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The Revolutions of 1848 The turning point at which history failed to turn… - George Macaulay Trevelyan, 1937.

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Presentation on theme: "The Revolutions of 1848 The turning point at which history failed to turn… - George Macaulay Trevelyan, 1937."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Revolutions of 1848 The turning point at which history failed to turn… - George Macaulay Trevelyan, 1937

2 Causes of upheaval  Considered the watershed political event of the 19th century.  1848 revolutions influenced by romanticism, nationalism, and liberalism, as well as economic dislocation and instability.  Only Britain and Russia avoided significant upheaval.  Neither liberals or conservatives could gain permanent upper hand.  Resulted in end of serfdom in Austria and Germany, universal male suffrage in France, parliaments established in German states (although controlled by princes & aristocrats), stimulated unification impulse in Prussia and Sardinia-Piedmont.  Last of liberal revolutions dating back to the French Revolution

3 France 1848: The February Revolution  Working class and liberals unhappy with King Louis Philippe, esp. his minister Francois Guizot (who opposed electoral reform).  King dismisses Guizot, but riots break out.  King forced to abdicate on Feb. 24. Francois Guizot

4 The Provisional Government  Second French Republic declared by Chamber of deputies.  Moderate republicans led by liberal Alphonse Lamartine (allied w/ bourgeoisie)  Socialists led by Louis Blanc  national workshops created by Blanc to provide work for the unemployed  Reforms: abolished slavery in the empire, 10 hr workday in Paris, abolished death penalty.  April elections for new Constituent Assembly resulted in conflict between moderate republicans (who won) and socialists

5 The June Days Revolt  Workers attempted to create a revolutionary republic after Blanc was dropped from assembly.  Results in “June Days” Revolution  Cause: gov’t closed national workshops  Marked beginning of class warfare in France  Workers sought war against poverty and redistribution of income.  Barricades put up in streets to oppose gov’t forces (Hugo’s Les Miserables based on this)

6 France 1848 The Second Republic  General Louis Cavaignac: assumed dictatorial powers & crushed revolt (10,000 dead)  Victory for conservatives  Nov 1848 – constitution provided for elected president and one-house parliament  Election of 1848: Louis Napoleon Bonaparte ( ) defeated Cavaignac  1852: Louis Napoleon consolidates power and becomes Emperor Napoleon III Louis Napoleon Bonaparte

7 Revolution in Austria, 1848  Habsburg empire was vulnerable to revolutionary challenge  Ethnic minorities sought nationalistic goals: Hungarians, Slavs, Czechs, Italians, Serbs, Croats, and others. (More non-Germans than Germans lived in the empire)  Austrian gov’t was reactionary; liberal institutions were non-existent.  Social reliance on serfdom doomed masses of people to a life w/o hope.  “February Revolution” in France sparked rebellion for liberal reforms.

8 Vienna, 1848  March 13 – rioting breaks out in Vienna  Austrian empire collapsed; Metternich fled  Constituent assembly meets.  Serfdom (robot) abolished, revolution withers.  Revolutionary gov’t failed to govern effectively  Ferdinand I abdicates, Habsburgs restored royal absolutism under Franz Joseph (r ). Franz Joseph

9 Hungary, 1848  Louis Kossuth ( ) Hungarian (Magyar nationalist) leader demanded independence.  March laws provided for Hungarian independence.  Austrians invade, Hungarian armies drove within sight of Vienna.  Slavic minorities resisted Magyar invasion and Hungarian army withdrew  Austrian and Russian armies defeated Hungarian army.  Hungary would have to wait until 1866 for autonomy Louis Kossuth

10 Bohemia, 1848  Prague Conference developed notion of Austroslavism: constitution and autonomy within Habsburg empire.  Pan-Slav Congress failed to unite Slavic peoples in the empire.  Austrian military ultimately attacked Prague and occupied Bohemia and crushed rebellion.

11 Upheaval in Italy, 1848  Italian nationalists and liberals seek to end foreign domination of Italy  Milan, Lombardy and Venetia seek expel Austrian rulers  Bourbon rulers in Kingdom of Two Sicilies and House of Savoy in Sardinia-Piedmont grant liberal constitutions.  Sardinia-Piedmont declared war on Austria.  Beginning in May, revolutions suppressed.

12 Italy, 1848  Giuseppe Mazzini established Roman Republic in 1849 protected by Giuseppe Garibaldi  Pope Pius IX forced to flee  Austrian General Radetsky crushes Sardinia-Piedmont; regains Lombardy and Venetia.  French troops take back Papal States.  Victor Emmanuel II takes throne in Sardinia-Piedmont. Giuseppe Mazzini

13 Italy, 1848  Causes for failure:  Rural people did not support revolutions, focused mainly on urban middle classes.  Revolutionaries not united, fear of radicals among moderates leads to collapse.  Lack of leadership and administrative experience among revolutionaries. Giuseppe Garibaldi

14 The German States, 1848  Revolutions inspired by 1848 revolutions in France  Liberals demanded constitutional government and a union or federation of German states.  Frederick William IV rejected liberal constitution; imposed conservative one that guaranteed royal control of gov’t (lasted until 1918). Frederick William IV

15 Frankfurt Parliament  Liberal, romantic, & nationalist leaders called for elections to a constituent assembly, from all states in the German Bund, for the purpose of unifying the German states.  Sought war with Denmark to annex Schleswig & Holstein; Prussia declared war on Denmark  Presented constitution for a united German federation.  Selected Prussian King Frederick William IV as emperor; he declined claiming “divine right of kings”

16 Collapse of the Revolution  Debate over whether or not to include Austria and who would rule (Hollenzollerns or Habsburgs?)  Failure of Prussia and Austria to support unification movement resulted in its collapse  Frederick William’s attempt to unify Germany ended in failure, he dissolved the Parliament and created a constitution of his own for Prussia.  This created a two-house parliament, but gave the king ultimate authority.

17 Collapse of the Revolution  Prussia attempted to create a north German confederation that it would dominate.  Austria opposed, demanding Prussian allegiance to the Bund (that Austria dominated)  Nov “Humiliation of Olmutz”: Prussia dropped plan to unify Germany, leaving Austria as dominant German state in the Bund.  Prussia would seek revenge in 1866 (Austro- Prussian War)

18 Britain, 1848  The Chartists  Movement reached its height with the Kennington Common demonstration on April 10,  Could have been the prelude to revolution in Britain, but meeting was peaceful.  Leaders did not follow-up on the meeting and Chartist movement died. Kennington Common demonstration on April 10, 1848

19 1848 – The Consequences  The revolutions failed to pull popular support from working classes.  Middle classes led the revolution, but as it turned more radical, they held back.  Were they were successful, old guard was left in place and they turned against them.  Nationalism divided more that united.  Some gains lasted (abolition of serfdom, etc.)  In the longterm, most liberal gains would be solidified by the end of the century, Germany and Italy would be unified, and the Austrian Empire would collapse at the end of World War I.


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