THE 19th century in religion and philosophy was characterized by a growing interest in the attempt to link social theory to biological evolutionism that gave rise to more subtle sociological and anthropological studies in the English speaking world. Drawing on the experience of colonial administration, such men as Edward Tylor, Herbert Spencer, and James Frazer developed the notion of a natural progression between "primitive'' and "advanced'' societies. Meanwhile, in Vienna, Sigmund Freud began to formulate influential ideas on the subconscious and human nature. In philosophy, the absolute idealism of Georg Hegel found its first supporters in England with Francis Bradley, while in the United States, pragmatic thinkers such as William James argued that truth of an idea depends on its social function. The ideology of anti-Semitism grew up in the wake of heightened nationalist sentiment, while an evolutionary type of socialism grew more popular than its revolutionary counterpart.
In literature, the 19th century carried the pessimistic application of theories of evolution as found in Emile Zola's naturalistic novels which stressed the limitations on man's actions stemming from his inherited characteristics and the environment; and portrayed the most sordid aspects of French lower-class life. In the same period English literature entered a more reflective, contemplative stage, losing the exuberance and effervescence of Charles Dickens. Nationalism still acted as a vital cultural stimulus, creating a social regeneration in Spain in reaction to the political weakness highlighted by the war with Cuba; and in Italy, celebrating unification. In both, writers turned to their national classics for models. The first self-conscious Latin-American school grew up asserting independence from European traditions.
As the realist novel produced the powerful and candid tragedy of Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert, new literary styles were also emerging in French poetry. Baudelaire's attempt to explore his inner self would lead to symbolist movement to which, reality beyond the poet's own imagination was irrelevant. In Russia, Fyodor Dostoevsky and Leo Tolstoy were writing, and the moral, psychological and political issues they explored recurred in the literature of the English Victorian novels from Charles Dickens to George Eliot. American literature reached maturity with the poetry of Walt Whitman - a distinct contrast with contemporary European styles - and the strong prose of Herman Melville's epic novel Moby Dick.
In music, the 19th century saw romanticism begin to decline as nationalism and impressionism became more important ideals in music and melody. Meanwhile the future of American and European music was formed in the United States with the increasing appreciation of the rhythmic genius of black folk musicians and awareness of the potential of the newly developed phonograph.
In science and technology, the 19th century witnessed Germany take the lead in the science-based industries as a result of the emphasis on science and technology in education and political system that gave power to industry. Germany possessed a flourishing heavy industry, became the center of early automobile development, and led the field in medicine, now a preventive as well as a curative science, with the discovery of antibodies and of new drugs. Robert Koch's work on tuberculosis was the most important advance. As a result of these technical discoveries combined with the widespread building of new hospitals, mortality rates dropped throughout western Europe. Other technological achievements that would alter society were the inventions of the telephone and phonograph. Classical physics failed to explain discoveries made in radioactivity, and entered a time of uncertainty that would only be resolved by Albert Einstein's theory of relativity. I may say that the nineteenth century - the century of Dr. Jose Rizal - was a period of ferment and turmoil and violent confusion.
The period between the Congress of Vienna and Sarajevo will probably always remain, in a bizarre sense, a unique era of world history. The population of the world at the time of Rizal doubled and that of Europe and quadrupled during the hundred years between 1815 and 1914. The system of technology which had prevailed with few changes for many millennia was totally revolutionized. The old economic order was replaced by a new, the like of which had never been known before. The bourgeoisie, master and beneficiaries of the new technology and the new economy, became the ruling class in almost all states of the Western world. A new social group - the industrial proletariat,
Child of machine industry and the factory system - prepared to contest the dominance of its masters. Commerce and industry expanded with astounding rapidity in what appeared to be triumphant and uninterrupted march of progress. European civilization was carried throughout the five continents and the seven seas through a thousand new channels of travel and trade. New nations were born in the near east, in Asia, in Africa, and in the Americans. In Europe, two new great powers appeared on the international stage ; Italy and Germany. Across the Atlantic, The United States grew from a feeble infant to a young giant, with vast resources and an enormous population at its disposal. In Eastern Asia, another great power emerged: Japan.
The European State System became a World State System. The entire globe, like a luscious melon, was carved up, partitioned, and subjected to the control of the Powers, whose citizens were fired with a new patriotism and whose governments struggled with one another for territory, for markets, and for a "place in the sun'' until their rivalries culminated in the greatest and most destructive of all wars. All of these developments were without parallel of antecedent in the past. Out of that has evolved the international society of the twentieth century. Fraternite, no less than Liberte and Egalite, was the battle cry of the bourgeois revolution. And as nationalism is always bred of war, the impact of people upon people in the great Napoleonic conflicts strengthened and intensified national consciousness at the very time when the bourgeoise was rising to grasp powers from kings and aristocrats.
The revolutions of the mid-century were led and supported by middle-class patriots for whom the achievements of national unity and of democratic constitutionalism were but two facets of the same liberal program. The tide of nationalism in almost every state rose in proportion to the economic and political ascendancy of the borgeosie. Nationalism and Democracy were everywhere corollaries, for true and genuine national unity is impossible without that common participation in public life which political democracy implies, and democracy is unworkable on a national scale in population whose members are not imbued with a sense of national consciousness and solidarity. In the era of triumphant bourgeoesie, nationalism became a creed, a catechism and a way of life, shaping the attitudes and actions of millions of people, and scores of governments throughout the western world.
The progressive dissolutions of the Ottoman Empire presented an opportunity to the Slavic Christians of southeastern Europe to achieve liberation and statehood. The Serbs acquired autonomy in 1815. The revolt of the Greeks began in 1821 and culminated a decade later in the achievement of Greek independence through the intervention of Great Britain, France, and Russia against the Turks, Belgium rose up against Dutch control in 1830 and nine years later her independence as perpetually neutral and inviolate state was recognized by the mother country and by the Powers.
In the 1830's Russia sought to establish a protectorate over Turkey, but was frustrated by British and French opposition. The apprehension of the Western states over the extension of Russian power at the expense of "the sick man of Europe'' as Turkey came to be called, led to the Crimean War (1854-1856) in which Great Britain and France, with the aid of little Sardinia fought Russia to a draw in the Black Sea. Russian domination of Constantinopole and the Straits was prevented by admitting the Sublime Porte to "the advantages of the public law and system of Europe'' (Treaty of Paris, March 30, 1856), and by guaranteeing the independence and integrity of Turkey. In 1877, Russia waged war on Turkey again, now using the Slavic nationalities still under Turkish rule as chess pawns in her game of imperial expansion. The Powers again intervened and Russia yielded one core, this time without a trial of armed strength.
The Treaty of Berlin of 1878 created Bulgaria as an autonomous principality, while Serbia, Montenegro, and Rumania were all recognized as independent and granted additional territory at Turkey's expense. In 1912, the Balkan states war upon Turkey and further extended their frontiers, only to fall out among themselves to the detriment of Bulgaria which was set upon by Serbia, Montenegro, Greece, and Rumania in the Second Balkan War (1913) and deprived of many of her conquests. Balkan nationalism thus created six new states (Albania was established by the Powers in 1913) and made the Balkans an arena of the conflicting ambitions of the Great Powers. The interaction between Balkan nationalism and Great Power politics in this region furnished the immediate occasion of the Great War of 1914.
NATIONALISM - this great ideology that turns devotion to the nation into principles or programs - brought about even more significant changes in the political organization of central Europe after 1827. The people of Italy were divided into seven states and those of Germany into 39 states. In both spheres, Austrian power was predominant. In both, the impact of the Napoleonic wars had given rise to a rich growth of national sentiment under the influence of which middle-class strove to attain political solidarity and nationhood. Since Austria refused to yield pacifically to such a disadvantageous modification of the status quo, war seemed the only road to unification, particularly after 1848, when the German liberals failed miserably in their efforts to create a German nation by peaceful means and when diplomatic efforts to achieve Italian unity proved of no avail. In both regions, the new nation was forged in the heat of battle with the kingdom of Sardinia (Piedmont) under Cammille Cavour playing the same role in Italy as the kingdom of Prussia under Otto von Bismarck was to play in Germany. In 1858, the new Bonaparte Emperor at Paris, Napoleon III formed an alliance with Sardinia against Austria on condition of the return to France of Nice and Savoy, conquered by the first Napoleon but lost in 1815. War followed in 1859 and Sardinia was able to annex Lombardy.
Three years later Prussia under the "Iron Chancellor" joined Austria in war against Denmark and promptly proceeded to quarrel with her ally over the spoils - Schleswig - Holstein. In the Seven Week's War of 1866, Prussia defeated Austria and assumed the presidency of the new North German Confederation, while Italy took her chance to wrest Venetia from the control of Vienna. This Enhancement of Prussian power was viewed with alarm by Napoleon III who played into Bismarck's hands by precipitating the Franco-Prussian war of 1870. With the withdrawal of French troops from the Papal States, Italy occupied Rome and the new Italian nation was complete.
The mid-century decades of national emancipation and unification which completely upset the arrangements established by the Congress of Vienna were followed by a new era of colonial expansion in which almost all of the non-European world was seized upon and partitioned by the Great Powers during a short span of thirty years. The Great States of the West, old and new alike, took to the path of empire once more and gained larger territories and more imposing dominions in a single generations than their ancestors had won during the three centuries following the circum-navigation of Africa and the discovery of America. The impact of European culture upon the older civilizations of the East and upon the primary peoples of the tropics resulted in almost every instance in the loss of political independence and in social and economic disorganization among the societies which were the victims of imperialism.
The course of empire-building and imperialism between 1881 and 1914 was marked by numerous minor wars between the European states and native African and Asiatic communities and by one open conflict between Great Powers: The Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905, in which Japan ousted Russia from South Manchuria and the Liaotung peninsula. The minor wars are almost too numerous to list.
I base my study of the international affairs and relations of the nineteenth century - the century of Rizal - upon the assumption or premise that it is useful and profitable to view international politics against its immediate background, namely, the states that were the imperialist powers of Western civilization and the congeries and complex of attitudes, behavior, patterns, institutions, procedures - in short, the psycho-millieu - which they have evolved and expanded in their dealings and relations with one another. Since international politics, such as I understand it, revolves about the competitive struggle for power and prestige between the units of the system, it is comprehensive and coherent only, I think, in terms of the general nature of the system and the specific habits and patterns of actions which have grown out of the interrelationships between its units.
The genius Dr. Jose Rizal, as he had shown in his essay, The Philippines Within a Century (1889-1890), perceived and recognized the habits and patterns of his century, the nineteenth, and dealt with them historically and realistically. Indeed, it is my considered judgment that the perspicacious and discerning Rizal adumbrated or foreshadowed, by a good number of years, the Realist Paradigm or Theory in International Politics.
Rizal was steeped in the history of his time, and he was also conversant with world politics which he termed "politica intercontinental.'' His commentaries, often obvious and predictable were drawn by the lessons from history. Any fruitful and beneficial attempt to understand the nineteenth century must involve not only a knowledge of history, which Rizal possessed, but also a knowledge of how it has been interpreted by the most important scholars, intellectuals and leaders in the world - thanks to the many European savants whom Rizal befriended.
In his essay, The Philippines A Century Hence ("Filipinas dentro de cien anos'' first published in La Solidaridad, Madrid, September 30, 1889 - February 1, 1890), Rizal provided a basis for interpretation and evaluation of the period of one hundred years starting in 1889. He examined the various actors, organizations and other social entities that played important role in global politics. Then, Rizal dealt with the impact on foreign policies and international relations of the various power of the 19th century. Furthermore, Rizal analyzed the relationships among various categories and groupings of powers, the East versus West and the interaction of states in organization, such as political coalitions, economic communities, etc. Finally, Rizal took a comprehensive and extensive look at the international system as a whole, and made predictions. Rizal's predictions were inferences from historical facts and were marked by scientific accuracy.
Rizal, through Basilio, said in Chapter VII of El Filibusterismo (published in 1891, in Ghent, Belgium).
"Within a few centuries, when humanity has become redeemed and enlightened, when there are no races, when all people are free, when there are neither tyrants nor slaves, colonies nor mother countries, when justice rules and man is a citizen of the world, the pursuit of science alone will remain, the word patriotism will be equivalent to fanaticism, and he who prides himself on patriotic ideas will doubtless be isolated as (one suffering from) a dangerous disease, as a menace to the world social order.''
To which Simoun answers in this way:
"Yes, yes... yet to reach that condition it is necessary that there be no tyrannical and enslaved people, it is necessary, that man go about freely, that he knows how to respect the rights of others in their own individuality, and for this there is yet much blood to be shed, the struggle forces itself forward.''
Rizal, as a Filipino of the purest gold, understood and interpreted, in a brilliant exegesis, the 19th century so profoundly that his intellectual and cerebral labors led to the redemption, comprehension, and enlightenment of the Filipinos, which, today is the greatest, the noblest, and the loftiest commitment of all. Pues bien deben saber que lo perfecto va con Dr. Jose Rizal, El Genio (Well, give way to the genius, Dr. Jose Rizal.)
In conclusion, we say that may this 112nd martyrdom anniversary of our National Hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, this diamond of a man, this orgullo de su pueblo, this Filipinista de Vanguardia, invigorate us to make a firm resolve to help bring about solidarity, unity, and a national esprit de corps so that we can all cooperate for justice, democracy, liberty, peace, progress, and prosperity, and rebuff any offered solutions to our national problems which would result in any flagrant and shameless disloyalty to and sellout of the brilliant and magnificent heritage of Dr. Jose Rizal. By his death in martyrdom, Rizal definitively defined for us what it means to be truly a Filipino.…