1848 Revolutions In Europe Essay Research Paper

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1848 Revolutions In Europe Essay, Research Paper During the period January 1848 to August 1849 there were many revolutions across the face of Europe. They occurred in France, Italy , Piedmont, The Austrian Empire, Germany, Poland, Holland, Denmark and Switzerland. These events which occurred across Europe had many similarities both in their origins, nature and consequences but just as many differences. Many of these similarities lie in the fact that the leaders surrendered power easily and the type of government that was set-up. Consequently historians disagree. In France there was a general feeling of dislike for the King Louis-Phillipe the XVIII. Phillipe s country badly needed much liberal social reform to keep the citizens happy. However, Phillipe was not prepared to give

any ground in the direction of social reform. He ignored the principles behind parliamentary government and appointed first ministers who agreed with his decisions. He also manipulated elections, as well as, gave judiciary favours. Phillipe stubbornly resisted attempts to make government more representative and responsive. These actions caused discontent among the French. Banquets were organised by the middle classes to protest at the government’s intransigence. Phillipe quickly had them banned when they became too radical In Rome the Pope, Pope Pius the IX was also unpopular. He had earned himself the nickname of the liberal Pope as a result of his introduction of many liberal reforms. During 1833 – 1834 he freed political prisoners and allowed political exiles to return

from abroad because of pressure from the people who s views were altered by nationalists and groups such as the Carbonari and the whole risorgimento’ movement. However, when things turned awkward because of pressure from nationalists and liberals like Giusseppe Mazzini, Balbo, Gioberti and Cataneo, he was only too quick to withdraw them. The people were left with a feeling of anger at their leader. Economic crisis hit Europe in 1846 as a direct result of the sudden burst of industrial development. The economic growth encouraged speculative investment but the market became saturated and a crash ensued which left may investors losing money. This directly contributed to social and political unrest and discontent. The crisis was exacerbated by the failure of the harvest which

caused bread prices to rocket and unemployment to increase. The Austrians, with their backwards economy needed the high tariffs to survive and so they gave their goods precedence over the Milanese people s goods, in this case being Tobacco. Consequently the Milanese rioted in January. In Italy the people looked likely to riot if something positive was not done about price of bread, which was a staple food. Events took a similar course in France. Riots occurred in Paris and Lyons and intellectuals began to write about the plight of the poor . People like Louis Blanc and Lamartine saw this opportunity and seized it. They did this by preaching their own more radical ideologies. Political attitudes amongst the peasants began to swing in the direction of more radical ideas. The

radicals were interested in deposing the King and making France a republic. Nationalism was rife throughout Europe at this time. The nationalists felt that the current leaders were not giving the people a fair deal and therefore they had to be replaced. There had always been a strong Nationalist movement in France, however it was mostly ignored by the peasants because it was seen as the domain of the middle classes. However, as times were hard the Nationalists made promises that they could alleviate France from this tragic situation it had got into. This caught the ears of the peasantry and made them listen. In Italy the causes were very much the same, however there was a strong felling of Italian unity which people like Mazzini, Giusseppe Garibaldi and Daniel Manin had done