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Conservatism, Romanticism and Revolution -Key Concepts-

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Presentation on theme: "Conservatism, Romanticism and Revolution -Key Concepts-"— Presentation transcript:

1 Conservatism, Romanticism and Revolution -Key Concepts-

2 I. Some Qualifications of the “Dual Revolution” Triumph of this revolution was by no means certain Not some gigantic, historical steamroller The influence of regional, cultural variance The Old Regime was very capable of defending its privileges The tremendous intellectual challenge of the “Dual Revolution”

3 II. Reaction to Revolution: Conservatism

4 A. A “Natural Order of Society” Conservatism as a 19 th century ideology Edmund Burke as the leading spokesman Society is the partnership of the living, the dead and the yet to be born

5 A. A “Natural Order of Society” (cont) Civilization depends upon continuity and order Special privileges to higher classes to maintain social order Openness to gradual change

6 B. Growing Distrust of Reason Foundation for the emergence of romanticism Essence of human experience is subjective and emotional Human knowledge is a puny thing compared to other great historical forces Society is an organic whole not suitable to piecemeal reform “Individual Rights” are dangerous efforts at selfishness—community is more important

7 C. Fascination with History and Christian Philosophy People and society are not abstractions divorced from historical settings History is a stabilizing force for an unstable society The French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars were evidence of human sin—man is not good by nature The fear of God is a good way to curb man’s sin

8 D. A “Special Home” in Germany Reaction against Napoleon’s conquests Liberalism and Nationalism represented an extreme threat for Germany and Austria Quadruple Alliance: Austria, Prussia, Russia and Great Britain This Alliance was interested in providing stability in all of Europe in the wake of the French Revolution

9 E. Conservatism in Action: The Congress of Vienna European Peace Conference, 1814- 1815 Symbol of Aristocratic Resurgence Conservatism Embodied: Austria’s Metternich Hates both liberalism and nationalism

10 E. The Congress of Vienna (cont) The importance of the “Balance of Power” in European Politics Compromise with Revolution Growing conservatism: 1820’s and 1830’s -- “Peterloo Massacre” (1819)

11 III. The German Confederation Foolish to restore the Holy Roman Empire Sign of rising German nationalism 38 German states presided over by Austria Basic constitutional framework with representative assembly meeting in Frankfurt University Repression --Carlsbad Decrees (1819)

12 IV. The Romantic Movement Began in 1790’s and peaked in 1820’s A movement of northern Europe, especially Great Britain and Germany Complex and varied movement A reaction against classicism

13 A. Romantic Themes Rejected rigid artistic laws and ancient artistic rules Feelings and imagination as valid, if not more valid, than reason and order Individuals have unique, endless potential

14 A. Romantic Themes (cont) Self-realization comes through art—Artists are the true philosophers Inclined to extremes Drawn to danger and adventure Rejection of traditional society

15 A. Romantic Themes (cont) Suicide and madness not uncommon Rejected materialism in pursuit of spiritual heights Yearned for the unknown and the unknowable Nature was both wild and awe- inspiring

16 A. Romantic Themes (cont) Fascinated by color and diversity History is the art of change over time The uniqueness of cultures was emphasized

17 A. Romantic Themes (cont) In rejecting society, romantics found a wide variety of escapes Loved the world of children— spontaneity and their sense of wonder Special focus on the fantastic and unusual

18 B. Romantic Literature Main genre: poetry William Wordsworth (1770- 1850) and Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) Johann Goethe (1749-1832)

19 B. Romantic Literature (cont) Victor Hugo (1802-1885) Mary Shelley (1797-1851) --Frankenstein George Sand (1804-1876)

20 C. Romantic Music (cont) Free expression and emotional intensity realized most fully in music Music became a sublime end in itself Ludwig von Beethoven (1770- 1827)

21 B. Romantic Music (cont) Chopin and melancholy, exultation and dreaminess in his music Wagner’s operas were wild, earth- shaking, fantastic and extreme

22 D. The “Romantic Hero” Definition Greatest Example: Lord Byron Tremendously popular among the European reading public Youth imitated his haughtiness and rebelliousness

23 E. Political Implications Romanticism could reinforce the great themes of political liberalism --Beethoven’s Third Symphony Romanticism could also reinforce the great themes of political conservatism

24 E. Political Implications (cont) Contributed to growing nationalism --Johann Herder and “historicism” --The “volk”. Relationship of liberalism to nationalism Romanticism: the great paradox

25 V. Nationalism: A Growing Threat to Conservative Empires The nature of the Austro-Hungarian Empire --Hapsburg Monarchy Nationalism within the German Confederation Prussia: Focus on Pan-Germanic Hopes

26 V. Nationalism as a Threat (cont) The Hohenzollern Dynasty and Frederick William III “Big” Germany or “Little” Germany? Italian Nationalism --Joseph Mazzini --Young Italy Movement

27 VI. Revolution in the 1830’s An explosive mix: liberalism and nationalism Revolution in Paris Again King Louis-Philippe Reform in Great Britain --Reform Bill of 1832 Conservatism “on the run”

28 VII. Revolutions in 1848 Paris, Again -- “June Days” Shock waves spread over Europe Prussia and Austria Celebration in the streets Disunity: The Revolutionary failure Return of a “new” Conservatism

29 VIII. The Modernization of Western Governments after 1848 State-focused politics Public opinion now taken into account Alliance with nationalism and the middle class The Process in Action --Prussia --The Dual Monarchy of Austria and Hungary --The “Ringstrasse”

30 VIII. Modernization of Western Governments (cont) A changing concept of economic and political liberalism Narrow and selfish for some Broad and humane for others --John Stuart Mill, On Liberty (1859)

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