The Revolutions of 1848 Big Picture: the Revolutions of 1848 were the result of the movement of Liberalism in the 19th century in Europe. Remember the contrast between political Liberalism and Conservatism? Simply put, political conservatives represented the values of the Ancien Regime The Revolutions of 1848 Liberals sought: Representative Governments Civil Liberties Improved conditions of the working classes In some cases, liberalism was tied to nationalism; specifically, the desire to form states based on Ethnic unity. (Hungary) The Revolutions of 1848 Immediate results were seemingly catastrophic, but the long term changes were generally halted by the reactions of the conservative powers in charge. Further, and this is a big issue, the liberals who sought political reform generally avoided the social changes connected with it. The Revolutions of 1848 More importantly, there is no revolution for the working classes. There is no restructuring of the social classes that have been exacerbated by the growing industrial revolution. There is no workers revolution in 1848; ironic because that is the year that the Communist Manifesto is published. The Revolutions of 1848 Two key issues before we start: Britain and Russia do not undergo any manner of revolt in this time period for different reasons. The Continent, everywhere from France to Italy to the German States to the Hapsburg Empire do under go some manner of revolution. Why not Britain and Russia? The Revolutions of 1848 Britain: The revolutions did not affect England because England had already gone beyond the goals the revolutionaries sought to achieve. Britain had a representative government, a relatively progressive liberal economy. Key, this does not mean the England was “worker friendly.” No part of Europe was… The Revolutions of 1848 Russia: They did not affect Russia because Russia had not yet developed the economic and social pressures which stimulate the liberal revolution. They literally were so far away from the impact of liberalism that revolution was not even a issue. Russia at this time is a country ruled by repressive Czars, and dominated by a feudal agrarian Economy. The Revolutions of 1848 The Rest of Europe? The revolutions of 1848 did, however, sweep across Europe from Paris in the west to cities throughout Germany and Italy, to Berlin in Prussia, and to Vienna and Prague and Budapest in the Austrian Empire. This is part of the larger trend of the formation of the nation state in Europe. Another way of looking at it would be this: The Revolutions of 1848 Generally speaking, the trend in 19th century Europe of State formation shows the conflict between two forces: Established monarchies and family dynasties tended to represent the values of the “Ancien Regime.” Replacing these monarchies and families by representative governments meant a true shift in the role of government in society. The Revolutions of 1848 Blanket Statements: The revolutions of 1848 occurred in cities where a middle class was often joined by university students, who shared liberal goals. They united temporarily with urban working people who sought to relieve the oppressive working conditions imposed upon them in the early industrial period. The Revolutions of 1848 Middle class people; entrepreneurs, industrial managers, shopkeepers, professionals, could not identify with the workers and their goals. Therefore, the united front was short-lived. They could cooperate in overthrowing the government of the old regime, but they could not share in the effort to create a new government. The Revolutions of 1848 The revolution hardly touched the countryside because the peasants did not participate in the revolution and had their own agenda. Wherever peasants enjoyed ownership of the land, they tended to be a conservative influence. The Revolutions of 1848 More specifically, there was an element of crisis all over Europe which also contributed to the revolution. That is, an economic depression and sporadic famine and high unemployment were involved. Living conditions in cities were growing sores, and there were no social services to deal with the growing urban poor. The Revolutions of 1848 Revolutions in a case by case basis: France The Habsburg Empire Italy German States The Revolutions of 1848 France: Louis Philippe and Francois Guizot (Minister) Political banquets had been held to criticize the government Poorer harvests and high unemployment in 1847 and 1848 posed greater criticism to the monarchy. Hence, these banquets are forbidden by Louis. The Revolutions of 1848 Feb 1848: Guizot resigns under pressure from the Parisian mobs. Feb. 24. Louis Philippe abdicates and flees Paris. What now? Lamartine leads the provisional government Louis Blanc leads the Parisian workers in a more labor oriented movement. The Revolutions of 1848 To review, here we see a split between those who seek merely to change the mechanism of government, to make it more politically liberal…vs… Those that are seeking true change for the poor of a country, specifically France. And, there was a tremendous amount of resistance in the rural areas concerning these Urban Radicals. The Revolutions of 1848 The provisional government clashed with the Parisian mobs, and this new government goes so far as to close the Paris workshops, which were set up as a means of training workers in a skill. Clearly, this is not a move to help the poor. The barricades are assaulted by the government troops, and the revolution is essentially ended here. The Revolutions of 1848 Louis Napoleon emerges… These issues is the protection of private property, not the plight of the working poor. Not some Marxist revolution. The presidential election gives France the nephew of the Emperor, napoleon. “Little Napoleon” calls and end to this Second Republic. The Revolutions of 1848 What Louis Napoleon will do will be to gradually take power from the national Assembly, and be categorical in his belief that he, not they, represents the will of the people. He seizes power in a coup, much like his uncle. By 1852, France was under the Rule of Emperor Napoleon III France had, for the second time in less than fifty year, had gone from Republicanism to Cesarism. The Revolutions of 1848 The Habsburg Empire. Remember the issues that faced the Hapsburgs? Multi-ethnic population. It was dominated by a serf based economy Metternich was the poster boy for political conservatism It was in existence for the benefit of a dynastic family…no hint of a representative government here… The Revolutions of 1848 The problem within the problem is the desire of the Magyars (Hungarians) for ethnic unity. Louis Kossuth calls for independence for the Hungarians. Major disturbances in Vienna follow The army fails to deal with it, and Metternich surprisingly flees the country The Revolutions of 1848 The Government eventually falls to the hands of a 200 person committee. As a means of preservation, the Vienna Govt. declares that serfs are free, as a means of gaining their support. As Vienna continues to fragment, this has to give hope to the Hungarians, and it does. As the Hungarian diet passes legislation, the Emperor Ferdinand approves these measures because he can do little else. The Revolutions of 1848 Magyars goal, establish an independent state. What the Austrian do is to garner the support of those groups that would be harmed by the independence of the Hungarian independence movement. Groups like the Romanians, the Croats and the Serbs would be oppressed by the Magyars, and so the Austrians get their support and suppress the Magyar revolt. The Revolutions of 1848 Czech Nationalism The Czechs version of nationalism was the formation of a Pan-Slavic state, which we now will become a major issue in European history as the century progresses. This would be a state freed from the dominion of both the Austrian Empire and the Ottoman Empire Though the movement is quelled by General Windischgraetz, it does show a long-term issues of nationalism brewing in eastern Europe. The Revolutions of 1848 Italy: Issue: The rise of the so-called Romantic republican movement. Italians began to see the possibility that Piedmont, under the guise of King Charles of Piedmont, leading the possibility of freedom from Austrian dominance of the Northern states. The Revolutions of 1848 Yet, the defeat of Piedmont by the forces lead by Austrian general Radetzky, prevented Piedmont from gaining autonomy. However, in “Italy”, in February, a radial insurrection in Rome forced the Pope, Pius IX, to flee and the radicals Proclaimed a Roman Republic. This was to be the place from which a unified Italy could be formed, Mazzini and Garibaldi are the two key figures in this. The Revolutions of 1848 The French help to defeat this Roman Republic, primarily because fo the conservative nature of the Napoleonic government, and because France saw a possible threat in a unified Italy to their south. The Revolutions of 1848 Germany: The Frustration of the Liberal Movement. Remember, as far as the Revolutions of 1848 are concerned, “when France sneezes, all of Europe gets a cold.” German will also undergo a flirtation of Liberalism, and an ultimate conservative reaction. The Revolutions of 1848 Prussia, the major German State, will be the focus for this Liberal uprising. Frederich William IV refuses to turn troops on protesters in Berlin. He believed that foreign intruders were responsible for this activism. This proves to be a huge short term mistake. The Revolutions of 1848 Frederich makes a series of concession, including the promise of a Constitution and a promise that Prussia would lead a movement toward German unification. This is a short term example of monarchical concession to the revolutionaries. The Revolutions of 1848 An assembly that was predominately democratic and radical is eventually ignored outright by then monarch. By April, the monarch has declared his own constitution, and voting was based on income, which of course meant that high income citizens could exert influence on this assembly. We are seeing a swing back to conservatism. The Revolutions of 1848 The Frankfurt Parliament. May 1848…Frankfurt Parliament is formed to call for a unified German State. How could a movement like this face opposition? The working class was fearful of economic liberalism because it would eliminate protection to guilds. The Revolutions of 1848 In Fact…the parliament called in troops to repress urban workers who had, like the French, erected barricades. And, the issue of Unification was a another sticking point for the parliament. The issue was whether to include Austria in the unification movement. The Revolutions of 1848 The Grossdeutsch solution favored the inclusion of Austria The Kleindeutsch solution favored exclusion. It Would the the latter of the two that would receive more support. Frederick William IV rejects a proposal that he led a Unified Germany – He was king by God, not by some mortal decree The parliament was dissolved, and German liberalism never recovered. The Revolutions of 1848 How can we assess the Revolutions of 1848? This ends, effectively, the era of political liberalism as a romantic and philosophical concept. Liberals/Nationalists knew now that they had to be more pragmatic, and less romantic. What would be the unifying factors in the creation f a Nation? The Revolutions of 1848 Rather that relying on: Language and cultural heritage in the formation of a national character… It would be factors like railways, commerce, guns, soldiers and diplomacy that would unify a nation. We need only to look to Bismarck and his “Real Politique” as an example of the death of political liberalism. The Revolutions of 1848 And, and this is very significant, workers would turn to more organized methods/tactics to achieve their ends… Rather than taking to the barricades, they began to utilize trade unions and worker organizations to achieve their ends. The Revolutions of 1848 Finally, this was the end of the revolutionary desires of of the Middle Class. It was more concerned about protecting its property against the rise of political radicals. Specifically, it would oppose the rise of Marxism.
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