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Revolutions of 1848 Info on the 1848 Revolutions

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Western University
History 1401E
Allyson May

European History The Revolutions of 1848 Monday, November 29, 2010 Nationalism and Liberalism  In its earliest stages, nationalism was linked with the optimistic idea of liberalism.  These twin forces led to anumber of dramatic uprisings across Europe.  The 1848 revolutions can be understood by two themes: o The contention between the forces of liberalism and nationalism o The struggle of various subject peoples for autonomy to gain autonomy – particularly under the Austrian empire.  The important trigger was the events in France after the fall of Napoleon  France after Napoleon o The Bourbon house was restored in 1814. o Louis XVIII realized the need for a charter – a constitutional monarchy. o He accepted Napoleon’s civil code, and established a two house legislature.  An upper house, chosen by the king, and a lower house, elected by an elite electorate.  This was only slightly democratic. o These pleased few people – it left both the liberals and the royalists rather unhappy. o Louis dies in ’24, and is followed by Charles X – idiot. o Charles was a reactionary – a leader of the royalists.  Essentially, he tries to undo the charters. By 1830, France was once again on the verge of revolution.  He censored the press, and dissolved the legislative assembly because it was dominated by liberals.  He tried to elect a new royalist house. o July Revolution  Charles was forced to abdicate after the populous revolted – he flees to England.  He is replaced with Louis-Phillipe – called the ‘Bourgeoisie Monarch’  He adopted a middle-class image, and called himself the King of the French – not of France.  This is indicative of the new power of the growing middle class.  His reign clearly favoured the upper middle class. o France is now in the throws of its own Industrial Revolution. o They now encountered the same growing working class and ills faced in England earlier. o There is a certain aspect of radicalism. o After 1840, there was resistance to change – there was increasing disconnect and tension between the legislators and those outside. o The government’s resistence to reform made tensions worse. As well, they were faved with economic troubles; essentially, Paris was a hotbed of tension.  In 1848, these tensions came to a head. Paris in 1848  The protestors held ‘Banquet’ – essentially protests.  The last one, on Feb 22, turns into a large-scale political riot.  From this, we see Louis-Phillipe abdicate and flee to England.  A provisional government is established.  Universal male suffrage is awarded, and this new constituent assembly desires a new constitution.  Lous Blanc o To solve the economic problems, there was a socialist solution – the National Workshops. o These were nothing more than unemployment reliefs. o By the 1840’s, there was massive unemployment – these National Workshops were swamped, and proved very expensive. Effects in Europe  By March, these disturbances had spread to Vienna, Prague, Berlin, and Budapest.  Like France, central Europe was suffereing economic woes, rooted in agricultural depression.  Hungary o They were part of the Austrian empire, and were touched by nationalist ideas. o Louis Kossuth used the news of the French conflicts to spark the Hungarian nationalist movement. o He used the Paris uprising to demand independence from Austria, as well as suggesting this for other parts of the Austrian empire.  Prussia o There were hopes that the Prussian king would at last provide a constitution – the first step towards independence. o Throughout Germany, the states were providing elections with the goal of uniting Germany
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