Nationalism can be defined as the desire to be free from foreign rule or occupation. European nationalism was a manifestation of the political will of the Europeans to free themselves from foreign domination and oppression.
Nationalism in various European countries aimed at uniting the nations and liberates them from foreign control; this is what led to the German and Italian unification. The following are the impacts of the European nationalism in Europe;-
1. European nationalism led to the emergence of new states such as Greece, Belgium, Italy, Germany, etc. This was because these nations unified themselves in order to be strong and be able to compete with the former strong nations such as France and Britain, in terms of market, raw materials, industrialization, military and areas for investment.
2. Led to intensification of national rivalries and antagonism among European powers. This was because the former big powers which were France and Britain started to be in antagonism with the newly unified nations like Germany and Italy in terms of raw materials, areas for investments and markets.
3. It led to emergence of hostile military alliance which were the triple alliance and the triple entente of Britain, France and Russia.
4. It led to the disturbance of balance of power in Europe. The balance of power which was agreed at the Vienna congress in 1815 was upset by Germany after it had undergo unification because after unification Germany started to be powerful in terms of military, industrialization, monopolization of trade, look for market, areas for investment and therefore the power which was formerly dominated was now disturbed by the newly unified countries.
5.It led to the breakout of the world war i.e. World War I and World War II; this wars affected world socially, economicallyand politically.
6.The Unification led to the rise of the new imperialism in Europe from 1850’s: This was because European nationalism accelerated the rise and development of nationalism in Europe which brought expansionist tendencies among European powers to go in other parts of the world to expand their boundaries.