What do you think is the most interesting thing about 19th century European history? Why?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

There would be several topics that you could consider in determining what might be the most important or most interesting event in Europe or affecting Europe in the 1800s. These topics could include the loss of colonies, the unification of countries, the planting of the seeds for the start of...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

There would be several topics that you could consider in determining what might be the most important or most interesting event in Europe or affecting Europe in the 1800s. These topics could include the loss of colonies, the unification of countries, the planting of the seeds for the start of World War I, and wars in general.

One topic I would consider would be how some European countries lost some of their colonies in the 1800s. Both Spain and Portugal lost much of their empire in Central and South America. You certainly could highlight the revolutions that occurred in Brazil and Mexico to use as prime examples of lands Spain and Portugal lost. You could also add how the United States issued the Monroe Doctrine to keep the Europeans from returning to Central and South America. I would also mention how Great Britain used its navy to enforce the Monroe Doctrine since the enforcement of the Monroe Doctrine would weaken their rivals.

Another topic to consider would be the steps taken in the 1860s to allow Germany and Italy to unite their states into a unified country. You could focus on the actions of Otto von Bismarck in Germany and Cavour in Italy to help with or facilitate the unification process. I would also tie this topic in with how the unification of Italy and Germany helped plant the seeds for the start of World War I. Both countries wanted colonies, and there were few lands left to colonize. Thus, each country began to build up their military as they planned to attack the countries that had colonies. You could also mention how Germany got control of Alsace-Lorraine as a result of the Franco-Prussian War. France vowed to get this land back in the future.

There are many examples of wars that were fought in Europe in the 1800s from which you could draw your answer. In addition to the Franco-Prussian War, you could write about Napoleon’s plan to conquer Europe in the early 1800s. You could write about his many military successes and then focus on his crushing defeat in Russia and his final defeat at Waterloo. You could write about the Austro-Prussian War that gave Prussia control over the process of the unification of Germany.

There are many topics about which you could write to answer this question. Each of these events played a major role in European history in the 1800s. These events not only affected Europe, but also they affected the world.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team