Amerigo Caruso

Pragmatism and progress. Political discourse in Europe between Juste milieu and Realpolitik (1830-1860)

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: European Political History; History of Concepts; Juste Milieu; Age of Revolution.

The emerging political culture of Juste Milieu and the career of the «moderate » project of politics were two main agents of change in nineteenth-century Europe. The article analyses the plurality of argumentative patterns and semantic transformations around the concept of «middle way» from the French Revolution up to the Italian and German nation building after 1860. The controversial juxtaposition between the conservativebased symbolic language of politics and the growing expectation of liberal reforms led to a widespread debate across Europe. Especially after the July Revolution in 1830, country specific terms and political discourses on the paradigm of moderatism emerged not only in France but also in Germany, Italy and in the Iberian Peninsula. Liberal and conservative moderates were successful in initiating and implementing constitutional reforms and nation building. They convincingly proclaimed to prevent future instability and to refuse to comply with the two opposite extremisms of revolution and reactionary conservatism. This paper proposes to reassess the Age of Revolution paradigm and to examine the first half of the nineteenth century as a period of moderatism-led crucial transformations of modern political discourse.

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