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1848: The Revolution of the Liberals

  • From 1848 to 1852, Europe was shaken by a series of Revolutions
  • After 1852 dictatorship or conservative rule was restored in most countries.
  • The revolutions started in a part of Italy in 1848, but the real spark was in France in 1848.
  • Soon revolutions broke out in other parts of Italy, Prussia, Austria and the German Confederation.
  • Internal divisions based on nationalism and on a radical/liberal split soon weakened the revolutionaries.
  • By 1852 conservatives had taken advantage of the weaknesses and regained power.
  • In France, Napoleon Bonaparate's nephew, Louis Napoleon took power in a coup d'etat.

  • The Revolutions first started out in France 1848. It was lead by Louis Blanc. The people wanted universal suffrage. King Louis Philippe was overthrown and Louis Blanc's revolution established the second republic.
  • The February revolution in France gave ideas to other countries in Europe which in turn started other revolutions. The February revolution in France also gave to Liberals in the German states the idea to make a proposal for a unified German country with a national parliament. But the old order was restored because the provisional government couldn't decide on a constitution for the new government.
  • The Italian states of Europe also had a revolution which made Pope Pius IX flee Italy. This gave the leader of unification, Gieuseppe Mazzini the chance to unify Italy. This plot of Mazzini was a failure because of the Italians overwhelming protectiveness of their independence.

Within the Austrian Empire there was increased Nationalism among the Czechs, Hungarians, Germans, and other groups. This increased nationalism in March of 1848 led to riots and the ousting of Prince Klemens von Metternich and Ferdinand I, the Hapsburg Emperor. This led to the making of a constituent assembly which freed the peasantry. However, liberals and radicals were soon squabbling and subject nations began to demand autonomy from Vienna. Finally, along with Russian troops, the Hapsburgs restored themselves and regained control.

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