The Congress of Vienna established an Absolutist Europe, but therevolutionary, liberal and nationalist spirit was unstoppable. Therefore,during the nineteenth century there were at least three waves of revolutionsthat were dismantling the system of the Congress of Vienna.
In 1820 the liberal revolution (for instance, in Spain) was appeased bythe absolutist armies. Only in Greece and in some American coloniessucceeded.
Between 1830 and 1835 there was a strong attempt to end the oldregime. This revolution had more popular support: France, Belgium,Poland and the UK.
In 1848 came the third wave of revolution. This revolution stronglydefended democratic ideals (universal suffrage, popular sovereignty,equality ...). The main focuses were Austria, Hungary, Bohemia,northern Italy and the Germanic confederationNationalism defends the right of nations to rule and to decide bythemselves. (Nation means a group of individuals who have a commonculture -language, religion, traditions, etc- and want to live in common) The map of Europe took on a different look after 1848. The period of revolutions was over and, from now on, most of the liberals and thenationalists in Europe began to cooperate with their governments ratherthan trying to overthrow them. In turn, many governments found that byagreeing to certain liberal reforms, and adapting the demands of thenationalists to their needs, they could actually make their states stronger,not weaker, as they previously feared. The second half of the 19th centurysaw a Europe dominated by a small number of powerful nation-states. Asthey were not the same as those which had reshaped Europe at theCongress of Vienna, the balance of power which had prevented war between1815 and 1854 was upset. The creation of two new states, the growth of international tension, wars and the formation of two of hostile alliances wereto set the scene for the greatest and bloodiest conflict the world had everknown - World War 1.
Germany is a relatively modern state. In the mid nineteenth centuryGermany was a collection of 36 smaller states that were linked as a GermanConfederation. This confederation was dominated by Austria, which as alarge imperial power was politically and economically superior to the smallerGermanic states. In the 1860's the dominance of Austria was challenged byPrussia and the process of unification and codification of German law began.For example, Prussia imposed the Zollverin customs union, an agreementamongst the German states to have preferential customs policies formember states. This economic union excluded Austria.In 1870, the Prussian chancellor Otto von Bismarck set out to achieve theunion by using the war strength. Between 1866 and 1870 relations between