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How enduring were the changes created by the 1848 revolutions?

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Introduction

How enduring were the changes created by the 1848 revolutions? In 1848 Europe lived a time of uneasiness. Many revolts took place all over the continent, when the middle and working class �stood up�. The only ones lucky enough to escape from revolution were England and Russia. France was under the power of Louis Philippe, a reactionary monarch who was against change. The Austrian Empire ruled by Metternich even though Ferdinand was the actual king. A lack of political change and social reforms bothered the people as the population increased. Education was available for more people but the economic system started to fail. 3 revolutions took place in 1848 in Austria-Hungary, France and Germany. As a result the 1848 revolutions only left temporal alternations to the traditional system and ended up being a transfer of power. France as the most influential nation of all European nations had a strong liberal force, which opposed to the fact of being ruled by Louis Philippe. The French middle-class complained for the permanent rejection, and discrimination from the government, as they had no representation at all. After the army had killed 40 protestors, a crowd of discontent middle and working class was already on their way to the city, hours later broke Paris into open revolt. Noticing that it was already too late, Louis Philippe abdicated forcing the Parisians to create a provisional government. ...read more.

Middle

What happened was that at the beginning both the middle class and the working class needed reforms. When these had been made middle class were satisfied but the working class felt that the Empire was still in debt with them. For this reason the unity came to an end. For the middle class the fact of having freedom of press, tax reforms, and an increase in freedom of religion was enough. The people still demanded to exclude non-Hungarian soldiers from the Hungarian army. This became possible once Ferdinand decided that Hungary should be an independent country. In Austria finally one of the constitutional changes established (the March laws) were approved, the nobility would loose their tax exemptions and the feudal system was abolished from the Empire. Due to the fact that the radicals and the liberals had very different interests there was also a nationalist conflict between certain groups amongst the empire. However the change that would endure the most after the civil revolt was the one that would eventually harm the revolution. This change had been dictated by the constituent assembly, and it was the abolition of serfdom (a member of the lowest feudal class bound to the land and owned by a lord). As a result the revolutionaries would be left without any real support from the peasantry, as they would have no cause to complain. ...read more.

Conclusion

We may clearly rely on A.J.P. Taylor who says: "There was merely a vacuum in which the liberals postured until the vacuum was pilled" Big revolutions took place in France, Austria-Hungary, and Germany in 1848. The government systems had been there for a very long time, each nation and the people wanted several reforms on those systems were becoming a huge pain. In France everything seemed to work fine, until Louis Napoleon declared himself Emperor. Terminating with the Universal Male Suffrage, which as other changes was thought to be enduring, but at the end it didn't result as expected. In Austria-Hungary even though problems weren't that bad, the fact that the results of the revolution in France had been successful, was enough for them to demand changes. The changes that took place were thanks to Lajos Kossuth and the "March Laws". In Germany as discussed before, some say that the German disturbances cant even be considered as a revolution. At the end only Agrarian reforms survived out of the many changes expected. Many protestors didn't receive anything from the revolution that took me to the conclusion that it wasn't successful at all. Finally we can see how the 1848 revolutions failed, and how changes and reforms were not enduring at all. As Trevely says: "1848 was the turning point at which modern history failed to turn". However France was in a much better situation than all the other countries, and like in 1918 at the end of the WW1 they were capable of surviving ahead from the others. Alejandro Holguin ...read more.

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