Revolutions of 1848
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Revolutions of 1848. Why did Revolutions take place in 1848 on the continent? Unresolved Political Rights Agricultural Conditions Industrialization Nationalism Role of the Domino Effect Why Revolution doesn’t take place in Britain? Workers’ Chartism of the 1830s and 1840s

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Revolutions of 1848

  • Why did Revolutions take place in 1848 on the continent?

    • Unresolved Political Rights

    • Agricultural Conditions

    • Industrialization

    • Nationalism

    • Role of the Domino Effect

  • Why Revolution doesn’t take place in Britain?

    • Workers’ Chartism of the 1830s and 1840s

    • Failure of Workers’ Charter vs. victory of middle classes by 1846

  • Goals of the revolution

  • Why did revolutions fail?

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Revolutions of 1848

  • Why Revolutions in 1848?

  • Why did this not happen in Britain?

  • What were the goals?

  • Why did the majority of revolutions fail?

  • What lasting impact did revolutions have on Europe?

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Why did Revolutions take place in 1848?

  • Unresolved political rights

  • Agricultural conditions

  • Industrialization

  • Nationalism

  • Role of the domino effect

Illustrated London News (20 Feb 1847)

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Why violent revolution doesn’t take place in Britain

  • Chartism (1830s & 1840s)

  • Working-class radicals

  • Change from within the political system

  • Six points of the Charter

    • Universal manhood suffrage

    • Equal electoral districts

    • No property qualification for MPs

    • Payment for MPs

    • Annual parliaments

    • Secret ballot

  • Presentation of Charter three times (1839, 1842, 1848)

  • Ultimate failure of the Charter

    • Internal Divisions

    • Role of Government to stamp out Chartist Factions

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Goals of the Revolution in France, 1848 (1848)

Goals of the revolution differed depending on your class:

Bourgeois liberal goals:

Constitutional representative governments

Limited democracy

Limited state interference


Working-class radical republican goals:

Constitutional representative governments

Universal male suffrage

Activist state


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From Restoration to Revolution (1848)

  • Louis XVIII (1815-1824) the Constitutional Charter

  • Charles X (1824-1830) attempts at Grandeur

    • July 1830: July Ordinances

  • 1830 Revolution and the July Monarchy

  • Louis Philippe: the “Bourgeois King” (1830-1848)

Louis XVIII (1814-1824)

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Eugene Delacroix, “Liberty Leading the People” (1830) (1848)

Temporary alliances between middle and laboring classes fade with victory of Louis Philippe

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Reign of Louis-Philippe (1830-1848) (1848)

  • July Monarchy

  • “Bourgeois” king

  • Reforms:

    • Adopted the Tricolor flag of the revolution

    • Abolished censorship

    • Worked with the parliament

    • Electoral Reform

  • Louis-Philippe’s reforms helped mainly the upper middle classes (wealthy industrialists & financiers).

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Industrialization took off during the reign of Louis-Philippe.

Louis-Philippe did little to help the plight of workers.

Lyon Uprisings (1831 & 1834)

Louis-Philippe became increasingly reluctant to grant democratic reforms.

Frustration finally erupted in February 1848 when a cross-class alliance overthrew Louis-Philippe

Reign of Louis-Philippe (1830-1848)

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On 22 February, a grand political banquet was planned in Paris.

Louis-Philippe banned this banquet.

Barricades went up.

Louis-Philippe called out the National Guard.

Without the support of the National Guard, Louis-Philippe was backed into a corner and began to make concessions.

Provisional Government established.

Led by a group of moderate & radical republicans.

Immediate Goals:

Elections for a Constituent Assembly by universal manhood suffrage.

New constitution (Republic)

Abolished slavery

Abolished the death penalty

Established the 10-hour workday

February Revolution in France

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The Course of the 1848 Revolution: Paris.

January: Palermo


February: Paris

March: Berlin,






In Austria

Kaiser Franz Joseph

1849: Revolt in Hungary suppressed with Russian help

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Revolutions in Europe Paris.

  • Austria:

    • Meternich flees the revolution

      • Ferdinand deposed, choice of his nephew Franz Joseph II (1848-1916)

    • Hungarian revolt suppressed with Russian help

      • Nicholas I, “the policeman of Europe.”

  • Germany:

    • Unification of German States

      • Large Germany (Grossdeutsch), or Little Germany (Kleindeutsch)

        Frankfort Parliament offers imperial crown to Prussian king

  • Italy: Revolts in Naples, Papal States, Tuscany, Venice

    • Goal: Unification under the House of Savoy

    • Austrians reassert control in Tuscany & Venetia

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Split among Revolutionaries Paris.

  • Spring 1848 -- a split developed between Moderate Republicans & radical groups (Left Republicans & Socialists).

  • 23 April 1848 – Elections to the National Assembly. Moderate Republicans were victorious.

  • 15 May 1848 – People of Paris stormed the National Assembly.

  • May 1848 – Marked the end of the truly revolutionary period of the Revolution.

  • The new revolutionary government tried to alleviate unemployment through a government-sponsored works program (National Workshops).

  • Issue of the Workshops was the lightening rod that divided the revolutionaries.

  • June Days (23-26 June 1848)

  • To many Europeans, June Days marked an important departure in revolutionary politics. Now the new struggle: bourgeoisie vs. the working classes.

    Karl Marx: “Only after baptism in the blood of the June insurgents did the tricolor become the flag of the European revolution—the red flag.”

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June Days marked a victory for the Moderate Republicans. Paris.

Each month grew more conservative.

4 Nov. 1848 – Second French Republic proclaimed

10 December 1848 – Presidential Elections held. Nephew of Napoléon Bonaparte, Louis-Napoléon, won.

His greatest support came from the peasantry.

March 1850 – Falloux Law

2 December 1851 – Louis-Napoléon’s coup d’état

2 December 1852 – Louis-Napoléon assumed the title of Emperor Napoléon III

Conservative order had been re-established.

After the June Days in France

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Revolution in Berlin (Prussia) Paris.

  • 3 March 1848 – Revolution broke out in the Rhineland

  • 15 March 1848 -- Revolutionaries revolted in Berlin, demanding liberal democratic reforms.

  • King of Prussia (Frederick William IV) made concessions to the revolutionaries.

  • Soon afterwards, the other leaders of German states also gave their support for liberal democratic & nationalist reforms.

  • Believing that the kings & princes were committed to a united Germany, bourgeois liberal leaders began to meet in Frankfurt to write a new constitution for a united Germany. (Frankfurt Parliament)

    • Supported liberal democracy

    • Little Germany or Large Germany?

    • Supported a constitutional monarchy (under the leadership of the King of Prussia) & a united Germany without Austria.

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Revolution in the Austrian Paris.(Hapbsurg) Empire

  • While many revolutionaries advocated liberalism, most were nationalists.

  • Calls for liberal democracy centered in Vienna

  • 12 March 1848, Revolution broke out in Vienna

  • Nationalist Revolutions

  • Czechs, Hungarians, & Italians, in particular, rejected the dominance of a foreign, German-speaking, ruler.

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Hungarian (Magyar) & Czech Revolutions Paris.

  • Most powerful of the minorities & the most successful of the revolutionaries.

  • Louis (Lajos) Kossuth (1802-1894)

  • 3 March 1848 – Revolution broke out in Budapest

  • Frightened Metternich, who quickly agreed to allow the Hungarians to establish a liberal democratic parliament.

  • March Laws: Representation, freedom of the press, religious freedom, equal justice before the law, taxation of the nobility.

  • May 1848 – Czechs revolted, demanding political autonomy similar to what the Hungarians had received.

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Seeing what was happening throughout Europe, the Austrian Emperor (Ferdinand I) began to grant liberal concessions.

March 1848 – King dismissed Metternich

25 April 1848 – King agreed to a constitutional monarchy

Granted Universal manhood suffrage

Emancipated the serfs

15 May 1848 – Another wave of demonstrations broke out in Vienna

May 17 1848 – Emperor fled to Innsbruck (Austria)

Beginning in the summer of 1848, Austria reasserted her dominance over the revolutionaries.

June 1848 – Emperor’s army crushed the Czech revolution

October 1848 – Emperor crushed the revolt in Vienna.

September 1848 1848 – Emperor sent troops into Hungary to suppress the revolution.

December 1948 – Emperor abdicated in favor of his nephew (Francis Joseph I) who was determined to suppress these revolutions.

March 1849 – Austrian forces conquered Hungary & imposed military rule.

June 1849 – Austrian joins with Prussia to crush revolutions in the Rhineland, Saxony, & Bavaria.

Retreat of the Hapsburg Empire

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Fighting at the Tosa Gate, 1848 Emperor (Ferdinand I) began to grant liberal concessions.

Note green, white and red flag

Flag of Cisalpine republic of Napoleonic Period

Milan, 1848

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January & February 1848 – Revolts erupted in Naples & Turin

March 1848 – GuerraSanta (Holy War)

22 March 1848 – Revolution broke out & Venetian Republic was established.

Came under the leadership of Garibaldi

March 1848 – Papal States were given a constitution

February 1849 – Roman Republic proclaimed under the leadership of Mazzini.

Goals: Liberalism & National Unification

Led by Charles Albert (King of Piedmont-Sardinia)

23 March 1848 – Piedmont-Sardina declared war on Austria

New Republics: Venice, Tuscany, & Rome

June 1848 – Austrians defeated Piedmont-Sardinia. Austrians re-established control over Lombardy & Venetia, destroying the republics.

Revolution in Italy

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Why do the Revolutions Fail? Turin

  • Problem of Idealism among Revolutionaries

  • Military Power

  • Weak Alliances

The Suppression of the 1848 Revolutions

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Lasting Significance of 1848 Turin

  • While there was a lasting challenge of liberal and radical programs

  • Persistence of old regime

  • “Democracy” and 2nd Republic in France under Louis Napoleon, president (1848-1852) then Emperor Napoleon III (1852-1870)

  • “Representative” government (Landtag) in Prussia

  • Emigration of 1848’ers to United States

  • Eventual conservative cooption of liberal and radical platforms