Modern World History

Revolution of 1830 – 1848

Revolution of 1830

The revolution of 1830 was brought about by the reactionary policies of Charles X.This Bourbon monarch wanted to reestablish the pre-revolution prestige of monarchy and this outlook forced the masses to raise the banner of revolution. After the defeats of Napoleon in the battles of Leipzig and Waterloo old Bourbon dynasty was restored in France and Louis XVIII was placed on throne.

In 1824 the king died without leaving any natural heir and he was succeeded by his younger brother Charles X.This new French monarch was reactionary in his outlook. When he rose to the throne the French citizens had lot of expectations from him and he was welcomed by them. But his reactionary outlook turned the popular mood against him very soon. He passed the Act to reestablish the supremacy of Catholic Church in France. He also issued order to compensate all those citizens who had suffered during revolution and especially those citizens who were declared the enemies of revolution.

The order of Charles X was against the spirit of French Revolution of 1789 because of this these orders turned the popular mood against him. He continued his reactionary policies and attempts to re-establish the old glory of Bourbon monarchy. On July 26 1830 he issued orders which included dissolution of House of Deputies, Restrictions on the freedom of press, Limitations on adult franchise and changes in electoral system. When these orders were published in newspapers next day the resentment of the masses erupted against the Bourbon absolutism in the form of a revolution. This terrified Charles X who was forced to flee Paris.

The Revolution of 1830 was inspired by liberal and progressive ideas of the Revolution of 1789.This was against the absolutism and reactionary attitude of Charles X.This revolution was dominated by bourgeois ideals as it was initiated and led by them. It was also inspired by Constitutionalism as the common masses were against the monarchy and raised the banner of revolt. It was essentially a political movement as the social, economic and other aspects of human life were left untouched by this revolution.

The impact of the revolution was limited to some parts in France. The downfall of Charles X established peace and order in France. It was Pan-European in character. It inspired the common masses against absolutism and reactionary rule in Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Belgium as well.

The Revolution of 1830 was quite successful in both France and other parts of Europe. In France it led to the downfall of Bourbon dynasty and beginning of the rule of Orleans dynasty. The hereditary monarchy was replaced by constitutional monarchy and new constitution was enacted in France after the success of the revolution. The education was made free the control of Church once again in France and it was put under state control. The secular character of religion was guaranteed for every citizen.

The revolution was also successful in Belgium. The Conference of Powers organized in London to discuss the issues raised by Revolution of 1830 recognized Belgium independence. The revolution marked the success of nationalism. The Revolution was successful in Spain and Portugal as well and the rulers of these states granted liberal constitution. Liberal Constitution was also granted in Switzerland.

The revolutions in Italy, Prussia and Austria were suppressed by reactionary Metternich and old order was restored in these parts of the Europe. The revolt of Polish peasants was suppressed by Czar Nicolas I of Russia. The Revolution inspired new process of reforms in Britain and because of this the Reform Act of 1832 was enacted. This Act led to the process of Constitutional reforms in Britain to new heights and much more clarity.

Revolution of 1848

The Revolution of 1848 of France as the result of the corrupt misrule of the constitutional monarchy led by Louis Phillpe.The rule of Louis Philippe rested on unholy alliance between the monarchist and the bourgeois. These groups used the state powers to fulfil their vested interests and this led the wages and aspirations of peasants, labourers and other low classes were neglected. The misrule of this bourgeois class supported by constitutional monarchy produced resentment among the peasants and laboures.The social base of the constitutional monarchy became narrower with passage of time.

During 30s and 40s the Republicans and Socialists spread their wings among the peasants and lower classes. The Republicans wanted the end of constitutional monarchy and declaration of France as Republican State. The socialists were looking for the end of the exploitation caused by bourgeois and egalitarian distribution of state resources. The reform demands by the lower classes were continuously neglected by the bourgeois class. The common masses were looking for the extension of Franchise and natural rights. When these demands were neglected by Louis Philippe the prevailing discontent of the masses erupted in the form of revolution of 1848.

The Revolution of 1848 was inspired by the principle of liberalism. The revolution was against the prevailing monarchical orders. It was also inspired by the ideals of socialism. By this time the influence of socialism had become quite evident in France and they began to represent the aspirations of the lower classes and peasants.

Like the Revolution of 1830 this Revolution was also against the Vienna Order of 1815 as it was against the popular aspirations. It was the revolution of common masses dominated by the lower classes and peasantry. It was political and economic in the character as the revolutionaries were dissatisfied by the existing political –economic order prevalent in the society.

The revolution of 1848 enjoys a place of great significance both in France and European history. The constitutional monarchy of Orleans dynasty was abolished and France was declared a sovereign Republic state. Universal adult franchise was also implemented in France. The forces of nationalism and socialism gained ground in France and process of labour reforms was initiated .In this way the Revolution of 1848 marked the completion of the process started by the Revolution of 1789.It provided stability to the institution of ideals based on liberty, equality, sovereighty and rule of law in France.

The revolutionaries of Hungary succeeded in extracting a liberal constitution. Switzerland was also declared republic state. The popular revolt in Vienna led to the downfall of Metternich. When the echo of the Revolution of 1848 found expression in Vienna, Metternich was terrified and he escaped to Britain. The fall of Metternich inspired the supporters of unified process of Italy and Germany. The German nationalists summoned Frankfurt Parliament and crown of unified German Empire was offered to Prussian King Frederick William IV.But this monarch refused to accept this crown and hopes of German nationalists were dashed.

The Italian nationalists also attempted to unify the politically fragmented Italy under leadership of the states of Piedmont Sardnia.The revolution of 1848 also succeeded in wiping out the elements of feudalism from Europe. The privileges and serfdom were abolished from whole of Europe. The success of Revolution in France inspired the labour movements throughout Europe and labour problems started receiving greater attention in European polity. It strengthened the nationalistic forces in Europe though they were defeated in Italy and Germany but they could not be uprooted completely.

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