■ Visualising the Nation :
● Nation was personified in the female form by the artists of the 19th century.
● Female allegories such as that of liberty, justice and republic were invented.
● In Germany, Germania became the allegory of the nation.
● In France, the idea of a people’s nation was the christened Marianne. She was characterized by the ideas of liberty and republic.
● These symbols were usually popular images from everyday life that uneducated masses could easily identify with.
● During revolutions, artists represented a nation as a person. This personification gave life to an abstract concept like nation.
● The way of expressing an abstract idea like freedom or liberty through a symbol that may be person or thing is known as Allegory. An allegory has a literal and a symbolic meaning. In the nineteenth century, French artists used the female allegory to represent France. She was Christened Marianne. She symbolises reason, liberty and the ideals of the republic.
● Marianne’s fasces or a bundle of rods with an axe in the middle was used to symbolise strength in unity.
● The red Phrygian cap signified freedom of a slave. It was also known as the liberty cap. French people wore these caps a few days before the storming of the Bastille.
■ Nationalism and Imperialism :
● Through the 18th and the mid 19th century, Europe was marked by a lot of chaos and turmoil. After 1871, there was a significant change in the concept of nationalism in Europe.
● Nationalist groups in Europe had become increasingly incompatible with each other and were constantly in conflict. The major European powers, namely Russia, Germany, England and Austro-Hungary began taking advantage of nationalism in Europe, to materialise their aims for imperialism.
● The European powers sighted the much-disturbed Balkan region to fulfil their imperialist goals. The Balkan region consisted of the following countries of our times - Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, Greece, Macedonia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Slovenia, Serbia and Montenegro.