Chapter : 1. The Rise Of Nationalism In Europe

The French Revolution And The Idea Of The Nation

The French Revolution And The Idea Of The Nation
France was a full fledged territorial state in 1789 under the rule of an absolute monarch. The political and constitutional changes that came in the wake of French Revolution led to the transfer of sovereignty from the monarchy to a body of French citizens. The revolution proclaimed that it was the people who would hence forth constitute the nation and shape its destiny.
Steps Taken by French Revolutionaries :
(i) A centralised administrative system was put in place and it formulated uniform laws for all citizens within its territory.
(ii) Internal customs, duties and dues were abolished and a uniform system of weights and measures was adopted.
(iii) Regional dialects were discouraged and French as it was spoken and written in Paris, became the common language of the nation.
When the news of the events in France reached the different cities of Europe. Students and other members of educated middle classes began setting up Jacobin Clubs. Their activities and campaigns prepared the way for the French armies which moved into Holland, Belgium, Switzerland and much of Italy in the 1790s. With the out break of the revolutionary wars, the French armies began to carry the idea of nationalism abroad.

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