The Rise of Nationalism in Italy and Germany These two passages reflect the feelings of nationalism that were developing in the mid-1800s in Italy and Germany. Guiseppe Mazzini: “Young Italy is a brotherhood of Italians who believe in progress and duty. We are convinced that Italy is destined to become one nation. We are convinced that Italians can unify the nation without outside help. Former efforts to bring unity failed not because of the weaknesses of the Italian spirit but because revolutionary efforts were misguided. Those who join this organization devote both their thought and action to achieve the great aim of making Italy one independent, sovereign nation of free and equal men… Young Italy aims to create a country that is republican and unified. We aim to make Italy republican because under the law of God and humanity every nation is destined to form a free and equal community of brothers. A republican government is the only political system that insures the future.” Wilhelm von Humboldt: “Only a nation strong enough to meet aggression can preserve its inner blessings. It must be strong and free to build up self-reliance in the people, to pursue its national development peacefully, and to keep an advantageous position in the midst of other European nations. The feeling that Germany is a unit does not depend only on the memory of customs, language, and literature. It also depends on the memory of rights and liberties enjoyed—and dangers suffered—in common. It depends on the memory of another age when our ancestors were more unified. If the individual German states continue their self-seeking, isolated status, they will learn it is impossible, or at least very difficult, to remain self-reliant … There are only two methods by which a people can be held together: a real constitution or a mere confederation. A constitution is undeniably better than a confederation. It is more impressive, more binding, more lasting.” 1. According to Mazzini, why did previous attempts at unification fail? 2. What important guarantees does Mazzini feel a republican Italy will offer its people? 3. What does Humboldt say is the basis of Germany’s feeling of unity? 4. What methods does Humboldt suggest for unifying Germany?
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