Study questions on Gildea, Barricades and Borders, Chapters 1-5


CH. 1

How was Europe's population changing in the early 1800s and why?  Was this a uniform pattern of change?  Explain.

How were population changes linked to changes in agriculture and industry?

How were population changes related to urbanization?

Did all of this rising population remain in Europe? Explain.

Was the expansion of the European economy in the early 1800s based primarily upon domestic markets?  Explain, and explain how the answer was related to patterns of regional economic development.

How did the revolutionary and Napoleonic wars effect the European economy?

How and why did changes in grain prices in the 1829s effect the economy and shape the international debate over free trade?

How were changes in transportation linked to the rise of free trade and to regional economic patterns?

Were the interests of peasant communities always identical with the interests of capitalism and "efficiency"?  Explain.  What were the implications?

Was growing social stratification in rural communities entirely caused by enclosure movements?  Explain.

Where and why was serfdom still in force in the early 1800s, and where and why had it been abolished?

Had the abolition of serfdom always meant the weakening of the nobility?  Explain.

What system of production dominated European manufacturing in the early 1800s?  What advantages did the guild structure hold for producers, and what forces were disrupting the guild system?

According to Gildea, what was the real key to the industrial revolution in the early 1800s?  Was it the introduction of new technology?  Explain.

Did skilled workers welcome advances in industrialization, and how did the process effect the gender balance in industry in the early 1800s?

Was the growth of industry in the early 1800s a product the influx of capital from professional investors?  Explain why shortages of capital were common.

What impact did railroads have on patterns of investment?

Had the French Revolution completely destroyed the old order of privilege in Europe?  Explain.  What social group still dominated high culture in the early 1800s?

What sort of "bourgeois" careers were considered "respectable" in the early 1800s, and were there enough such posts to satisfy the needs of the educated middle class? 

Was the European nobility a homogenous group in the early 1800s?  How was the character of nobility changing?


Ch. 2

What is Gildea's view of Napoleon?  Does he see Napoleon as a revolutionary?  As concerned with social equality?  With eradicating privilege?  With liberating people from tyranny? Explain.

What was the Continental System, and did it work?

Does Gildea think that Napoleon cared about "European confederation"?  Explain.

Why was the Peninsular war so important to both Napoleon and the British?

Why did Napoleon invade Russia in 1812, and what were the results?

What were Napoleon's main goals in conquered territories?  Why did he impose the civil code, etc.?

No matter what his reasons, did Napoleon's policies weaken Feudalism in Europe?  Explain.  What about in Austria and Russia?

Did nationalism mean the same thing across Europe?  Explain. 

In France in 1789, nationalism had been revolutionary; was anti-French patriotism in Austria, Russia, or England tied to revolutionary ideas or changes?  How was nationalism beginning to change as a political tool?


Ch. 3

Who were the main players in the Congress of Vienna, and what was their primary aim?

Did the Congress recognize the overthrow of monarchies in France and elsewhere?  Explain.

Did the Congress promote German or Italian unification? Explain.

What was the Holy Alliance and what were its aims?  Were they very successful?  Explain.

What precipitated the 1830 revolution in France and what were the results?  Was France the only place to experience a revolution that year?  Explain.

Was England free of social and political unrest during this period?  Explain.

What social classes/groups generally were strong supporters of Liberalism and why?

What were the main "hot spots" where the great powers' interests clashed in this period?

Where did ethnic complexity complicate nationalism and why?

Was defining "the nation" a simple matter in all of Europe?  Explain.

Why were some Southern and Eastern European states threatened by nationalism?

How did the basic mode of government differ in Eastern vs Western Europe?

What were the main differences between Liberals and Radicals in the 1830s-1840s?

How was the failure of the Chartist movement linked to the growing rift between liberals and radicals in England?

How did the 1830 revolution and subsequent unrest affect the relationship between liberals and radicals in France?

Did French and German radicals in the 1830s and 1840s agree with the principles of capitalism?  Explain.

Did the Prussian or Austrian states encourage liberalism in the 1830s-1840s?  Explain.


Ch. 4

How does Gildea explain the wide-spread outbreak of revolutions across Europe in 1848?  Is it fair to say that in each country there were really several revolutionary elements (a movement of liberals, a movement of radicals, etc) that for a time found common cause in a "united front"?  Explain.

In general, what were the middle classes demanding in 1848?  What were artisans demanding?  Wage laborers?  Peasants?  Various ethnic groups that did not have their "own" states?  Explain.

Was there a revolution in England in 1848?  Explain.  How about Belgium?  Explain.

What country "set the mold" for revolution in 1848?  Explain.

What events led to a revolutionary uprising in France in February 1848? 

What was the political composition of the French provisional government of early Spring 1848?

In what sense had the revolution in Paris "transformed German politics" (p. 84)?  How does Gildea explain the difference between the middle class' role in the revolutions in France and in the German kingdoms?

How did revolution effect Austria and Hungary in Spring 1848?  Explain.  What about the Italian states?  Explain.

If the revolutions of Spring 1848 were all "victorious" because of mass support from the lower classes, what social class actually gained the most as a result?

What became of the "united fronts" once the revolutions had "succeeded" in Spring 1848?  Why?

What became of constitutional rule in the Kingdom of Naples?  Florence?  How was the course of events initially different in the Papal States?

What led to the "June Days" in Paris, who was involved in this conflict, and what were the results?

Who supported Louis Napoleon Bonaparte's "Party of Order" in Fall-Winter 1848 and why?  Who opposed LNB and why?

What happened to the German republican uprising of April 1848?  What kinds of social divisions undercut the republican movement, and what allowed conservatives to regain power?

What kind of constitution did Fredrick William IV institute in Prussia one the revolution had been crushed?  Explain.

What led to the defeat of the radicals in Austria in 1848?

Why did the middle class in Austria, Prussia, and France accept the idea of the restoration of conservative-monarchical rule after 1848?

How did Polish, Danish, Magyar, Slovak, Serb (etc etc) nationalists respond to the outbreak of revolution in 1848?  What did they want and why?

Did the French revolutionary government stick by its promise to help oppressed nationalities?  Explain. What were the results?

Why wasn't the Frankfurt Assembly able to create a unified German nation state in 1848?

Why did the movement for national unification in Italy also fail in 1848?

Did all nationalities in the Austrian Empire demand separate statehood?  Explain.

How did conflicts between nationality groups undermine the revolution in Austria?  What nationality groups were pitted against each other and why?

According to Gildea, what impact did 1848 have on the political nature of nationalism?  For whom was nationalism now an effective political tool?


Ch. 5

I do not expect you to remember the names of every artist (etc) noted in this chapter, but I do want you to understand the "large" points that Gildea is making about early 19th century culture.  Therefore my first (and main) question is:  why is this chapter called "Hierarchies of Culture"?

Why was the issue of language of politically charged in the early 1800s?  Were major states linguistically homogeneous?  How was education tied to the project of nation building?

Why was the question of secular education so politically charged?

What new forms of leisure activity emerged in the early 1800s?  Were these activities in which all of the public engaged, our did different social groups tend to engage in different sorts of leisure activities?  In what sense were leisure activities political (or politicized)?

How does Gildea explain the revival of religion in the early 1800s?  Where and among whom was this strongest and why?  And how was politics (and the question of who has control of state power) linked to religious revival?  Be sure to distinguish between trends among Catholics, Protestants, and the Greek and Russian Orthodox.

What does Gildea mean by "the rise of a disciplined society"?  How was the relationship between the state and citizens changing and why?  What new sorts of instruments of social control were in the hands of the state? 

How did the educated public understand the causes of and the "solutions" for crime, poverty, and deviance?

What characterized Romanticism?  Against what was it "revolting"?  What seem to have been the core common characteristics of various Romantic movements in the arts?