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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]


This is a part of Section XIII: Political Liberalism and Nationalism, 1815-1871. The Contemporary Civilization page lists all additional sections of Ideas and Institutions of Western Man, as well as the Table of Contents for both volumes.

More About Contemporary Civilization:

From 1947 through 1969, all first-year Gettysburg College students took a two-semester course called Contemporary Civilization. The course was developed at President Henry W.A. Hanson’s request with the goal of “introducing the student to the backgrounds of contemporary social problems through the major concepts, ideals, hopes and motivations of western culture since the Middle Ages.”

Gettysburg College professors from the history, philosophy, and religion departments developed a textbook for the course. The first edition, published in 1955, was called An Introduction to Contemporary Civilization and Its Problems. A second edition, retitled Ideas and Institutions of Western Man, was published in 1958 and 1960. It is this second edition that we include here. The copy we digitized is from the Gary T. Hawbaker ’66 Collection and the marginalia are his.