the French Revolution. 19th century liberals focussed on the inviolability of private property.

Equality before law did not necessarily stand for universal suffrage. We may recall that in revolutionary France, which marked the first political experiment in liberal democracy, the right to vote and to get elected was granted exclusively to the property-owning men.

The Napoleonic Code went back to limited suffrage and reduced women to the status of a minor, subject to the authority of fathers and husbands. Throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries women and non-propertied men organised opposition movements demanding equal political rights.

In the economic sphere, freedom of markets and the abolition of state-imposed restrictions on the movement of goods and capital was liberalism. During the nineteenth century, this was a strong demand of the emerging middle classes.

Such conditions were viewed as obstacles to economic exchange and growth by the new commercial classes, who argued for the creation of a unified economic territory allowing the unhindered movement of goods, people and capital. In 1834, a customs union or Zollverein was formed at the initiative of Prussia and joined by most of the German States. The union abolished tariff barriers and reduced the number of currencies from over thirty to two.

Q.10. What changes were brought due to Napoleon’s reforms and code? What were the reactions to these changes?


What changes did Napoleon introduce to make the administrative system more efficient in the territories ruled by him?


Explain any three changes which Napoleon introduced to make the administrative system more efficient in Europe.                                         [2011 (T-2)]

Ans. In the territories conquered by Napoleon, he introduced a number of reforms as he had done in France. Return to monarchy had damaged democracy in France but Napoleon had introduced revolutionary principles in administration that had changed it for the better. In 1804 the Civil Code, also called Napoleonic Code, was introduced and it did away with all privilege based on birth, established equality before the law and secured the right to property.

Soon the Code spread to all territories under French control. Administration was simplified, feudal system was abolished and serfs were freed in the Dutch Republic, in Switzerland, in Italy and Germany. In the towns, guild restrictions no longer remained. Transport and communication systems improved. Artisans, peasants, workers and new businessmen enjoyed the new-found freedom. Businessmen and small-scale producers learnt that uniform laws, standardised weights and measures and a common national currency would help in trading goods and capital from one region to another.

In the French territories, there were mixed reactions. In Holland and Switzerland, Brussels, Mainz, Miland and Warsaw, the French armies were welcomed as messengers of liberty. But this feeling soon became negative because the people realised that the new administrative method did not go along with political freedom. Soon people detested increased taxes, censorship and forced conscription into the French armies required to conquer the rest of Europe.

Q.11. Choose three examples to show the contribution of culture to the growth of nationalism in Europe.

Ans. The development of nationalism did not come about only through wars and territorial expansion. Culture played an important role in creating the idea of the nation : art and poetry, stories and music helped to express and shape nationalist feelings.

Romanticism was a cultural movement which sought to develop a particular form of nationalist sentiment. Romantic artists and poets generally became strong critics of reason and science in their glorified forms. The Romanticists dwelt more on emotions, intuition and mystical feelings. They were aiming at creating a sense of shared collective heritage and common cultural part to serve as the basis of a nation.

German philosopher Johann Gottfried Herder (1744 – 1803), a Romantic, claimed that true German culture was to be discovered among the common people — das volk. He claimed that folk songs, folk poetry and folk dances held the true spirit of the nation (Volksgeist). He encouraged collecting and recording these forms of folk culture as essential to the nation-building process. The emphasis on vernacular language and the collection of local folklore, as the Grimm brothers (Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm in 1812) did, was not just to recover an ancient national spirit, but also to carry the modern nationalist message to large audiences who were mostly illiterate. Even though Poland no longer existed as an independent territory, national feelings were kept alive there through music and language.

Language too played an important role in developing nationalist sentiments. After Russian occupation, the Polish language was forced out of schools and the Russian language was imposed everywhere. In 1831, an armed rebellion against Russian rule took place but was ultimately crushed. Following this, many members of the clergy in Poland began to use language as a weapon of national resistance. Polish was used for Church gatherings and all religious instruction. As a result, a large number of priests and bishops were put in jail or sent to Siberia by the Russian authorities as punishment for their refusal to preach in Russian. The use of Polish came to be seen as a symbol of struggle against Russian dominance

Q.12. Why did nationalist tensions emerge in the Balkans?


  •  The Balkan region comprised modern-day Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, Greece, Macedonia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Slovenia, Serbia and Montenegro, and its inhabitants were broadly called Slavs. 
  • With a large area of Balkan region under Ottoman Empire, the spread of the ideas of romantic nationalism in the Balkans together with the breaking up of the Ottoman Empire made the situation even more serious.
  • Ottoman Empire had not been able to become strong even after reforms and modern methods after an effort of nearly 91 years. Gradually most of the European subject nationalities broke away from the Ottoman Empire’s control to declare themselves independent.
  • The claim for independence and political rights by the Balkan people was based on nationality. They gave examples of history to prove that they had once been independent but had subsequently been subjugated by foreign powers.
  • Thus the rebellious nationalities in the Balkans thought of their struggles as attempts to win back their long lost independence.
  • Soon various Slavic nationalities were struggling to define their identity and independence making Balkan region one having intense conflict. 
  • The internal rivalries and jealousies made the Balkan states distrust and fear each other.
  • As the Balkans had become site for big power fights, the situation became even more serious. The fights were among the European powers who fought for trade and colonies and for naval and military powers.
  • Russia, Germany, England and Austria-Hungary wanted to gain control of the Balkan region causing many wars which culminated in the First World War.

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