As we have already seen, the year 1848 saw the European continent distracted by insurrectionary outbreaks that touched every one of the major powers. Liberalism and democracy contributed greatly to the undercurrents of discontent under the apparent calm of the previous decade, but it was nationalist aspirations that furnished most of the fuel for the revolutionary fires of that fateful year. In England and France, where the struggle for unification had long before been won, nationalism played no part. It was in Germany, Italy, and the Austrian Empire that nationalist agitators filled the larger roles in the several revolutions of 1848. [excerpt]
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Bloom, Robert L. et al. "5. Europe Surrenders to Nationalism, 1848-1871. XIII: Political Liberalism and Nationalism, 1815-1871." Ideas and Institutions of Western Man (Gettysburg College, 1958), 56-62.