European Nationalism Lesson Plan

Instructor: Adrianne Baron

Adrianne has taught high school and college biology and has a master's degree in cancer biology.

Nationalism was a process that occurred over an extended period of time in Europe. Your students will learn about how European nationalism developed as they watch a video, create nationalism posters and complete a worksheet.

Learning Objectives

At the completion of this lesson students will be able to:

  • Define nationalism
  • Describe events that affected European nationalism


1.5 - 2 hours

Curriculum Standards


Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including analyzing how an author uses and refines the meaning of a key term over the course of a text


Integrate information from diverse sources, both primary and secondary, into a coherent understanding of an idea or event, noting discrepancies among sources.


  • Computer with projector
  • Student computers
  • Posters
  • Markers
  • Index Cards with the name of a different European country on each one
  • Copies of the lesson worksheet


  • Begin the lesson by asking your students to name countries in Europe. Write these on the board as they name them. They likely will not name all of them, so you can name some of the other ones that they may not be as familiar with.
  • Now let your students know that these countries had to figure out ways to build unity and pride among their citizens. Tell them they are going to learn more about this as they watch the Nationalism Grows in Europe: Timeline, Events & Impact video.
  • Play the video for your students and pause it periodically for discussions.
  • Pause the video at 0:39 to ask and discuss the following:
    • What is nationalism?
    • Why do nationalists believe that loyalty to your nation is critical?
    • Who do nationalists believe should rule a country?
  • Continue playing the video and pause it again at 2:50 to ask and discuss:
    • What ruled over Europe prior to nationalism?
    • What was the dominant empire over central Europe?
    • When did the French Revolution occur?
    • How did the government over France change after the French Revolution?
    • What became France's motto?
    • What did the French do to build loyalty to France?
  • Continue the video and pause it at 4:52, then ask and discuss the following:
    • Who was Napolean Bonaparte?
    • What was the purpose of the Napoleonic Code?
    • What started happening in response to Napolean's feats in other areas of Europe?
    • What eventually happened in other countries as they were fighting against Napolean?
  • Continue the video and pause it one last time at 5:54, then ask and discuss:
    • When was Napolean defeated?
    • What was the Congress of Vienna?
    • What was restored as a result of the Congress of Vienna?
    • When did nationalism return to Europe?
  • Play the remainder of the video for your students and answer any questions they have.

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