After the French Revolution, change swept Europe and the world. European leaders were confronted with not only the revolutionary forces unleashed by the French Revolution, but also by Napoleon, who emerged as the undisputed leader of post-revolutionary France. There was a conservative reaction to the forces of change (there is historically always a counter-reaction to times of great change) and to Napoleon and attempts were made to re-establish the "old order." For the first 40-50 years of the 19th century, the concepts of liberty and equality were pushed to the side. In 1848; however, revolutionary forces were once again unleashed and swept across Europe.
Most of the revolutions of 1848 failed in the short term but their ultimate goals were achieved in the long run. Italy and Germany emerged as unified nations rather than a mix of princedoms, kingdoms, and city-states. While nations emerged in the latter half of the 1800s, other countries changed political systems and developed more representative forms of government. As nations grew, nationalism became a powerful force for political, social, and economic change. Nationalism and intense nationalistic feelings created rivalries among nation-states and set the stage for the world wars to come. Another revolution swept Europe, the Industrial Revolution. Technology changed whole societies and created a gulf between the "haves" and the "have-nots." So...
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