The Revolutions of 1848

Continental Industrialization, ca. 1850
“The Seizure” (1847): Bad harvests spread hardship
among family farmers throughout Europe in the 1840s
K. W. Hübner, “The Silesian Weavers,” 1844:
Merchants slash the price offered weavers for their linen
“Hunger and
early 1848)
The spread of popular uprisings in 1848
Feb 22: Paris
Feb 27: Baden
Mar 13: Vienna
Mar 15: Budapest
Mar 18: Berlin
Mar 18: Milan
Mar 19: Munich
May 3: Dresden
June 9:
Artisans, not factory workers, predominated in the street fighting.
“Lamartine before City Hall, 25 February 1848.”
The Paris crowd proclaimed a “Second Republic,” led by a
Romantic poet and the socialist Louis Blanc.
But rural voters elected a conservative legislature in April.
Frédéric Sorrieu, “The Triumph of the Universal,
Democratic, and Social Republic: The Pact”
“Street Fighting on Rue Soufflot, Paris, June 25, 1848”
(3,000 Parisians died in the June Days, vs. 500 in February)
The dissolution of the National Workshops in June 1848
provoked desperation in working-class neighborhoods:
Daumier, “The Uprising”
“The Barricade”
(June 1848)
Louis Napoleon
won 75% of the
vote in the
presidential election
of December 1848
and then gained
control of the army
and police
Louis Napoleon seized power in December 1851
and drove 100,000 republicans into exile:
Daumier, “The Fugitives”
Protesters clash with cavalry, Vienna, March 13, 1848
“The Fall of Metternich, 13 March 1848”
Berliners celebrate on the barricades on the evening of
March 18, 1848 (royal palace in background)
opening of the
in St. Paul’s
Frankfurt a.M.,
May 18, 1848,
elected to write
a federal
constitution for
Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels returned to Germany to support
its “bourgeois revolution” and organize workers
Austrian Imperial Troops reconquer Vienna, October 1848:
Nationality divided revolutionaries in the Habsburg realm.
In Berlin (as in Paris), fighting broke out
when the new government terminated an expensive
program to give jobs to the unemployed
In November 1848 the Berlin National Guard agreed to
allow the Prussian army to reoccupy the city
Prussian troops advance against the revolutionary army
of Baden (including Friedrich Engels), June 22, 1849
France, Prussia, & Austria sweep the
revolutionaries out of Europe (1849)
1. Austria and Prussia adopt written constitutions, with
limited suffrage and strong powers for the monarch.
In the “Second Empire” (1851-1870), Napoleon III
combines authoritarian rule with the quest to promote
industrialization and gain prestige in foreign policy.
Movements for national self-determination spread
among the Czechs, Poles, Magyars, Croats, and
Gradual reforms help Great Britain to avoid any mass
uprising, except in Ireland.
An economic boom in the 1850s and expansion of
police forces reduce popular unrest.