The not so negative consequences of the 1848 Revolutions

The not so negative consequences of the 1848 Revolutions

Although the Revolutions of 1848 They had a very negative aspect in terms of results, the truth is that they left several consequences that would last for the rest of the century.

First of all, it became clear that the monarchy was in a serious crisis. After the revolts in France, kings were no longer necessary to make any constitution and they went on to join the long list of different forms of government. This was a great change in the political mentality of the time. Republicanism put power in the hands of the people and the state was subjugated to the will of the people. Louis Philippe He thought that he could continue ruling if he got rid of those who had brought him to power, but the truth is that without the bourgeoisie, his mandate was over. It was clear that one could not govern without the support of the people.

Second, it must be recognized that the failure of the Revolutions of 1848 made revolutionaries and those who yearned for freedom know what they should not do.. But it is worth carrying out a small analysis of why this failure occurred. The most important causes were, without a doubt, the improvement of the economy in 1848 due to the good harvests and the decrease in unemployment, the fear of the bourgeoisie of a possible workers uprising, the solidarity between the absolutist monarchs and the lack of union and support between the revolutions of the different countries.

This is how we can talk about third point: the "spirit of 48”. This mentality was established in the wake of the revolutions and had several elements that shaped it. Among them were from the memory and honor of the French Revolution of 1789, to the values ​​of Romanticism, passing through the mystique of progress, the cult of science, the cult of the people and the sense of political and national brotherhood.

Another point that remained for posterity were the real and visible changes produced by the uprisings. In France, universal male suffrage was a reality and a great advance that lasted until the 20th century. Prussia and Piedmont became large nuclei capable of uniting the nationalist movements of Germany and Italy, respectively. The foundations were laid for the unification to be carried out by Otto von Bismarck and the Earl of Cavour.

Finally, it is important to clarify that Austria's victory over the 1848 revolutions was somewhat merely symbolic. It is true that the “Bach System” was imposed and implemented, but the fact that Vienna took up arms meant a real change. It was the beginning of the end of absolutism and of the outdated ideas of the Old Regime that were defended from the Austrian Empire.

Passionate about History, he has a degree in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication. Since he was a child he loved history and ended up exploring the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries above all.


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