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French Revolution of 1848
Transcript of French Revolution of 1848
Beginning Of The Revolution
Goals Of The Revolution
On 26 February 1848, the liberal opposition came together to organize a provisional government, called the Second Republic. The poet Alphonse de Lamartine was appointed president of the provisional government.
Elections for a Constituent Assembly were scheduled for 23 April 1848. The Constituent Assembly was to establish a new republican government for France. In preparation for these elections, two major goals of the provisional government were
universal suffrage and unemployment relief.
Before The Revolution
Due to the Industrial Revolution, France in 1846 saw:
Poor railroad system
What Set The Stage For The Revolution
Because political gatherings and demonstrations were outlawed in France, activists of the largely middle class opposition to the government began to hold a series of fund-raising banquets.
This campaign of banquets was intended to circumvent the governmental restriction on political meetings and provide a legal outlet for popular criticism of the regime.
The banquet campaign lasted until all political banquets were outlawed by the French government in February 1848. As a result, the people revolted, helping to unite the efforts of the popular Republicans and the liberal Orleanists, who turned their back on Louis-Philippe. (Head of the State)
Shouting "Down with Guizot" and "Long Live the Reform" the crowds marched past Guizot's residence. The crowds erected barricades in the streets of Paris, and fighting broke out between the citizens and the Parisian municipal guards.
At 2pm the next day, 23 February, Prime Minister Guizot resigned. Upon hearing the news of Guizot's resignation, a large crowd gathered outside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Paris was soon a barricaded city. Omnibuses were turned into barricades, and thousands of trees were felled. Fires were set, and angry citizens began converging to the royal palace.
King Louis Philippe abdicated and fled to the UK.
Who Were The Key Players
Louis Philippe (Head of the State)
Prime Minister Guizot
Poet Alphonse de Lamartine (President for the provisional government)
Dangerous" writers proliferated such as Louis Blanc ("The right to work") and Pierre-Joseph Proudhon ("Property is theft!").
Louis Philippe has several liberal views. He called himself, "People's King" and he owed his existence to the will of the people. He lived a simple life. By the time of his regime several political parties have come into existence in France. They were Constitutionalists, Royalists, Republican and Bonapartists. He tried to rule like a moderate, so that no party would go against him. He tried to rule like a constitutional monarch of the conservative type. .
Events Leading Up To The Revolution
He failed to change with the times and it was this weakness of his, which compelled him to abdicate the throne. He placed himself under the influence of Constitutionalists. This made the Royalists, Republicans and Bonapartists to dislike him. In his urge to develop the industries in France, he gave lot of patronage to the upper middle-class, and the Constitutionalists. Therefore he earned opposition from all other sections of the society
What Led To The Failure
A lack of unity among the revolutionists
A feeling of mutual distrust among different races
Lack of able leadership
The End of the Revolution
On 2 September 1848, the National Constituent Assembly vowed not to dissolve itself until they had written a new constitution and enacted all the organic laws necessary to implement a new constitution.
The new constitution was finished on 23 October 1848 and presidential elections were scheduled for 10 December 1848. Louis Napoleon won the presidential election by a wide margin.
People preferred the safety of an able dictatorship to the uncertainty of revolution.
What were the effects of the revolution?
Louis Napoleon re-established universal suffrage, feared by the Republicans at the time who correctly expected the countryside to vote against the Republic, Louis Napoleon took the title Emperor Napoleon III, and the Second Empire began.
1846 Beginning of Europe's last major food crisis and famine throughout the Continent.
1848 Karl Marx publishes the Communist Manifesto.
February 24, 1848 Revolution in France; overthrow of the monarchy of King Louis-Philippe; proclamation of the creation of the French Second Republic.
March 1848 Uprisings in some German states; granting of constitutional reforms in Prussia.
March 1848-June 1849 Revolutions in Italy.
April 1848 Revolutions in Vienna, Budapest, and Prague.
May 1848 Frankfurt Assembly meets and proposes a plan for the unification of Germany; Prussian king refuses to take the crown.
December 1848 Louis Napoleon wins presidential election in France.