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Nation-State Systems

Saturday, December 17 2011, 1:33 AM


Rise of Nationalism in 19th Century
Nature and Character
1. In W Europe, while national unity already existed, situation was complex in the East. Here, multiple nationalities were divided into multiple empires.
2. This nationalism essentially was based on cultural nationalism. The nationalists laid emphasis on shared history, traditions, folk songs, language
etc. and asserted that it must be preserved. The nationalists were often inspired by romantic literature and art.
3. Since the empires were against nationalism, the nationalist movements were underground movements.
4. Leading philosophers of the age like Mazzini, Hagel pitched for national unity.
Impact of French Revolution
Theory
1. The Revolution in its Declaration of Rights of Man had declared the rights of every man who wants to be free, not just French. These rights directly
challenged the established systems in rest of Europe. So wars followed the Revolution, which was followed by dictatorship, then a French Empire.
2. Subsequently the struggle of the people to get rid of the tyranny of Napoleon led to birth of modern nationalism.
Critique
1. While no doubt French Revolution and its ideas played an important role, they were not the only factors at play.
2. The meaning of the state was changing in Europe where the state and its citizens were to have closer interaction. People were no longer passive
players and the state affairs were no longer to remain confined to the aristocracy.
3. The forces which were bringing these changes were growing population and the industrialization.
The Contradictions of Vienna
1. It completely ignored the regional and national aspirations of various localities. Thus theIt was learnt Rhineland provinces (lesser Germanic states)
which were catholic and traditionally enjoyed closer links with France and benefitted from her legal system (from Napoleon's time) were now brought
closer to Prussia which represented the conservative elements. Italian states didn't even get the loose federal structure of the German Bund. Instead it
was to be directly controlled by Habsburg princes and old ruling families in an autocratic way.
2. It also sought to reverse the changes introduced by Napoleon and restore the old feudal values and system. Thus in Italy it gave all the important
posts and power to the aristocratic nobles and that too from non Italians. The people were naturally offended as they had tasted the Napoleonic
virtues of career based on merit.
3. Matternich system was based on the notion that the internal and international affairs were inseparable. This was because it represented an attempt to
turn black the clock of history and its entire structure was dependent upon feudal relations. Large number of people had tasted the sweetness of
liberty (in territories conquered by Napoleon) and in other areas had watched their fellow brethren tasting it. In such an environment any success of
the new liberal and national movements anywhere would have had a domino effect throughout. It was quickly realized that the congress system meant
magnification of any issue anywhere. Peace was established but it was fragile as each power became interested in preserving its own interests which
conflicted with each other most of the time.
4. Europe was divided into 2 types of powers. The center and the east were dominated by feudal systems while France and had modern systems and
economy. Thus while Russia wanted a system of automatic intervention in the internal affairs, and France were opposed to any such automatic
interference and instead wanted to decide on a case by case basis (with in general reluctant to interfere). While religion formed an important factor
for the tsar, Matternich, and France had no such considerations while formulating their foreign policy. In the end each power ended up interfering to
secure its own interest void of any accepted system. Thus while intervention favored monarchs in Naples and Spain, liberals gained in Portugal and
Greece.
Emergence of Nationalism in 19th Century Europe
1. Nationalism in its primitive form was a sense of belonging of a community of people to a particular land, customs, language etc. In its modern form,
when such communities began to assert their independence and sovereignty, nationalism emerged only in 19th century.
2. The Jacobian doctrine of "sovereignty of people" contributed to it. It not only gave the people right to chose and control their government, but also
made the government a voice of the people.
3. Countries which witnessed strongest nationalistic feelings were the ones which were occupied by Napoleon for he unwittingly through his measures
promoted nationalism in these lands.
4. The Prussian victory in Leipzig became a popular symbol of triumph of German nationalism. Germany had a strong middle class as well which was to
champion the cause of nationalism.
5. Similarly nationalist feelings were strong in Italy as well though they were not so much anti-French in character.
6. In
Russia,
the
scorched
earth
techniques
could
have
become
the
ultimate
example
of
nationalism but so backward was the national feeling in Russia, so divorced from the popular life was the regime, that these events had little effect on n
ationalism.
Contribution of Romantic Movement
1. Despite the fact that most of the romantic writers after 1815 were conservatives, their work helped in eroding the cosmopolitan and non-nationalistic
outlook on which absolutism had prospered. Thus even though they opposed liberalism, their works encouraged nationalistic sentiments. This can be
seen in the cultural movement in Germany as they began to take pride in German culture and history. Gradually the younger writers themselves began
to be influenced by liberal ideas and began to preach liberalism as well.

2. The greek war of independence aroused many passions and flared up the romantic literature in praise of nationalistic ideals. The most famous hero
became Lord Byron who died in the greek war.
Emergence of Nationalism in Poland
1. Napoleon's act of creating a Duchy of Warsaw was welcomed by Poles.
2. The system of Matternich failed to check the growth of nationalism in Poland. The reason was that the Polish landed aristocracy didn't owe their
position to Habsburgs (like in Italy) and never forgot they were Poles. Their imaginations were fired when the Russian tzar Alexander I created a
small kingdom of Poland which even though severely truncated in size as well as real authority served as a source of inspiration.
The Revolt of 1830
1. Like Italy the revolt was led by secret societies and students (wherever forces of nationalization were stronger revolts were led by secret societies and
students and wherever forces of liberalism were stronger the revolts were led by liberal parliamentarians). The leader of army stationed in Poland fled
and the rebels setup a provisional government and began to negotiate with the tsar for reforms. The tsar refused to grant reforms and in 1831 Russian
army invaded Poland. Again the hope of rebels was western support which was never coming.
The Revolt of 1846
1. Poland broke out in revolt in 1830. But the most serious revolt was in 1846 which was led by the nobles and intellectuals. It was checked in the
characteristic Matternich patter of suppression and 'divide and rule' - the peasants were pitched against the nobles. But to win over the peasants,
Matternich had to abolish the hated Robot or the forced labor feudal levy. This tax had held the peasants to the land and its abolition freed them to
move and thus paved the way for a socio-economic transformation.
2. The reasons why Poland didn't break out in revolt in 1848 were - (a) The abolition of Robot in 1846 had taken the basic impulse out of any potential
peasant revolt in Galicia (the Austrian held territory and most prone to revolt). (b) The Russian held part was held too tightly by the tsar and had been
crushed badly in 1831.
Emergence of Nationalism in Spain
During Napoleonic Rule
1. In Spain, the guerilla war against Napoleon became a symbol of nationalist triumph as well, tough there was no middle class to take its advantage and
after the fall of Napoleon the country fell back in autocratic rule.
2. But the liberal elements were able to draft the 1812 in the aftermath of the defeat of Napoleon in Spain. It was a classic example of how people
hated French occupation while still loved the ideals of French Revolution. The was drafted based on the 1791 French Constitution. A single
legislative assembly based on universal suffrage, sovereignty of people, freedom of press and individual liberty were its pillars.
Spanish Revolution of 1820
1. Against the autocratic rule of the king, a successful military revolution occurred and it forced the king to revive the liberal 1812 . This alarmed the
tsar Alexander of Russia who called for an international congress and if need be an armed international interference. But this was resisted by which
insisted that the Spanish revolution was entirely an internal affair and to setup a system for automatic international action against such internal events
was not acceptable to .
2. Matternich too was first opposed to summoning of such a congress but accepted it when revolutions spread out to Italy and Portugal as well. In the
congress @ Troppau in 1820, and France only sent observers (they couldn't support the aristocratic powers and didn't want to oppose them over
such small an issue either) and the congress (Prussia, Austria and Russia) announced that it could never accept the right of people to restrict the
power of their king. Austria subsequently sent armies to crush the Italian revolts.
3. With no international interference, things became more worrisome by 1822 to the extent that in 1823 France sent her own troops to restore the king.
The king, after regaining the power, crushed all liberals with unprecedented fury. But Spain couldn't re-establish her control over her latam assets as
was interested in preventing her monopoly. So she was able to convince US to warn Spain and in 1823 president Monroe warned european powers
to keep their hands off latam.
Disintegration of Empires
Turkey / The Eastern Question
1821 Revolt of Greeks - 1830 Independence
1. It broke out as a revolt inspired by nationalism (not by any economic factors). It was seen as a revolt of christians Greeks against the tyranny of
muslim Turks by the tsar. He was also naturally interested in extending his own power in the region at the obvious expense of the disintegrating
Turkish empire. But this possibility (of his interfering in the revolt on Greek side) alarmed other powers (as they didn't want an increased Russian
influence in the region). Matternich was most interested in maintaining the interests of monarchies and balance of power. So he called for a congress
@ Verona in 1822.
2. By the time the congress began the affairs in Spain had become more worrisome and France showed willingness of interfering there. had decided to
embark upon a policy of golden isolation in european affairs (so long as there wasn't a big change in balance of power or a threat of war in europe).
As a result of the congress, the danger of Russian interference in Turkey was avoided as was able to extract a promise from the Turkish
government that it would institute more reforms. The question of Spain was resolved against a joint intervention but letting France to intervene solely.
3. When the sultan refused to implement any such reforms and instead got the help of Egypt in crushing the Greeks, Russia couldn't hold back any
longer. and France had to resort to additional pressure including a threat of use of force. In 1827, the Turkish and Egyptian naval fleets were
destroyed by , France and Russia, in 1828 Russia declared war on Turkey and France too sent her troops. By 1830 Greek independence was
secured.

1850 - 1875: The Aftermath of the Crimean War & Reforms


1. Serbia, Moldavia and Wallachia had been made autonomous provinces within the Turkish empire. It now faced a series of separatist national
movements and had become the playground for european powers. It was composed of a vast mixture of races, linguistic groups etc. which were held
together only by a harsh central authority. It had become clear that Turkish empire would crumble soon against the pressure of Austria and Russia
and when it did, it would alter the balance of power in the region. and France were hesitant in supporting so cruel and so failing regime against
Russia and Austria. Yet the regime was failing and this became the eastern question.
2. In 1856 the sultan tried to implement reforms which included a universal Turkish national citizenship, equality in administration and before law and for
taxation irrespective of religion and race etc. But these reforms failed as the local ruling class and the clergy opposed the end of their domination.
Moreover the nationalism in non Turkish communities had grown to such an extent that they resisted any attempts to impose a common law etc. on
them.
3. In these years between 1850 and 1870, Serbia, Moldavia and Wallachia along with Rumanians pressed for and secured more autonomy for
themselves.
1875 - 1878: The Turkish Crisis
1. As the reforms failed the restlessness of the different nationalities in the Turkish empire began to grow. This was stroked by Austria and Russia.
Austria was now more interested in order to recover the prestige it had lost in Italy and Germany. By 1876 full scale revolts were raging in Bosnia,
Herzegovina, Macedonia and Bulgaria which were fueled by Austria and Hungary. Soon Montenegro and Serbia too went to war against the Turks
and the sultan of Turkey was overthrown by a local coup.
2. The attitude of foreign powers reflected their self interests. Russia wanted to press on for a dissolution of Turkish empire so that she may herself gain
the erstwhile Turkish territories and open her way to the Black sea. Austria was alarmed of this possibility and was oscillating between supporting
Turks against Russia or pressing for a negotiated breakup of the Turkish empire so that she may herself gain some territories and thus be able to
check the Russian influence. Bismarck's sole concern was the preservation of the international order he had so created and he was thus willing to be
an honest broker. He believed that if Turkish empire had to come down it should come down in an agreed and negotiated way so that peace is
maintained. France was still reeling under the defeat of 1871 and was recovering. She was not strong enough to gain substantially from any settlement
in the east and thus favored that no power should intervene in the east. 's first priority was to check any increased Russian influence in near east but it
was in a dilemma whether this was best achieved by a Turkish state or by strong independent smaller states.
3. In late 1876 the Turkish armies inflicted such heavy a defeat on the Serbian forces that Serbia sought the intervention of the great powers. Under the
pressure from Russia the new sultan agreed to submit the matter to the international conference which was held in December in Constantinople. As an
outcome, Russia struck a pact with Austria where she undertook to respect the independence of Serbia and Montenegro and offered Austria a free
hand in Bosnia and Herzegovina in return for a free hand in Bulgaria and Rumania.
4. In April 1877, Russia declared war again on the Turks (on the pretext that the sultan was not honoring the terms of the agreement) and got the
support of Rumania, Serbia, Montenegro and Bulgaria. In the treaty which followed, the sultan recognized the independence of Serbia and
Montenegro and greatly enlarged Rumania and Bulgaria. She was also to cede some territories to Russia and pay her war indemnity and carry out
reforms in Bosnia. This treaty aroused the traditional jealousies and fears of various parties (Austria and feared the increased Russian influence while
Greece, Rumania and Serbia resented the increased Bulgaria) and the matter had to be submitted to the international conference again.
5. The 1878 conference @ Berlin (where Bismarck again acted as an 'honest broker') decided that the state of Bulgaria be cut down (as Austria and
feared an increased Russian influence over Bulgaria so by cutting down Bulgaria they hoped to limit her influence). Areas of Macedonia and Rumelia
were taken away from her. She was not to be an independent state but merely an autonomous province under the Sultan. Similar was the status
assigned to Macedonia and Rumelia. The independence of Serbia, Montenegro and Rumania was acknowledged. Austria was allowed to occupy
Bosnia and Herzegovina, got the island of Cyprus and France got the Ottoman territory of Tunisia in N Africa. Greece was left dissatisfied as she
didn't get some territories and the island of Crete she wanted (which were left under Turks).
6. Thus the concert of Europe had sacrificed the nationalist aspirations of all Balkan people and instead chosen to satisfy the wishes of the great powers.
The handling of the situation made sure that the Balkans would erupt again in near future. Also by the handling of the territories of the Turkish empire,
it was made aptly clear to the sultan that unless Turkey became strong on its own it couldn't hope to prevent its abuse by the big European powers.
So the sultan set upon the task of strengthening his empire with the help of Germans and Germany got a valuable ally in Turkey. Apart from this
advantage of befriending Turkey, Germany also lost from the conference. Russia now held a grudge against Germany itself (for it had cut down
Bulgaria) and the fate of the League of the Three Emperors was doomed. For France the possibilities of an end of diplomatic isolation and an alliance
with Russia had opened up. Austria-Hungary became the key piece in Bismarck's diplomacy and because of this importance of Austria-Hungary, the
eastern question became the dominant determinant of his foreign policy now (because the fate of Austria-Hungary was intricately tied to the eastern
question whether it wanted to or not). Russia was obviously dissatisfied and so were Austria-Hungary (despite her addition of Bosnia and
Herzegovina) and (despite her acquisition of Cyprus) for their main interest lay with a strong Ottoman empire (while the conference had weakened
it further).
Bulgarian Crisis - 1880s
1. Bulgaria had looked upon favorably @ Russia but soon realized that Russian interests lay in just exploiting her and filling her top posts with Russians.
So she began to turn anti-Russian. The Bulgarian parliament was soon full of anti-Russian majority and in its display of independence, Bulgaria began
to receive support (for she hoped to check Russian influence now through a strong Bulgaria instead of a weak Turkey).
2. In 1885, Rumelia and some other parts of Bulgaria which had been taken away in the 1878 concert revolted and demanded union with Bulgaria.
Bulgaria accepted it. This naturally angered both Turkey and Russia and a war would have broken out had not come on the side of Bulgarians. But
Serbia was very much jealous of Bulgarian rise and she declared a war on Bulgaria. Bulgarian forces defeated Serbia but Austria (as a protector of
Serbia) intervened and peace was restored in 1886.
3. Soon Bulgarian king was made to abdicate in favor of a German prince who was also related to Louis Philippe of France and Victoria of . He was
seen as virtually a candidate of western powers and this infuriated Russia but she was again made to hold back on account of western pressure. The
new king gradually cooled down things and restored friendly relations with Russia in 1894.
4. But internationally, Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy signed a pact in 1887 which was designed solely to check Russian influence in Balkans. The
pact decided to keep peace and status quo, thus ensuring Turkish authority over Asia Minor and nominal suzerainty over Bulgaria (thus checking
Russia). In another pact in 1887 called the 'Reinsurance Treaty', Germany and Russia promised to remain neutral in a war involving the other party

except when Russia attacked Austria-Hungary and when Germany attacked France. Thus the alliance lines were clearly drawn. Soon Russia too was
engaged in her easter movement and building of trans-Siberian railways.
The Armenian and the Greek Revolts - 1890s
1. In 1890s, the Armenians broke out in revolt for independence. But the sultan after obtaining the assurance of non intervention from Germany went
ahead and crushed them. This non intervention from Germany was a part of her new found friendship with the sultan which became evident few years
later in the form of the Berlin - Baghdad railway project when the German emperor visited Constantinople.
2. In 1896 the island of Crete broke out in revolt for union with Greece. Yielding to nationalist pressures, Greece sent a force to Crete and thus a war
broke out with Turkey. Greece lost the war and appealed for international settlement. The international conference made Greece pay a heavy war
indemnity and few strategic villages and didn't give her Crete. But Turkey too virtually lost Crete as she was made to grant autonomy to the island and
withdraw her troops form there. A Greek prince was appointed as the governor of Crete by the big powers even though it remained nominally under
the suzerainty of Turkey.
The Young Turks Revolution and its Consequences - 1908
1. There was a revolution in Turkey called the Young Turks revolution which only served to make it weaker. It had far reaching consequences which
tore apart the 1878 Treaty of Berlin.
2. In 1908, Austria-Hungary decided to annex Bosnia and Herzegovina which it had administered hitherto as a protectorate under the Treaty of Berlin.
This enraged Serbs because more than a million Serbs lived in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Thus Serbia - which was so far another client state of
Austria-Hungary - became an arch enemy. In another development Bulgaria threw off the yoke of the nominal Turkish suzerainty and declared herself
to be an independent state. None of the big powers were interested in calling an international concert because Austria-Hungary was backed by
Germany and Bulgaria was backed by Russia. The net effect was that Austria-Hungary created an enemy for little effective gain (acquisition of a
Balkan territory would prove troublesome anyways) and Bulgaria moved closer to Russia. Germany too created an enemy for little gain here because
of the pressure she had to put on Russia to accept Austrian annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Balkan War - 1912
1. The Young Turks in the reformist zeal tried to impose upon the national language and compulsory military service on Macedonia as well. But the
Greek, Slav and other communities living there cherished their unique culture and resisted it. Thus Turkey couldn't have united as a nation without
letting its hold over other nationalities go, but this is precisely what they refused to do. The Young Turks resorted to usual suppression and this led
Greece, Serbia, Montenegro and Bulgaria to declare war on Turkey in 1812. It was nothing short of a miracle which could have united these Balkan
nations and Young Turks managed to do just that. In the war that followed, Turkish armies suffered a rout and the state collapsed.
2. Such a rapid collapse of Turkey was a clear victory of Balkan nationalism and a grave blow to Austria-Hungary. It was completely taken by surprise
and now scrambled to save itself from disintegration. Thus to counter the rising power of Serbia, Austria-Hungary chose to back the demand of
Albania for independence. Russia took a firm stand against her satellite Bulgaria to prevent her from taking over Constantinople. The old enemies vis
Austria-Hungary and Russia were thus united behind one cause this time i.e. to prevent the rising power of Balkan states. It also worked to bring
Germany, France and together to keep Russia out of Constantinople but France was by now too much anti-German to risk her alliance with Russia
and was prepared to resist only in a general concert. The conference met in London and it couldn't undo the results of the war but accepted the
Austrian demand of an independent Albanian state (to which Russia agreed). Thus a reversal from the 1878 conference, this conference carried
further the triumph of Balkan nationalism.
The Balkan War - 1913
1. The Balkan unity soon broke up as old suspicions resurfaced. Each country wanted to retain maximum possible territory and a second war broke out.
Bulgaria had to fight Greece, Serbia, Rumania and Turkey and lost and had to pay a price to each one of them.
2. But the effect of this was that Bulgaria now drifted close to Germany and Austria-Hungary, Serbia and Montenegro now regarded a war against
Austria-Hungary as inevitable (to free all slavs of Bosnia) and in this had Russian support. The terms of the Treaty of London were violated but the
big powers couldn't interfere because they knew that a wider war would mean Germany and Austria-Hungary on one side and at least France and
Russia on the other.
Austria-Hungary

Condition in 1815
1. The Austrian provinces themselves as well as the periphery nationalities like Czechs, Hungarians, Slovaks, Croats, Rumanians and Poles had the
medieval provincial diets or 'estates'. But these estates met rarely and the power was in the hand of local nobles who had links with Vienna and
depended on its support. Thus the system was highly conservative and disregarded any national aspirations.
2. This system was that of a lose confederacy where the power lay in the hands of the highly conservative aristocratic elements. The center depended
upon them for its continuation and they in turn depended upon the center to crush any rebellions which may threaten them. Such a system necessitated
it for Matternich to be opposed to any strands of liberalism.
3. The center had realized that it was impossible to bring the various parts under more centralized control. Instead it depended upon the divide and rule
policy to keep all the areas within the empire. Thus it posted German regiments in non- German areas, Hungarian regiments in Italy and so on. It even
devised a German confederation to keep its influence over the different Germanic states.
Liberal and National Movements
1. In 1815 the student bodies in Germany called burschenshaften revolted and were banned by the Carlsbad Decree by Matternich.
2. In 1848 the much hated feudal levy Robot had to be abolished (following the revolt). This was the last tie which held the peasant with the land and
thus paved way for a more general socio-economic transformation which changed the political landscape as well. This was because the foundation of
the Habsburg empire was on the traditional system based on feudal land relations and now that itself was shaken.
Austrian Revolt of 1848
1. Here the intensity of revolt was very serious (since it also received support of the nobles and court factions who were against Matternich) and he had
to flee in March. A moderate government was setup but the ruling elements just played a waiting game as in Prussia to let the revolutionary movement
pass and yet retain enough power in their hands to lead a counter revolution later. The king was forced to create a Reichstag which would be based
on restricted adult suffrage. The nobility would lose their exemption from taxation and the towns would get a representation in the parliament. The
parliament represented mainly the gentry and the middle class.
2. In Prussia, Austria and Hungary the initial successes of the revolutionaries were followed by subsequent failures. They had no common agenda and
couldn't agree upon what to do next. Moreover they had settled for too little or weak reforms while they had the chance and allowed the counter
revolutionary elements to retain sufficient powers. By May the revolution had spent its force.
3. There was another revolt in September but by then the aristocratic powers were securely in place and crushed it as now they had the support of the
Slavs and the Czechs.
Hungarian Revolt of 1848
1. The king of Austria ruled Hungary but it had an aristocratic diet of its own. But in 1848 a nationalist leader Louis Kossuth emerged. He led the antifeudal movement in Hungary and kindled the nationalist sentiments. Following the revolution in Vienna, he raised the demand for home rule in Hungary
which were granted in the form of March Laws (where the king still remained the Austrian emperor but Hungary was to have its own parliament
elected on a restricted suffrage. The nobility would lose their exemption from taxation and the towns would get a representation in the

parliament). The parliament represented mainly the gentry and the middle class.
2. But in the new assembly there were large majorities which wanted to avoid a complete break from Austria. The Croats and Slovaks were opposed to
being left under the Magyar rule and so opposed independence from Austria. The Austrian government utilized their fear and relied on its old policy of
divide and rule. Kossuth on the other hand wanted an independent Magyar led nation (and found favor with the Great German programme since it left
Hungary out).
3. Soon the slavs in Croatia and Serbia broke out in revolt (with encouragement of Austria). Such a revolt increased the possibility of a Russian
interference in Balkans and under such a scenario Hungary preferred to side with Austria than Russia. Soon Austrian army invaded Hungary from
Croatia, Kossuth appealed to the Austrian parliament to mediate between Hungary and the Habsburgs, but the German and Slav elements together
refused to help Hungary. By the end of the year the Austrian army even occupied Budapest but Kossuth had raised the Magyar nationalistic fervor to
a state of frenzy and the Austrians were forced to withdraw from Budapest in April 1849. Kossuth was made the governor and he proclaimed
independence of Hungary.
4. But his rule lasted only for a few weeks. The popular feeling began to turn against republicanism and the excesses of the revolution. Moreover there
was split in the ranks of the nationalists as well. Under such circumstances, tsar Nicholas sent his armies for he believed that people shouldn't depose
their kings and also was scared of the impact of Hungarian revolution on Poland. Kossuth fled.
19th Century European Revolutions
Factors Behind 1830 Revolts
Economic Factors
1. The period between 1790 and 1830 saw progressive freer trade within the national borders (as internal tariffs and other NTTBs were eliminated) and
rising protection against international products (specially manufacturers). Thus large free trade areas like zollverein and UK ( + Ireland) were
created. This led to great strengthening of the middle class in europe (particularly west). This new middle class sought policies more favorable to them
and hence more political representation. An example is the agitation in to repeal Corn Laws and to allow freer trade.
Factors Behind 1848 Revolts
Economic Factors
1. These years witnessed a tremendous progress in industrialization and modern means of communications. Railways came up in big way across wester
europe, coal and iron industries developed which led to further development via backward and forward linkages. From virtually nought, railways
had grown to 6K miles, Germany to 3K miles and French to 2 K miles. Better integration also led to higher trade, closer contacts and stroked
national sentiments.
2. The economic progress meant growth of labor class as well. But the years preceding 1848 were marked by international trade and financial crisis.
Fluctuation in cotton prices and winding up of Bank of the US led to tremendous losses for european capital. Bank of England had to be bailed out
by Bank of France. Speculation in commodities led to aggravation of business cycles. The resulting economic crisis led to growing resentment among
workers.
Political Factors
1. The reforms after 1830 revolution had failed to produce a just society. Even though liberal steps were taken but they were so marred with preserving
the self interests of the middle class that they actually committed more injustice than what they were seeking to undo. The limitation of suffrage to men
of property only led bred manipulation and led to exclusion. Corruption marred the electoral process and there were no effective checks on the
misuse of power. So demand for inclusion began to grow.
2. Moreover the workers had seen how the middle class had used the political power to its own material advancement and thus they too wanted a share
in the same.
3. The revolts were stroked by growing sentiments of nationalism and they in turned stroked nationalism further and even took it to chauvinistic levels.
As can be seen the German interests collided with Magyars, Magyars with Slavs, Czechs with Germans and so on.
Social Factors
1. Demographic growth had created new pressures. For instance the population in Austria increased at the same rate as that in France (but Austria was
a backward country) and that in Hungary grew even faster. But the existing feudal relations created lot of tensions in such a case and hence revolts
broke out. It may be recalled here that the Emancipation Act of 1848 passed by Austria was one of the most significant achievements of the revolt as
it abolished (without any compensation) the hereditary rights of feudal lords in jurisdiction and administration. It was this ending of feudalism which
brought about real industrial revolution in central and eastern europe.
2. Due to the abolition of feudal levies the landlords had no incentive to keep a large number of peasants. So the smaller peasants sold their lands to the
the bigger landlords and moved to the cities. This created additional pressures. It can be easily seen that the 1848 revolutions were primarily urban in
character.
France
The Revolution of 1830
1. The restored monarchy under Louis XVIII had liberal features as it adopted to be guided by a liberal which had elements like equality before law,
right to property, protection of life and liberty, equality of opportunity etc. But at the same time it retained the absolutist character in insisting that he
had been king from the time of execution of his brother Louis XVI and called 1814 as the 19th year of his reign. Further he insisted that he liberal
was an act of grace by the king (i.e. voluntarily given by the king to his subjects and hence could be taken back by him also). To this weakness of the
systems in France was added its relative inexperience with such methods and absence of conventions. Thus the liberal system which emerged in
France remained vulnerable to the attitude of the king.
2. Thus when he was succeeded by the new king (Charles) and the new king began to assert his absolutist powers, tensions broke out between the
liberals and the royalists. The new king dismissed the parliament and called for fresh elections and when the liberals returned with a stronger majority
in the elections the king tried to stage a coup de teat. The king issued a set of 5 ordinances where he dismissed the new parliament before it could
meet, reduced the number of voters from 100K to 25K only, called for new elections on this basis and imposed censorship. Thus he destroyed the

charter issued by Louis XVIII for all practical purposes. This led to the revolution of 1830.
3. After the revolution, the Charter was liberalized (lowering of voter qualifications, weakening of upper house which was nominated by the king etc.)
further and imposed upon the new king. But it must be kept in mind that this was a liberal revolution and not a democratic or socialist revolution.
The Revolution of 1848
1. The king was forced to abdicate in February by the rising mob. A group of liberal parliamentarians sought to establish a provisional government but it
could command no authority. Under the pressure of the mob, the resulting government had to adopt certain socialistic resolutions like the right to
work, reduced working hours, national workshops and universal male suffrage.
2. But there were attempts of coups and counter coups as there was no unity among the rebels and by summer the counter revolution commenced and
in the end most of the socialist gains were lost. The national workshops were closed, the rebels were executed, in the new in November 1848,
there was no mention of the right to work. Napoleon's nephew was elected the president who soon tore down the other democratic elements of the
as well.
Belgian Independence of 1830
1. The Belgians comprised of the Catholic, French and Flemish sections of south Holland and they had been forced to accept the union with Holland in
1815. Naturally they resented this and nationalist sentiments grew. Within the union the Belgians outnumbered the Dutch 2:1 yet had equal share only
in the parliament. The fall of 1815 monarchy in France inspired them and they too rose in revolt against the Matternich system.
2. The Prince of Orange tried to reconcile the rebels by agreeing to Belgian separation and guaranteeing complete separation leaving no point of contact
except the ruling dynasty. But it failed and in 1831 a new was promulgated which declared independence and that all powers have their source in
the nation. The powers of the king were severely curtailed and he was to be elected by the parliament.
3. Matternich, Prussia and Russia wanted to check this development but and France stood by Belgium. A congress was called and it accepted Belgian
independence and guaranteed its perpetual neutrality. In 1831 Dutch invaded Belgium but France sent her troops and forced the Dutch to withdraw.
Italy

The Revolution of 1830


1. By the end of 1830 the rulers of Parma and Modena had been driven out. It was certain that Austria would send its troops to crush the rebels but
they hoped France would support them (as it had supported Belgium). But France didn't (since doing so would have seriously offended Austria and
Italy was not worth a cause over which France should fight Austria).
2. Austria crushed the revolts but Mazzini founded the Young Italy movement which gained popularity and its numbers reached 60K ny 1833.
The Revolution of 1848
1. Rebellious elements were more active here than ever before because the new kings which had succeeded the earlier ones were more sympathetic to
the national cause and allowed more liberties. This encouraged the work of the secret societies. After the revolts broke out, they were suppressed by
Austria again. King Charles of Piedmont fought for the cause of rebels but no help came from France and by May the war was turning against him
and he was eventually forced to abdicate in favor of his son.
Germany
The Revolution of 1848
1. Germany had neither a liberal parliamentarian tradition like nor a violent social democratic tradition like France. German liberalism as represented
by zollverein had no appetite for democracy and the social revolutionaries too were small and insignificant and mainly confined to industrialized
Rhineland. The central sentiment was that of nationalism.
2. Riots broke out in Berlin in March and the king decided to make some concessions. He declared himself to be in favor of a federal German Reich in
place of the Germanic Confederation (presided over by Austria). But the resulting reich had no powers and it was limited to debates only. He also

proposed other measures like one national citizenship, one national army, freedom of press but all these remained proposals only.
3. After the initial success, the liberals were divided on the next course of action. They couldn't even agree on the territorial extent of Germany. There
was a group which called for Greater Germany which was to include Germany, Poland and Austria (except Hungary but including the lands inhabited
by Slavs). But this would necessitate offering the crown to Austrian Habsburg. On the other hand the little Germans were willing to leave out the
Austrian lands to unify rest of Germany free of Austrian influence and in such a case the crown was to be offered to the Prussian king. Catholics
supported Austria, protestants supported Prussia as the leader. By May, a state of inaction had taken over.
4. The Greater German programme was opposed by Czechs (who preferred the lose Austrian confederacy) as well as the Slovaks (who didn't want to
be left alone with the Magyars of Hungary). The Slavs demanded creation of 3 separate states of Czechs and Slovaks, Serbs and Croats (later to
form Yugoslavia) and Poles. The slavs were afraid of being partitioned between the Greater Germany and Hungary and thus opposed them. Poles
wanted a separate state as well.