Short Note on the Revolution of 1848

Short Note on the Revolution of 1848:

Between the 1830s and the end of the 1840s Europe was undergoing continuous change. Now, the Industrial Revolution started to produce its impact directly on Western Europe. As a result of this, there was growing proletarianization in society in Western Europe. So the lower class appeared to be more organized than earlier. In this revolution, leadership was given by the middle class but there was a wide extent of participation of the lower class people like peasants, artisans, and workers.

(1) Like earlier the revolution once again started in France and the government of Louis Philip declined. In 1848 a new republic was established in France and on the basis of an election Louis Napoleon III was elected to the post of president. But in 1852 he abolished the Republic from France and declared himself to be the emperor of France.

(2) A revolution started in Austria and Hungary, Metternich had to flee away to Britain. But later Austria with the help of Russia suppressed the Revolution.

(3) The revolution started in different regions of Italy such as Sicily, Naples, Milan, Piedmont, etc.

(4) A nationalist movement started in Germany and the liberal members of the Frankfurt parliament offered the crown of unified Germany to the emperor of Prussia, Fredrick William IV, but he declined to accept it.

(5) Once again in Britain this revolution took the form of the Chartist movement.

Impact of the Revolution of 1848:

In total, the revolution did not become successful. In Western Europe, it was relatively more successful but in Central Europe, it was suppressed with iron hand. One of the important factors behind the relative failure of this movement was the differences in objectives of different classes. For example, once the objective of the middle class was fulfilled it withdrew from the revolution while leaving the lower class people alone. Likewise, when feudalism was abolished in the same region, peasants came out of the revolution. It was due to this reason the revolution remained to be only partially successful.

Significance of the Revolution of 1848:

In spite of its relative failure the revolution of 1848 was having larger significance. Firstly, there was the change of government in France. Secondly, the nationalists of Italy and Germany learnt a lesson. In fact, the revolution of 1848 became a landmark in the history of nationalism. For example, before 1848 nationalism remained to be idealistic and liberal but after 1848 it became opportunist and pragmatic. Furthermore, even socialism learnt a lesson from the revolution of 1848. Before 1848 a large number of socialist thinkers remained to be utopian in their approach. They were thinking in terms of class collaboration but Marx while learning from the lesson of the failure of the lower class movement carved out a separate path for the lower class people in 1848. He published his famous communist manifesto. With the publication of this communist manifesto, the lower class movement was separated from the middle class forever.

Important Links:

Intellectual Enlightenment
Political Causes of the French Revolution
Economic Causes of the French Revolution
Beginning of the French Revolution
Functions of the Constituent Assembly
Unsuccessful Attempt of the Royal Family to Flee the Country
Phases of the French Revolution
Role of Philosophers in the French Revolution
Nature of the French Revolution
Correlation Between the Objectives and Achievements of the French Revolution
Do you agree that the French Revolution achieved far less than what it intended to achieve?
Triumph of Jacobinism
Transformation of the Republic into a Military Dictatorship
Importance of the French Revolution
The Origin of the French Revolution
The Course of the French Revolution
Why Revolution in France?
French Revolution of 1848
The Foreign Policy of Louis Philippe
Causes of the Revolution of February 1848
Short Note on the French Revolution of 1848
Bonaparte Napoleon
Napoleon Ascendency
Consulate Rule and Constitution of 1799
Reforms of Napoleon
Napoleon Concord With Pope
Napoleonic Code
Continental System
Causes of the Failure of the Continental System
Napoleonic Imperialism
Napoleonic War
Short Note on Napoleon Bonaparte
Decline of the Napoleonic Empire
Spread of Revolutionary Principles
Popular Movement
Rousseau
Metternich and the Vienna Peace Settlement