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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.