Causation in 19th Century Perspectives and Political Developments

3 min readjanuary 14, 2023


Isabela Padilha Vilela

AP European History 🇪🇺

335 resources
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In this guide we will go over the different processes that occurred in the 19th Century in Europe to practice the concept of causation. The 19th Century in Europe was marked by a rise of nationalism and revolutions, which laid the groundwork for the different conflicts that emerged in the 20th Century.

Struggle for Stability

The balance of power was deeply challenged in the 19th Century of European history. Several factors contributed to this change, and the main ones include the rise of nationalism and revolutions in the European nations. The concept of balance of power is important, as it was the main concern of European leaders of the time:
Balance of power refers to the distribution of power and influence among European Nations. It can be shaped by a variety of factos, such as military strength, diplomatic influence, and economic power.
Historically, the balance of power has labeled nations such as France, Britain and Germany as the leading forces in Europe. Which means, these nations need to have a somewhat equitable influence in the region and the globe, and that would provide a balance of power. The occurrences in the 19th century challenged these structures many times, through the following events:
  • Breakdown of Concert of Europe 🤯 - If you can recall, the Concert of Europe was created to maintain the balance of power after the Nepoleonic wars. It served as a mediator. The breakdown of the Concert of Europe happened due to the emergence of new states that challenged the stability of the nations, growing economic ambitions and the adoption of nationalistic/imperialistic ideals.
  • Unification of Italy and Germany 🇮🇹🇩🇪 - The unification of each of these nations were two separate processes that happened in the second half of the 19th century. The unification of Italy occurred in 1861 under the leadership of Count Camillo di Cavour and Germany's unification happened in 1971 and was led by the Otto von Bismark (a conservative nationalist that shaped modern Germany politics). The emergence of these two nation-states completely changed the European political scene at the time.
  • Development of Global Empires 🌎 - The rapid technological advancements that occurred through the second Industrial Revolution, which saw the growth of new industries and the development of means of transportation (such as ships and railroads) , was important to the establishing of power within the region and globally. The scramble for Africa was also an important process in re-asserting colonial power, as the leading nations were seeking to conquer and utilize African territory to advance their economic gains/power.

Culture and Mindset

The 1848 revolutions, also known as the Spring of nations, had a profound impact on Europe's political ladscape and mindset duringthe 19th Century. These protests and upheavals led to the adoption of constitutional monarchies all across Europe, and raised a nationalistic sentiment across nation-states of Europe. These outcomes also led to the increase of a materialistic worldview, in which nations and individuals were compelled to acquire more goods, as that signified power.
In addition, European artistic movements demonstrated a conflict of ideas between objectivity and scientific worldviews (as demonstrated by the Scientific Advancements of the time and the focus on the individual) and another emphasis on individual expression on the other, as observed through the music and paintings produced during the time period.
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🎨Unit 1 – Renaissance & Exploration
⛪️Unit 2 – Reformation
👑Unit 3 – Absolutism & Constitutionalism
🤔Unit 4 – Scientific, Philosophical, & Political Developments
🥖Unit 5 – Conflict, Crisis, & Reaction in the Late 18th Century
🚂Unit 6 – Industrialization & Its Effects
Unit 7 – 19th Century Perspectives & Political Developments
💣Unit 8 – 20th Century Global Conflicts
🥶Unit 9 – Cold War & Contemporary Europe
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