Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Revolts of 1830 and 1848

This is a map of revolts and repressions of revolts in
Europe during 1840 and 1848.
As my history class progresses into the subject of
Atlantic Revolutions, we have begun to learn about the revolutions of 1830 and 1848. The essential question was “Were the revolutions of 1830 and 1848 really a failure as historians have concluded?” Last week, we were given a quote from Alexis de Tocqueville, a liberal French political thinker and historian, “We are sleeping on a volcano. Do you not see that the Earth trembles anew? A wind of revolution blows, the storm is on the horizon.” We then analyzed a map of revolutions and repressions of revolutions in Europe during 1830 and 1848 and were directed to validate Tocqueville’s statement. What the class concluded was that because of the many revolutions and few repressions, the “volcano” as Tocqueville called it, is considered the Liberalists and Nationalists preparing to revolt against the Conservative system of government. The “wind” is the ideas of Liberalism and Nationalism spreading throughout the society, convincing people to revolt for a better society. The “storm” is viewed as the inevitable revolution itself. We then got into groups and were assigned an event that happened during the revolutions of 1830 and 1848. My group was assigned the Frankfurt Assembly which took place in 1848.
            The Frankfurt Assembly took place in Germany from 1848-1849. Its goals were to create national unity under one central government, to make liberal reforms such as a constitutional monarchy, and to determine whether or not to become a union with Austria. Within the Assembly, there were many different ideas of how the government should be run. Therefore, there was no main opponent of the Frankfurt Assembly. The outcome of the Frankfurt Assembly was that the rebels went against the conservatives, resulting in many deaths and people fleeing to the United States. Prussia's Frederick William IV and his fellow progressed to use the Prussian military to shut down the Assembly, and crushed any revolts in their early stages, resulting in the failure of this revolution. Within a few primary sources analyzed about the Frankfurt Assembly, it was discovered that the main topics covered in these sources concerned the ideas of goals, opponents, and the outcome of the Assembly. Johann Gustav Droysen’s Speech to the Frankfurt Assembly was classified into the goals category Here, Droysen gives a speech to the Assembly about what the goals should be for Germany’s successful future. According to Droysen, “We need a powerful ruling house.” This powerful ruling house was not there at all when Droysen said this, and the government was on the brink of collapse. The Frankfurt Assembly by Karl Marx describes the failure of the Assembly and its being brought down by Frederick William IV. He says, “The resolution passed the day before yesterday has destroyed the Frankfurt Parliament.” He claims that the Parliament is guilty of treason, and should be brought to court. He then goes on to convince the lower and middle classes to rise against this unjust system and refuse to conform to this way of government. My group, based off of these facts, then created a Survey Monkey to quiz other students' knowledge of the Frankfurt Assembly.

Here is a screenshot of results gotten from one
of the questions on my group's survey.

            Other revolts in 1830 and 1849 include the Decembrist Revolt, the French Revolution of 1830, and another French Revolution in 1848. The Decembrist Revolt in Russia was caused by a lack of care and sympathy in relations from high ranking military officials to their soldiers and subjects. The lower classes were tired of being treated poorly and revolted, only to get utterly crushed by the military. In this situation, the revolt was a complete failure. Within the French Revolutions of 1830, the concept of absolutism was brought back into play by Charles X, who restricted voting rights, suspended the legislature, and restricted the press. The revolts that resulted were forceful and they eventually gained control of Paris, driving Charles X out of power, and setting up a constitutional monarchy, choosing Louis Philippe as king. I would consider this revolt a major success. Within the French Revolts of 1848, the French society grew discontent with Louis Philippe’s role as king because of the recession of society. In the first stages of this revolt, the rebels had most of the control over France. However, towards the end of this rebellion, the government regained its footing and crushed the revolt swiftly. This should ultimately be considered a failure. Because of the ratio of victories to failures, I consider the historians correct in saying that the revolts in 1830 and 1848 were failures.

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