HIST 2510 Chapter Notes - Chapter 4: Republic, July Monarchy, Holy Alliance

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10 Aug 2016
Week 4
Revolution from Above and Below: European Politics from the French
Revolution to the First World War (John Roberts) – page 29-32:
In 1848, France sneezed again, and most of continental Europe caught cold there followed
a complex, continent-wide crisis
All that is easily discerned is the strength of the hopes and fears aroused by one revolution
after another
Hard times had stimulated jacqueries and the risings in the 1840s
As early as 1846 the Galician peasants had set to work with a will butchering their Polish
landlords, believing, it seems, that their Austrian emperor wanted them to do so
The connection with a simultaneous rising in Cracow is obscure but these events may have
had the paradoxical effect of ensuring that Poland one of the most turbulent countries in
Europe, kept relative quiet in 1848
Well before that, Germany was smoldering in an anticipatory glow of revolution: ‘we lived’,
wrote one German, ‘like people who feel under their feet the pressures of an earthquake
The year began with a revolt in Palermo in January, a protest against what was seen as
misgovernment by the mainland Neapolitan Bourbon monarchy of the Two Sicilies
The real first alarm came on 24 February; an almost bloodless overthrow of the July
Monarchy set up in 1830 and the proclamation of a republic in Paris then startled liberals and
conservatives alike it was a signal to Europe
True, the new regime did little that could be called revolutionary beyond recognizing a ‘right to
work’, but there were soon signs that government in Paris was slipping towards a
powerlessness like that which had released the violence and radicalism of 1793 and the
Revolutionary wars
Meanwhile, a system of doles to the unemployed of Paris accumulated an army of discontent
in the capital
Memory was the source of inspiration as well as fear besides haunting the thinking and
shaping the style of the Paris politicians, it speeded revolution elsewhere
All could unite against the powers that were
Constitutions were suddenly conceded and the paralysis and sometimes the overthrow of the
existing order throughout Germany was soon complete; by the end of March, the Vienna
government, too, was helpless
Within the Hapsburg dominions revolution spread to Milan, Prague, and Budapest; there
were risings in Dalmatia and Transylvania Hapsburg control of Italy crumbled as Venice
followed Milan into rebellion
As much in fear as in favour of revolution, the Sardinian monarchy sent its army into Austrian
Lombardy on the side of what some Italians saw as patriotic and national, and some as a
constitutional and liberal, cause some saw it as both
Though 2 of the 3 members of the Holy Alliance had their backs to the wall for most of 1848,
everything in the end went wrong for the revolutionaries they were everywhere divided:
liberals and radicals moved apart, to the left and right; both came to fear the peasants whose
destabilizing of the German an central European countryside had done so much to paralyze
the old order’s power and resistance
The French liberals and their peasant countrymen came together in alarm at the rise of what
they saw as socialism
The republic was only saved by an appalling week of street-fighting in Pairs, the ‘June Days’
and cost 20,000 dead
After that, order regained in Paris as it had done in Warsaw since the 1830s
Meanwhile, the third reactionary power, Russia, like Britain almost untroubled in 1848, re-
emerged as the policeman of eastern and central Europe
Bohemia and Lombardy were again under control by the end of 1848, and the following year
opened with the Habsburg forces’ reoccupation of Budapest
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