The Role of Ideology in the Revolutions of 1848 Essay

The Role of Ideology in the Revolutions of 1848 Essay

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The Role of Ideology in the Revolutions of 1848

Year 1848 is described as “mad year” – mad with fight for freedom.
Already its first months, in almost all parts of Europe, brought
explosion of aims and aspirations, which were accumulated during the
after-congress period. Revolutionary movements spread throughout the
whole Europe, apart from Russia, where the system of serfdom did not
allow any revolts, and Great Britain, where the reforms were carried
out in non-revolutionary channels. Despite the differences in social,
economic and political structures of European countries, the
revolutions of 1848 were characterised by uniformity, and their
ideology was a common denominator.

There were several factors that caused the revolutions. Some believe
that the main cause of the revolutions of 1848 was bourgeoisie’s fight
against still existing feudalism. it can be partly true, but this
interpretation does not explain all the mechanism of the revolt.

First of all - the years of 1845-47, in which an economic crisis
occurred. It began with the agriculture problems, which were caused by
a poor harvest of potatoes in 1845, followed by crop failure in 1846
and 1847. Agrarian riots occurred in France, there was a “potato
revolution” in Berlin, bread-riots in other German cities. Because
food prices went up, people stopped buying other goods, and therefore
the governments did not have any money to pay off their debts (they
borrowed large sums of money for industrial expansion in 1840’s).
Another problem in the pre-revolutionary period was unemployment among
artisans and workmen – they were loosing battle with modern industry,
due to e.g. new...


... middle of paper ...


...mportantly, the
possibility to choose their representatives. ‘Odilon Barrot, under the
July Monarchy, one of the leaders of the Dynastic Oppositions, writes:
“Never have nobler passions moved the civilised world, never has a
more universal impulse of souls and hearts pervaded Europe from end to
end”’2

1,2 Sir Lewis Namier – 1848: The revolution of the intellectuals

Bibliography

× Jonatan Sperber - Revolutionary Eutope 1780 – 1850

× Geoffrey Best – War and society in revolutionary Europe 1770 – 1870

× E. J. Hobrbawn – The age of revolution

× Priscilla Robertson – Revolutions of 1848

× Sir Lewis Namier – 1848: The revolution of the intellectuals

× Robert Gildea – Barricades and borders

× Anna Radziwill, Wojciech Roszkowski – Historia. 1789 – 1871

× Tomasz Kizwalter – Historia. 19th century

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