How far were the 1848 revolutions stimulated by socio-economic rather than political factors?
The revolutions of 1848 were a series of simultaneous revolutions across a number of countries, mainly in Europe. A number of different reasons brought about these revolutions but each individual country had different reasons to why they had a revolution. As a result of this we cannot fully determine whether the 1848 revolutions were driven by socioeconomic or political reasons until we have looked at each major case individually, as this will allow us to make an accurate judgement on why the revolution occurred. To look at each country and their revolutionary ...view middle of the document...
” and she goes on to say “But what were they after, all of these starving intellectuals? Students everywhere were discontented with their courses and examinations” This shows that tensions in Europe were rising creating the perfect atmosphere for revolution.
The first country which experienced a revolution was France. France had been one of the main powers and influences in Europe at this time which makes France’s 1848 revolution very important. The French 1848 Revolution had been largely stimulated by political factors rather that socioeconomic factors. This was because the aim of the French revolution was to overthrow the ministry leader Francois Guizot and King Louis Philippe. At first the group La Reforme had planned a banquet on the 22nd February, but they did not see this as a first step to a revolution but rather a means to gain a lever for political reform. As a result the government in France refused to authorize the banquet leading to more political discontent. The Banquet had gained support and on the day many people turned up in bad conditions to attend the banquet, but police stopped an additional group of students which led to the crowd becoming destructive. This resulted in even greater support on the following day when they marched upon Paris. Sterns writes in his book “killing or wounding forty to fifty people. The crowd was enraged at this ‘massacre’. Rumours spread that the government wanted to slaughter the working class, and as in other great revolutions rumour here both expressed and strengthened class resentments.” This class resentment in addition to the political unrest already current during this period were the key reasons why the French people caused a revolution in 1848.
The German revolution in 1848 happened very soon after the French, two days to be exacted, as the German revolution happened on the 25th to the 27th of February. The German revolution is not as straight forward as the French revolution, this is because the German revolution had a number of political and socioeconomic factors all working together to create an atmosphere for revolution. The first socioeconomic factor which stimulated the revolution was that the middle class felt that the king did not understand new trade and that his feudalistic rule was limiting their ability to make money in the newly created capitalist society. This is shown clearly when Robertson writes in her book “The treasury’s handsome surplus, left by Frederick William III, was spent within two years on court festivals and grants to the nobility, while the unhappy middle class soon saw that modern trade had neither the understanding nor the sympathy of their medieval monarch” . As a result of this the German middle class felt like something needed to be changed in order for them to start to reach their full potential in the new capitalist market and to fully take advantage of the huge steps made in industrial practices.
On the other hand, the German Revolution did have...