Between 1851 and 1879 the pace of life in France and Central Europe quickened due to increased industrialization and advances in communications and technology. The middle classes, who had grown both
in number and influence, and the old ruling classes, who now accepted the trends of constitutionalism and nationalism, were thrown together into an alliance to combat the new problems of an industrial society. In this
volume the author shows how these new alignments changed the character of nationalism from the populist `idealism' to the `realism' of Bismarck or Cavour.