The main areas of interests of this course are the Italian peninsula, the German world and Central Europe. This course aims to provide students with an understanding of how, in the course of the Nineteenth Century, large areas of Europe have experienced a decisive process of political aggregation, dominated by the concept of nation-state.
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The course provides the critical notions and tools for the study of the political history of the so-called "century of nationalities", indispensable for the understanding of contemporary Europe. It illustrates the establishment or reconstitution of the nation states in Central and Eastern Europe and the unification process of Germany and Italy. The analysis will embrace the whole "long nineteenth century" (from the French Revolution to the outbreak of the First World War). Necessary introduction to this analysis will be the discussion of the movements of "national rebirth" of a good part of the European peoples. Finally, the unification of Germany and Italy and the establishment of national states in Central and Eastern Europe will be addressed following the progressive crisis and then the collapse of the system of the great multiethnic empires (Austrian, Russian and Ottoman). The use of a comparative method will be continuous in order to find out common features of several national histories but also the peculiarities that differentiate them.

Core Documentation

6 CFU Program:
Gian Enrico Rusconi, Cavour e Bismarck. Due leader fra liberalismo e cesarismo, Bologna, il Mulino, 2011
Francesco Guida, La Russia e l'Europa centro-orientale 1815-1914, Roma, Carocci, 2014

Students enrolled in the previous system (8 CFU exam) are invited to contact the professor to arrange supplementary readings.

A general knowledge of European history between the late 18th and early 20th centuries is required. It is recommended the use of a Contemporary history handbook.

Reference Bibliography

There are no further compulsory study texts for students. Numerous optional bibliographic indications regarding the course topics will be provided to attending students during class and reception hours.

Type of delivery of the course

Lectures with the active participation of students in discussions about the topics of the course. The course will start on Wednesday 12 October 2022.


Attendance is strongly recommended but it is not mandatory.

Type of evaluation

Oral examination, composed of various questions, to evaluate the assimilation of the course's content. The assessment will take into account the knowledge of the course topics, the clarity of presentation and the critical skills of the students.