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Write a note on:

a) Guiseppe Mazzini
b) Count Camillo de Cavour
c) The Greek war of independence
d) Frankfurt parliament
e) The role of women in nationalist struggles

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(a) Guiseppe Mazzini: He was an Italian revolutionary who played a significant role in promoting the idea of a unified Italian state. He believed that nations were the natural units of mankind, and so Italy (which was then divided into a number of small states and kingdoms) had to be forged into a single unified republic. During the 1830s, he strived to put together a coherent programme for such a unitary Italian Republic. He also set up two secret societies, namely Young Italy and Young Europe. These societies helped in the dissemination of his ideas.

 (b) Count Camillo de Cavour: Of the seven states of Italy, only Sardinia-Piedmont was ruled by an Italian princely house. When the revolutionary uprisings of 1831 and 1848 failed to unite Italy, the responsibility to establish a unified Italy fell upon this Italian state. King Victor Emmanuel II was its ruler and Cavour was the Chief Minister. Cavour led the movement to unite the separate states of nineteenth-century Italy. He engineered a careful diplomatic alliance with France, which helped Sardinia-Piedmont defeat the Austrian forces in 1859, and thereby free the northern part of Italy from the Austrian Habsburgs.

 (c) The Greek war of independence: This was a successful war of independence waged by Greek revolutionaries between 1821 and 1829 against the Ottoman Empire. The Greeks were supported by the West European countries, while poets and artists hailed Greece as the cradle of European civilisation. Finally, the Treaty of Constantinople of 1832 recognised Greece as an independent nation.

 (d) Frankfurt parliament: It was an all-German National Assembly formed by the middle-class professionals, businessmen and prosperous artisans belonging to the different German regions. It was convened on 18 May, 1848 in the Church of St. Paul, in the city of Frankfurt. This assembly drafted a constitution for a German nation to be headed by a monarchy subject to a parliament. However, it faced opposition from the aristocracy and military. Also, as it was dominated by the middle classes, it lost its mass support base. In the end, it was forced to disband on 31 May, 1849.

(e) The role of women in nationalist struggles: Artistic representations of the French Revolution show men and women participating equally in the movement. Liberty is personified as a woman; also, liberal nationalism propounded the idea of universal suffrage, leading to women’s active participation in nationalist movements in Europe. Although women had actively participated in nationalist struggles, they were given little or no political rights; an example being the Frankfurt parliament where women were admitted only as observers to stand in the visitors’ gallery.

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