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European Nations 1848-1900. FRANCE. The Second Republic of France emerged from the bitter political turmoil of the revolution of 1848 . The new government placed legislative authority in a National Assembly .

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The Second Republic of France emerged from the bitter political turmoil of the revolution of 1848

The new government placed legislative authority in a National Assembly.

Executive authority was in a President, to be elected to a 4-year term by universal manhood suffrage.

A presidential election gave Louis Napoleon, nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte, an overwhelming victory.


He blamed the National Assembly for the misdeeds of the government and convinced the people that the republic was a failure.

On Dec 2, 1851, the anniversary of the coronation of Napoleon I, Louis Napoleon directed a coup d’etat -- later became Napoleon III, Emperor of the French.

the second empire
The Second Empire

Napoleon III’s first years were authoritarian since his rule rested on the illegal seizure of power.

His insecurity led to the strict control of the press and the limiting of other civil liberties. However, after a number of economic and foreign successes, he became more liberal.

Then he involved France in the Franco-Prussian War in 1870. Napoleon III was taken prisoner and France fell into turmoil again.

the third french republic
The Third French Republic
  • Delegates in the new National Assembly ranged from various monarchists to radical republicans.
  • Because of the dissension between different factions of monarchists, the Republicans passed a series of laws which collectively became the Constitution of the Third French Republic.
    • The republic began in 1871 and ended in 1940.
problems of the third french republic
Problems of the Third French Republic
  • Paris Commune: Heroic efforts in F-P war. Paris for Parisians. Crushed by French. French v. French. Provinces v. Paris.
dreyfus affair
Dreyfus Affair

Dreyfus Affair: a Jewish Republican army captain was framed by monarchist army officers for treason. His unfair trial discredited the monarchist faction of the government. Dreyfus is finally cleared (1906)

    • Zola wrote “J’accuse” in his defense
  • Major Outcomes:
    • Divided France
    • Anti-semitism (vitriolic, violent)
    • Conservative lose ground. Libs, rads, repub and socs develop informal alliance

Anti-Semitism rising in Europe (started heaviest in Russia, leading to movement to W Europe… then anti-Jewish feeling picks up there as well)

  • 1896, Theodor Herzl starts Zionist movement (call for independent Jewish country… find land of Zion)
  • Guarantee safety for Jews & end anti-semitism
  • Pre-cursor to modern day Israel


The British government generally moved toward greater democracy through a process of evolution rather than revolution.

Prosperity mitigated social conflict of 1830s and 1840s

Disraeli and Gladstone expand suffrage


Monarchs were under a constitution and no longer governed. They were ceremonial heads of state.

Executive power belonged to a cabinet led by the Prime Minister.

Legislative authority was held by Parliament, consisting of the House of Lords and the House of Commons.

  • Members of the Lords inherited or were appointed to their positions.
  • Representatives to the House of Commons were elected by qualified voters (Only 6 percent of British men actually had voting rights).
  • Together both houses passed laws and selected the prime minister.
the struggle for democracy
The Struggle for Democracy

Reform Act of 1832 increased total electorate from 400,000 to 800,000 by extending the franchise to almost all middle-class men.

(However, it left out industrial workers, artisans, and farmers.)

Reform Act of 1867 increased the electorate from roughly one million to two million, reducing most property qualifications to vote.

reform act of 1867 a bit more
Reform Act of 1867 (a bit more)
  • Disraeli allows expansion of suffrage. Why? Seems inconsistent as he’s conservative . . . Leap in the dark… broaden the base
  • Effect of the expansion?

Gladstone elected!

gladstone s ministry
Gladstone’s ministry
  • Culmination of liberalism in Gr. Brit in 1868-1874
  • Evolution of a liberal: How?
  • Aristocratic Institutions opened to all now:
      • Competitive civil service exams. Replaced?
      • Ended purchase of officer’s commission
      • End to Anglican requisites at Ox-Bridge
      • Secret ballot
      • Ed Act of 1870: gov’t takes over elem ed.
      • Why are these typically liberal?
the status of women
The Status of Women

Alfred, Lord Tennyson summed up many 19th century British attitudes toward women in his poem, “The Princess”:

Man for the field and woman for the hearth:

Man for the sword and for the needle she:

Man with the head and woman with the heart:

Man to command and woman to obey.


In 1903 the WSPU (Women’s Social and Political Union) was founded to fight for women’s rights.

  • In 1918, after the World War, Parliament granted women over 30 the right to vote.
  • A decade later, it gave the vote to all women over 21.

Mrs. Banks:

We're clearly soldiers in petticoatsAnd dauntless crusaders for woman's votesThough we adore men individuallyWe agree that as a group they're rather stupid!Cast off the shackles of yesterday!Shoulder to shoulder into the fray!Our daughters' daughters will adore usAnd they'll sign in grateful chorus"Well done, Sister Suffragette!"From Kensington to Billingsgate One hears the restless cries!From ev'ry corner of the land:"Womankind, arise!"Political equality and equal rights with men!Take heart! For Missus Pankhurst has been clapped in irons again!

the irish question
The Irish Question

Treated as a colony, the Irish were forced to observe English laws.

  • Irish Catholics contributed to the Church of England.

The Irish objected to the control of Irish land by British landowners.

When the British government failed to aid Ireland after the disastrous famine of the 1840s, Irish hatred of British rule intensified. Many Irish immigrated to the United States.

Irish nationalists demanded “home rule”. Ulster provinces in North don’t want it. Why? Protestant and property owners!

new nations and democracy in europe in 1800s
New Nations and Democracy in Europe in 1800s

The people of Belgium gained their independence from the Dutch in 1830 and established a constitutional monarchy under Leopold I.

Norway and Sweden were united under one monarchy for most of the 1800s until Norway broke the union in 1905.

In 1907 it became the first sovereign state to give the vote to women. Sweden followed their example in 1909.


The Netherlands progressed toward democracy with their first constitution in 1849.

Switzerland used the principle of direct democracy in their 1874 constitution.

Denmark gained significant democratic reforms in the early 1900s.

Spain and Portugal, unlike the rest of the nations of western Europe, made little progress toward democracy.

german government
German Government
  • 25 states handled local matters
  • The federal government handled national matters, such as defense and banking.
  • Constitution: bicameral legislature
    • Bundesrat: 58 reps from member states
    • Reichstag: 397 members elected by universal manhood suffrage.
    • Bundesrat could only introduce legislation, and Reichstag could only reject it.
german government1
German Government
  • The executive power rested in the hand of the emperor who commanded the army & navy, & appointed gov’t ministers.
  • Chancellor: as chief minister, the chancellor was the prime advisor to the emperor and held a huge amount of governing power.

William I (King of Prussia 1861-1888) had grandiose plans of a united Germany, but it was his prime minister,

Otto von Bismarck (1815-98), who was really responsible for the expansion of the Kingdom of Prussia into the German Empire.

  • On Jan. 18, 1871 William I became the emperor of Germany (or Kaiser). The new empire united 25 German states into one federal union.
  • However, unification did not make Germany a democratic state; it favored King of Prussia and its aristocracy.
accomplishments of bismarck
Accomplishments of Bismarck
  • Consolidation of the German Empire:
    • created a uniform currency, and legal code.
  • Tried to suppress the Catholics in the South
    • Catholics organized the Center Party to oppose certain policies of the central gov’t, & Bismarck resented them because of their ties to the Catholic Church
    • Bismarck passed a series of laws to restrict the church (restricting education & clergy) and the KULTURKAMPF resulted.
    • Eventually, Bismarck backed down.
other actions of bismarck
Other Actions of Bismarck
  • Tried to suppress the socialists:
    • Socialists appealed to urban workers who resented low pay and bad working conditions.
    • Bismarck tried to suppress them forcibly in 1878 with anti-socialist laws, but this failed.
    • By the 1880’s, Bismarck began to undermine them by supporting social legislation to gain the support of the workers.
    • These programs included unemployment insurance & workers’ comp., and social security payments for retired Germans.
german policies
German Policies
  • 1888: William II (defender of divine right) became king and Bismarck remained the chancellor, until he was dismissed by William.
  • William II did the following:
    • Built up a strong army & navy
    • Encouraged industry & commerce
    • Encouraged imperialism and annexation

The Fall of Bismarck

With the support of Kaiser William I, Bismarck took charge of policy in the German Empire.

William II was a man of great energy and strong opinions. William II favored a powerful military. Because of William’s belief in a strong monarchy, he came into conflict with Bismarck. Bismarck wanted the Kaiser to stay out of political affairs.


Under William I, Bismarck was able to get his way by threatening to resign. But when Bismarck offered his resignation to William II in 1890, the Kaiser accepted it. William began his own personal rule of the German Empire.

During his reign, William II encouraged development in two key areas—the military and industry. He insisted that a strong army was the best support for royal authority.

By 1914, Germany had become one of the world’s major industrial powers

russia in the 19th century
Russia in the 19th Century
  • Russian society remained semi-feudal and backward, with much popular discontent.
  • Russia remained isolated from Western culture and did not modernize.
  • Oppression & censorship increased and the government was inefficient.
  • Czars were anti-liberal
  • Russia was weak internationally & began to lose foreign wars (Crimean, Russo-Japanese)
nicholas i 1825 55
Nicholas I (1825-55)
  • Dictatorial ruler who stood for strong nationalism, autocracy, and religious orthodoxy.
  • He did the following:
    • Expanded the royal bureaucracy
    • Published a new legal code
    • Fostered industry and Railroads
    • Enforced strict censorship with secret police
    • Had strong control over the military
    • Lost the Crimean War
    • Put down a Polish revolt
alexander ii 1855 81
Alexander II (1855-81)
  • A conservative reformer, who abolished serfdom in 1861.
  • Zemstvo Laws: created local assemblies to solve local problems in 1864.
  • As reform led to radical demands, many groups began to plot and carry out terrorist acts.
  • 1881: Alexander was assassinated. Today!


  • Crimean War exposes Russia’s weakness
    • Economically backward
    • Technologically behind
  • Czar Alexander II decides to abolish serfdom in 1861
    • But freed serfs had to pay back the landlords and fell into debt
    • Some reforms made in the government but no fundamental changes in limiting Czar’s power
    • Alexander II assassinated by revolutionaries in 1881
nicholas ii 1881 1917
Nicholas II (1881-1917)
  • Industrial progress occurred during his reign, but urban & rural conditions remained miserable and the population was on the verge of revolution.
  • 1905: Russia lost the Russo-Japanese war.
  • 1905: Revolution occurred which included the Bloody Sunday massacre.
    • The czar was forced to accept the October Manifesto which created the Duma (estab Russian constitutional gov’t). Some Land reforms. No one satisfied.
nicholas continued
Nicholas, continued
  • Nicholas failed to uphold his promises made in the Oct. Manifesto and instead promoted more conservative policies under his chief agricultural advisor, Stolypin.
    • Stolypin was assassinated by rebels
  • Three major groups of revolutionaries existed in Russia at the turn of the century: Social Democrats (Marxists), Cadets, and Social Revolutionaries