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Study questions on Gildea, Barricades and Borders, Chapters 6-7

Ch. 6

How did the boom years of prosperity in the 1850s-1873 affect population growth and why?  What patterns in population growth in this period are of special note?  (E.G., how did the relationship between birth and death rates change?)

How did industrialization shape population patterns after 1850?  Had the percentage of industrial workers really increased dramatically?  What sectors of employment grew most dramatically?

Was industrialization the sole cause of urban growth in this period?  Explain.

Could Europe's economy adequately sustain and provide for all of this growing population? Explain.

Gildea says there was a single world market already by 1880.  What did this mean, and how had it come about?  How did affect peoples lives in Europe?

What groups opposed and what groups favored free trade in the 1850s and 1860s and why?

What do data on iron and steel production tell us about comparative levels of economic development in Europe in this period?

How did the import of cheep US and Russian grain shape debates over free trade?  Besides the reactions of big landowners, what other factors pushed towards protectionist policies in the 1870s?

Why was rural poverty increasing at the same time that agricultural was becoming more commercialized?  What sorts of regional patterns in agricultural specialization emerged in this period?  How did landowning patterns differ across Europe's regions (e.g., who controlled the land in different parts of Europe)?

How does Gildea explain the causes and results of serf emancipation in Russia?

What factors help account for the "boom" economic periods of 1850-1873?  E.G., how did the "second" industrial revolution differ from the "first" industrial revolution?  How did banking and investment practices change in this period?

What does Gildea mean when he says that some areas of Europe faced "financial colonization" by other parts of Europe in this period?

In what ways did the new economic/investment patterns reinforce the trend towards increased state intervention in the economy?  In what sense had they begun to change the ways businesses operated?

What aspects of state labor policy and the labor market particularly favored capitalists in this period?

What limited workers' ability to defend themselves from market forces, and why did the French and Germany governments actually recognize the right to unionize in the 1860s?

What does Gildea mean when he says that the "days of the self-made man were numbered" in this period?

How and why did the economic role of middle class women change in this period?

How does Gildea explain the function of the many bourgeois-supported voluntary societies created in this period?

Why had higher and technical education become so important to the middle class in this period and how did educated professional fit into different European social hierarchies?

Had the nobility disappeared across Europe by 1880?  Explain.

Why is this chapter sub-titled "Mid-Century Prosperity"?


Chapter 7

What does Gildea mean when he says that the 1850s were a decade of reaction?  For instance, in the 1850s what became of the movement for democratic constitutionalism in the Habsburg monarchy? 

In Northern Italy (Sardinia-Piedmont)? 




In what sense did Louis Napoleon Bonaparte (Napoleon III) combine authoritarianism and repression with the facade of democracy in the 1850s?

What were the basic causes of the Crimean War of 1854-56 and why was the war so significant? 

In what sense did France cause the Crimean war?  In what sense did Russia cause the war?  In what sense did England cause the war?

What position did Austria take toward the Crimean War and why?  How did Austrian diplomacy affect its relationship with Prussia?

What brought an end to the Crimean War, and what did the peace mean for Russia?  For Austria?  For Prussia?

How does Gildea explain the relationship between the Crimean War and the "Great Reforms" of Tsar Alexander II in the 1860s-early 1870s?

How does Gildea explain the state's aims in the serf emancipation, the zemstvo reforms, the judicial reforms, and the military reforms?

What provoked the 1863 Polish rebellion and how did Russia respond?  Why didn't the other European powers stop Russia's actions in Poland?

How was Russia's diplomatic weakness after the Crimean War linked to the creation of the Romanian monarchy?  And how was it linked to teh issue of Balkan nationalism?

In the 1850s, what became of the idea of a federation of Italian states and why?

Why did Napoleon III intervene in Italy in 1859 and what "deal" did he make with Cavour?  Why did France fight against Austria in Italy, what were the results, and why didn't Napoleon III want a unified Italy?  Why did he sign a truce with Austria in July 1859, and what were the results?

How did Napoleon III's "new" position regarding papal power in central Italy in December 1859 move Italy towards unification?

In what sense was Cavour's effort to unify Italy aimed at preventing revolution and why?  Why, for instance, did he invade the Papal States in 1860?

By the time of Cavour's death in 1861, what were the results of his efforts to unify Italy?  Did unification in the early 1860s at all resemble the "1848 idea" of an Italian Federation?  Explain.

How had French intervention in Italy helped stimulate the movement for German national unification?

What was the basis of the ongoing conflict between Prussia and Austria in the 1850s-1860s?  Under what conditions did they cooperate?  How were free trade treaties related to this conflict?

What issues triggered the 1866 war between Austria and Prussia, and how did Bismark use this conflict in his project of unifying Germany around Prussia?

What were the results of the 1866 war?  Was it a victory for liberal parliamentarianism?  Explain.

In 1862, the Prussian state faced a constitutional crisis.  Why?  And what did Bismarck do to "solve" this crisis?

What was Bismarck's approach to dealing with the liberal opposition in Prussia's parliament?

In what sense did the political/constitutional structure of the 1867 North German Federation resemble that of Louis Napoleon's "Second Empire" in France?  According to Gildea, how did Bismarck's strategy for authoritarian power differ from that of Napoleon III?

How and why did Bismarck win over the German bourgeoisie?  How did he ring the South German states into a united Germany?

In what sense were events in Spain linked to the issue of German unification?  What triggered the Franco-Prussian war, and why did this war result in German unification?

Describe the constitutional structure of the unified German state.

What was the biggest problem haunting the Habsburg monarchy in the 1850s?  How did the Austrians handle the issue of nationalisms in Hungary in the 1850s?

Could the Austrians continue to rule over the "Hungarian half" of the monarchy by force in the 1860s?  Explain.

What was the Ausgleich? Why did both Austrian and Hungarian moderates agree to this compromise?  What were the results for the various Slavic national groups in the "new" Austro-Hungarian Empire?

Gildea says that the Ausgleich destroyed the two fundamental principles that had held together the Austrian monarchy.  What does he mean?  (Can you see a connection between events in the 1860s and some of the causes of the First World War?)


SQUIRREL UPDATE!!!!   On Friday at about 11 AM, our friend Merle the Squirrel "took the bait."  He could not resist the lure of a peanut butter Girl Scout cookie, which proved his undoing.  (Perhaps there is a lesson here....)  At about 12:30, Russell Crowe took Merle away, to live the rest of his life on a farm in Catawissa (the rest of Merle's life, that is....).   So far none of Merle's friends or family have shown up to inquire as to his whereabouts.... 

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