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Revolutions of 1848

Revolutions of 1848

The European Revolutions of 1848, known in some countries as the Spring of Nations, Springtime of the Peoples or the Year of Revolution, were a series of political upheavals throughout Europe in 1848. It was the first (and only) Europe-wide collapse of traditional authority, but within a year reactionary forces had won out.

 

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James Kopf

James Kopf

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Out of the Marxian promise of 1848, there has now arisen a political force which is probably the most important--certainly the most baffling--external challenge to constituional democracy and to the humanitarian liberalism of Western Europe and America. The Marxism of 1848 set as its goal a greater individual freedom and fuller individual development than had been possible in any earlier age.

Article: Marxism, Revolution, and ...
Source: The Journal of Religion

When the revolution of 1848 broke out, the Slavs—not unnaturally—did not go along with this program. The Czech liberals, led by František Palacký, proposed instead a federated Austro-Hungarian state allied to a democratic Germany. Thus there was a genuine conflict between the national-democratic movement in Germany and Hungary on the one hand, and the Slavs in the Austro-Hungarian empire, who in part looked to Russia to preserve the Austro-Hungarian status quo.

Article: The National Question in ...
Source: Workers Vanguard

Early in 1848 Marx moved back to Paris when a revolution first broke out and onto Germany where he founded, again in Cologne, the Neue Rheinische Zeitung. The paper supported a radical democratic line against the Prussian autocracy and Marx devoted his main energies to its editorship since the Communist League had been virtually disbanded.

Article: Karl Marx, 1818-1883
Source: The History Guide

The Revolutions of 1848 were not merely designed to achieve republican institutions. In some of the minor German states and above all in France the socialistic program was a crucial part of the movement. While the majority of American intellectuals viewed the European upheavals in political and moral terms, some from the start detected significant social and economic overtones.

Article: The Impact of the Revolut...
Source: The Journal of Religion

The philosophical Enlightenment and the political revolutions that fought under its banner—the American, the French, the Haitian, and those of 1848—looked forward to the realization of reason, freedom, and human self-development in the world, in our social institutions and in ourselves. This would be emancipation.

Article: Lukács’s Abyss
Source: Platypus Affiliated Socie...

[German Democratic Republic] historians cogently explained the initial success of the revolution of 1848 by showing how various factors produced an alliance between the bourgeoisie and workers. Long term developments, caused by the impact of capitalism, had created a revolutionary situation in Germany by 1847. The source of acute tension was a power struggle between an industrial bourgeoisie, frustrated over anachronistic fetters imposed upon the expansion of capitalism, and the half-feudal nobility and absolute monarchies which refused to relinquish their authority.

Article: German Revolution of 1848
Source: Ohio University

The establishment of a French republic by workers and bourgeoisie in February of 1848 encouraged German students, peasants, craftsmen, and workers to take to the streets and revolt against their governments in early March. When monarchs feared for the loss of their thrones and the industrial bourgeoisie linked their aspirations with those of the revolutionists in the streets, Germans obtained a new pattern of politics by the end of March. The new order was seemingly based upon popular demand for an expansion of civil liberties, representative government, universal suffrage, a centralized nation state, and economic and social opportunity for the individual.

Article: My Projects
Source: Citelighter

The establishment of a French republic by workers and bourgeoisie in February of 1848 encouraged German students, peasants, craftsmen, and workers to take to the streets and revolt against their governments in early March. When monarchs feared for the loss of their thrones and the industrial bourgeoisie linked their aspirations with those of the revolutionists in the streets, Germans obtained a new pattern of politics by the end of March. The new order was seemingly based upon popular demand for an expansion of civil liberties, representative government, universal suffrage, a centralized nation state, and economic and social opportunity for the individual.

Article: German Revolution of 1848...
Source: Ohio University

In April 1848 the Chartists assembled en masse at London’s Kennington Common, with the intention of marching on Parliament to present the third Chartist petition. But this mobilization, which has been mythologized by “Labour Historians” as “historic,” was met by a huge government deployment of police and special constables, and dispersed by a rainstorm. Thirty years after the event, Harney recalled that, compared with the great days of the Chartist Convention of 1839, when the masses were energized and insurrection was “in the air,” the English 1848 was a “fiasco.”

Article: The Elusive “Threads of...
Source: Platypus Affiliated Socie...

There were certain instances where liberal goals were achieved. For example, Prussia and Austria became a constitutional monarchies at least in form, if not in reality. The Kingdom of Piedmont in Italy became a constitutional monarchy. But in most cases the counter revolutions, which followed in 1849, were quite thorough and undermined most of the revolutionary achievements of 1848.

Article: Revolutions of 1848
Source: SUNY Suffolk
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