You're welcome! "Identity Crisis" is exactly the term for that era...since it came from the time of Freud...:)
And yes, you're even more succinct in describing the situation as an increasing desire to be superior economically, culturally, politically, and militarily. I once read a history text about WWI which stated something like...."and so the whole of Europe imploded....which 10 years earlier had proudly run the planet." I doubt anyone in 1900 or even 1910 could have seen such a catastrophic ending to such a productive period. But this is the crux of history!! "History's the study of the lulls between the wars." -- What led up to war, and what war's consequences were.
Unquestionably, mankind had never experienced anything like the 19th century. All of those elements you mention grew, came to fruition, and blossomed into whole areas never dreamed of -- they called it "progress!" and we're still benefitting from that time. The creation and destruction of that modern "Golden Era," although a bit complicated, isn't hard to see if we consider studying the time between wars. Consider the American Revolution -- England loses colonies. That Revolution mobilizes France to "catch up" with English/American style government, and results in the French Revolution. That revolution, in many respects, failed, and birthed the French Empire under Napoleon, who, in order to compete with the British Empire, who unassailably ruled the oceans of the world, and gain French colonies or land conquests, focused resources in becoming the land power in Europe, causing the Napoleonic Wars during the expansion into Germanic and Italic areas. That pushed the Germanic and Italic city-states into unification in the 1860's under a central government, giving rise to the nation-state. (Curiously, the US also had its "Unification" War during that time, too!) That increasing centralization gave rise to the "nationalism" that played as a factor in WWI; If the French, English, Germans, and Italians can have their own unified State, why not Bulgarians, Polish, Romanians, Slavs, etc.? (..and still working on it in the 1990’s!) Germany, once unified, wanted to "catch up" with their cousins running the British Empire, and sadly repeated what France tried, wanting its own colonies, and more critically, wanting to be the European land power, eventually leading to First and Second Acts of a World War. The other political force in play was that after 1815, no one in Europe wanted a French Revolution in their country! So monarchies in Europe were preserved for a time. The key word, then, for those 100 years after the French Revolution / Napoleonic Wars was "Stability!!" Unfortunately, that in time came to mean, "stability at all costs," and eventually stability transformed into ossification. The Concert of Vienna, which worked so wonderfully early on, became the sacred cow of European politics -- no one wanted (or possibly could have) altered it to to adjust to the times.
Economically, industrialization and trade within and without Europe, in its infancy in the 1810's, grew to be of major importance in governmental policy. A whole, large, working and middle class developed across Europe -- this was the time of Marx and Engalls -- and tensions regarding this new class of people erupted during the Revolutions of 1848, which were forced underground again, expressing itself in the Anarchist movement of the late 1800's. So what we would call "class warfare" expressed itself on a large scale for the first time.
Despite these troubles, as you observed, the fruits of the Enlightenment were in full force in the 19th century -- this was the Age of Reason and optimism. The tragedy is that monarchies couldn't alter quickly enough to address the changing times, and Nationalism blinded countries to acting in everyones' best interest.
One curious point. Germany and Britain were ruled by the same extended family, transforming political problems into familial and personal ones. Germany continued to attempt to expand at British expense, and isolate her in the process with the various Entangling Alliances. German thinking was "Who are they going to ally with? Russia or France?!?! After all, we're family!!" Germany pushed that so hard that in a surprising tactical backfire, traditional enemies France and Britain, skirmishing and warring for near a 1000 years, became allies!