Sovereignty, Wars and Nations. The Crisis of the Bourbon World
and the Formation of Modern States (1806-1920)
The prospect of war provides a common ground to analyze the collapse of the Bourbon world and to understand some of its original characters. The deep crisis of legitimacy of the monarchies broke the secular monarchical tradition. The internal conflict, and often the Civil War, became the main instrument to face and resolve alternative options-state and to reach the final affirmation of national buildings, in a context marked by many elements of homogeneity but through different paths. The study of war allows us to move the prospect from an inside story to national events to broader interpretive schemes, using the growing interest of the social sciences on these issues, the relationship between conflicts and the processes of state-building, but also to understand the reasons of the subsequent removal of the same conflicts to build national myths. The paradigm of the war can also contribute to a more successful placement of the national debate, stripping off the recurring rhetoric of the study of South’s participation in the construction of the Italian state.
Keywords: Bourbon collapse, legitimacy crisis, civil wars, nations