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Revolutions of the 1820s-1840s. Congress of Vienna. 1814-1815 to reorganize Europe after Napoleon Metternich (Austria), Russia (Alexander I), Prussia, Great Britain France has limited role Spain, and other small nations would have no role in decision making. Congress of Vienna.

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Congress of vienna
Congress of Vienna

  • 1814-1815 to reorganize Europe after Napoleon

  • Metternich (Austria), Russia (Alexander I), Prussia, Great Britain

  • France has limited role

  • Spain, and other small nations would have no role in decision making

Congress of vienna1
Congress of Vienna

  • France was deprived of all territory conquered by Napoleon

  • Formation of the Netherlands, ruled by the House of Orange.

  • Norway and Sweden were joined under a single ruler

  • Switzerland was declared neutral

  • Russia got Finland and control over the new kingdom of Poland

  • Prussia was given German states of Saxony, Westphalia, and the Rhine to create the Kingdom of Prussia

  • Austria received land it lost to Napoleon (parts of Germany and Italy)

  • Britain got several strategic colonial territories

  • French monarchy was restored

  • Spanish monarchy was restored

Legacy of the Congress of Vienna

Balance of Power: preserved until the unification of Germany in 1870-71

No continental war again until WWI

The “Concert” of Europe System Established

The principle of collective security was established.

Protect against another Napoleon.

Maintain Balance of Power

  • The Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle [1816]

  • The Congress of Troppau [1820]

  • The Congress of Laibach [1821]

  • The Congress of Verona [1822]

19th Century Conservatism

Conservatism arose in reaction to liberalism

Natural Rights lead only to Chaos

Old monarchies were re-established (Austria, Prussia, France)

Opposed freedom of press and protest movements

Conservatives believed in order, society and the state, faith, and tradition.

“All people benefit from peace and stability”

The only legitimate sources of political authority were God and history.

Reaction against conservatism
Reaction against Conservatism

  • Nationalism

    • Independence Movements

  • Romanticism

    • Glorifying nationalism

  • Liberalism

    • Continue legacy of French Revolution

    • Abolish Absolutism


Reaction to Conservatism

Inspired by Enlightenment and French Revolution

Led revolts against Conservatives throughout Europe

Against divine-right monarchies, church power, old aristocracy

Must protect basic rights


Who were the liberals
Who were the Liberals?

  • Middle class (the bourgeoisie)

    • Business owners, bankers, lawyers, writers

  • Wanted governments based on public opinion, written constitutions, and separation of power

  • Wanted to limit the right to vote

    • Male property owners/certain income level

  • Support laissez-faire economics

  • The Middle Class and the workers did not have the same goals

Origins of 19 th century liberalism
Origins of 19thCentury Liberalism


  • John Locke

  • Adam Smith


  • Jean Jacques Rousseau


  • By 1815, several empires had numerous nationalities

    • Austria, Russia, Ottoman

  • Gave people with a common heritage a sense of identity

    • Create homelands

  • Nationalism bred intolerance

    • Persecution of other ethnic or national groups


  • Wanted independence from Ottoman Empire

    • Revived Serbian literature, music, folklore, culture

    • Fostered a Serbian identity unique from that of an Ottoman identity

  • Turned to Russia for assistance

    • Shared common Slavic background

    • 1830: Serbians win autonomy (self rule) and later they won independence

Greek independence
Greek Independence

  • Independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1832

  • Had support of Britain, France, and Russia

  • Greeks must accept a German king

Greece on the Ruins of Missilonghi by Delacroix, 1827

“Blessing of the Flag” 1821

Represents the birth of the Greek Independence movement

Conditions in russia
Conditions in Russia

  • Serfdom

    • Inefficient system

    • Landowners opposed any change

  • Underdeveloped

  • Alexander I

    • Originally liberal

    • After Napoleon, joined Congress of Vienna

Decembrist Revolt -- 1825

Russian upper class had come into contact with western liberal ideas during the Napoleonic Wars.

Late November, 1825: Czar Alexander I died suddenly.

  • Dynastic crisis – Constantine renounces claim

  • December: 3,000 army officers took control of the government – Refused to take oath of allegiance to the new Tsar (Nicholas)

    • Nicholas uses troops to put down dissent

    • “Decembrists” sent away or executed

Decembrist Revolt -- 1825


  • Nicholas did not want liberal policies – undermined his power

  • Became autocratic

Nicholas i
Nicholas I

  • Police State

  • Spies

  • Approved textbooks only

  • Revolutionaries sent to Siberia (150,000) or imprisoned in mental hospitals

  • 3 Main Ideas

    • Orthodoxy: strong ties between Russian Orthodox Church and Government

    • Autocracy: absolute power of the state

    • Nationalism: respect for Russian traditions and discrimination of non-Russian groups

France the restoration era 1815 1830
France: The “Restoration” Era (1815-1830)

Louis XVIII (r. 1814-1824)

France was the most liberal nation in Europe

Louis XVIII: forced to rule as a Constitutional monarch.

  • Agreed to follow the Constitution of the Restoration:

    • Limited royal power.

    • Granted legislative power.

    • Protected civil rights.

    • Upheld the Napoleonic Code.

The “Ultras”

Count of Artois: leader of “Ultra-Royalists”

1815 “White Terror”

  • Royalist mobs killed thousands of former revolutionaries.

    1816 elections

  • Ultras out

  • Moderates in with middle class support

The Count of Artoisthe future King Charles X (r. 1824-1830)

France: Conservative Backlash

1820: son of Artois was murdered.

Royalists blamed leftists (liberals)

Louis XVIII moved the govt. more to the right

  • Limited eligible voters.

  • Increased censorship

  • Liberals must go “underground”

Charles x reigned 1824 1830
Charles XReigned 1824-1830

Charles X Goals:

  • Lessen the influence of the middle class.

  • Limit the right to vote.

  • Clergy back in charge of education.

  • Public money used to pay nobles for the loss of their lands during the Fr Revolution.

    His Reign:

  • Attacked the 1814 Charter.

  • Controlled the press.

  • Dismissed the Chamber of Deputies when it turned against him.

  • Limited royal power.

  • Granted

1830: Downfall of King Charles X

1830 Election brought in another liberal majority.

July Ordinances

  • Dissolved the entire parliament.

  • Even stricter censorship

  • Changed the voting laws so that the government in the future could be assured of a conservative victory.

1830: Revolution, Again!

1830 france
1830: France

  • Suspension of civil rights = rebellion

  • Paris citizens riot, attack soldiers. Anarchy in Paris.

  • Charles X abdicates

  • Radicals want new government

  • Moderate liberals want a constitutional monarchy

  • Chamber of Deputies selects a royal cousin, who had supported the 1789 Revolution, as new king

    • No association with ultra conservative “Ultras”

Louis Philippe  The “Citizen King”

Very bourgeois

His Reign:

  • Property qualifications reduced enough to double eligible voters.

  • Press censorship abolished.

  • The King ruled by the will of the people, not by the will of God.

  • Tricolor replaced the Bourbon flag.

    Government under the control of the wealthy middle class.

(r. 1830-1848)

Louis Philippe – Citizen King

Ignored the needs and demands of the workers in the cities.

July, 1832  an uprising in Paris was put down by force and 800 were killed or wounded.

1834  Silk workers strike in Lyon was crushed.

Seething underclass.

A caricature ofLouis Philippe

French revolution of 1848
French Revolution of 1848

  • Discontent: Radicals formed secret societies, plotted against the king

  • Economic recession

    • Poor harvests, bread prices rose, factories shut down

  • “February Days”: Mass riots in Paris, royal troops kill citizens

    • Louis Phillippe abdicates

Second republic 1848
Second Republic -- 1848

  • Proclaimed by radical and socialist leaders

  • Deep differences in new government

    • Middle class wants moderate political reforms that benefit middle classes

    • Socialist wanted extreme social/economic change to help workers

  • “June Days”: More riots, 1500 killed

  • National Assembly creates a one-house system with a strong president

  • Elections

    • Voting: increases from 200,000 to 9 million

Louis napoleon napoleon iii
Louis Napoleon (Napoleon III)

  • 90% vote for LN

  • Is seen as a man who cares for the people

  • His heritage links him with conservatives

  • 1852: declares himself emperor

  • Wants to restore the glory of France

  • Ruled during a period of economic growth

Other revolutions
Other Revolutions

“When France sneezes, Europe catches cold.”

-- Klemens von

Metternich, Austrian

Prime Minister

Belgian Independence – 1830-31

Union with Holland not successful.

No talk of nationalism before 1830

Other movements provided inspiration

Cultural differences:

North: Dutch, mostly Protestant, seafarers, traders, Flemings (Catholics who speak Dutch)

South : French, Catholic, farmers, workers, Walloons (Catholics who speak French)


  • France would benefit by annexing an independent (and weak) Belgium

  • Conservative powers (Austria, Russia, Prussia) were too busy putting down internal rebellions to stop France

Independence: 1831

Polish Nationalism -- 1830

Army officers, students, landowners riot against Russian control of Poland

Especially influenced by Romanticism and idea of Nationalism

Took a year for Russia to suppress revolution

Failed revolution – lack of widespread support

No support from France or England


  • Nationalists wanted an end to Austrian domination

  • Workers wanted radical changes

  • Year of Anarchy:

    • New governments in most Italian states

    • Pope temporarily expelled from Rome

  • Eventually Austrian troops halted radical forces

German states
German States

  • University students, intellectuals demanded liberal reform

  • Peasant revolts (similar to Great Fear in France)

  • Workers feared growing industrialization and destroyed factories

  • Prussia: King forced to accept a constitution by the National Assembly (Later revoked)

Almost german y
(almost) Germany

  • 1848: German states met to discuss unification

  • Crown offered to Prussia’s king (Frederick Wilhelm IV)

    • Rejected: “Came from the “people, not the princes”

  • Prussian military dissolved assembly; civilians killed

  • ** Emigration to the US begins

Why revolutions failed
Why Revolutions Failed

  • Revolutions mostly successful in Western Europe where serfdom had been abolished

  • By 1850, revolutions ceased

  • Why?

    • Use of military force against civilians

    • Revolutionaries did not have mass support

    • Division between goals of various groups

Results of the Romantic Era Revolutions

Concert of Europe helped Europe recover from Napoleon

Liberals keep the Conservatives from reversing ALL reforms put in place by the French Revolution.

Successful revolutions greatly benefited the middle class. The workers were left with nothing.

Revolutions left much unfinished and an extremely unsatisfied working class.