Rise of nationalism in Europe: NBSE class 10 social science

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Get here the notes/solutions/extras of NBSE class 10 Social Science Chapter 1 Rise of Nationalism in Europe. However, the study materials should be used only for references and nothing more. The notes can be modified/changed according to needs.

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Once upon a time, Europe was a continent divided not just by borders but also by loyalties to kings and queens, languages, and religions. People didn’t see themselves as part of a nation but rather as subjects of vast empires and small kingdoms, under the rule of monarchs whose power was thought to be divine.

As the centuries turned, a wind of change began to blow across Europe. This wind was stirred by the Renaissance, a period of enlightenment and rediscovery of the ancient past, which inspired people to think, question, and dream. Then came the Reformation, which challenged the absolute authority of the Church and proposed that individuals could seek their own paths to faith. These movements cracked the old bonds of loyalty and planted the seeds of a new idea: the nation.

The French Revolution of 1789 was a thunderstorm that broke the spell of monarchy. It proclaimed that sovereignty belonged not to a king but to the people, under the principles of liberty, equality, and fraternity. This idea was revolutionary. It suggested that a nation was made up of its citizens, regardless of their birth or status, and that these citizens had the right to govern themselves.

As the 19th century unfolded, this idea took root and grew in different parts of Europe. In the Italian peninsula, a movement known as the Risorgimento, led by figures like Giuseppe Garibaldi and Count Camillo di Cavour, fought to unite the fragmented states into one nation under King Victor Emmanuel II. Meanwhile, in the German states, Otto von Bismarck, the Iron Chancellor, used diplomacy and war to stitch together a patchwork of principalities into a powerful German Empire.

These unifications were not just political acts; they were cultural and emotional awakenings. People began to see themselves as Italians or Germans not just because they lived in the same geographical area but because they shared a language, traditions, and a common history. This feeling of belonging to a community larger than oneself, of sharing a destiny with others who spoke the same tongue and cherished the same customs, was the essence of nationalism.

But nationalism had its darker sides, too. It could unite, but it could also divide and exclude. It fostered pride but also led to conflicts as nations sought to assert their dominance over others. The story of nationalism is thus a double-edged sword, a force for independence and self-determination but also for rivalry and war.

As Europe entered the 20th century, the nations that had been formed in the fires of the 19th faced new challenges. The World Wars would test the bonds of national unity and identity in ways unimaginable to those who had fought for independence or unification. Yet the idea of a nation, of a people united by common bonds and shared aspirations, would endure.

Important dates, years, and events

  • July 1789: The French Revolution took place, which led to the first clear expression of nationalism in Europe.
  • September 1815: The Congress of Vienna commenced, which aimed to restore old monarchies overthrown by Napoleon.
  • March 1821: The Greek struggle for independence from the Ottoman Empire began.
  • 1830s: Years of great economic hardship in Europe, which saw numerous revolts break out.
  • July 1832: The Treaty of Constantinople recognised Greece as an independent nation.
  • January 1833: Greece was declared a kingdom.
  • January 1834: Prussia formed the Customs Union, or Zollverein.
  • March 1848: Revolutions broke out across Europe directed against tyrannical rulers, combining constitutionalism with national unification.
  • November 1852: Count Cavour became Prime Minister of Piedmont-Sardinia.
  • January 1855: Cavour decided to participate in the Crimean War against Russia.
  • April 1856: After Russia’s defeat, Cavour appealed to France and Britain to support unification of Italy.
  • April 1859: Cavour provoked a war against Austria with French help, gaining Lombardy for Piedmont-Sardinia.
  • March-October 1860: Parma, Modena, and Tuscany joined Piedmont-Sardinia. Garibaldi conquered Sicily and Naples.
  • March 1861: Kingdom of Italy is proclaimed, with only Venice and Rome left outside.
  • October 1866: Venice was included in Italy.
  • October 1867: Garibaldi led an army to fight the Papal States and try to capture Rome.
  • September 1870: Rome is captured and included in Italy, completing unification.
  • 1866–1871: Unification of Germany is completed after wars with Austria, Denmark, and France.
  • 1905: Slav nationalism started gathering force.
  • 1914–1918: World War I took place.

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Textual questions and answers

Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) 

1. Nationalism brought about in Europe the emergence of: 

(a) The Nation States (b) The Modern States (c) Multi-National Dynastic States (d) Alliances formed among many European States. 

Answer: A. The Nation States 

2. The term ‘Plebiscite’ means: 

(a) Adult Franchise (b) A direct vote by which all the people of a region are asked to accept or reject a proposal (c) When the rich and the aristocrats select their leaders (d) A vote by the people to elect their leader 

Answer: B. A direct vote by which all the people of a region are asked to accept or reject a proposal 

3. Socially and politically dominant class in Europe during the mid-eighteenth century was 

(a) The Nobility (b) The landed aristocracy (c) The Church (d) The absolute monarchs 

Answer: B. The landed aristocracy 

4. Read the following statements: Assertion (A) and Reason (R). Choose one of the correct alternatives given below: 

Assertion (A): The Renaissance and Reformation proved to be edifice for the rise of nationalism.
Reason (R): These developments led to the rise of humanism breaking away from Catholic Church and rise of strong dynasties and kingdoms. 

(a) Both Assertion (A) and Reason (R) are true and Reason (R) is the correct explanation of Assertion (A)
(b) Both Assertion (A) and Reason (R) are true and Reason (R) is not the correct explanation of Assertion (A)
(c) Assertion (A) is true but Reason (R) is false.
(d) Assertion (A) is false but Reason (R) is true. 

Answer: A. Both Assertion (A) and Reason (R) are true and Reason (R) is the correct explanation of Assertion (A) 

5. Which of the following statements about the given personality is incorrect? 

Statement I: He was considered the sword of Italian unification.
Statement II: He conquered Sicily and Naples.
Statement III: He established a secret society called ‘Young Italy’.
Statement IV: He was considered the soul of nationalism. 

(a) I, II, III (b) I, II (c) I, III (d) III, IV 

Answer: D. III, IV 

II. Very Short Answer Questions  

1. What does the word ‘liberalism’ mean?  

Answer: The term “liberalism” has its roots in the Latin word ‘Liber,’ which means free. For the educated middle class, it meant freedom of the individual and equality of all before the law. 

2. What was Zollverein?  

Answer: The Prussian Government passed many tariff reforms to convert Prussia into a Free Trade Area. All the German states, with the exception of a few states, joined the Custom Union of Prussia. This brought about an economic union of German states in 1834. This economic union was called Zollverein and it paved the way for political unity. 

3. Who was considered by Italians as the ‘brain’? 

Answer: Count Camilo Cavour was considered the “Brain” by Italians. 

III. Short Answer Questions

1. What were the names given to the two allegorical representations of France and Germany?  

Answer: The two allegorical representations of France and Germany were Marianne and Germania, respectively. Marianne represented the Republic of France, and she was often depicted with a red cap, the tricolor, and the cockade as symbols of liberty. Germania, on the other hand, became the allegory of the German nation. She was portrayed wearing a crown of Oak leaves, symbolizing heroism. These allegorical representations were used to promote unity and patriotism within their respective nations. 

2. Who was considered the soul of Italian unification? Why? 

Answer: Giuseppe Mazzini was considered the soul of Italian unification because he was a staunch patriot and dedicated himself to the liberation and unification of Italy. He established a secret society known as “Young Italy” and worked tirelessly to arouse the whole of Italy to a greater unity and independence. Mazzini believed that Italy should be forged into a single unified republic, and his efforts were aimed at creating confidence among the Italians that they could fight and achieve independence. His commitment to the cause of Italian unification and his role in organizing and inspiring the movement made him the soul of Italian unification. 

IV. Long Answer Questions

1. How did Greece become a nation state? 

Answer: Greece became an independent nation through a series of events and influences. In 1821, the Greeks revolted against the Ottoman Turkish Empire, inspired by the national and liberal movements spreading across Europe. The revolt was supported by mass movements such as Philke Hitaria – the “Society of Friends” – and received backing from exiled Greeks and other Christian countries. Poets and artists also joined the campaign, considering Greece to be the cradle of European civilization. Notably, Lord Byron, the famous English poet, fought in the war against the Turks. 

The atrocities committed by the Turkish emperor against the Greeks during the revolt led to international intervention. In 1827, England, France, and Russia defeated the Turks, Egyptians, and their allies in a naval battle and forced the Turks to recognise Greece as an independent state under the suzerainty of Turkey. Finally, the Treaty of Constantinople in 1832 formally recognised Greece as an independent nation. 

2. Describe the events that led to “Dual Monarchy” in Hungary. What were its consequences?  

Answer: The events that led to the “Dual Monarchy” in Hungary were as follows: 

In 1848, the Austrian Empire faced a revolt in Hungary under Kossuth, who declared the country independent. However, when Hungary mistreated its Slav population, the Austrians suppressed its newly won independence in 1849. 

By 1860, the Austrians realised they could not maintain control over Hungary under their iron rule. They restored Hungary to its 1848 position and granted it a charter, acknowledging its autonomy. This led to the establishment of a compromise between Austria and Hungary. 

Consequently, in 1867, the Austro-Hungarian Dual Monarchy was formed, where both states were considered equal. They had a common ruler, King Francis Joseph, and two separate parliaments. They also had a joint ministry for important departments like finance, war, and foreign affairs. 

The consequences of the Dual Monarchy were significant. It disturbed the political balance in the region and gave autonomy to Slavic populations. This, in turn, led to Serbia’s desire to unite all Slavs under its leadership, including territories such as Bosnia and Herzegovina. Ultimately, the Dual Monarchy’s existence contributed to the breakup of a number of small Balkan states and played a role in triggering World War I. 

3. Explain liberalism in the political and economic fields prevailing in Europe in the 19th century.  

Answer: The characteristics of liberalism in political and economic fields prevailing in Europe in the 19th century were as follows: 

Political Characteristics: 

  • Advocated for a constitution.
  • Supported a representative government. 
  • Favoured a parliamentary system. 
  • Emphasised the ownership of private property. 
  • Aimed to end the privileges of the aristocracy.

Economic Characteristics: 

  • Stood for the freedom of markets. 
  • Advocated for the end of state restrictions on the movement of goods and capital. 
  • Supported the formation of customs unions, or Zollverein. 
  • Development of a network of railways to facilitate mobility and enhance national unity. 
  • Eeconomic nationalism by reducing the number of currencies and abolishing tariff barriers. 

4. “Culture played an important role in creating the idea of the nation in Europe.” Support the statement with examples. 

Answer: Culture played a crucial role in creating the idea of the nation in Europe by promoting a sense of common heritage, identity, and pride among the people. This was achieved through various cultural expressions such as art, music, literature, and language. For example, the Romantics, like German philosopher Johann Gottfried Herder, emphasised the importance of folk songs, folk dances, and folk poetry in strengthening national feelings. They believed that a common cultural past and shared heritage were essential for the formation of a nation. 

Language also played a significant role in boosting nationalism. The use of vernacular languages, spoken by the large illiterate population, helped in promoting a sense of unity and identity among the people. The Grimm Brothers’ collection of German folk tales and their publication in the German language were seen as an effort to promote the German spirit and oppose foreign domination. Additionally, the spread of nationalism was further encouraged by music, art, and literature, which made people proud of their own culture and heritage, leading to a resistance to foreign rule.

Extra MCQs

1. What was a key factor that led to the rise of nationalism in Europe? 

A. The decline of monarchy B. The spread of the English language C. The impact of the Industrial Revolution D. The invention of the printing press 

Answer: C. The impact of the Industrial Revolution 

2. What did the Renaissance contribute to the rise of nationalism in Europe? 

A. Encouraged the formation of national armies B. Led to the rise of vernacular languages and their use in literature C. Caused the decline of religious influence in politics D. Introduced democratic governance in many European states 

Answer: B. Led to the rise of vernacular languages and their use in literature 

3. How did the concept of a nation change by the late 18th century? 

A. A nation was defined by its monarch B. A nation was identified with its geographic boundaries C. A nation was considered a community with a shared history and culture D. A nation was solely determined by its economic power 

Answer: C. A nation was considered a community with a shared history and culture 

4. Which event marked the first clear expression of nationalism in Europe? 

A. The signing of the Treaty of Vienna B. The French Revolution of 1789 C. The Industrial Revolution D. The Renaissance 

Answer: B. The French Revolution of 1789 

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49. What was a major effect of the Industrial Revolution on European societies? 

A. Decreased urbanisation B. Strengthening of feudal systems C. Growth of a working-class consciousness and increased nationalism D. Decline in nationalistic sentiments 

Answer: C. Growth of a working-class consciousness and increased nationalism 

Extra questions and answers

1. Did nationalism exist in Europe during the Middle Ages in its present form? 

Answer: No, nationalism did not exist in Europe in the Middle Ages in its present form. 

2. What was common among Christians in Western Europe during the Middle Ages? 

Answer: All Christians in Western Europe belonged to the Catholic church, all educated people used the Latin language, and they all lived under the Holy Roman Empire. 

3. Why was allegiance to a nation by the masses unknown in the Middle Ages? 

Answer: Allegiance to a nation by the masses was unknown in those centuries because all Christians in Western Europe shared a common church, language, and lived under the same empire. 

4. What three developments gradually brought about changes in the nature of nationalism in Europe? 


  • The Renaissance led to the rise of the vernacular languages and use of those languages for literary expression. 
  • The Reformation made several national churches to break away from the Catholic church. 
  • Rise of strong dynasties and kingdoms in England, France, Spain, Portugal, and Denmark. 

5. How was a nation identified till the late 18th century? 

Answer: Till the late 18th century, a nation was identified with the name or person of the sovereign, such as the Tudors or the Stuarts of England, the Habsburgs of Austria. 

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82. How was a nation portrayed in the 18th and 19th centuries? 

Answer: In the 18th and 19th centuries, a nation was portrayed as a female figure. This portrayal did not represent any particular woman but gave the abstract idea of a nation a concrete form. This allegorical representation was used to promote unity and symbolize the nation, with France’s portrayal as Marianne with symbols of liberty and Germany’s as Germania symbolizing heroism. 

83. What symbols were associated with Marianne and Germania, and what did they represent? 

Answer: Marianne, the allegory of the French nation, was associated with a red cap, the tricolour, and the cockade, all symbols of liberty. Germania, representing the German nation, wore a crown of Oak leaves, where the German Oak stands for heroism. These symbols were used to embody the values and aspirations of their respective nations, promoting unity and national identity. 

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