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Explain the concept of liberal nationalism which developed in Europe in early 19th century.

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Liberalism meant different things to different people.  

Political liberalism:  

  • It stood for equality before the law. 
  • Revolutionary France marked the first political experiment in liberal democracy in which right to vote and get elected was granted exclusively to property-owning men. 
  • Men without property, and all women were excluded from political rights. 
  • Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, women and non-propertied men organised opposition movements demanding equal political rights. 

Economic liberalism:  

  • It stood for freedom of markets and the abolition of state-imposed restrictions on the movement of goods and capital. 
  • Customs Union or ‘zollverein’ was formed in Prussia, joined by most of the German states. 
  • The Union abolished tariff barriers and reduced the number of currencies from thirty to two.

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